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PCA board suspends administrator Avelino Andal

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, March 20th, 2017

FILE PHOTO: PCA administrator Avelino Andal

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

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New NIA Administrator vows to curb corruption in the agency

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Administrator Ricardo Visaya admitted that there is corruption in the agency.

On the program “Get it Straight with Daniel Razon”, the former AFP Chief of Staff said most of the Regional offices of NIA have this issue.

“Out of the 17 regions, ang nakita kong walang mga derogatory reports ay mga five (only five have no derogatory reports),” said Visaya.

As of now, he said, several personnel have been relieved from their position while an investigation into alleged corruption is ongoing.

The administrator has also shuffled positions of his officials.

The retired general uses his connection in the military to identify the source of such corrupt acts.

He also confirmed that a large chunk of fund in NIA has been missing due to corruption.

“Hanggang 30%-40% ay napupunta o nawawala…so masasabi ko na within NIA and outside NIA ay mga anomalya diyan (Up to 30%-40% disappear…so I can say that within NIA and outside NIA there are anomalies being carried out),” he said.

According to Visaya, he is already preparing to file cases against those involved in corrupt practices within the agency.

Meanwhile, from 6,000 personnel, the administrator wants to increase NIA’s manpower to 7,000 for him to be able to fulfill his mandate.

As of now, NIA aims to finish its big projects before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends.

These include Balug-Balug dam in Tarlac amounting to P15-billion and the Jalaur Dam in Iloilo that costs P11-billion. – Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Lacson files criminal complaint vs Faeldon and NFA Administrator Aquino

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 28th, 2017


Senator Panfilo Lacson


MANILA, Philippines — Alleged conspiracy among officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the National Food Authority (NFA) to smuggle rice has prompted Senator Panfilo Lacson to file complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Lacson said, two shipments comprised of 21,800 sacks of Vietnamese rice arrived at port of Cagayan de Oro in March 2017. The shipment was consigned to Cebu Lite Trading Incorporated.

He explained that those cargoes were already forfeited in favor of the government due to lack of import permit and other necessary documents but still they were released.

The lawmaker said, it was a violation of Republic Act 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016 and RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

“Dapat kumita yung gobyerno ng at least P34-million,  yun ang equivalent. Eh hindi naman, kasi ni-release yung bigas. Pinayagang ma-release ni Commissioner Faeldon (The government should have earned at least P34-million, that was the equivalent. Bu it did not, because the rice was released. Commissioner Faeldon allowed its release),” Sen. Lacson said.

NFA Administrator Jason Aquino is among the respondents for allegedly issuing import permit.

Respondents who are still active in government service are also facing administrative case for grave misconduct.

Lason said, this is just one of the complaints that he plans to file against Faeldon.

The senator said he wants to prove his prior allegations against the former BOC Chief.

“Ito hindi in retaliation sa kanyang mga ginagawa kundi just to prove my point (This is not in retaliation for what he did, but to prove my point),” Lacson added.

UNTV News is waiting for a statement from the side of Faeldon and Aquino as well as from the other respondents of the complaints. – Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Gov’t urged to study how to reduce per capita rice consumption

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, July 27th, 2017


Ako Bicol Party List Representative Rodel Batocade sees reduction of rice consumption as a way to achieve rice self-sufficiency in the country.

“It should be a policy now of the Duterte administration not only to talk about the supply side, which is to achieve rice sufficiency, but also to talk about the demand side on how to decrease our consumption of rice,” Rep. Batocade said.

The lawmaker said a technical working group or a committee is needed to study its possibility.

He added that the help from the Department of Education is necessary so that students will be educated on the negative effects of too much consumption of rice.

“If you were trained when you were young to limit your rice consumption, you would have no problem,” Batocade said.

The current per capita rice consumption is 109.87 kilograms as compared to 114.27 kilograms in 2016, based on the data of the National Food Authority (NFA).

The agency argued that Filipinos are now eating rice substitutes such as bread, cassava and banana.

Former Agriculture Secretary William Dar said it is not easy to change the culture and eating habits of Filipinos, similar with other countries.

“It may take a generation or so before you can really encourage them to reduce so much their consumption,” Dar said. – Rey Pelayo | UNTV News and Rescue


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