BAGUIO CITY – The conduct of the annual Farmers Summit in the city might not push through this year after the pertinent documents covering the release of the funds for the activity has not been signed by Vice Mayor Edison R. Bilog for still unknown reasons to date.
Leaders of farmers groups in the city, who requested explained that since the ordinance institutionalizing the celebration of the Farmers month was approved only last February, the funds for the celebration was not included in this year’s annual budget, thus, arrangements were made to charge the funds for such activity with the research fund of Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr., chairman of the Committee on Market, Trade, Commerce and Agriculture.
The sources claimed that while it is true that the conduct of the summit is outside of May, the declared Farmers Month, the conduct of the summit could be done anytime because it serves as a forum where concerned agriculture stakeholders will be discussing their issues and concerns and solutions to their problems like what had been happening in the peace and order summit, traffic summit, persons with disability summit among others where the funds for the said events were charged to the research funds of the local legislators handling the said committees.
However, the sources added that for still unknown reasons, Bilog allegedly refused to sign the pertinent documents covering the release of the funds from Yangot’s research fund despite the existence of the guidelines in the utilization of the research fund allowing the use of the funds for the conduct of gatherings like the Farmers Summit which was earlier scheduled last June 1, 2018.
“We want to hold the Farmers Summit anytime as soon as the documents covering the release of the funds for the activities will be signed but we fear that the conduct of the event will not push through this year even with the identification of the source of funds for the event because it seems some city officials are now hostaging the use of the funds due to his alleged early politicking<”the sources stressed.
The sources revealed that the documents covering the release of the funds to be used for the summit had been in Bilog’s office for his signature because the source of the funds is from the research fund of Councilor Yangot but they are wondering why the documents have not been signed despite the lapse of several weeks when his job is only ministerial as the papers passed through completed staff work.
According to them, there seems to be a grand design to allegedly sabotage the conduct of the summit primarily because of political reasons wherein the event must not be politicized as what will be tackled in the activity are purely issues and concerns of the city’s agriculture sector and the proposed solutions offered by concerned government agencies and the local governments to the problems raised by the concerned stakeholders.
The sources called on Vice Mayor Bilog to be open-minded on the matter because what is at stake is the overall state of the city’s agriculture and fishery sector wherein farming serves as their major source of livelihood which must also be given priority action by the concerned government agencies and the local government to advance their cause similar to what is being done with similarly situated sectors, thus, he must sign the pertinent documents so that the funds for the summit will be released for the noble project to push through.
Earlier, the local legislative body approved an ordinance that institutionalized the annual celebration of Farmers month every May wherein its culminating activity is the Farmer’s Summit wherein issues and concerns affecting the city’s agriculture sector will be deliberated by representatives of concerned government agencies and the local government.
Refer to HENT
Banner photo by: Joseph B. Manzano