Duterte To Dissolve NFA Council Due To Fake Rice Shortage
President Rodrigo Duterte made an announcement during his meeting with rice traders on Thursday (April 5) that he wants to dissolve the National Food Authority (NFA) Council led by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr.
The NFA Council was created under President Decree No. 1770 and is the policy-making body that deals with food and rice security, including the supply of affordable rice in the country. However, a NFA Administrator Jason Aquino was accused by Evasco of creating artificial rice shortage. Evasco added that more imported rice will arrive in May as, but the NFA is trying to create a shortage that it wants to pin down on the council.
In a press briefing, Evasco said:
“They create the artificial shortage and pin it on the council, that we are responsible for creating the shortage, when in fact, based on a report of the Department of Agriculture, there is so much rice.”
The National Food Security committee gives its recommendation to the Evasco-led NFA Council, which is made up of 10 members from several agencies. The administration, in a January 25 statement, said the council disapproved the request for importation, resulting in a low supply of NFA rice.
NFA rice caters to about 4 to 5 percent of the Philippines’ total rice consumption, serving around 8 to 10 million Filipinos from the D and E classes. It is more affordable at ₱27 to ₱32 per kilo compared to commercial rice, which sells from ₱36 to ₱65 per kilo.