Local fertilizer dealers seek PRRD’s help
DELAYED PAYMENTS FOR FERTILIZER PROGRAM
THE Association of Fertilizer and Pesticide Dealers of Pangasinan (AFPDOP) called on President Duterte to look into the delayed payment of fertilizers they sold to farmers through the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) nationwide fertilizer program.
This, as some 60 dealers of agricultural supplies in Pangasinan have yet to receive payments from DA for the delivered fertilizers to farmers in October.
Under the DA’s voucher system, eligible rice farmers present their vouchers to accredited dealers for free fertilizers – P2,000 per hectare for those planting inbred, and P3,000 per hectare for those planting hybrid.
The project is under the DA’s Rice Resiliency Project 2 (RRP2) aimed at sustaining the country’s rice production during this wet planting season.
Ronnie Cabanizas, president of AFPDOP, said the dealers were assured of payment in three to five days, but it has been months already and none have been paid.
“I heard that farmers in other provinces, who delivered in September or earlier, also have not been paid yet,” he added.
One dealer said his collectible from DA amounted to P1.7 million while others may have higher or lower collectible.
During a meeting with DA officials last week, the dealers were informed that there was a glitch in the agency’s computer system. DA officials claimed that some dealers did not provide complete information in their applications that caused the delay.
But the dealers said since the system does not upload or accept the documents if these are incomplete, and their applications were uploaded, it meant these were all correct and complete.
“Why is the DA claiming now that there are incomplete documents?, ” the group asked.
“Besides, if only one or two applications were incomplete, why won’t the DA process the other applications which are complete?” the dealers said.
The dealers said they did not meet any problem with collecting payments when they joined the program during the planting season in December 2020.
“We immediately got the payment then so many dealers joined the program. What is wrong now?” they said.
The dealers said when they delivered the fertilizers, the price per sack (50 Kilos) was only P2,070.
The dealers have to buy their stocks now at P2,550 kilo, “so we are at the losing end of business now.”
“If we sold our stocks to retail, we have the money to buy new stocks, but our capital is now with the DA,” the group added.
Most of the dealers are small businessmen “and because we are unable to collect from the DA, we have financial problems because we cannot buy new stocks”.
“We are the partners of the government in this program. We hope they won’t give us a hard time,” they added. (Eva Visperas)
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