No to NFA abolition – aggie chief Piñol
Even if he admitted that the National Food Authority (NFA) needs to be reformed, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said on Monday that he would not support calls to abolish it.
“No, because the NFA is the only WTO (World Trade Organization) accredited, recognized, trading agency of the Philippines. The problem with NFA is that it has focused on rice alone for so long,” Piñol said in an interview with reporters.
Several lawmakers have proposed the removal of Piñol and NFA Administrator Jason Aquino from their posts, and the dissolution of the NFA itself. This plan has garnered support from economic circles, claiming the agency has aggravated rice inflation.
On whether the NFA should be placed under DA’s control again, he said proper coordination is more important now than which agency should supervise it.
“I have already manifested this, in previous (statements), not that we want to control it, but even if the NFA is not under DA, what we’re asking for is a greater coordination between these agencies,” he added.
According to Piñol, problems may be eradicated if government offices, even if they operate separately from each other, would sit down and discuss issues.
“Tulad ng ginawa ko no’ng last na meeting ng council, brinief ko sila kung ano ang ating rice situation ngayon, tandaan natin na may dadating na El Niño sa katapusan ng taon, ang sabi no’ng mga weather forecasters iinit ang mundo for the next three years (Like what I did in the last council meeting, I briefed them on the rice situation. Let’s remember that there will be El Niño at the end of the year. Weather forecasters said temperatures will rise for the next three years),” he said,
“So paghahandaan natin ‘yon. Gano’n dapat ang aming coordination (So we are going to prepare for this. That’s the kind of coordination that we need),” he added. /ee