By Christina Mendez, September 20 2018; Philippine Star


Image Credit to International Rice Research Institute

MANILA, Philippines — As the country’s rice problem persists, President Duterte has returned the National Food Authority (NFA) to the Department of Agriculture (DA) along with two other agencies previously placed under the Office of the President (OP).

Duterte issued Executive Order 62, which amends his first EO that reengineered the OP shortly after he assumed office in 2016.

The President has transferred the NFA, Philippine Coconut Authority and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority from the authority of the Cabinet Secretary to the DA.

The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, whose main function is to coordinate activities of the government housing agencies and ensure the accomplishment of the National Shelter Program will be directly under the supervision of the President.

“(The move) will ensure efficiency and coordination in the performance of the respective mandates consistent with the effects to streamline the operations of the government,” he said.

The move came after the country faced troubles in the supply of rice in some areas in the country, owing to failure of concerned agencies to augment rice supply locally.

NFA administrator Jason Aquino had offered to resign over the rice issue.

The agencies were placed by former president Benigno Aquino III under the OP through EO No. 165 in 2014 and by Duterte under the Office of the Cabinet Secretary through EO No. 1 in 2016.

EO No. 62 also reorganizes the NFA Council, which makes the DA secretary its chairman. The inter-agency council was previously headed by Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco.