Pangilinan to agri chief: Improve NFA, address rice woes
“The first order of the day for Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol is to get their act together,” Sen. Francis Pangilinan said on Thursday, noting that National Food Authority (NFA) must be improved under the Department of Agriculture (DAR).
“This is a crucial time when the government should implement sound policies and show decisiveness in reforming the NFA so that it could respond to its mandate of ensuring available and affordable grains,” he added.
The senator ordered Piñol to curb corrupt NFA officials, organize rice importation, and increase demand of rice from local farmers.
“We need to combat unscrupulous rice traders in cahoots with corrupt NFA officials and managers; make a calculated schedule on rice importation; increase the buying of palay from local farmers. These are among the urgent tasks facing Sec. Pinol that could make a dent in our rice supply situation these days,” Pangilinan said.
The senator emphasized that the rice supply could be affected following Typhoon Ompong’s damage on farms in Northern and Central Luzon.
“The country’s rice supply in the coming months is expected to be affected after Typhoon Ompong inundated thousands of hectares of rice and corn fields in Northern and Central Luzon,” he said.
On Sept. 17, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 62 designating Piñol as the chairman of the NFA.
Pangilinan was among the senators who complained about the leadership of NFA, which he said was responsible for the rice shortage in the country. /ee
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