Friday, August 9, 2013

Statement on PDAF & NGO issues By Agriculture Sec. Proceso J. Alcala

From the Website of Department of Agriculture

Statement on PDAF & NGO issues By Agriculture Sec. Proceso J. Alcala

Created on Thursday, 08 August 2013 
Since July 2010, the Department of Agriculture has successfully regained the trust and confidence of its clienteles and stakeholders.

We have put in place needed policies to ensure that all agri-fishery infrastructure and livelihood projects, and other initiatives are implemented as per specifications, and are undertaken in a transparent, graft-free manner.

Initially, the DA did not implement agri-fishery projects funded under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of legislators. However, it was only in August 2012, or after 25 months, that we have started receiving and processing PDAF agri-fishery projects.
This acceptance, however, was predicated on the installation of sufficient safeguards to ensure the proper implementation of projects under the PDAF of legislators.

Immediately, we formed a special committee and put in place a system to accredit Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and People’s Organizations (POs) that will implement PDAF projects. The system ensures that the NGOs and POs are legitimate, and have good track record.

To ensure that PDAF projects are well-monitored, we have implemented stringent measures and safeguards like releasing funds in tranches, of up to four installments, based on progress implementation of projects. Reports are submitted by the DA Monitoring Team to check the actual implementation of the project and ensure correct liquidation of the fund.

All of these were undertaken prior to any report or issue on PDAF was heard of. These systems were precisely installed in the spirit of transparency in government transactions.
Unfortunately, when news of PDAF misuse broke out, we thereafter convened the DA Special Technical Committee on PDAF chaired by DA Undersecretary for Finance and Administration Antonio Fleta.

The Secretary has asked DA Assistant Secretary for finance Ophelia Agawin to submit soonest her reply to allegations that she was involved in the selection of “ghost NGOs” that were proponents of PDAF projects.

In the spirit of transparency, we have appointed DA Assistant Secretary Edilberto de Luna as interim chair of the NGO / PO accreditation committee, effective August 2, 2013. He replaces Asec Agawin, who will however continue to perform her other tasks, functions and responsibilities as assistant secretary for finance.

Additionally, the Internal Audit Service (IAS) of the DA was tapped to conduct an investigation on the issues related to PDAF and the alleged fictitious NGOs.

At this juncture, the IAS is conducting a more in-depth study into the fund releases and the liquidation reports submitted by the NGOs that implemented PDAF projects.

The IAS is expected to submit their Initial Audit Report on the accreditation process and compliance by Thursday, 08 August 2013. Thereafter, IAS is poised to submit their findings on the liquidation reports of the NGOs on a weekly basis or as soon thereafter as an NGO is completed.

Bilang pangwakas, patuloy po ang aming imbestigasyon.

Sinuman ang mapapatunayan na may nagawang katiwalian o pagkakamali sa pagpapatupad ng mga proyekto ng DA — hindi lamang sa pagpipili ng mga NGOs at POs sa ilalim ng PDAF — ay aming papatawan ng karampatang penalty o kaparusahan sa ilalim ng mga kasalukuyang batas.

Department of Agriculture Website






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