MANILA—Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday urged Agriculture Sec. William Dar to file criminal charges against the department's procurement officials who bought faulty equipment for farmer beneficiaries of the government's mechanization program.
The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (Philmech) is set to receive some P30 billion from 2019 to 2024 to procure and distribute tractors, transplanters, harvesters, threshers, mechanical dryers and other machinery to farmers in 1,200 major rice-producing municipalities in the Philippines.
But several farmers in Eastern Visayas received faulty equipment from the government, according to a "Failon Ngayon" special report.
"That should be looked into and proper criminal charges should be filed against the supplier, contractor as well as 'yung employees nila," Lacson said.
"Obviously may nakinabang dito . . . To prevent repetition of that anomaly we should show these people the secretary means business, by going after them."
Though the substandard equipment were found in farms in Eastern Visayas, the Agriculture chief should expand investigations nationwide, the senator said.
"Warning din 'yun sa pag-implement nu'ng Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, na tingnan nila mabuti 'yung procurement at 'yung idi-distribute na equipment kung tama ba," he said.
"This is plain and simple criminal act."