A SENATOR has filed a resolution seeking to investigate the Agriculture departments order to use biofertilizers to enhance rice production. 

There is a need to investigate this matter to prevent another Fertilizer Fund Scam that happened almost 20 years ago,Senator Ana Theresia RisaN. Hontiveros-Baraquel said in Senate Resolution No. 608.  

She was referring to the P728-million fertilizer fund scam where then Agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn I. Bolante was implicated.   

The Department of Agriculture (DA) on April 27 mandated the distribution and use of biofertilizers under Memorandum Order No. 32.  

Under the directive, the DA said that two bags of the inorganic fertilizer urea cost P4,000 per hectare while biofertilizer only costs P2,000 per hectare.  

However, farmersgroup Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) debunked this, noting that the actual cost of urea is now only P1,100 per bag.  

There is a need to investigate the basis for the issuance of the Memorandum Order No. 32 on whether the price of fertilizer and cost of urea per bag are indeed high to warrant the insistence of the Department of Agriculture to use biofertilizer,Ms. Hontiveros-Baraquel said.  

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in March sought the use of biofertilizers to lessen the countrys dependence on imported petroleum-based fertilizer.  

At a time of high prices and the El Niño, it is imperative to review the policies of the Department of Agriculture (DA) on rice production,the senator said. Beatriz Marie D. Cruz