Place NFA offices in Sarangani, GenSan under NFA-12, DA asked

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 August) — In a bid to harmonize their operations, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 12 has sought for a review and reconfiguration of the provinces and cities under the National Food Authority (NFA) in Regions 11 and 12.

Amalia Jayag-Datukan, DA Region 12 director, said they have asked the DA executive committee to conduct the review to facilitate the placement of this city and nearby Sarangani Province under the operational and administrative coverage of NFA Region 12.

“We requested the committee to direct the NFA board to transfer the supervision of the NFA Sarangani-General Santos City (SarGen) provincial office from Region 11 to Region 12,” she said.

Sarangani and this city, along with South Cotabato province, were formerly part of Region 11 or the then Southern Mindanao region but all became part of Region 12 based on Executive Order (EO) 36 issued in 2001 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

EO 36 provided for the reorganization of the administrative regions of Mindanao, with Region 12 comprising the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Malacanang later issued EO 304 designating Koronadal City as the administrative seat and center of the reconfigured region and mandated the transfer of regional offices, national line agencies and other government instrumentalities to the area.

But the NFA SarGen offices have remained under the NFA Region 11 despite the new regional reconfiguration.

“This situation is quite difficult for us operationally since we have to deal with two (NFA) regional directors whenever we implement programs concerning the NFA in the region,” Datukan said in a press conference.

The official said they are presently waiting for the DA’s executive committee to start the review and deliberations on the matter.

But she admitted that the process could take some time since it involves a national policy.

“But we’ve been working on this transfer, making the necessary follow ups to make it happen,” Datukan said.

Early this year, the Regional Development Council (RDC) of Region 12 supported the DA-12’s initiative by issuing another resolution on the matter.

The move was based on a recommendation issued by the council’s economic development committee.

In 2008, the RDC-12 passed a resolution requesting the NFA Administrator to place the provincial office of NFA Region 11 in this city under the supervision of NFA Region 12.

DA 12, through a letter dated Dec. 17, 2012, recommended to DA central office to favorably consider the RDC-12 resolution. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)