Villar hits ‘duplication’, ‘overlapping’ of rice programs | Inquirer News

Villar hits ‘duplication’, ‘overlapping’ of rice programs

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 11:27 AM October 12, 2020
agriculture agri

(File photo / WILLIE LOMIBAO)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Cynthia Villar on Monday grilled officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) over the “duplication” and “overlapping” of some of its programs with the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

During the Senate hearing on the DA’s 2021 budget, Villar questioned the allocation of funds under the National Rice Program for “extension support and training services.”

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She said funds for such a program were already allocated under the RCEF.

“Why do you duplicate? Sana i-compare niyo ‘yung National Rice Program at RCEF. Kung mayroon na sa RCEF, huwag niyo na ulitin, ibigay sa others na kulang,” the senator said.

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(I hope you compare the NRP and RCEF. If programs are already under RCEF, don’t duplicate it, give the funds to others that are lacking funds.)

SUPPORT LOCAL RICE FARMERS: Sen. Cynthia Villar enjoins the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to use its P1.8 billion annual rice budget to purchase rice from local farmers until such time when they become as competitive as their counterparts from Thailand and Vietnam. “I think it is just fair to ask the DILG, since it’s the money of the government, to buy rice from our local farmers through the National Food Authority (NFA) to help them. Can I get this commitment from Interior and Local Government Sec. Año?” Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, Food and Agrarian Reform, asked during the virtual hearing on the proposed 2021 budget of the DILG and its attached agencies Thursday, October 1, 2020. (Screen grab/Senate PRIB)

Sen. Cynthia Villar (Screen grab/Senate PRIB)

“Hindi natin malaman kung magkano ‘yung ginasta mo sa training na ‘yan, ano ginasta ng RCEF sa training. Nag-ooverlap tayo. ‘Wag tayo mag-ooverlap,” Villar added.

(We cannot determine how much was spent for training because of overlapping.  We should not overlap.)

She also hit the DA’s distribution of hybrid seeds to rice-producing towns in the country where the Philippine Rice Research Institute has already given inbred rice seeds.

“Katulad noon, magbibigay kayo ng hybrid seeds eh nagbigay na kami ng inbred seeds. Sana sa may 947 rice-producing towns, sana paghatian, para hindi tayo duplication,” Villar said.

She said she has asked the DA for a list of towns given hybrid rice seeds but the agency has not submitted such.

“Bakit ayaw nyo magbigay ng listahan kung walang corruption?May RCEF tayo eh, bibigyan nyo ng inbred seed ‘yung 947 rice-producing towns,” she said.

“Piliin niyo na ‘yung gusto ng hybrid at kunin niyo na ‘yun para hindi na ‘yun ang bibigyan ng inbred,” the senator added.

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TAGS: DA, NRP, RCEF, rice programs, Villar
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