By Genalyn Kabiling, September 12 2018; Manila Bulletin


Image Credit to Manila Bulletin

President Duterte is considering the abolition of the National Food Authority (NFA) Council, the policy-making body of the agency, amid efforts to improve the country’s rice situation.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his arrival speech at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on September 8, 2018, runs down the different agreements that the Philippines have reached during the official visits to the State of Israel and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

The President said he might just designate one person to implement the orders of the economic team on issues related to rice.

“I may recommend to Congress the abolition of the National Food Council. It has not done any purpose and it’s not good. It only hinders the operation. Kasi it should be just handled by one man with the best interest of the nation,” he said over government television.

“You need not have four or five. Isang tao lang. Gusto ko nga negosyante eh. Even if he’s Chinese, if he’s adept to that kind of job then he can have it,” he added.

Duterte admitted that he was already eyeing someone to take the post, saying this person was “honest.” He did not identify the person.

“I want this guy because he’s honest and I believe in him. And he does not do anything b*** s***. So ilagay ko ‘yan diyan. And ayun. All he has to do is to execute – is just to implement the orders of the economic managers,” he added.

The NFA council, which decides on rice importation, is composed of officials from the Office of the President, the Departments of Finance (DOF) and of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, and a farmer representative.

Last April, Duterte stripped Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. of his chairmanship of the NFA Council, and placed the NFA under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture.

The NFA reorganization came amid the reported feud between Evasco and NFA administrator Jason Aquino over their differences in the mode of rice importation, buying price for palay from farmers, among others.