Piñol orders immediate release of idle farm machineries worth P2B
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has ordered the department’s regional directors to release all idle farm equipment in their warehouses beginning today and to make sure that every equipment is distributed to farmers and local government units within two months.
Piñol has already moved to waive the 15-percent upfront cash payment to facilitate the release of the equipment to farmers and allow farmers to pay for their 15-percent equity on instalment.
“I issued a directive that all equipment kept in all DA compound all over the country must be released within a period of two months,” Piñol said. “An estimated P2 billion worth of farm machineries and equipment left under the elements or kept in warehouses of the Department of Agriculture all over the country for years now will be distributed to farmers and local government units starting today.”
Piñol has questioned the 15-percent equity requirement imposed by the previous administration on farmers because government pays for the machineries and equipment in full.
“I had to ask the opinion of two lawyers of the DA to determine whether the 15-percent equity to be paid by the beneficiaries directly to the equipment suppliers was legal. I held the view that the procurement of equipment by government could not be done by partial payment and that government must get full ownership of anything it buys,” Piñol said.
“Pending the resolution of the legal question I posed to the lawyers, I decided that the equipment must be immediately released or else the government would be placed in extreme disadvantage,” he added.