Escudero opposes moves to abolish NFA-A A +A
Saturday, January 22, 2011
THE National Food Authority (NFA) might need its charter reviewed but it still serves a purpose and should not be abolished, according to Senator Francis Escudero on Saturday.
This was in reaction to a statement by Budget Secretary Florencio Abad that the NFA may be shut down due to P177 billion it owes because of importing more rice than needed.
"That the present administrators of the NFA found malfeasance in rice importation from the previous (administration) does not deserve a knee-jerk reaction," Escudero said.
The senator added the NFA is "plagued with inefficiency and corruption", but it is not time to abolish the agency.
Escudero suggested that aside from reviewing the NFA charter, government must also help stabilize rice prices and increase production closer to rice self-sufficiency.
"Boosting agricultural sufficiency will lower the cost of doing business in the country and will create a more stable business climate," he said.
President Benigno Aquino III revealed this week that the NFA suspects one person or group benefitted from overpriced rice imports during the Arroyo administration.
On Thursday, Senator Franklin Drilon called for the Senate Blue Ribbon committee to conduct an investigation on the supposed rice-importation scam.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, for his part, said the Senate committee on agriculture and food could step in if needed.
Pangilinan said he asked the NFA for a copy of its report on the scam. (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)