Rep. Tulfo: Bureau of Plant is useless, they should get P1 budget next year
MANILA, Philippines — ACT-CIS Rep. Erwin Tulfo on Tuesday called the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) useless after one of its officials revealed that they only accredited cold storage owners to operate and store imported and local onions as mandated by the agency’s administrative circular.
BPI Plant Product Safety Services Division chief William Mugot disclosed during the chamber’s investigation on possible smuggling, hoarding, and price manipulation of agricultural commodities that the agency only accredited cold storage owners pursuant to DA Administrative Circular No. 1 series of 2021.
Irked with what Mugot said, Tulfo said BPI should do its job and not rely solely on the guidelines.
“Napaka-useless ng BPI na ito […] you have monitoring power you’ve seen it with your own eyes then wala kayo magawa? Buti pa pala yung congress ang umakyat so kung gawin na natin ang trabaho niyo dito wag na kayo bigyan ng budget,” the lawmaker said.
(BPI is so useless. You have the monitoring power and did nothing? It’s good that Congress stepped up, but if we’re going to do your job, then it’s better not to give you a budget.)
“Might as well we just give you P1 na budget aabangan ko pag sumalang kayo uli sa plenary yung budget ninyo,” he added.
(The government might as well give you a P1 budget. I’ll be waiting for your budget presentation during the plenary session.)
In response, Mugot said BPI had already requested DA to amend the guidelines mandating cold storage owners to report their inventory stocks and retaining BPI’s authority in granting them a license to operate.
Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. then questioned the BPI official if they needed to amend the guidelines for the inventory of their stocked products, to which Mugot answered in the affirmative. The latter disclosed that the DA is already reviewing their submitted recommendation concerning their proposed amendment to the said circular.
Upon hearing this, Abang Lingkod Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano instructed Mugot to submit their recommendation to the committee after the hearing. Paduano also threatened to cite him in contempt if he did not tell the truth.