‘Just do your job’: Solon tells DA, NFA
Amid the issues hounding the rice sector, Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan told the officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and National Food Authority (NFA) to do their job and stop diverting issues from one proposed solution to another just to appease the public.
“Sadly, our food officials have not lived up to their tasks,” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan issued the statement after Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the country should just legalize rice smuggling regardless of whether he’s joking or not.
“Large-scale rice smuggling is considered economic sabotage and is a non-bailable offense. There should be no way to legalize it. Any government rice trading scheme should follow the law and pertinent regulations,” Pangilinan said.
“If Secretary Piñol has been in the know about the rice smuggling and other illegal transactions related to rice in Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, what has he done about it? Why hasn’t he acted on it considering that he has been in the post for more than two years now?” he added.
As for the NFA, Pangilinan said its officials should explain the alleged diversion of rice stocks that drove prices up in some parts of Mindanao.
“With the arrival of imported rice, why hasn’t the supply stabilized? With its funds and with the support coming from the government, the public expects effective and efficient work from the NFA. It is not even tasked to earn money, but simply to spend funds to ensure that Filipinos would be able to buy affordable and quality rice,” he said.