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DA urged to coordinate with House on farm-to-market road projects

 

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Nueva Vizcaya lone district Rep. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma had asked the Department of Agriculture (DA) to properly coordinate and consult with the members of the Lower Chamber when it comes up with the listing of farm-to-market road (FMR) projects per region.

Nueva Vizcaya lone district Rep. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Nueva Vizcaya lone district Rep. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma
(Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

During the recent virtual meeting of the House Special Committee on North Luzon Growth Quadrangle, the vice chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations said the House members were supposedly not consulted by the DA Regional Directors during the identification of the FMR projects, and were not even informed once such infrastructure projects have been approved and are set to be implemented.

“Alam mo naman, kailangan ito ng mga farmers, itong farm-to-market roads. Sana naman, pakisabi kay Secretary (William) Dar proper coordination, ‘yun lagi ang priority, proper coordination with the representative of the different districts,” Cuaresma told DA Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rodolfo Vicerra. (You know, these farm-to-market roads are needed by our farmers. I hope, kindly tell Secretary (William) Dar to give priority to proper coordination with the representatives of the different districts.)

She noted that even before the government’s imposition of the coronavirus lockdown, many lawmakers have been inquiring about the status of the FMR projects.

“Before COVID, before our break last March, maraming (many) congressmen ang pumupunta sa akin (came to me) and they were asking me about the FMR, they were asking me because I am the vice chair in charge of the budget of DA,” the House leader said.

She said she has been flooded with FMR-related queries because the DA failed to coordinate with the members of Congress.

“Kung tutuusin ang nakakaalam ng mga roads, hindi naman regional director. Ang nakakaalam nyan representatives ng different districts,” Cuaresma said. (When it comes to roads, it is not the regional director who is knowledgeable, but the representatives of the different districts.)

Responding to Cuaresma’s concerns, Vicerra said that the DA will put in place a system wherein the House members will be regularly informed of the status of all FMR projects in their respective districts.

“We will try to have a system dito (here) na magkaroon ng (that there will be) regular reporting sa (to the) Committee,” the DA official said.

Cuaresma noted that during the deliberation of the 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA), it took them six hours to defend the DA’s budget.

“‘Yung ating mga (Our) Regional Directors, they just put the list without even proper consultation with our congressman. Kami naman sa Congress (We in Congress), kami naman ang tumutulong para mapondohan ang iyong programa (we are helping you to have your program funded).Pag implementation na (During implementation) , etsapwera na kami (we are being left out),” she said.

Members of the House Special Committee on North Luzon Growth Quadrangle had asked the DA to apprise them of the FMR projects that were “delisted” under the 2020 GAA.

They also called on the DA regional directors from Region I, II, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to submit the complete list of the FMR projects for this year and for 2021.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/06/30/da-urged-to-coordinate-with-house-on-farm-to-market-road-projects/)

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