|By pinoyfarmer | October 9, 2008|
A national task force is in place at the Department of Agriculture (DA) to oversee the implementation of President Arroyo’s flagship Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) programs for palay and corn to ensure the efficient use of public funds and resources for these food security initiatives.
DA Secretary Yap told Commissioner Reynaldo Villar of the Commission on Audit (COA) that the National Task Force, which he created through Special Order No. 380, comprises four teams to check on the various aspects of the implementation of the GMA Rice and Corn Programs.
Responding to a COA management audit report on these initiatives, Yap said “the GMA Rice and Corn Programs aim to boost the production of these food staples to significantly improve the country’s food self-sufficiency level by 2010. “
For palay, he said the DA is targeting palay production to reach 18.55 million metric tons in 2009 and 19.77 million MT the following year to attain a rice self-sufficiency level of at least 98% by 2010.
The Task Force, Yap said is composed of an Executive Mobilization Group, Component Coordinating Teams for the FIELDS program, a Field Mobilization Group and a Strategic Policy and Advocacy Support Team.
FIELDS—President Arroyo’s centerpiece program for agriculture that she unveiled during the DA-hosted National Food Summit last April—stands for Fertilizers, Irrigation and other rural infrastructure, Education and extension services for farmers, Loans, Dryers and other postharvest facilities, and Seeds.
He pointed out to Villar that the Executive Mobilization Group mainly acts as the clearing house of the annual and semi-annual plans of the GMA Rice and Corn Programs and the FIELDS components’ master plans.
Through its weekly meetings, he said the Group oversees program implementation, including fund allocations, disbursements and utilization of the GMA Rice Program.
“An electronic FIELDS Monitoring Matrix is currently in place to provide the necessary updates on program implementation on a weekly basis to ensure the efficient utilization of funds and resources,” Yap noted.
The FIELDS Coordinating Teams, Yap said, develop the components’ master plans and oversee their respective implementation, while the Field Mobilization Group is responsible for monitoring implementation at the regional, provincial and municipal levels.
The Strategic Policy and Advocacy Support Team, composed of experts from the private sector and the academe, provides strategic advice on policy and advocacy concerns to help successfully attain the goals of the GMA Rice and Corn Programs, Yap said.