Solons back Antiporda

November 18, 2022 Paul M. Gutierrez 346 views

A PARTY-LIST representative in Congress and a lady solon said the suspension of National Irrigation Administration (NIA) administrator Benny Antiporda puts to risk the country’s energy supply requirement and irrigation needs.

“Nakakabahala na ang isang magaling na tao ng gobyerno ay sirain dahil lang sa kanyang management style na tama lang naman na gawin dahil maraming anomalya sa NIA,” said Philippine Rural Electric Cooperative Association (Philreca) Rep. Presley C. De Jesus.

The solon was referring to the complaint filed against Antiporda by two former NIA officials for alleged grave misconduct, harassment, oppression and ignorance of the law.

Antiporda was given a six-month preventive suspension without pay last November 15, 2022.

Antiporda, who immediately complied with the OMB order, said he is yet to receive a formal copy of the complaint against him.

Iloilo Rep. Julienne “Jamjam” Baronda, the first lady solon of Iloilo, for her part said the timing of Antiporda’s suspension is “suspicious” as it came while President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who appointed Antiporda, is busy preparing for the APEC meeting in Thailand.

The other purported complainant, the NIA Employees Association of the Philippines (NIAEASP), had already denounced its inclusion as complainant against Antiporda, stressing it even issued a statement of support on his leadership just last September, a support that “still stands and remains unchanged,” said NIAEASP president Eduardo Yu in a statement last November 16.

De Jesus said as the leading voice in Congress for the country’s electric cooperatives, tapping the PPP as proposed by Antiporda would also help address the power supply needs in the rural areas.

“Rural electrification is my advocacy. Kapag nakapagtayo ng maraming (water) dams, marami rin ang maitatayong hydroelectric power at solar power plants,” De Jesus added.

“At dahil sa PPP proposal ni Antiporda, siguradong dadami ang proyekto na makakatulong din sa electricity (supply) problem sa rural areas,” De Jesus pointed out.