IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: PhilDHRRA
YEARS: 2010 – 2012
GRANT AMOUNT: $30,194
THEME: Natural Resources
The budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has tripled from P15.8 billion in 2005 to P48.5 billion in 2009. This year (coincidentally, an election year), while the department’s budget allocation is smaller in the past year (P37.8 billion for 2010), it ranked fifth from the ten agencies with the highest allocation.
Several controversies have long clouted the DA, in particular, scams in procurement and distribution of support services. Some of these scams get exposed in media, usually quoting the Commission on Audit’s (COA) reports as reference, but a few or no one had been sanctioned for corrupt practices.
The limited knowledge of the public on the actual budgeting process of the DA and the technical nature of the COA reports that limits its utilization are few of the major hindrances towards achieving transparent procurement transactions in the department. The COA reports should be used as basis to correct shortcomings such that the constituents particularly the farmer and the fisher sectors, the major producer-groups in the country, are served better.
The project is an action research and advocacy with the overall goal of contributing to the establishment of an environment that is transparent and accountable in the provision of support services by the DA and its attached agency, NABCOR. Also part of the project is an awareness campaign in popularizing the COA’s reports for the DA, with focus on agricultural inputs and equipments’ procurement and distribution. The COA reports remain unutilized, because of its technical nature. The project will “laymanize” these reports and conduct public forums to disseminate these reports to stakeholders, agency “watchdogs” and other concerned institutions.