To speed up the process of implementing the approved Sagada Coffee Processing with Cupping Laboratory enterprise subproject  funded under the Department of Agriculture's Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP), the Community Force Account (CFA) mode of procurement was introduced as the mode to be used in purchasing goods during an orientation activity held in Sagada, Mountain Province recently.

This orientation was conducted to update the Provincial Project Management and Implementing Unit (PPMIU) of Mt. Province and concerned Provincial Local Government Unit (LGU) together with the officials of the Sagada Arabica Coffee Growers and Processors Organization (SACGPO) on the mechanics of this mode of procurement.

According to Lorna Panyo, PRDP enterprise consultant, the CFA method of procurement may be used for goods and works for whatever subproject approved by the DA-PRDP that are estimated to cost US$20,000.00 or less per contract.  This modality gives the proponent group (PG) the responsibility to manage the procurement of goods, works and services depending on the established procurement capacity of the PG. 

"Main purchases made under this mode of procurement consists of construction materials for works, equipment and supplies indicated in the subproject," Panyo added.

The guidelines on procurement under the PRDP requires that the PG must have formed a bidding/procurement committee whose members are equipped with experience and knowledge on procurement or purchasing, and should have attended the procurement training under the PRDP, thus, this activity.

The orientation also included other topics such as the Legal Basis for World Bank Procurement Guidelines, Orientation on the harmonized Philippine Bidding Documents, Procurement Timeline, Bid evaluation report, Electronics uploading of bidding documents and PhilGeps posting and publication to local newspapers as added information.

Fuller Sabino, Financial Analyst of the Regional Project Coordination Office-CAR (RPCO-CAR) delivered the topic on Enterprise Development and presented the financial liquidation and requirements in releasing of funds for recall and appreciation.

Meanwhile, Harold Bagawi, Project Developent Associate (PDA), facilitated the election of Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) members of the SACGPO to make them eligible PGs.

The activity also allowed for the crafting of a procurement guideline based from the allotted days given in each procurement milestone for the SACGPO to refer to.

Christian Aries Salgado, PDA of RPCO-CAR, said that the same activity shall be conducted sometime in the near future for other provinces.

"It is the dream of the project to provide the rural farmers an expanded opportunity in their community through subprojects that provides a faster and more innovative government procurement system," said Salgado.//MBZabala

The Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) has recorded an estimate of Php2,675,475,490.17 total agricultural damages and losses in the region as of 5:00 PM yesterday, September 17, 2018 due to typhoon “Ompong”. A total of 170,940 farmers are initially reported to be affected by the typhoon.

Based from the Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Division’s (PMED) initial consolidated progress report, the agricultural damages and losses were mostly on rice, corn, and high value crops. Corn had the highest recorded damage/losses at Php1,849,926,408.23 followed by rice amounting to Php415,694,951.73. Other agricultural damages and losses are on high value crops (Php336,113,824.14), agricultural infrastructures (Php68,232,056.07), and livestock and poultry (Php5,508,250).

In the progress report, there are a total of 140,543.69 hectares of agricultural areas affected by typhoon “Ompong”, 5,725 hectares of which were totally damaged.

During the visit of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and some of his cabinet secretaries in La Trinidad, Benguet on Sept. 17, DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol reported that the total damages and losses to the agricultural sector nationwide due to typhoon “Ompong” increased to Php14.27 billion affecting a total of 553,704 hectares of agricultural areas.

Sec. Piñol noted that “Ompong” is the second most destructive typhoon in recent memory that hit the country. The first one is typhoon “Yolanda” which caused around Php35 billion total damages and losses in the agricultural sector.

The DA-CAR’s consolidated report are subject for validation by the Department’s created post disaster validation team, thus, the initial estimates on damages and losses may increase further depending on the validation result afterwards. Possible assistance for the affected farmers are being tackled within the DA.

ACPC’s assistance programs

On the other hand, Sec. Piñol reiterated the various assistance programs under the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), an attached and authorized agency under DA, that the farmers can avail of. In times of calamities such as typhoons, the farmers can avail of the SURE or Survival and Recovery Program wherein they can apply a loan of up to Php20,000 at zero percent interest rate. This is payable within a span of three years. ACPC’s Project Management Officer for Benguet Ms. Kristle Ann Balingan said that the program is offered for those areas being declared by authorized agencies/offices as “under State of Calamity”.

Aside from that, the ACPC also has its regular program known as Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) Program which noted a 100% repayment rate from its first initial Php46 million credit in the region.

The PLEA program provides non-collateralized loans to marginalized and small farmers and fishers wherein the loans are coursed through grassroot-based organizations for easier credit access. These organizations include cooperatives, coop banks, farmer associations, people’s organizations, and other institutions that have been evaluated as qualified lending conduits based on program policies and implementing guidelines.

Accordingly, the maximum loanable amount that a farmer or fisherfolk can borrow under the Program is Php50,000 depending on the type of their agricultural/fishery commodities. The loan is payable from two to 10 years with an interest rate of 6% per year or 0.5% per month.

Other programs of the ACPC are the Working Capital Loan Program and the Roll out Farm Machineries Loan Program. The former program can be availed by organizations with existing operations on trading and marketing of agricultural products while the latter aims to shift the regular machinery-related assistance program from subsidy to credit.

Sec. Piñol urged the people, specifically the farmers to not hesitate and be informed of the various accessible and affordable loan programs of the government that they can avail of especially in time of calamities.

More information and dissemination activities are in tune for the concerned government offices to reach out further to its intended beneficiaries.//JBAgrifino


Ongoing President's briefing about the status of CAR after the typhoon "Ompong". Before the briefing proper, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has personally spoke with the typhoon victims in Benguet province.