Cynthia Villar apologizes to Piñol: ‘akala ko sa’yo ang NFA’
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Cynthia Villar yesterday apologized for her scathing remarks about the increasing price of rice in the market, saying that she thought all along that the National Food Authority (NFA) has been placed under the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Piñol explained that the NFA, along with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), the National Irrigation Administration and the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA), were transferred during the previous administration to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Food Security and Agriculture Matters then under Senator Francis Pangilinan.
Earlier, Malacañang announced the return of the NFA, PCA and FPA to the DA but there was no Executive Order to back it up.
“In fact, during the NFA Council meeting yesterday, the DA Secretary was a mere resource person who made a report on the rice supply situation in the country along with several recommendations because the DA is not a member of the Council,” Piñol said.
“I told Sen. Villar that when the ZAMBASULTA rice crisis broke out, I called up Executive Sec. Salvador Medialdea to volunteer to help resolve the issue. I told him that while the lack of NFA rice in the region is mainly the concern of NFA, somebody in the administration had to step in and take control of the situation,” he added.
Piñol, however, acknowledged the fact that at the end of the day, when people are unhappy, they will not just differentiate the DA from the NFA or the local governments from Malacañang and will just blame the whole government.