House committee to probe NIA-Caraga

By PAT SAMONTE
Regional Editor-Caraga

QUEZON City––Finding sufficient evidence, the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability unanimously voted for a full-blown inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the implementation of projects by the National Irrigation Administration in Caraga Region.

The committee conducted on Tuesday a preliminary determination on the allegations of anomalous disparities between the NIA-Caraga’s accomplishment report and actual work on the ground raised by Rep. Lawrence Lemuel Fortun of the First District of Agusan del Norte in a privilege speech last February 17, 2014.

In his privilege speech, Fortun put to task NIA-Caraga for what he said were its unfinished and abandoned irrigation projects and described the agency’s Status of Project Implementation for CY 2012 in Agusan del Norte as “replete with deliberate lies and misrepresentation.”

In the committee hearing, Fortun showed documents, photos and videos to demonstrate what he said the “anomalous discrepancies” between the Status of Project Implementation prepared by NIA-Caraga office and the actual work done. Following Fortun’s presentation, the committee members agreed on the “sufficiency of evidence warranting a full-blown inquiry” and unanimously voted to take jurisdiction over the matter.

Committee chairman Oscar Rodriguez thanked Fortun for bringing the alleged anomalies to the attention of the House of Representatives citing President Benigno Aquino III’s last State of the Nation Address where he assailed the National Irrigation Admistration’s failure to meet its targets. Rodriguez vowed to ensure an impartial investigation.

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