4 DA agencies, ililipat sa Office of the President; ex-Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, nanumpa na bilang Presidential Assistant on Food Security  

admin   •   May 6, 2014   •   3529

President Benigno S. Aquino III administers the oath of office of former Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, the new Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization. — May 6, 2014. (Malacañang Photo Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines — Tatanggalin na sa ilalim ng Department of Agriculture ang apat na ahensya na nasa ilalim nito.

Batay sa Executive Order No. 175 na nilagdaan ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III nitong Lunes-May 5, ililipat na sa ilalim ng Office of the President ang National Food Authority, National Irrigation Authority, Philippine Coconut Authority at Fertilizers and Pesticide Authority.

Ang hakbang na ito ni Pangulong aquino ay ibinatay sa 1987 administrative code.

Nakasaad rito na may kapangyarihan ang Pangulo na ire-organize ang administrative structure ng Office of the President.

Kasabay nito, nilagdaan na rin ng Pangulo ang Memorandum Order No. 70.

Isinasanaad dito ang magiging trabaho ni Secretary Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan bilang Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization.

Si Pangilinan ang pangunahing tututok sa implementasyon ng mga proyekto, polisiya at mga programa ng apat na inilipat na ahensya.

Nitong Martes ng hapon ay nanumpa na sa kaniyang bagong tungkulin sa pamahalaan ang dating senador sa Malakanyang.

Ayon kay Presidential Communication Secretary Herminio ‘Sonny’ Coloma Jr. ang pagkakatalaga kay Secretary Pangilinan ay walang kaugnayan sa mga isyung kinasangkutan ng Department of Agriculture at nananatili pa rin ang trust and confidence ng Pangulo kay DA Secretary Proceso Alcala.

Ayon naman kay Secretary Pangilinan, inatasan rin siya ng Pangulo na linisin sa korapsyon ang tututukan niyang mga ahensya.

“Ang sinabi ng ating Pangulo, I’m here to help to cleanup these agencies,” ani Sec. Pangilinan.

Dagdag pa ng bagong kalihim, susuporta at tutulungan rin niya ang pamahalaan upang lunasan ang problema sa kahirapan.

“Ano ang dapat nating gawin sa loob ng dalawang taon para mapababa pa ang presyo ng bigas ayusin ang ilang problema sa pag-imbak or import, look into importation policy on importation, pati usapin ng utang ng NFA na mahigit 170 Billion,” pahayag ng bagong talagang Presidential Assistant for Food Security & Agricultural Modernization.

Si Pangilinan ay naging Senador sa loob ng labindalawang taon at minsan na rin niyang pinamunuan ang Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food at Committee on Social Justice and Rural Development. (NEL MARIBOJOC, UNTV News)

‘Quinta’ damage to agri-fisheries now at P705-M – DA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Damage to crops and livestock sector left by Typhoon Quinta has reached more than P700 million, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

“The total amount of damage and losses in agri-fisheries due to Typhoon “Quinta” has increased to Php 705.87 million from the previously-reported Php 401.73 million, with 33,545 MT of volume loss, affecting 25,483 farmers and fisherfolk with 19,971 hectares of agricultural areas in Ilocos Region, CALABARZON, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and the Zamboanga Peninsula,” the DA said in a statement Wednesday.

“Affected commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, fisheries, livestock, irrigation, and agri-facilities,” it added.

These values are subject to further validation, the department said.

The DA said the increase in values is attributed to the updated reports in rice and corn from the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and Zamboanga City.

It added that the DA Regional Field Offices in affected regions are thoroughly assessing and validating damage and losses in the agri-fisheries sector, and thereafter provide needed emergency assistance to affected farmers and fisherfolk.

The department said it is allocating P795-million Quick Response Fund (QRF) for the rehabilitation of affected areas;

It will also implement the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program of Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), and indemnify affected farmers through funds from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation.

A total of 30,280 bags of rice seeds; 8,071 bags of corn seeds, and 1,792 kgs of assorted vegetables from Regions I, IV-A, V, VI and IX will also be made available to affected farmers.

“The DA-DRRM Operations Center will continuously provide updates on Typhoon Quinta,” it said.

Shipments of live hogs, frozen pork from Visayas, Mindanao to ease prices in Luzon – DA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday said that shipments of live hogs and frozen pork meat will be increased starting this week in the hopes of addressing the low supply and high prices of pork in public markets and other areas in Luzon.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said his department and representatives of the hog industry in the country have agreed to “heighten shipments” of hogs and frozen pork meat from Visayas and Mindanao.

“We will elevate our partnerships with hog producers and traders, ship owners and operators, and local government officials in Visayas and Mindanao to supply Metro Manila and Luzon with hogs and frozen pork, and eventually bring down prices for the benefit of consumers,” Dar said in a statement.

Weekly shipments will be increased, ranging from 27,000 to 30,000 head of hogs, coming from the main ports in Davao, General Santos and Cagayan de Oro until December this year, he added.

During the meeting, the DA said that San Miguel Corp. (SMC) targets to hike shipments to four container vans or 48 metric tons per week from Mindanao.

Shipments of live hogs will also come from Cebu, Iloilo, and Leyte, it added.

“This is a problem of logistics — including sourcing, distribution, and marketing — which we can address without difficulty. All we ask is the full cooperation of key players in the entire hog industry value chain,” he said.

The Agriculture chief said he has sought the assistance of the Department of Transportation to increase the number and frequency of vessels plying the routes to and from Mindanao and Luzon ports.

The suggested retail price for pork and other pork products is currently being reviewed, he added.

Dar expressed confidence that the effort will greatly boost the dwindling supply of pork in Luzon due to the depopulation of hog farms infected with African Swine Fever.

DA urges LGUs, private sector anew to buy palay, corn directly from local farmers

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Thursday renewed its appeal to local government units (LGU) and the private sector to buy palay and corn directly from farmers to prop up prices as harvest season peaks.

In a statement, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said LGUs and the grains industry stakeholders will have to “step in” and purchase directly through negotiated contracts with the farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCA) since the National Food Authority’s (NFA) palay procurement is limited to buffer stocking for calamities and emergencies

“The LGU- and private sector-led palay and corn buying will complement efforts of the Department of Agriculture through the National Food Authority to buy as much as possible from rice farmers using its 2020 P10-billion procurement fund,” Dar said.

“This should be part of the ‘new normal,’ where LGUs are taking a more pro-active stance by directly buying farmers’ produce — be these rice, corn, vegetables, chicken, eggs, fish and other farm and fishery products — at reasonable prices, and then including them in their food packs for their constituents,” he added.

The Agriculture chief said the NFA has also been directed to “roll-over twice its procurement fund so it could buy P20 billion-worth of palay this year.”

Further, he said provincial governments can avail of loans from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) of up to P2 billion at two percent interest to procure palay, and acquire farm machineries and postharvest facilities.

This harvest season, the DA said it wrote the governors of the top 12 rice-producing provinces to once again buy palay from their farmers.

The DA chief likewise called on the private sector, particularly those in the grains industry, to engage in long-term contract-growing and marketing agreement with farmers’ groups to buy rice for their employees and clientele as part of their corporate social responsibility.

Dar also asked the NFA to make available its warehouses for use by farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and LGUs.

“We will accelerate the modernization of the NFA’s drying and milling facilities so they could provide much-needed services for the benefit of our rice farmers,” he added.

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