NFA, 2 other agencies return to Agriculture department

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered to revert the National Food Authority's (NFA) supervision to the Department of Agriculture, Malacañang said Tuesday, April 17.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., in a statement, said the decision was made a day after Duterte met with the NFA Council.

"The NFA, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA) will be made attached agencies of the Department of Agriculture," he said.

In May 2014, then President Benigno Aquino III signed Executive Prder 165, authorizing the transfer of the NFA, PCA, FPA, and National Irrigation Administration to the Office of the President.

The President's decision came amid the reported low supply of government-subsidized rice.

During the meeting held Monday, April 16, Duterte approved the importation of 250,000 metric tons through government-to-government scheme to replenish the rice inventory, Roque said.

"Imported rice is set to arrive soon," the Palace official said. "Subsequent importation is to be done by government to private or auction and importation will be implemented or supervised by the Executive Council Committee headed by the Office of the President."

Roque clarified that Duterte would not abolish the NFA Council, despite seeming squabble with the NFA management.

"The NFA Council will not be abolished," Roque said, disputing earlier reports that the President sought the abolition of the policy-making body that oversees the recommendations made by the grains agency.

He, however, noted that council member Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) had requested to be relieved from the council to allow it to focus on its other projects.

He said the request was approved and the President assigned the Department of Social Welfare and Development to replace the DBP. (SunStar Philippines)


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