Bacolod: P2.3M missing fertilizers raising more questions

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Bacolod City – The issue on missing 789 bags of fertilizers at the Capitol warehouse in Brgy. Tabunan, Bago City, Negros Occidental, has raised more questions than answers.

Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz questioned the delivery of supply of fertilizers of the Department of Agriculture supplier to the provincial government warehouse “in the middle of the night.”

Diaz also entertained the possibility that there could be “under delivery,” since the delivery was not counted because it was already in the middle of the night.

He said the two employees of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist assigned at the warehouse, however, took the risk of accepting and signing the document that it was a complete delivery.

The missing fertilizers are valued at P2.3 million.

About 4,000 bags of fertilizers were delivered and stored at the Rice Processing Center in Brgy. Tabunan, Bago City, for distribution by the Department of Agriculture to farmers affected by Typhoon Odette in Negros Occidental.

As far as records of the provincial government are concerned, Diaz said the party responsible for the missing of fertilizers are the two OPA employees, as they were the ones who signed the delivery receipt.

Regarding claims that they were ordered to sign it in the middle of the night, they should put it into writing, and under oath, Diaz further said, stressing that they cannot investigate beyond the documents available to them.

“Let’s not speculate beyond what the documents say,” he added.

Asked on reports on the resignation of an OPA division chief who apparently ordered Herminigildo Basilio and Joy Cardinal to sign for the delivered fertilizers, Diaz said he is not aware of it.

He, however, revealed that OPA chief Edmundo Causing had tendered his resignation, which Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson accepted.

Diaz admitted that Causing had been issued with a show cause order, in relation to the missing fertilizers, under the principle of command responsibility.

The resignation of Causing takes effect August this year.

The provincial government of Negros Occidental earlier assured its full support to an investigation, if it is to be conducted by the Department of Agriculture Western Visayas regional office, on the 789 missing bags of fertilizer.

The DA had asked the provincial government of Negros Occidental to replace the missing fertilizer.

Diaz, however, said the replacement or reparations must come from the guilty party.

Under the provincial government fertilizers program, Diaz said local government units that did not receive their allocations of fertilizers from DA, will be prioritized in their list to receive such. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)

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