Review on rice subsidy program sought-A A +A
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
MANILA -- Conflicting mandates within the National Food Authority (NFA) call for a review on the agency's mandate especially on its rice subsidy program, a Senate think tank said Wednesday.
The Senate Economic Planning Office (Sepo) said the NFA's twin mandates of keeping rice prices down and raising prices of grains will not help either the government or the farmers.
"These are two conflicting tasks. The government cannot lower prices for consumers and simultaneously raise grain prices for producers," the report said.
The Sepo also cited incidents where NFA rice, which were supposedly to be distributed to the poor, was re-bagged and sold as high-priced commercial rice.
According to the report, "large leakage errors and poor availability of subsidized rice" make the NFA ineffective and do not "justify the considerable subsidies it receives from the national government." (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)