Why NIA replaced its Bicol regional manager


NAGA CITY -– National Irrigation Administration announced that on September 1st, engineer William Ragodon, the regional manager based in the city of Naga, was being replaced with a new one.

The personnel reshuffle is instituted by the NIA board of directors headed by its new chairperson, former senator now head of the new office of presidential asssistant for food security and agricultural modernization (PAFSAM) Francisco Pangilinan.

In the midst of accusations that the Department of Agriculture and its attached agencies alleged involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam with moneys used to make payments to NGOs with links to Janet Lim-Napoles, the new office of PAFSAM was created with a mission to “clean” the department.

Several attached agencies to the DA was transferred to the PAFSAM, including the NIA, rather than simply removing all or any government official in the agriculture department allegedly involved in the anomalous transactions. The effect was creating duplications, accommodations and waste of funds, in the process.

So the reshuflle is an experimental flexing of the new officer(s) even as the investigation of alleged scam involving agriculture agencies are on-going and without clear and complete resolution.

Ragodon, who owns the credit of initiating massive expansion of the coverage of government irrigation systems in Bicol that largely contributed to the attainment of over 100-percent regional rice self-sufficiency of the previous year, served the region for more than five years.

From around 255,000 hectares, irrigation coverage in the region was placed at over 317,900 hectares under his helm.

The region’s rice production last year was 99.75-percent off the target performance and recorded a 5.96-percent production growth rate over 2012, according to records of the DA’s regional field unit in Pili, Camarines Sur. Bicol achieved a 118.19-percent rice self sufficiency level.

The region was expecting only around 844,000 metric tons (MT) in rice yield for a 102.6-percent RSS, based on the projected regional consumption of over 822,000 MT in 2013.

Palay yield also increased from 3.51 MT per hectare in 2012 to 3.62 MT last year, representing a 3.13-percent growth rate.

So, why was Bicol NIA regional manager replaced? Are the accomplishment detailed above just paper reports and there is strong reason not to believe?


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