Solon wants to hold economic managers accountable for rice crisis
Aside from firing National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Jason Aquino, some of the country’s economic managers must also be held accountable for the ongoing rice crisis, Senator Francis Pangilinan said.
“Inspecting rice warehouses and raiding them will not be enough to bring down rice prices. The rice supply situation is a result of incompetence and corruption in the NFA that at this point cannot be solved by raiding warehouses,” Pangilinan said.
“The solution is more than just going after traders when the NFA itself through corruption and incompetence caused the problem in the first place,” he added.
Pangilinan said that it seems farfetched that high prices can still be addressed by the end of the year as what the economic managers like Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia has promised.
“Until new imports come in and harvest season in October provides respite and the rice both local and imported are effectively distributed to stem the tide of unending rice price increases, these raids unfortunately will just be for show,” Pangilinan said.
The problem, according to him, is the NFA leadership, calling him corrupt.
“The President has been misinformed and misled by the NFA. He should have listened to Cabsec Evasco, who was trying to solve the problem. Instead he chose to side with the NFA chief, who created the problem. By doing so, the problem worsened and so we are where we are today,” Pangilinan said.
“Fire the NFA chief and convene to take over and solve the problem the NFA Council that includes Secretary Sonny Dominguez, who as former secretary of agriculture understands the problem, DTI Secretary Mon Lopez, and NEDA chief Pernia, who are all NFA Council members,” he further said.