Economists back calls to abolish NFA
The Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) said its supports the call of Senator Cynthia Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian for the abolition of the National Food Authority (NFA).
“The NFA has only caused and aggravated the rice inflation and rice shortage in several regions, compounded the debt and losses of the national government, and provided opportunities for graft and corruption for its officers and employees, from the purchase of imported rice to the distribution and transportation of subsidized rice,” FEF said.
“With high average rice prices and periodic shortages, the NFA has also contributed to the country’s high wage costs and lower competitiveness,” it added.
FEF pointed out that NFA has clearly been inefficient and clueless in the right timing in the importation of rice and its distribution, adding that the private sector should be free to import rice from any source in whatever quantities the market needs.
“To maintain and manage buffer stocks, a new and much smaller agency can be created,” FEF said.
“We urge the Senate and the House of Representatives to immediately pass the rice tariffication bill. We support a version of the bill that will abolish the National Food Authority and its powers, including imposing import quotas to the private sector in the importation of rice and to license traders and importers,” it added.