MANILA -- Will the National Food Authority (NFA) Council be abolished or not? Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it was best to wait for President Rodrigo R. Duterte to clarify what he wanted.
Lilinawin kay Presidente. Kasi ang nangyari po, nagdeklara siya tapos nagkaroon ng usapan sa entablado mismo (We have to clarify it with the President. Because what happened as, when he made the declaration, there was a talk in the stage itself), Roque said in an interview over DZMM on Friday night.
Ako naman, hindi ako kasama sa usapan na iyon so i-clarify na lang kung ano talaga iyong nais mangyari ng Presidente (I wasn't part of that talk so I need to clarify what the President wants to happen), he added.
Earlier, Roque said that the NFA and the NFA Council would not be abolished, but Duterte wanted to place the NFA under the Office of the President.
The President expressed his intent to place the National Food Authority (NFA) under the Office of the President, Roque said in a press statement.
Roque made this clarification after Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Manny PiAol claimed that Duterte has ordered the abolition of NFA Council and put NFA under DA.
On Thursday, Duterte met with rice traders where he promised to give at least 700,000 sacks of rice to replenish the NFA stocks sold at PHP 38 per kilo and to be sold at PHP 39.
The President met them amid reports of depleting NFA rice reserves and growing conflict between the NFA and its policy making body, the NFA Council.
NFA Council chairperson and Cabinet Secretary LeoncioJun Evasco Jr. said that NFA administrator Jason Aquino was causing panic by creating an artificial rice shortage.
Evasco, meanwhile, reiterated Duterte's order to allow only one mouthpiece to speak on the country's current rice supply -- the NFA Council chairperson.
The NFA Council is a policy-making body composed of representatives from government departments and financial institutions as well as private sectors and farmers sector.
Both the NFA Council and the NFA were created under Presidential Decree No. 1770, with the NFA making recommendations to the council on rice procurements. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency