The AGRI Party-list has welcomed the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to bring the National Food Authority (NFA) under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture (DA), saying this would ensure better coordination in tackling perennial issues on rice.
The President issued Executive Order 62, which transfers the NFA, Philippine Coconut Authority, and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority from the authority of the Cabinet Secretary to the Department of Agriculture (DA). The order amends his first EO that reengineered the Office of the President shortly after he assumed office in 2016.
EO No. 62 also reorganizes the NFA Council, making the Agriculture Secretary its chairman.
“Maybe we can now proceed to making sure that importation to fill gaps in the rice inventory are balanced.”
“This is the correct move. The functions of the two agencies are too closely connected so it makes sense that they should be under the same banner,” AGRI Party-list Secretary General Benjie Martinez said.
The timing of the purchase and importation of rice rely on data given by the DA, thus it would save time if the two offices belong to the same apartment, Martinez added.
Making the DA chief the head of the NFA Council, meanwhile, would result in a re-orientation of priorities, Martinez said.
“This is an opportunity to reaffirm NFA’s mandate of providing Filipino families with affordable rice.”
“Maybe we can now proceed to making sure that importation to fill gaps in the rice inventory are balanced with efforts to increase local production and support our local farmers,” said Martinez.
“This is an opportunity to reaffirm NFA’s mandate of providing Filipino families with affordable rice, and in doing so, also provide local farmers with a viable means of living,” he added.