“DA Panel Targets Real Food Hoarders”

SEN. Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero. Senate PRIB
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SEN. Francis “Chiz” Escudero is optimistic about the recent establishment of a “blacklisting committee” in the Department of Agriculture (DA), as it is expected to play a crucial role in identifying and addressing the issue of food hoarding and agricultural smuggling. This initiative, led by Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr., aligns with the government’s anti-corruption campaign and other ongoing reforms within the department.

Secretary Laurel’s Special Order 11 has paved the way for the creation of the DA’s central blacklisting committee, which aims to strengthen the government’s efforts against unscrupulous manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, consultants, hoarders, and smugglers of agricultural products. By targeting these individuals or entities, the committee intends to safeguard the interests of the agriculture sector and its stakeholders.

In a recent radio interview, Senator Escudero expressed his confidence in Secretary Laurel’s ability to implement much-needed reforms in the DA, particularly for the benefit of farmers and the overall agriculture sector. He emphasized that Secretary Laurel, whom he personally knows, is committed to serving the public and is not susceptible to corruption or manipulation.

To lead the blacklisting committee, Secretary Laurel appointed Willie Ann Angsiy, the Director of the Legal Service, as the chairman, and Melinda Deyto, the Chief of the Procurement Division, as the vice chairman. Additionally, Christopher Bañas, the Director of the Internal Audit Service, was selected as a committee member. The committee is tasked with reviewing complaints against alleged offenders and has a 30-day timeframe to issue resolutions containing its findings and recommendations.

Senator Escudero fully supports Secretary Laurel’s decision to implement organizational changes within the DA. He believes that under Secretary Laurel’s leadership, the department will effectively utilize the allocated resources to bolster the agricultural sector and contribute to the growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

During the Senate deliberations on the proposed P167.5 billion budget for the DA and its agencies, Senator Escudero advocated for an additional P25 billion budget specifically allocated to the agriculture sector. His proposal was eventually adopted by the chamber, reflecting the Senate’s commitment to prioritize the development and advancement of the agriculture industry.

The creation of the blacklisting committee in the Department of Agriculture is a significant step towards addressing the challenges posed by food hoarding and agricultural smuggling. By identifying and taking action against those involved in such activities, the committee aims to protect the interests of farmers, consumers, and the overall economy. Senator Escudero’s support for Secretary Laurel’s reforms highlights the government’s commitment to promoting transparency, accountability, and sustainable growth within the agriculture sector.

In conclusion, the establishment of the blacklisting committee in the Department of Agriculture is a positive development in the fight against food hoarding and agricultural smuggling. With Secretary Laurel’s leadership and the support of Senator Escudero, the committee is expected to play a crucial role in safeguarding the interests of the agriculture sector and advancing the country’s economic growth.

Source: The Manila Times

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