Agriculture scams

By Maria Althea Teves, abs-cbnnews.com/Newsbreak

Posted at Jul 30 2009 04:09 PM | Updated as of Jul 31 2009 03:07 AM

MANILA - Economists point to bad governance as one of the reasons for hikes in poverty and hunger rates.

Economists and former cabinet secretaries Arseno Balisakan and Benjamin Diokno cite appointments to sensitive government positions and infrastructure programs susceptible to corruption for contributing to these statistics.

“The incentive structure does not serve well the interest of the farmers,” Balisacan said.

There is a big leakage of funds from the national to the grass roots level. “The people do not get only very little if nothing at all,” he added.

Below are some of the agriculture scams exposed under the Arroyo administration:

FERTILIZER FUND SCAM: Funds supposedly meant to purchase liquid fertilizers were released February 2004 and allegedly given to 105 representatives, 53 governors and 23 municipal or city mayors. Feshan Inc., according to the COA report, overpriced their liquid fertilizer. The main conspirator of the said scandal was former Agriculture Underecretary for Finance Jocelyn “JocJoc” Bolante.

The funds were said to be used for the President's 2004 presidential campaign.

SWINE SCAM: Quedan & Rural Credit Guarantee Corp (QUEDANCOR) started a P5-B swine program for farmers in 2003. The 2005 COA report revealed that the outstanding loan balance was PHP755.76-M and P663.77-M were outstanding receivables.

IRRIGATION SCAM: The Kilusang Mambubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) reported that the DA released P3.1-B for irrigation in January and March 2004 for 37 focus provinces. The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said that some provinces listed have not yet started irrigation projects

GININTUANG MASAGANANG ANI: COA discovered P120-M of the P3-B GMA project were given to private organizations.