August 8, 2010 § 2 Comments
MALAYBALAY CITY, Philippines – About P30 million worth of organic fertilizer subsidy implemented by the National Irrigation Administration in Region 10 for thousands of farmers in Northern Mindanao becomes subject of public inquiry after farmers complained it is of sub-standard quality.
NIA-10 proposed the project to help irrigators’ associations they are working with to improve their yield in rice along thousands of hectares of rice farms.
But the farmers found the fertilizer useless, and a government official finds out it was produced by a company owned by no less than the NIA national administrator’s family.
Some farmers also found out that the report of the number of bags released to them was bloated: two farmers received only a total of 60 bags, and a receivable of 20 bags more; but the distribution report showed a total of 200 bags were released to them.
Here are some links to the running story of the controversial Northern Mindanao organic fertilizer subsidy project as posted on news website MindaNews:
Samples of NIA-distributed organic fertilizers taken as Bukidnon board member alleges scam. The FPA-10 regional office already sent board member Glenn Peduche a copy but the results are yet to be revealed.
Valencia agriculturist says NIA didn’t coordinate with LGUs. Engr. Gerson Galvan said NIA did not have the expertise to test the quality of the organic fertilizers.
Bukidnon Gov wants P-Noy to look into fertilizer scam. The Department of Agriculture already announced it has initiated an investigation by ordering their legal division to probe on the issue.
Mayor-wife of NIA chief supplier for NorMin’s P30-M fertilizer subsidy program. NIA-10 regional director Julius Maquiling was qouted in official records of the Bukidnon Sangguniang Panlalawigan that Lila, Bohol mayor Regina Salazar owned Bayugan, Agusan del Sur-based supplier 3K and C Enterprises. He identified the mayor to be the wife of NIA administrator, now replaced, Carlos Salazar.
NIA chief Salazar owns outlet supplying NorMin’s fertilizer subsidy program, says FPA. The Fertilizers and Pesticides Authority Manila Office revealed that Carlos Salazar, the NIA administrator actually owned the company, based on documents he submitted to the FPA to apply for product registration.
DA team starts 45-day probe on NorthMin organic fertilizer project. The Department of Agriculture, upon request of the Bukidnon provincial board, has initiated an investigation into the possible organic fertilizer scam. NIA officials have been investigated. The report is due oin mid-September.
P2.3M worth of fertilizers in Bukidnon put on hold. The Fertilizers and Pesticides Authority has put on hold P2.3-million worth of organic fertilizers and pesticides here following complaints by farmers over alleged substandard quality, overpricing, and rigged bidding.
About 2,700 bags of Grow Organic Fertilizers and 3,741 liters of Green Organic liquid fertilizer-pesticides have been placed inside a motor pool building in the National Irrigation Administration compound after these were delivered in the first quarter of 2010.
Jimmy Apostol, NIA Bukidnon irrigation officer, told MindaNews Wednesday the fertilizers and pesticides are part of the last of three tranches of the NIA’s Bio-Organic Fertilizer Subsidy Project in Northern Mindanao initiated in June 2009.
The stocks have been put on hold since last June 4 by virtue of an FPA “stop use/stop move/stop sale” (SUMS) order pending their own tests of samples.
Two months after samples were taken, the fertilizers and pesticides are still kept in the open motor pool building.
Next: Full-length Investigative Report on the NIA 10′s Organic Fertilizer Subsidy.
[The report is Investigative Journalism project for the Ateneo de Manila University MA Journalism course. Note: This is just a teaser to the full-length report.]
October 7, 2008 § Leave a Comment
The Bukidnon Forest Incorporated has initiated its clearance process to cut down trees in its industrial forest plantation project in Bukidnon. Read news report here.
This must be subject to scrutiny especially viewing it from the firm’s reported dismal record of reforestation since it started operating in 1989.
The firm might be good in cutting but are they as good in planting? This should be considered in the approval of its application for Environmental Compliance Certificate.
Its Industrial Forest Plantation Management Agreement (IFMA, yes silent “P”), which will expire in 2016, should be reviewed if they have cut more than they planted.
