• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday raised the possibility that the resignation of Provincial Agriculturist Edmundo Causing, may have been caused by the missing 789 bags of fertilizer intended for distribution to farmers affected by Typhoon Odette.
“The case has really affected him also when he found out there were missing fertilizers,” Lacson said.
Dina Gensola has been designated as OPA officer-in-charge.
Lacson admitted that Causing has a heart ailment.
We warned him about the performance of OPA, Lacson said, but Causing wanted to give it a try and help the provincial government.
Causing, however, admitted later that there is great stress as OPA head.
Lacson also said that the provincial government of Negros Occidental is now sourcing out funds for its own fertilizer program, with local government units that did not receive the fertilizers from the Department of Agriculture, being prioritized for the distribution.
This was the answer of Lacson to the request of DA Western Visayas for the provincial government of Negros Occidental to replace the 789 sacks fertilizers, valued at P2.3 million, which were reported missing from the Capitol warehouse in Brgy, Tabunan, Bacolod City.
The missing fertilizers form part of 4,000 bags of fertilizers allocated by DA for distribution to farmers affected by Typhoon Odette in Negros Occidental, which were stored at the Capitol warehouse.
Two employees of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, assigned at the Rice Processing Center in Bago City, are now under investigation for the missing fertilizers.
Lacson said the investigations on the missing fertilizers is almost done, with two OPA employees admitting to signing the receiving forms, upon the delivery of fertilizers.
He, however, said they were given an opportunity to defend themselves.
As to claims they are just ordinary employees, and the release of fertilizers is not possible without an order from somebody up, Lacson said “they have to say it… they have to admit that somebody told them to do it.”
In the absence of that, based on hard evidence, it’s really the signatures that appeared in the receiving form, the governor stressed.
They are given all the opportunity to defend themselves. But as of now, they are just admitting that they indeed signed it, Lacson said, apparently referring to the two respondents.
If somebody ordered the release, in fact, I wanted that the personalities involved should also be investigated, he further said.
Lacson admitted that there is no record on who ordered the release of the fertilizers, although its entry to the warehouse was recorded in the logbook.*