Friday, October 21, 2011

Alcala to NIA execs: comply with revamp or resign

SAN JOSE CITY, Nueva Ecija, October 22, 2011-Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has called on officials of the National Irrigation Administration to comply with the wide-ranging revamp of the agency, saying those who could not accept the order should resign and find employment somewhere else.

Speaking to newsmen at the sidelines of a dialogue with local officials and farmers at the city hall here Thursday afternoon, Alcala said people in government such as those in NIA should respect decisions of their superiors, including their prerogative to reassign people.

“’Pag namasukan ka, ‘pag sinabing don ka madedestino at ‘pag ayaw mong malipat, magtayo ka na lang ng sariling negosyo (When you enter government service, when you are told that you will be assigned in a particular place and you don’t want to be transferred, then just put up your own business),” he said.

Alcala was referring to the top-level NIA revamp implemented by the Department of Agriculture and the NIA Board which he chairs on orders of President Aquino. The revamp affected three officials from the NIA central office, eight regional managers, two operation managers and one project manager.

NIA Administrator Antonio Nangel, who accompanied Alcala here, said that the reshuffle is meant to vigorously implement the rice self-sufficiency program (RSSR) and the food self-sufficiency program (FSSR) of the Aquino administration.

He said the redistribution of NIA personnel is also intended to better achieve the mission, vision and objectives of the NIA as spelled out by President Aquino and Alcala.

The overhaul was ordered by Mr. Aquino after NIA accomplished only 25 percent of its target of 30,958 hectares while spending over 60 percent of its P14.88 billion budget.

Certain NIA officials have voiced their displeasure over the revamp which led to the re-assignment of regional officials who have been in their posts for over 10 years already. One of those affected  lobbied for his retention with the backings of certain politicians, which prompted the secretary to lose his temper in a rare outburst.

Alcala said the Aquino administration needs to implement the revamp because many of them are overstaying in their posts and have so familiarized themselves with the local conditions that they are no longer effective in their posts. “That’s where the problem lies. They are no longer productive. And they have become friends with local politicians,” he said, without naming names.

He said the revamp was compelling, noting that in one particular area, P2 billion worth of funds for irrigation projects was already spent but no single drop of irrigation water flowed. When pressed to identify the particular area, he refused.

A NIA official affected by the revamp who did not want to be identified said that while the NIA management has the best interests of the agency in mind when it effected the personnel changes, this did not spare certified performers.

“If you are performing above the performance indicators, of course to you the revamp would not do you good,” he said.

The official said that while some of his colleagues affected by the revamp were dismayed by the personnel movement, now that there has been an order then everyone should comply. “I don’t want to be replaced and transferred somewhere else but if the order is already out, by all means I will comply with it,” he said.

Relieved in the NIA central office through Board of Directors Resolution 7708-11 were deputy administrator for engineering and operations Democratico Grana Jr., internal audit services department manager Robert Suguitan, operations department manager Gregorio Dumandan and Region 7 engineering and operations division manager Dexter Patrocinio.

Also replaced were regional managers John Celeste (Region 1), Manuel Collado (Region 3), Efren Roqueza (Region 4-A), Modesto Membreve (Region 7), Alberto Lacuaren (Region 9), Julius Maquiling (Region 10), Felix Razo (Region 11) and Alejandro Aberca (Region 13); operation managers Mariano Dancel and Reynaldo Puno and project manager Reinerio Irinco. (Jason de Asis)


National Youth Commission calls for peace in Mindanao

MANILA, Oct. 21, 2011―In light of the recent incident in Basilan involving government soldiers and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the National Youth Commission expressed its sympathy with the families of those who died during the prolonged encounter that claimed 19 lives.
NYC Commissioner Earl P. Saavedra, who also hails from Basilan, said in a press release that it is imperative to promote lasting peace in Mindanao.
“We recently celebrated the Peace Month, culminating in a Peace Parade and a Commitment Activity on September 29, 2011 in Butuan City, where Mindanao stakeholders signed a manifesto for Peace calling for support in the peace process as part of social development,” Commissioner Saavedra also said.
Saavedra added that to address peace concerns, the NYC together with the local government agencies regularly hold a series of peace advocacy activities involving young people in Mindanao.
The said commission also called for a culture of peace and tolerance among the Filipinos, especially the youth, as part of its new peace and development banner which is the Mindanao 2020 youth agenda.
The commission also pledged its support to government efforts in establishing an all-out peace in Mindanao and at the same time in championing the voice of young Mindanaoans.
Saavedra emphasized it is important that the community values the voice of the youth in Mindanao.
“The youth play a vital role in ensuring a peaceful and developed society in the future where principles, beliefs, and cultures are respected. Les us ensure that this incident will not compromise the welfare of our people in Basilan and in Mindanao,” Saavedra explained. (Jandel Posion)


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