Outgoing DA chief slams nonperforming LGUs over peasant woes | Inquirer News
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Outgoing DA chief slams nonperforming LGUs over peasant woes

Agriculture Secretary William Dar at the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) research center in Tiaong, Quezon. Image from Alan Jay Jacalan / DA / Facebook

Agriculture Secretary William Dar at the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) research center in Tiaong, Quezon. Image from Alan Jay Jacalan / DA / Facebook

LUCENA CITY – A week before his exit from the government, Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Friday lambasted nonperforming local government units (LGUs) for their “failure” to help the farmers uplift their lives and solve their problems in agriculture.

“Wake up your local government units para hindi patulog-tulog at tumulong sila sa problema natin sa agrikultura,” Dar urged farmers in his speech during the official start of the implementation of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) here Friday morning.

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He added: “Except for the good ones who are really doing their jobs, I can say with all candor, mas marami (among LGUs) ang hindi gumagawa ng kanilang tungkulin”.

Dar noted that the agricultural extension system had already been long devolved to the LGUs.

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But until now, according to Dar, there are still lots of problems between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the LGUs.

“Umaasa na lang sa PCA (Philippine Coconut Authority). Umaasa na lang sa DA kung may problema sa merkado. Sino ang binibigyan ng bashing? It’s the DA, it’s not the local government units,” he said.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar in Tiaong, Quezon. Image from Alan Jay Jacalan / DA / Facebook

Agriculture Secretary William Dar in Tiaong, Quezon. Image from Alan Jay Jacalan / DA / Facebook

He emphasized that helping the farmers is the responsibility every local government. “Dapat ang frontliners na tutulong sa mga magsasaka ay ang LGUs”.

He added: “That’s the responsibility every local government. Dapat ang front-liners na tutulong sa mga magsasaka ay ang LGUs”.

In 1991, the Local Government Code mandated the devolution of basic services to LGUs. As a result, the LGUs have been tasked to address the needs of their constituents, and deliver better services, among which were the agriculture and fisheries extension.

Dar said that the implementation of CFIDP, “it will give a new life, a new hope for the coconut farmers of this country”.

“Aangat na ang coconut industry. Aangat na ang kabuhayan ng mga coconut farmers,” Dar optimistically said.

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Dar described the 2.5 million coconut farmers across the country as “the sector that is considered as poorest of the poor”.

The event held at the Quezon Convention Center at the provincial capitol grounds was attended by PCA officials, representatives from local governments in the Calabarzon region and coconut farmer leaders.

On June 2, President Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 172 or the CFIDP, to use the P75-billion coco levy fund through various programs and projects. INQ

RELATED STORY:

Duterte OKs dev’t plan for coconut farmers, industry

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TAGS: CFIDP, Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan, Department of Agriculture, Local Government Units, William Dar
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