By Madelaine Miraflor
President Rodrigo Duterte will soon sign an Executive Order (EO) that will return the jurisdiction over National Food Authority (NFA) and other government agencies to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
It was in May 2014 when NFA, together with other agencies, then under the DA, were transferred to the Office of the President during the Aquino administration through EO 165.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque is set to formally announce the transfer— among the other key takeaways of last night’s NFA Council— today at 1pm.
“The NFA Council has been reorganized with the inclusion of the DA and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Former council member DBP [Development Bank of the Philippines] was asked to be relieved from the council,” Piñol said.
“The NFA, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA) will be transferred as attached agencies of the DA,” he added.
Aside from the transfer, Duterte also ordered Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco to be removed from the NFA Council, the highest policy-making body of NFA.
This all started when NFA saw its stocks fully depleted after failing to procure rice from farmers as well as conduct importation.
Evasco, for his part, argued before that the country doesn’t need to import since there’s abundance in local supply.
As NFA failed to intensify its local procurement and was largely banking on importation, the public was left at the mercy of expensive commercial rice.