Banayo: Without NFA farmers helpless against pseudo free market forces
BY RENE Q. BAS
EDITOR IN CHIEF, ManilaTimes.net
Long berated in our editorials for profligate and questionable spending, the National Food Authority (NFA) suddenly grabbed the headlines when President Benigno Aquino 3rd, in his first State of the Nation Address last week, condemned the previous administration’s practice of importing rice in excessive amounts, resulting in a glut of the staple. NFA’s warehouses, he said are filled to the ceiling, some of its stocks rotting, a situation terribly “unconscionable while 4 million families are experiencing extreme hunger.”
Only the Times had often enough criticized the NFA, questioning its dual role as rice supply regulator and rice merchant and its failure to perform the main reason for its existence.
With the President pointing at the NFA officials of the previous administration as miscreants, the government agency tasked with ensuring food supply security and price stability became the focus of public indignation.