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Monday, April 27, 2015

DA, DAR anomalies




The Commission on Audit (COA) reported that the Department of Agriculture (DA) wasted the huge amount of P14 billion on several anomalous programs using the regular funds it received from the national government and allotments from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
The biggest amount the DA spent was for the construction of 1,079.20 kilometers of farm-to-marlet roads (FMR).
DA collected P7.8 billion for the FMR project in 2013 but it was only able to complete 270.4 kilometers worth P1.7 billion. After a year there have been many reports of ghost projects in the FMR project, particularly those released through local government units (LGU).
The goal of the FMR development project to provide transport facilities for agricultural and fisheries commodities to reduce the  production costs of farmers and fisherfolk was not fully attained.
COA also found deficiencies in several projects funded by P4.8 billion in DAP funds.
COA also took to task the DA for its failure to maximize the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) due to its failure to collect P4.8 billion on loans released to private businessmen.
Irregularities in the DA were the releases of funds to several non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including one set up by Janet Lim-Napoles.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala denied any anomaly in his department’s projects. However, he admitted that they gave funds to an NGO of Napoles.
Congressman Neri Colmenares asked President Aquino to fire Alcala and file charges against him.
Secretary Alcala is an officer of the Liberal Party (LP).
Malacañang cleared Alcala and clarified that he has been responding to previous and present controversies.
In another report, COA also bared a P12.8 billion mess at DAR reporting – that DAR failed to fully implement two major development projects worth P12.8 billion.
The COA reported delays in the implementation of the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP) Phase III and Agrarian Reform Community Project (ARCP) Phase II.
In the case of ARISP, COA said DAR has already spent P7.76 billion out of the P8 billion appropriation but only 42 percent of the infrastructure projects has been completed.
As to the ARCP, the COA discovered that DAR has spent P3.6 billion of its P4.8 billion allocation but only 2.25 percent of the project has been completed.
COA said that P3.6 million from the funds for the two projects have been illegally spent for bonuses, medical benefits and clothing allowances of its personnel.

DENR failure

A third COA report said the P7.2 million National Greening Program (NGP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), a centerpiece environmental program of Aquino administration, is “unsuccessful” despite the allocation.
In its 2013 audit report of DENR, the COA said the DENR took the tree-planting program and the cadastral survey projects (CSP),  covering ten regions of the country, “without an efficient and effective system of implementing and monitoring mechanisms,” resulting in low accomplishments in areas and seedling planted and survival rates in DENR Regions 1, 3, 4-A and 5, and the non-compliance with memoranda of agreement, work and financial plans and other regulations in Cordillera Administrative Region and National Capital Region and by the Bukidnon Foundation Inc.
As far as the low accomplishments and tree-planting survival rates are concerned, the commission blamed typhoons, southwest monsoon, floods, landslides, rats and termites infestations, grass fires and illegal forest activities.
As for urban areas, the lack of coordination of DENR with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and local  governments also led to plant destruction due to road works.

P-Noy rating down

The latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed President Aquino’s satisfaction rating plunged to +19 percent from +34 percent in December. 48 percent were satisfied with Aquino’s performance while 29 percent were dissatisfied.
President Aquino has not undertaken any new major programs against poverty, unemployment and high prices to improve his ratings.
In another survey, Senator Grace Poe, conducted from March 20 to 23, topped the SWS poll for vice-presidential preference getting 26 percent of the vote.
Coming in at a far second is Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas with 12 percent.
SWS’s survey results also showed that 7 percent of respondents did not have a recommended candidate, while 13 percent could not give an answer.

Tidbits

A Magdalo party survey, conducted this month, showed Vice-President Binay leading the presidential race with 27.6  percent of the vote. Senator Grace Poe was second with 21.6 percent.
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has allocated P3 billion more for the construction of school buildings. The amount was released to the DPWH.
Tessie Sy Coson of the SM Group co-chaired the World Economic Forum (WEF) conference in Indonesia.
Customs Chief John Sevilla has resigned. Bert Lina will replace him.
Wanted terrorist Basit Usman attended the burial of Umbra Kato.
Filipina death row convict Mary Jane Veloso was transferred to Indonesia’s execution island, Nusakambangan.
Chastity Mirabiles, the 11-year-old girl who was allegedly badly beaten by a policeman in Cebu City, died from hematoma, according to an NBI autopsy report. Following the death of Chastity, other  victims of police abuse surfaced.

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