Piñol on Zamboanga rice crisis: I’m not losing hope
The rice crisis in Zamboanga City was a “rude awakening” for both the National Food Authority (NFA) Council and the agency itself, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol of the Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday.
Despite the rice crisis, Piñol remained hopeful that the problem could still be corrected.
“It could be corrected, I’m not losing hope. In fact, I would look at it as a rude awakening for us,” Piñol said in an interview with ABS CBN News Channel.
Responding to calls for NFA abolition, Piñol pointed out that the agency “cannot act on its own without the [approval of the] council.”
He said he did not also want to blame the NFA council for its delayed decision to import rice to Zamboanga City that led to the crisis, but described its members as “not well-grounded.”
“I don’t want to point blaming finger on anybody, but if we talk about facts, that’s the fact,” Piñol said.
“I will not accuse the members of the council of ill-motives, these people are patriots, they work hard; but I think they’re not well-grounded,” he added.
According to Piñol, the issue on rice importation stemmed from NFA’s lack of coordination and not about mismanagement.
“No, [it’s not an issue of mismanagement.] It’s just lack of coordination between us, the production agency, and them the policy making agency,” he said. /cbb
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