FILE PHOTO: PCA administrator Avelino Andal
The Philippine Coconut Authority board has suspended PCA administrator Avelino Andal following reports of alleged corruption in his agency.
Promptly after the flag raising ceremony this morning, USEC. Halmen Valdez announced Andal’s suspension in front of PCA employees.
Valdez said, the board has received numerous affidavits and sworn statements and even receipt from andal’s trusted employees, related to the alleged illegal collection of P1.50 per board foot of lumber in Basilan.
The statements point to Andal as the mastermind of such scheme.
Valdez added that P1.50 per board foot seems small, but with 400 thousand trees set to be cut down due to the effects of ‘cocolisap’, it could actually reach around P90-M in Basilan alone; other areas include Mindoro, Marinduque and Quezon.
“Kapag director ka, pwede kang tanggalin for cause. Hindi mo kailangan ng TRO, hindi mo kailangan ng preventive suspension. Wala kang kailangan pwede kang matanggal agad-agad, but the CabSec chose to order a preventive suspension para mabigyan po ng pagkakataon ang mga kasali sa usapin nag magpaliwanag,” said undersecretary Halmen Valdez.
(If you’re a director, you can be relieved for cause. You don’t need TRO (temporary restraining order), you don’t need preventive suspension. You may be removed immediately, but the CabSec chose to order a preventive suspension to give parties involved a chance to explain.)
But Andal has denied the allegation and questioned the process carried out by the board in passing the resolution suspending him.
He said he was not given time to explain before the suspension.
“Sa dokumento walang nagsasabi na ako ang mastermind. because to be a mastermind you have to show proof, kahit yung mga perang ipinadala nung mga kausap nung aking tao doon sa area ay hindi naman nakapangalan sa akin kundi nakapangalan din sa kanila (No part of the document says that I’m the mastermind, because to be a mastermind you have to show proof. Even the money that was sent by individuals to my men in the area, were not addressed to me but to them also) ,” said Andal.
Andal is accusing USEC. Valdez of orchestrating his ouster like what she allegedly did to heads of the National Irrigation Administration and National Food Authority.
On the other hand, USEC. Valdez said Andal is only sourgraping.
The board has assigned Deputy Admin Glen Santos to replace Andal but the administrator said, he will not step down until he is given due process. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
NFA to return under DA supervision
Department of Agriculture under Secretary Manny Piñol
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the return of the National Food Authority under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture.
Grains Retailers’ Confederation of the Philippines national president James Magbanua confirmed that aside from NFA, the President also wants the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Philippine Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority be reverted back to DA.
Magbanua was present during last night’s NFA Council meeting presided by President Duterte.
“Ibinalik niya ang pangangasiwa ng tatlong ahensya sa (He returned the supervision of the three agencies to the) Department of Agriculture under Secretary Manny Piñol – NFA, Philippine Coconut Authority at saka (and the) Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority,” he said.
The NFA is currently being handled by Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco.
Meanwhile, NFA spokesperson Rex Estoperez said it does not matter which department they will be under, their priority is to address the agency’s dwindling rice buffer stock. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
Duterte orders NFA to buy more rice from local farmers
Pres. Duterte has ordered the National Food Authority (NFA) to buy more rice locally.
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino rice farmers are now assured of opportunity to market their yield as President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the National Food Authority (NFA) to buy more rice locally.
On his Facebook page, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol confirmed that the President on Monday directed the NFA to buy more rice from local farmers.
He ordered Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez to provide funds for the agency’s rice procurement program to increase its inventory of buffer stock to 60 days from the current 15 days. This is to ensure the country sufficient rice supply.
The Chief Executive also directed the NFA to increase its buying price of local palay from the current P17 per kilogram in order to stock up the agency’s rice inventory. This is to prevent a spike in the prices of commercial rice in markets due to lowering of rice buffer stock in NFA warehouses.
The President gave his directive last night as he presided over the NFA Council meeting for the first time. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
NFA gives go signal to import 5M sacks of rice
FILE PHOTO: Thousand sacks of rice stored in a warehouse.
MANILA, Philippines — The National Food Authority (NFA) Council has tasked the National Food Authority to start the process of procuring 250,000 metric tons or 5 million sacks of rice through importation.
This will serve as a buffer stock of the agency.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that President Rodrigo Duterte presided the council meeting on Monday and directed it to ensure that rice crisis in 2008 will not happen again.
Piñol said that this is the right time to import rice because farmers have already finished their harvest.
The Secretary added that the imported rice will arrive in 45 days.
Meanwhile, the President has ordered the council to set a meeting between him and the rice traders to discuss the rice supply in the country. — UNTV News & Rescue