The rice crisis has shown the inability of the National Food Authority (NFA) to stabilize the rice supply. Thus, the NFA should be abolished.
’We don’t need the NFA anymore,’’ Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said Friday even as President Duterte still has to announce the replacement of beleaguered NFA chief Jason Aquino.
Gatchalian said the NFA failed the people although it was created 31 years ago to stabilize the price of rice.
He sees as temporary an Executive Order that Malacañang was set to issue would flood the market with rice,
“This will not be a medium- or long-term solution. Temporarily, yes because we have an aberration in the market, meaning demand is outstripping supply until it normalizes,’’ he said.
‘’Our rice producers and fishermen can catch up with the demand. Temporarily, our government will allow importation,’’ he pointed out.
Other senators have also sought the abolition of the NFA or were critical of the ‘’unacceptable’’ performance of the rice agency.
Senators Francis ‘’Chiz’’ Escudero and Cynthia A. Villar, chairwoman of the Senate agriculture and food committee, have said that rice traders or hoarders are taking advantage of the rice crisis by putting high price tags on rice they make available to the market.
Gatchalian revealed that the Executive Order mentioned was the ‘’first time economic managers would have a unified position and a unified strategy on curbing inflation.’’
Critics have said the rice crisis is a contributory factor to the rising inflation level.
‘’It’s about time, may mga ginagawa in the past but it’s a hodge-podge of different counter inflationary measures,’’ he said.
’The economic managers should really talk to each other instead of different departments doing different things,’’ he explained.
Asked whether economic managers should be sacked, Gatchalian replied: ‘’Not at this point.’
‘’A lot of these measures, the economic managers have formulated these in the past and they already implemented since January and it’s really about time to put a holistic approach to this counter inflationary approach,’’ he added.