To ensure efficient, effective, and graft-free use of limited public funds, the Department of Agriculture recently created “integrity circles,” dubbed as “Agriculture Dialogue and Information Network Groups” or ADING.
“This is our response to the call of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to provide transparency and integrity in all government interventions,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
“So, ADING is a systematic and institutional system that will enable us to monitor and evaluate if our agri-fishery policies, programs, and projects on the ground are effectively and cost-efficiently implemented, without any shade of graft and corruption,” the DA chief said.
“More importantly, ADING will also serve as our ‘ears and eyes’ on the ground that will provide the DA management immediate feedback on how our initiatives affect the lives of farmers, fishers, agripreneurs, and farming and fishing communities, as a whole,” he added.
“The campaign against corruption should not only be the sole responsibility of the DA, but also of farmers, fishers and other agri-fishery industry stakeholders. Thus, we will involve representatives from their ranks and other concerned sectors to make ADING an impartial, objective, and credible system,” Secretary Dar said.
The DA ‘integrity circles’ will be composed of representatives from farmers’ and fishers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs), rural youth and women, civil society, local government units, agribusiness industry, academe, religious group, and designated DA officials.
Under ADING, they will work together in a sustained manner to promote integrity by strengthening good governance and transparency, and ensuring accountability in all DA-funded agri-fishery initiatives, the DA chief said.
“Essentially, the integrity circles will be involved in program implementation and monitoring, procurement process, community dialogues, and other participatory mechanisms — from the national, regional, provincial down to municipal levels,” he added.
Complementing the ADING system, Secretary Dar issued Special Order No. 420, Series of 2020, designating six DA officials as Agriculture Development Cluster Officers (ADCOs) to ensure that the agency’s services and interventions are promptly and efficiently delivered for the benefit of target beneficiaries.
The six ADCOs, who will each oversee five designated clusters, are:
Usec Waldo Carpio (Central and North Luzon);
Asec William Medrano, Sr. and Asec. Lerey Panes (South Luzon);
Asec Hansel Didulo (Visayas)
Usec Evelyn Laviña (Eastern Mindanao); and
Usec Zamzamin Ampatuan (Western Mindanao).
“Essentially, they will work on inter-regional or inter-island issues and concerns based on strategic approaches in determining food supply situations in their respective cluster and immediately give resolution to any deficiency encountered,” Secretary Dar said.
The ADCOs will also serve as focal persons in the implementation, coordination and monitoring of DA programs, projects, activities, and other services.
“In all, we aim to remove that ‘ugly specter of corruption’ that for a long time has tainted the image of the DA and other government agencies. The public can rest assured that in times like these, interventions and services should swiftly and efficiently reach intended beneficiaries,” Secretary Dar said.
“We need to be transparent. Wherever information is deprived corruption becomes rampant. But if we have a systematic way of putting information in the open and monitoring is done regularly, corruption is minimized,” he concluded. ### (Rita dela Cruz, DA StratComms)