Tag: Department of Agriculture

Ping: Higit P1-B Nawawala Kada Taon sa ‘Smuggling’ ng Isda at Seafoods

Bukod sa baboy at manok, nawawalan ng bilyon-bilyong piso ang gobyerno kada taon dahil sa katiwalian sa pag-import ng isda at iba pang produktong dagat.

Isiniwalat ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa pagpapatuloy ng pagdinig ng Senate Committee of the Whole tungkol sa iregularidad sa produktong agrikultura.

Kinwestyon ni Lacson ang malaking pagkakaiba sa datos ng World Trade Organization (WTO) at Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) tungkol sa pag-import ng isda at seafood mula 2015 hanggang 2020.

“The Department of Agriculture will have a lot of explaining to do. The discrepancies may mean there is a lot of misdeclaration, underdeclaration, or outright smuggling. There’s a pattern,” dugtong ng mambabatas.

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Hindi lang Pork at Chicken! Lacson Bares P1.058B a Year Lost to ‘Smuggling’ of Fish, Seafood

Aside from pork and poultry, the government is also losing billions of pesos a year due to irregular practices involving the importation of fish and seafood products, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson bared Thursday.

Lacson questioned the huge discrepancies between the records of the World Trade Organization and the Philippine Statistics Authority in terms of fish and seafood importation from the top 15 exporting countries from 2015 to 2020.

“The Department of Agriculture will have a lot of explaining to do. The discrepancies may mean there is a lot of misdeclaration, underdeclaration, or outright smuggling. There’s a pattern,” he said at the second hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on irregularities involving agricultural products.

“It’s not just in pork and poultry products where there are irregularities. It cuts across practically all FSRAs (food safety regulatory agencies). What action has the DA taken? The bottom line is that we have lost so much revenues – some P1.058 billion yearly from 2015 to 2020 in foregone revenues on imported fish and seafoods alone on account of all these discrepancies,” he added.

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Senate Committee of the Whole Hearing on Tongpats, Food Security and ASF

Mr. Senate President and Chairman of the Committee of the Whole,

I could not think of an act more cruel than beating to death somebody who is already dying. Such is the fate of our 80,000 local backyard hog raisers – sa kamay ng dapat sana ay ang kanilang pangunahing tagakalinga, ang Kagawaran ng Agrikultura, after their plea was ignored with the signing of Executive Order No. 128 series of 2021 last Wednesday.

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Ping: Pagbusisi sa Pork Importation ‘Tong-pats,’ Pang-Committee of the Whole ang Level

Pinakamainam na Committee of the Whole ng Senado ang mag-imbestiga sa nagsisebong “tong-pats” sa importasyon ng karne ng baboy na paraan ng Department of Agriculture (DA) upang mapunan ang kawalan umano ng suplay bunga ng pananalasa ng African Swine Flu (ASF).

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, maraming aspetong saklaw ang nabanggit na kontrobersiya kung kaya’t tama lamang na buong puwersa na ng Senado ang umungkat sa mga detalye nito.

“I am recommending that the Senate convene into a Committee of the Whole to handle the investigation. The ‘tong-pats’ mess has an impact on foregone revenue and corruption, food security, and health. The Committee of the Whole is best suited for this, instead of having the Blue Ribbon Committee and Committees on Agriculture, Ways and Means and Health handle it separately,” paliwanag ni Lacson.

Masyado aniya na malawak ang problema para pangasiwaan lamang ng isa o ilang komite ng Senado ang pagsisiyasat.

Kabilang sa mga maaring masaklaw ay ang usapin sa food security, kaligtasan ng pagkain, ang nawalang koleksiyon ng pamahalaan at ang kalusugan ng publikong kumukunsumo sa mga ito.

Related: Lacson: Committee of the Whole Best Suited to Handle DA ‘Tong-pats’ Probe
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Lacson: Committee of the Whole Best Suited to Handle DA ‘Tong-pats’ Probe

Convening the Senate into the Committee of the Whole will be needed to tackle the wide scope of the problems involving the “tong-pats” mess at the Department of Agriculture, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Wednesday.

Lacson said the issues stemming from the mess include food security and a revisiting of the Food Safety Act of 2013 (RA 10611); foregone revenues; and public health.

“I am recommending that the Senate convene into a Committee of the Whole to handle the investigation. The ‘tong-pats’ mess has an impact on foregone revenue and corruption, food security, and health. The Committee of the Whole is best suited for this, instead of having the Blue Ribbon Committee and Committees on Agriculture, Ways and Means and Health handle it separately,” he said.

“My resolution seeking the investigation in aid of legislation may also seek to revisit Republic Act 10611, the Food Security Act of 2013, to address possible loopholes that are being exploited,” he added in an interview on DZXL radio. “Wide masyado ang problema, all-encompassing. Kaya mas maganda kung Committee of the Whole na lang ang hahawak.”

