DECLARING that her time is already up, Provincial Agriculturist and Social Economic and Environmental Management (SEEM) Cluster Coordinator Liza Quirog said that Board Member Freda Tirol should now resign and withdraw her candidacy for another term in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for being blatantly dishonest in her campaign sorties.
In her open letter to the editor published in some weeklies here last week, Quirog has given Mrs, Tirol only 48 hours to show and point to the lady agriculturist where to find a female carabao fit for breeding which only costs P5T each. And if Tirol could show this to Quirog, the latter would then resign so as not to “taint the image of the Provincial Government with corruption.” But as of presstime, Tirol has “not shown or pointed to me where is that P5T female carabao, so she should now resign because she has outrightly lied to the people.”
Quirog has been reiterating her dare to the lady board member in the social media and even in the print and broadcast media hoping that what remains of those wanting to serve the public and the Boholanos, be it the incumbent officials or candidates, are “people with dignity and integrity to serve the public in utmost honesty.” And with these character requirements, Mrs. Tirol did not possess.
This dare stems from the issue where Tirol has been heard brandishing lies in her campaign speeches in the third district of Bohol and dragging the names of Quirog and former board member and now chief of staff of the Governor’s Office, Isabelito “Tay Billy” Tongco as the hands that manipulated the overpricing of the female carabaos which the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) procured for its livelihood programs.
Quirog also pointed out Tirol’s consistency in lying. Aside from her (Tirol) saying that the carabao was procured at P40T each instead of at P25T each, Tirol was also heard in an interview on April 7 in a local station here that “Quirog is one of the director, one of the board of director” of BOFAMCO (Bohol Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative) when in fact Quirog is not one of the board of directors.
Heating up the issue and reiterating the call for Tirol to resign is the statement from a farmer, Dioscoro Butihin, of the Municipal Agricultural Fishery Council (MAFC) in Alicia saying “Mam Freda Tirol, ayaw himoang puhunan sa pulitika ang pagbarato sa among kabaw. Walay kabaw nga tag-5 mil… ug akong gihangyo nimo Mam Freda Tirol nga ipakita ug ipamatuod nga nay kabaw nga tag-5 mil ni Mam Liza Quirog, dawata iyang hagit.”
Know the similarity between election campaign time and Easter? Resurrection happens at both events. But the difference is that while Easter gives hope and life, campaign period maligns and kills people’s dignity. And that is what Mrs. Tirol is doing to me, to Tay Billy and to the leadership of the provincial government, Quirog added.
One resurrected event is the brandishing thru a paid advertisement of an old Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) issued by the Commission on Audit (COA) on April 1, 2014 which is contained in their Audit Report ending December 31, 2014, on the procurement of the provincial government of Bohol of some 28 female carabaos worth P700T or at P25T each for its livelihood programs. The said “So The People May Know” advertisement though did not indicate who paid for such.
But Quirog said that she is 100% certain it is the pathetic act of the lady re-electionist and a congressional attack dog whom she dared last week, who is Tirol. What I asked of her is to show me the female breedable carabao worth P5T each and she or her party showed us this ad instead.
Quirog added that said AOM has already been answered to some days after the Capitol received its copy.
An AOM is the Commission’s way of communicating to the procuring agency in seeking clarification and answers on certain financial and documentary observations they have of some procurements of any government agency.
When asked whether there was really an overprice, without batting an eyelash, Quirog answered that “we are within the price range for such female carabaos that met certain specifications.”
Tirol, accordingly, “does not even have the decency of asking the Departments in the Capitol as to explanations” relative to the carabao procurement just like what COA was asking thru its AOM.
This statement was confirmed by Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz of the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office that also handles procurement of the carabaos. Lapiz said that the PGBh’s purchase of carabaos is based on certain qualification, specification and criteria” to assure the recipient Boholano farmers of its quality.
Dr. Lapiz added that the carabaos should be female for breeding and draft purposes; it should be not less than 18 months to three years to ensure that the animal is of breedable age and trainable for work; must not be less than 200 kilograms; must be vaccinated against HEMOSEP and DEWORMED; must be healthy and free from physical deformities; must undergo rectal palpation to check reproductive capacity of the animals; and the carabaos should be delivered at site.
Lapiz furthered that “the prevailing market price of this breedable carabao is within 20,000.00 – 35,000.00, the purchase price is pegged at 25,000.00.
Quirog said that to ensure the quality of the carabao that they are giving out to the farmers, Johnny Samson of the OPV, who is also the provincial artificial insemination coordinator of the province being trained in Japan, validated the capacity of the procured carabaos specifically for breeding purposes. In his explanation to the COA-AOM reply of the PGBh, Samson said that taken into consideration upon inspection were “the physical characteristic/external features such as body confirmation, structural soundness, health, hereditary defects, good mammary teats and no crooked tails. I also give importance to appearance, temperament, utero-genital and mammary system, feeding capacity and vigor. Besides, the physical characteristics, to check the reproductive system of animals, I conducted rectal palpation which is the most accurate examination of the utero-reproductive organ. For the animals I inspected, I even rejected three carabaos, there were either smaller and bigger in size, which I considered unfit for breeding,” Samson said. Those rejected by Samson were then replaced by the supplier with carabaos that passed the scrutinizing eyes of Samson based on national and international standards.
These were proven true by Quirog as she received reports from the inspectorate team that after a year of delivering the farm animals to the recipient farmers, it has already started gestating and are pregnant which means that “they are not of “not qualified age” during delivery.”
On the allegation that Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) sells the carabao at a much lesser price, Center Director Dr. Caro Salces when interviewed said that “the current market price of xxx Carabao at the PCC is P35 thousand for an 18 months old carabao. A newly-born caracalf (carabao) at birth, is valued by PCC at P5 thousand.” Dr. Salces reiterates that this book value is for record purposes only and that the PCC does not sell newly-born caracalf but only when it reaches the age of 18 months at the price of P35 thousand and not P5 thousand. However, these animals are not domesticated and are left to the wild in their stock farm in Ubay and the prices are farm gate prices which do not include delivery on site. (tltb)
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