Communities near those areas subject for reforestation and cutting should be empowered to monitor this endeavor.
July 16, 2008 § 5 Comments
Three-year-old Philippine Eagle “Kagsabua” was killed by a local airgun shooter near the village where
he was released just four months ago inside the Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park, an environment official said.
Felix Mirasol, community environment and natural resource officer, confirmed to MindaNews Wednesday that witnesses have identified the culprit described as a young man who failed to attend information
drive on the Philippine Eagle (pithecophaga jefferyi).
Mirasol is the Mt. Kitanglad Protected Area superintendent.
Kagsabua was last sighted on July 7 and was known to be missing between July 8 and 10, Mirasol said. He said a search operation was immediately launched. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 10, 2008 § Leave a Comment
It was a bit awkward for me and Omar, a reserved Maguindanaoan who tried to be informative, as we took a peek at the wedding of a couple from two big Maguindanaoan families in Cotabato City.
We were looking through the window from our side of the conference hall— we looked like kids wanting to gate crash or something. Everybody in the training was doing just that as we waited for our morning session to start.
We were holding grassroots documentation and reporting training next door and the arrival of wedding guests drew our attention —especially when traditional wedding songs and hymns began to play. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 27, 2008 § 2 Comments
I couldn’t help but be depressed listening to stories of conflict that continue to afflict our people. The images and sounds are chilling.
Sometimes I shut my senses out in order to avoid the hassle. But, normally that isn’t possible.
Maybe its the same surge of terror that pushed me to post this piece even if I had been plagued with a mysterious strain of “blog silence”. Mute, but not muted. « Read the rest of this entry »
February 17, 2008 § 2 Comments
The provincial board of Bukidnon has approved a resolution seeking more funds for the rehabilitation and reforestation of the Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park. Read full report here.
In a resolution approved on January 30, the provincial board “significantly and zealously” requested Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr., Second district Rep. Teofisto Guingona III and First district Rep. Candido Pancrudo, Jr. for additional funding for the park.
The four officials were asked to allocate at least P1 million each for reforestation and rehabilitation of the mountain, which was declared a protected area in 2000 by Republic Act 8978.
The resolution did not specify, however, how the allocation would be allocated.
As a protected area, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was supposed to get annual budget from the national government to maintain, conserve and rehabilitate the mountain, a source from a non-government agency working in the area, said.
This was confirmed by an environment official. “Very minimal allocation is downloaded to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) from the General Appropriations Act every year so we rely on the local government,” said Agustin Lilangan, a desk officer at the Protected Area Superintendent office.
This should be a priority indeed as the whole of Bukidnon is considered a watershed.
I used this as an update this month considering the concern’s urgency. Please come back for more entries.
October 21, 2007 § Leave a Comment
Mindanao traders are keen on seeing government putting up systems to prevent corruption rather than seeing suspects charged and convicted, an official of the Mindanao Business Council (MinBC) said.
Vicente Lao, MinBC chair, told a press conference for the road show here Friday of the multi-sectoral National Anti-Corruption Program for Action (NACPA), that businessmen have simpler wishes: that procedures were implemented to prevent graft and corrupt practices to prosper.
“We don’t like to see a lot of people being convicted. Instead, we would like to see systems institutionalized to prevent corruption,” he told the press conference presided by TanodBayan Maria Merceditas Gutierrez.
Read the rest of the report at MindaNews.com.
September 29, 2007 § Leave a Comment
I haven’t covered the Mindanao Shippers’ Conference in June but in the sidelines I heard one of the organizers talk about the high cost of freight as among the bigger concerns there.
I was reminded of this when I interviewed Maritine Industry Authority officer in charge Virgillio Armonia last week.
He said small shippers should pool their cargo to minimize freight cost as shipping lines charge by container van.
Armonia stressed that the practice for now is costly because most of the shippers are not organized, as this report on MindaNews.com presents.
What’s the significance of this? The small shippers referred to are mostly growers and marketers of fruits and vegetableproducts. Many of them consolidate ouput from small to medium scale farmers in countryside communities. « Read the rest of this entry »