Related: Ping: Pagbusisi sa Pork Importation ‘Tong-pats,’ Pang-Committee of the Whole ang Level
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Ping: Sebo ng ‘Tong-Pats’ sa Imported Baboy, Imbestigahan

Isinusulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang malalimang imbestigasyon ng Senado sa isang sindikatong “tong-pats” sa loob ng Department of Agriculture, na makikinabang sa rekomendasyon ng ahensya na ibaba ang taripa at taasan ang minimum access volume (MAV) ng imported na baboy dahil sa African Swine Fever (ASF).

Ito ay makaraang makarating sa kaalaman ng mambabatas ang impormasyong limpak-limpak ang “tong-pats” na nakokolekta ng ilang mapagsamantalang nasa gobyerno, habang malalagay sa alanganin o tuluyan nang pagkamatay ang lokal na industriya ng babuyan sa bansa, bukod pa sa malaking halagang nawawala sa ekonomiya at manganganib ang kalusugan ng publiko.

“We should unmask who is/are behind this scheme no matter how powerful and influential he may be with this administration. I want to see even a whiff of enthusiasm from the President to order the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and other concerned agencies to investigate, not to mention heed the call of the Senate to disapprove the DA’s recommendation to reduce the tariff and increase the volume of pork importation. Let’s see,” mariing pahayag ni Lacson.

Nakipag-ugnayan na rin ang mambabatas sa pamunuan ng Mataas na Kapulungan kaugnay sa kanyang hangarin.

“I have talked to Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III to have the Senate look into this, so we can get the documents we need. So far, we have received documents from the Bureau of Customs and DA. Still, we need more data to get to the bottom of the anomaly,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa panayam sa TeleRadyo.

Related: Lacson Pushes Senate Probe of ‘Tong-Pats’ Racket in Hog Importation
Continue reading “Ping: Sebo ng ‘Tong-Pats’ sa Imported Baboy, Imbestigahan”

Lacson Pushes Senate Probe of ‘Tong-Pats’ Racket in Hog Importation

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson pushed Tuesday for a Senate investigation into the activities of a syndicate within the Department of Agriculture that stands to gain billions of pesos in “tong-pats” from the DA’s recommendation to lower tariff rates on – and to increase the minimum access volume (MAV) of – imported pork products due to the severe impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) on the swine industry.

Lacson said the anomalies amount to a triple whammy that threatens to kill our local hog industry while raising health concerns and costing the government forgone revenues.

“We should unmask who is/are behind this scheme no matter how powerful and influential he may be with this administration. I want to see even a whiff of enthusiasm from the President to order the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and other concerned agencies to investigate, not to mention heed the call of the Senate to disapprove the DA’s recommendation to reduce the tariff and increase the volume of pork importation. Let’s see,” Lacson said.

“I have talked to Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III to have the Senate look into this, so we can get the documents we need. So far, we have received documents from the Bureau of Customs and DA. Still, we need more data to get to the bottom of the anomaly,” he added in an interview on TeleRadyo.

Related: Ping: Sebo ng ‘Tong-Pats’ sa Imported Baboy, Imbestigahan
Continue reading “Lacson Pushes Senate Probe of ‘Tong-Pats’ Racket in Hog Importation”

At the Confirmation Hearing of DA Sec. William Dar

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At the Commission on Appointments’ confirmation hearing for DA Sec. William Dar, Sen. Lacson asked policy questions involving problems in the agricultural sector, including possible corruption in the distribution of defective farm equipment. “Without doubt, you are more than qualified and very competent to head this Department,” he told Sec. Dar before asking his questions.

Apparently there is corruption involved. Without pointing fingers, if some officials of DA distributed equipment to farmers … (the equipment) were defective, with prices ranging from P300,000 to P1 million per unit. My question, ilan ang pulled out? Papa-repair pa ito? Will you run after the supplier?”

Year in and year out, we will scrutinize the budget, and we hear of equipment gone to waste. Paki-submit sa amin sa January initial report and (ang full report) probably March or April.”

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#PingSays: Dapat Kasuhan! Sen. Lacson Wants DA to Charge Those Distributing Defective Farm Equipment to Farmers

During deliberations for the 2020 budget of the Department of Agriculture, Sen. Lacson urged the agency to pursue criminal charges against those behind the reported distribution of defective farm equipment to farmers.

“It’s really disgusting to see farmers suffering some more on account of not just mismanagement… Obviously may nakinabang dito… I would urge the good DA Sec William Dar not to stop at mere audit, but charges should be filed. Sino ba sa office in charge of procurement ng farm machinery?”

“To prevent a repetition of that anomaly, we should show these people the secretary means business, by going after them. Not just stop at auditing them but charges should be filed against those responsible. Kasi this is plain and simple criminal act. Ako I don’t want to believe di sinasadya yan. Kung 1-2 pwedeng hindi sinasadya pero kung commonplace at sira ang equipment mukhang may kumita nang malaki.”

In an interview after the interpellation, Sen. Lacson also said such actions should be a warning to those implementing the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, so they will ensure proper procurement and distribution of equipment.

Warning din yan sa pag-implement ng RCEF (Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund) na tingnan nilang mabuti ang procurement at ang idi-distribute na equipment kung tama ba.”

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