MANILA Malacanang on Friday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte wanted to place the National Food Authority (NFA) under the Office of the President.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this clarification after Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Pinol claimed that Duterte has ordered the abolition of inter-agency NFA Council and put NFA under DA.
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 did not confirm the abolition order but said Duterte is considering the approval of rice importation to be centralized under the Office of DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat subject to the review of the Office of the Executive Secretary.
He said the President met with rice traders late Thursday night where he promised to give at least 700,000 sacks of rice to replenish the NFA stocks sold at PHP38 per kilo and to be sold at PHP39.
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.
The body is chaired by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. and administrated by Jason Aquino.
It was created to ensure food security and stabilize supply and prices of stable cereals both in the farm and consumer levels.
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.
Duterte recently gave the green light to proceed with the importation of 250,000 metric tons of rice to boost the NFA reserves.
Duterte's meeting with rice traders took place following reports of an alleged NFA rice shortage in Luzon, particularly in Metro Manila. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency