Senate to study proposed abolition of NFA

Senate to study proposed abolition of NFA

FILE PHOTO: NFA rice stock

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate is studying the proposed abolition of the National Food Authority (NFA).

“Ang NFA lang po ang hindi nakagwa ng kanilang trabaho. Kaya tayo sa Senado mag-iimbestigahan tayo, bakit hindi nagawa ng NFA ang kanilang trabaho,” said Senate committee on agriculture and food chair Sen. Cynthia Villar.

(Only NFA has not properly performed its functions. That’s why the Senate will investigate why the agency has failed to perform its duties.)

Villar said the proposal stemmed from the alleged failure of the agency to ensure the sufficient supply of NFA rice and to lower the prices of commercial rice in the country.

According to Villar, the Senate will also look into whether NFA is performing its mandate to ensure the proper implementation of the country’s rice importation program.

The abolition of NFA is based on the suggestion of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“We’ll be transitioning from the period of quantitative restriction of the rice. You cannot import and we just need minimum access volume,” said the agriculture committee chair.

According to the senator, the agreement between the Philippines and the World Trade Organization has ended. This is why the country will now proceed to the tariffication of rice.

Under this, everyone can import rice as long as he pays the tariff.

However, the NFA assistant manager of Quezon province, Florencio dela Rosa, is against the said proposal.

“Alam namin na malaking tulong ang NFA lalo na sa pagbebenta ng affordable na presyo ng bigas, lalo na sa tinatawag natin na nasa laylayan ng lipunan,” said Dela Rosa.

(We know that the NFA greatly helps in selling affordable rice especially to the poor.) — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue

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