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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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    Lacson files criminal complaint vs Faeldon and NFA Administrator Aquino

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

    IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_092817_LACSON

    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

    IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_072617_RICE

    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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    National Food Authority to import 250,000 MT of rice amounting to P5.6B

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, July 7th, 2017

     

    IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_070617_RICE

    MANILA, Philippines — The government is set to import a total of 250 thousand metric tons of rice amounting to P5.6 billion.

    The National Food Authority (NFA) has now opened the bidding process to private exporters here and abroad because the NFA council has  approved the “government to private” importation scheme.

    Common foreign bidders include Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Pakistan.

    “The council said having more bidders will make the process more competitive,” NFA spokesperson Mayette Ablaza said.

    Rice should be well milled rice or 25% broken long grain white rice, just like the kind of rice the NFA is selling in the market for P32 pesos a kilo.

    120,000 metric tons of imported rice are expected to arrive in August while the remaining 130,000 metric tons are expected in September.

    NFA’s buffer stock for the month of July should be enough for 30 days. However, it holds only enough for 6 days.

    The NFA council leaves other importation process to the private sector.

    Nevertheless, NFA assured it can supply rice to any part of the country in the event of a tropical cyclone or other calamities.

    “Kung kailangan na bawasan ang allocation ng mga retailer’s ay babawasan yun dahil ang prayoridad ng NFA yung food security in times of calamities and emergencies,” NFA Spokesperson Mayette Ablaza said. (We will reduce the allocation for the retailers when necessary because NFA prioritizes food security in times of calamities and emergencies.) —  Rey Pelayo | UNTV News and Rescue

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