DA-XI projects for 2013 only 70-% complete

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/03 Jan.) – Ninety percent of the Department of Agriculture (DA) budget for Region XI has been disbursed, but only 70 percent of its projects for 2013 have been completed, an official said.

In the agency’s 2013 report, DA-XI regional director Remelyn R. Recoter cited lack of coordination between project contractors, local government units (LGUs), and the agency as the reason for the non-completion of some of its projects.

She said the agency had to contend with partner institutions and entities that did not submit documents on time, as well as the non-submission of a master list of recipients and beneficiaries.

She also cited that LGUs lack the “technical and absorptive capacity,” and several contractors and suppliers did not comply with specifications.

Recoter said that during the pre-procurement process, changes in sites and problems on road right of way were still major concerns in project implementation.

DA-XI’s finished projects included those for livestock, rice, corn and other high value crops.

For the agency’s key rice programs, Recoter said that the agency was waiting for the LGUs to comply with the enabling documents before the programs can be fully implemented.

The rice varieties for the program are undergoing analysis, she said.

According to the Philippine Senate’s Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office, the DA was allocated the fifth largest budget for 2013, at P64.47 billion.

The budget covered support for corn, coconut, and fisheries output, in the government’s aim for food security for the year.

Irrigation budget amounted to P27.3 billion or an increase of 12 percent from the 2012 budget. (MindaNews)