Piñol to be ‘very strict’ in managing P10B/y farmers’ fund under RCEF

Marje Pelayo   •   April 4, 2019   •   1983

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol

MANILA, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol on Thursday (April 4) said he will make sure that the P10 billion per year Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) will be profitably expended up to the last centavo.

The DA is now awaiting the final draft of the Rice Tariffication Law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) to be able to begin improvements in farm mechanization, seed distribution and be able to provide agriculture financing programs for farmers as stated in the law.

As directed by President Rodrigo Duterte, Secretary Piñol will solely manage and oversee the disbursements of the RCEF.

With this huge responsibility, the secretary said he will ensure that the fund will be free of any irregularity.

“I will be solely accountable for the disbursement and utilization of the RCEF funds. And because of that, I will be very, very strict about it,” Piñol said.

Through the additional financial assistance, Piñol is confident that local farmers will have the chance to compete with the demands of the market and improve their yield while there is a reduction in production costs.

Meanwhile, the Secretary said they are still in the process of adjusting the separation pay of retiring employees and NFA staff who will be affected by the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law.

The concerned employees are appealing for similar benefits as their counterparts in the ARMM or the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) who will also be affected by the new law.

However, the final decision on the issue will still depend on the government’s economic managers.

“Kung talagang iyon ang desisyon ng economic managers then I will sign the IRR (If that is the decision of the economic managers, then I will sign the IRR),” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Warrantless arrest, may limitasyon sa IRR ng anti-terror law – ATC

Robie de Guzman   •   October 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – May limitasyon ang pagsasagawa ng warrantless arrest sa ilalim ng mga panuntunan ng bagong Anti-Terrorism Act, ayon sa Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC).

Sinabi ni ATC spokesperson, Undersecretary Adrian Sugay na sa ilalim ng implementing rules and regulations (IRR) ng batas, hindi maaaring gamiting batayan ang “mere suspicion” o hinala lamang sa pag-aresto ng walang kaukulang warrant of arrest .

Ayon kay Sugay, nakasaad sa IRR na dapat may probable cause o matibay na batayan upang mang-aresto ang mga otoridad.

Posible lang din aniya ito kung ang isang indibidwal ay nahuli sa aktong gumagawa ng krimen o kaya may “hot pursuit” o kaya ay tumakas ito sa bilangguan.

“Ang posisyon namin d’yan the way we interpret, is that it should be interpreted in relation to Rule 113 of the warrantless arrest. It can be reasonably interpreted that any arrest based on section 29 is has to be based on probable cause,” ang wika ni Sugay.

Nakasaad rin aniya sa IRR na obligadong magsumite ng affidavit sa ATC ang mga law enforcer upang makakuha ng pahintulot bago isagawa ang pag-aresto sa anomang suspek.

Sa ilalim ng batas, maaaring idetine ng dalawang linggo hanggang 24 na araw ang isang naarestong indibidwal.

Sa kabila ng ginawang pagtitiyak ng ATC, plano naman ng Bayan Muna Party-list na maghain ng petisyon sa Korte Supreme upang kwestuyunin ang nilalaman ng IRR para sa Anti-Terrorism Act.

Hihilingin din nila sa korte na maglabas ng temporary restraining order (TRO) para itigil ang pagpapatupad ng batas.

“Pag-aaralan ng makabayan bloc especially inilabas na itong IRR kung magsasampa ng petisyon to nullify and declare unconstutional itong IRR or just a supplemental petition,” ang pahayag ni Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate.

Sa ngayon ay aabot na sa 37 petisyon ang naka-hain sa Korte Supreme laban sa kontrobersiyal na batas. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Dante Amento)

ATC approves IRR for Anti-Terrorism Law

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 14, 2020

The Anti-Terrorism Council has approved the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Guevarra said they will provide Congress and law enforcement agencies copies of the IRR. They will also release a copy online and in other publications.

“We will disseminate copies to Congress and to law enforcement agencies as required under the law, and will publish the IRR online and in a newspaper of general circulation in the next few days,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law last July 3 which repeals the Human Security Act of 2007.

The DOJ started drafting the IRR of the law last August.

Meanwhile, there are currently 30 petitions filed before the Supreme Court requesting to halt the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Law questioning its constitutionality.

The Office of the Solicitor General, however, has already asked the high tribunal to dismiss the petitions. -AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Mababang presyo ng palay dahil sa rice tariffication law, itinanggi ng DA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Mariing pinabulaanan ng Department of Agriculture ang alegasyon ng ilang grupo ng mga magsasaka hinggil sa umano’y pagbaba ng presyo ng palay dahil sa ipinatutupad na Rice Tariffication Law.

Una nang nanawagan ang grupong Federation of Free Farmers sa Kongreso na imbestigahan ang pagpapatupad ng Rice Tariffication Law dahil sa naging epekto nito sa presyuhan ng palay.

Ayon sa grupo, bumaba sa P11 hanggang P13  kada kilo ang presyo ng basang palay habang nasa P14 hanggang P17 naman ang halaga ng tuyong palay.

Anila, ito ay dahil umano sa hindi kontroladong importasyon ng bigas at walang kasiguruhan sa polisiya ng kagawaran.

Ngunit ayon kay Agriculture Secretary William Dar, walang katotohanan at  ‘exaggerated’ lang ang alegasyon ng ilang grupo at ilang dating opisyal ng kagawaran.

Aniya, paraan lang ito upang maisulong ang kanilang panukalang amiyendahan ang mga probisyon ng rice tariffication law.

“The interest groups, along with former DA officials, have exaggerated data on palay to push for the amendment or repeal of the RTL (rice tariffication law). They are resurrecting old arguments against RTL,” ang wika ni Dar.

Batay aniya sa survey ng Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM) na isinagawa mula Setyembre 16-30, 2020, nasa P18 kada kilo ang average na presyo ng palay sa Central Luzon habang P19 naman sa Cagayan Valley.

Ang dalawang rehiyon ang nangunguna sa produksyon ng palay sa bansa na katumbas ng 31.5 percent ng total harvest noong 2019.

Sa ulat naman ng Philippine Statistics Authoroty, lumalabas na nasa P17.12 kada kilo naman ang farmgate price ng palay sa huling dalawang linggo ng Setyembre – mas mataas kumpara sa P16.18 kada kilo na presyo sa kaparehong panahon noong 2019.

Ayon kay Dar, ang mga nasabing survey ay nagpapakita lamang ng totoong presyo ng palay na taliwas sa sinasabi ng ilang grupo.

“Makikita dito na hindi nagkakalayo ang data na ginagamit ng gobyerno, and definitely the reality is, hindi kasing baba ang presyo ng palay as interest groups claim on social media,” ang wika ni Dar.

Tiniyak naman ni Dar na nakahanda ang National Food Authority na bilhin ang palay na ibinibenta ng mga magsasaka sa halagang P19 kada kilo na nasa mga bodega at buying stations sa bansa. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

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