Press Releases

New DA Secretary vows to end corruption in DA

In a message delivered by Agriculture Secretary Manny Piňol during the first convocation with Department of Agriculture officials and employees at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Convention Hall last July 5, he announced that corruption will not be tolerated at the DA.

To curb corruption at the DA, Secretary Piňol wants the face-to-face transaction for application of permits be eliminated and instead directed Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo Serrano and Undersecretary for Administration and Finance Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to establish a system where applications for permits could be submitted and fess paid on-line. The only time that the presence of the applicant is needed is when the permits are to be picked up.

Biddings for goods and items, supplies including the procurement of animals and goats for genetic infusion will be announced on-line.

These are some of the strategies that the Secretary has enumerated to lessen the occurrence of corruption at the DA.

Secretary Piňol also mentioned that “for so long, as a farmer and a local government executive, I saw with his own eyes what needs to be done to ensure that will be Available and Affordable food for the people of this country.”

Please see below full text of message

Over the years and along the way, this Department and many of its agencies have been distracted by programs and projects which are not essential to their original mission

The Department of Agriculture must go back to its basic mandate and that is to produce food for the nation.

Along this line, the focus of our funding support should be on programs that contribute directly to food production and poverty alleviation.

Reforms must be made within this agency.

Over the years, the DA’s image has been tainted with issues of corruption from the fertilizer scam to allegations that the importation of onion and garlic is controlled by a cartel.

I have seen for myself how a noble program like the PL480 which is funded by the US government to improve the country’s dairy goat industry through the infusion of outstanding genetics has been marred by corruption.

I know of stories of how the Farm to Market Road program has been turned into sources of funds for some unscrupulous individuals.

I have heard of how regulatory offices under this Department have been agonizingly slow in acting on transactions brought before them.

Listen to this, and read my lips: Corruption will never not be tolerated in this Department. Not anymore.

I am directing Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo Serrano and Undersecretary for Administration and Finance Bernadette Romulo to initiate the establishment of a system where applications for permits could be submitted and the fees paid online.

The applicants will only come to this department when their permits are ready to be picked up of their physical presence is not needed, these could be mailed to them.

I am directing the head of ICT office to open a new DA website which would be interactive and where stakeholders in agriculture could relay their concerns, problems and complaints directory to the Secretary of this Department.

Officials and employees of this Department who will be affected by reassignments are urged to abide by the directives issued by the Secretary.

I will advise you not to waste your money in hiring lawyers to question the Secretary’s efforts to execute reforms in this Department because I have a battery of lawyers who will be consulted before I make any move to ensure that I will not commit an illegal act.

Before I end, let me advise the head of the General Services Office that do not like to work in a dirty environment.

I will give you one week to clean the frontage of this Department and make sure that vehicles are parked along the pathways.

This directive on the cleanliness of out offices and surrounding is also addressed to the heads of agencies and regional offices under this Department.

Remember the saying: Cleanliness is next to God-liness.

I would also like to remind everyone that You and I have a mission to undertake this task as a one team.

We have to work together, harmoniously if I have to emphasize that.

The last thing that I would like to hear are disagreements or even feuds between officials and employees of this department.

Let me repeat my warning during the first transition meeting which I attended: I will not tolerate in-fighting within this department or within the offices of this department.

Settle your differences like matured individuals or else I will assign you both to offices so distant –maybe one I Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley and other in Bongao Tawi-tawi- so that you will never see each other again until you retire or until you die.

My dear friends and fellow workers in this department and to the stakeholders in agriculture and fisheries in this country:

When President Rody Duterte named me as the Agriculture Secretary under his administration, I readily and happily accepted the position.

For so long, as a farmer and a local government executive I saw with my own eyes what needs to be done to ensure that there will Available and Affordable Food for the people of this country.

I will never betray the trust of my President or fail the expectations of our people.

Thank you.