29.7 C
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Home News Nation Farmers’ group wants Lorenzo investigated

Farmers’ group wants Lorenzo investigated


A MILITANT peasant group said on Tuesday that past heads of the Department of Agriculture, particularly Luis Lorenzo, should be made accountable for some P134.4 million in unliquidated cash advances for the past 15 years.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the Commission on Audit has raised the problem long ago and that it’s a wonder how nothing is being done about it.

“These anomalies were presented by the Commission on Audit long ago and it suggested means on how it can be resolved, but what happened?” asked Danilo Ramos, secretary-general of the KMP.


Because the practice of the past agriculture secretaries were tolerated, he said, there are now questions whether the funds were spent properly.

Ramos said the amount could have been used to buy palay (unmilled rice) from the farmers.

“Traders continue to dictate prices of palay. They buy palay at P6 to P7 a kilo, farmgate price should have been higher because [the government] buys palay at P10.50 a kilo,” he said.

Rice subsidy, however, is insufficient, forcing the farmers to sell their produce to traders.

Besides unliquidated cash advances, the KMP said the Commission on Audit report disclosed a number of other questionable transactions and figures, particularly under the term of Luis Lorenzo Jr., who now serves as chair of the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Quedan and Rural Guarantee Credit Corp.

This includes the purchase of office supplies by the agriculture department’s Office of the Secretary amounting to P87,901,434.65. The department was only able to account for P1,379,147.55.

Lorenzo belittled the accusations, however, saying the KMP “intentionally and deliberately misread the COA audit report to satisfy its malicious intentions.”

“[The COA report] did not and cannot say that any money is missing or misused. It only stated that some numbers don’t tally as of the moment. There is really nothing extraordinary about it for they are normal and usual observations in government audit reports,” he said.


Fare hike ruled out for 12 provincial bus routes

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said there would be no fare increase for the 12 modified provincial bus routes in Central...

Casimero crushes Micah, wants Inoue next

Filipino boxer John Riel Casimero emerged victorious in his first defense of the World Boxing Organization bantamweight crown with a third-round stoppage of erstwhile unbeaten...

Recruitment groups deplore slow deployment process

Recruitment agencies have complained about the alleged slow processing of job orders by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Recruitment consultant and migration expert Emmanuel...

DepEd urged to boost partnerships with telcos

SEN. Mary Grace Poe has urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to further improve its partnerships with telecommunication companies (telcos) and the private sector to enable...

Bong Go opens Zambales’ first Malasakit Center 

SEN. Christopher “Bong” Go opened in Zambales the country's  84th Malasakit Center over the weekend. The senator attended the virtual launch of the Malasakit Center at...


Today's Front Page