DA Kalinga to tresh out problems on fertilizer discount coupons
by L. Lopez
Tabuk City, Kalinga (15 August) -- Provincial Agriculturist Gerry Jose will call for a meeting with accredited dealers tapped by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the implementation of the discount coupons project in the province.
Jose said the meeting is called to clear issues arising from the early implementation of the project, like complaints from farmer beneficiaries about price adjustments by accredited dealers who increased prices of fertilizers to P70/bag, thereby reducing the P250/coupon discount to only P180.
Last week, farmers complained that the price of fertilizers they buy on a discounted basis is higher by P70/bag than the prevailing price in the market.
Accredited dealers, on the other hand, aired their side on the issue explaining that the stocks they offer under the subsidized fertilizer program to farmers are distributed to them by their suppliers under term basis, affecting the price of the commodity.
That is the purpose of our meeting, Jose said, to thresh out possibilities of cutting the P70/bag margin by our five accredited dealers. We will try to talk to each other and find avenues to settle the matter, letting our dealers understand about the socialized nature of the program to our farmers, he said.
Jose said there are other smaller issues about the project that reached his office, on the alleged holding of more coupons by some farmers than what they are entitled.
The fertilizer subsidy program entitles farmers two discount coupons for every hectare planted to rice or a total of P500 discount on fertilizer input per hectare. In the province, per bag of urea sells at P1950/bag.
Jose said they will also talk about the counterparts of local government units to the program.
There is an order from Malacanang to local chief executives to allot part of their claimed Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA) differentials to the Food Security Program of government.
Tabuk City is the first among the towns of the province to release an initial P3M for fertilizer and seed subsidy, as counterpart, Jose said. However, the other mayors and the province have already given their own pledges to the program, he added.
Kalinga as food basket of the Cordillera Region received a total of P8.189M from the DA as fertilizer subsidy.
Jose said they will invite to the meeting DA-CAR officials like Regional Rice Program Coordinator Virgie Tapat and Regional Seed Coordinator Mary Sao-ang. (PIA Kalinga) [top]