Villar hits ‘duplication’, ‘overlapping’ of rice programs
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.”
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.
(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.)
“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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