Senator Kiko Pangilinan calls for an investigation on Quedancor’s outstanding billion peso debt to ACEF; calls on DA officials to suspend releasing of ACEF funds

January 31, 2011

Press Release
January 31, 2011

Senate Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Food Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan calls on QUEDANCOR officials to settle their P1 billion peso debt to the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, or ACEF. He also calls on DA officials to suspend the release of ACEF funds until the agency is able to restructure its policies to meet the demands of its beneficiaries without going bankrupt.

“I am aware that ACEF was created to provide support to the agricultural sector, but releasing loans with zero interest and zero collateral attracts unscrupulous groups and individuals. Unless we are able to address the loopholes, the most prudent thing to do is suspend the release of funds.”

In a report submitted to Pangilinan, ACEF documents show that it has a fund balance of only P1.8 billion pesos remaining. The same report shows that of the P20 billion pesos total amount the agency has raised since 1999, only 200 million pesos was accounted for as collected payment for loans since 2002.

“At the rate we are going, it won’t be long until the ACEF coffers go empty. We cannot give our farmers and fisherfolk what we don’t have. Clearly, a restructuring of the ACEF policies is needed.”

Pangilinan and leaders of both governmental and private agricultural agencies and organizations are going to have a summit on agriculture on February 10-11, 2011 to address various issues hounding the country’s agricultural sector.