COA: Where’s P160M for Bohol dairy project?
MANILA, Philippines–The National Dairy Authority (NDA) has yet to finish a dairy farm project in Central Visayas, some four years after then Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap allegedly diverted P160 million from the Malampaya Fund for this pet project in Bohol province.
The Commission on Audit (COA) blamed the NDA’s lack of a detailed work and financial plan (WFP) for the project’s completion within a year of its being funded under the Ginintuang Masagana Ani (GMA) program under Yap.
“The project implementation started in 2010 and was not yet completed as of 2013 due to lack of a specific project to be undertaken as shown in the original MOA (memorandum of agreement), amended MOAs and WFP … resulting in the delay of attaining the project’s objectives to modernize livestock farming,” said the COA report that was released this month.
“The major final outputs in the WFP such as production support services and dairy infrastructure development were not specific as to what project would be developed, the project cost and location for the outputs were not indicated; equipment to be purchased were not itemized and there was no breakdown of maintenance and operating expenses,” the COA said.
Yap declined to comment on the COA report. His staff noted that Yap resigned as agriculture secretary in February 2010 and has had no involvement in the implementation of the project.
The COA said the P160 million to fund the Bohol Dairy Farm Project in Ubay, Bohol, was sourced from the Malampaya Fund, the royalties earned from the government’s share of the oil and natural gas fields off Palawan province.
Although the Malampaya Fund is supposed to be used for energy-related projects only, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued an executive order allowing the use of the funds for other purposes, mainly to speed up the rehabilitation of the areas devastated by typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” in late 2009.
The P160 million that went to the NDA was part of the P14 billion from the Malampaya Fund that Arroyo authorized for release between October and December 2009.
The COA’s report on the NDA’s share of Malampaya Fund releases is separate from the agency’s report on the P900 million from the Malampaya Fund that went to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) which the latter allegedly deployed to the bogus nongovernment organizations of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
The COA has yet to release its audit of the entire P23 billion from the Malampaya Fund that were released under Arroyo.
The Senate blue ribbon committee will start a probe of the alleged Malampaya Fund scam on Sept. 25.
In its annual audit report of NDA for 2013, the COA noted that the Bohol Dairy Farm project should have been implemented within one year from the signing of the memorandum of agreement with the Department of Agriculture on Nov. 25, 2009, or six months before the May 2010 elections where Yap won his first term as representative of Bohol’s third district.
From 2010 to 2013, the NDA used up P143.338 million from the P160 million GMA fund for the development of 616 hectares of semirolling and semideveloped land inside the DA’s Ubay Stock Farm for a period of 25 years.
The NDA claimed that the project was delayed because of the prolonged drought brought by the El Niño weather phenomenon in the first three years of the project’s implementation.
The NDA was given until June this year to complete the project and account for the funds.
The COA recommended that the NDA ensure closer supervision and monitoring of its projects, backed up by detailed work programs.
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