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COA wants DA, NFA execs sanctioned for wasted palay seeds

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Audit wants officials of the Department of Agriculture and National Food Authority to be sanctioned for the P83.712-million losses from the improper storage of certified palay seeds last year.

In a 2014 report released recently, COA said 6,290,980 kilos of certified palay seeds for the Rapid Seed Supply Financing Project (RaSSFiP) ended up being downgraded to ordinary seeds.

The loss was “due to improper storage by the NFA” that “resulted in conversion loss and wastage of public funds amounting to P83.712 million.”

State auditors said concerned NFA officials should be made accountable and also determine the liability of DA officials. Appropriate sanctions should be imposed against the officials for their negligence. 

The RaSSFiP is one of the components under the Rapid Food Production Enhancement Program funded by a loan grant that aimed to secure the supply of paddy seeds for communal irrigation system.

The RaSSFiP seeks to procure from accredited private seed producers, individual farmers and farmers’ organizations, some 803,750 bags, each containing 40 kilograms, of inbred seeds duly certified by the Bureau of Plant Industry’s National Seeds Quality Control Service. 

Reacting to the COA report, the NFA management said the NFA should not be penalized or made to shoulder the program’s losses because it was not its mandate to procure, store and distribute seeds. 

“The RaSSFiP program’s task to procure, distribute and store certified seeds is simply beyond NFA’s area of expertise. The warehouses were not designed for the storage of certified seeds and do not have approved budget nor necessary funds for the project,” agency officials explained. 

But state auditors rejected NFA’s argument, saying that the memorandum of agreement between the DA and the NFA specifically require them to procure, store and distribute certified palay seeds.

“Hence, they are responsible in ensuring that certified seeds reach the farmers under the program by ensuring that they are stored and distributed in good condition,” state auditors said. 

ACIRC

BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY

CERTIFIED

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY

NATIONAL SEEDS QUALITY CONTROL SERVICE

NBSP

NFA

OFFICIALS

RAPID FOOD PRODUCTION ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM

RAPID SEED SUPPLY FINANCING PROJECT

SEEDS

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