DA vows transparency in P10B rice fund

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has committed that there will be an utmost transparency in the utilization of the huge P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

Piñol made the commitment to the Filipino people, especially the rice farmers, and to President Rodrigo Duterte who tasked him to be solely responsible and accountable in the use of the  fund.

He said during the cabinet meeting last month, the President rejected his request that other agencies also involved in the implementation of RCEF must also be made responsible.

The other agencies, Piñol said are the Philippine Center for Mechanization (PhilMech), the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), the Technical Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and two government banks, Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines.  

He added that despite his request that all heads of agencies be made equally accountable, the President decided that only one official should be answerable to him and the people -- that official is no other than the Secretary of Agriculture.