Villar blames NFA for rising cost of rice
The National Food Authority’s (NFA) failure to listen to instructions and the existence of rice cartels were just among the things that Senator Cynthia Villar blamed for the series of issues that are now hounding the rice sector.
In an interview yesterday, Villar acknowledged that the country’s problems with rice seems to be never ending, especially with its continuously rising cost.
“Oo [paulit-ulit na lang], hindi ka naman susundin,” Villar said.
Villar also said that the country’s problem with rice started when NFA, which is mandated to stabilize rice prices by selling affordable rice in the market, failed to boost its buffer stock and completely ran out of it, the first time it happened in many years.
“That started our problem with rice. Kasi wala namang bigas that can be sold at P32, so parang ang rice nagwala ang mga prices kasi it’s all in the hands of the private sector. At alam naman natin na sa Philippines, may rice cartel and that cannot be controlled at kung ano ang gusto nilang presyo, iyon ang ginagawa nila. So in a way, the NFA failed in its mandate. That’s why we are suffering like this,” Villar further said.
“Iyon ang mandate mo, you failed in your mandate, what can you say?” she added.
She then suggested the government to impose a price control in rice.
“Mag price control ng rice. I don’t know how they can implement it, but I remember in previous years iyong DTI merong suggested retail price (SRP). And then they go around and chinecheck iyong hindi sumusunod sa SRP. Or mas better pa, mag-declare ng state of calamity and mag-impose ng price control sa rice. Kasi I don’t think malulugi sila kahit mag-price control,” Villar said.
She said this should only serve a “temporary solution” to address the rising cost of rice.