Author: Rea Cu
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
The President’s economic managers decided to remove provisions calling for the restructuring of the National Food Authority (NFA) in proposals to amend Republic Act (RA) 8178 to convert the quantitative restriction (QR) of rice into tariffs.
National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Assistant Secretary Mercedita A. Sombilla told the BusinessMirror that the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) of the Cabinet said the Tariffication Act, or RA 8178, would be easier to pass sans the NFA provision.
The NFA provision would restructure the agency so it could focus on buffer stocking. The primary mandate of NFA is to “ensure national food security and stabilize the supply and prices of safe staple cereals both in the farm and
“The tariffication [of rice], more or less, is accepted by the public and legislators. As for the NFA, there are still some congressmen, some senators who do not see the wisdom of restructuring the agency,” Sombilla said.
“If the NFA’s restructuring will be included in the tariffication
bill, its passage could be delayed,” she added.
The removal of the NFA provision would be recommended to lawmakers who are currently working on a consolidated bill for converting the rice-import caps into tariffs. The consolidated bill would be subjected to scrutiny by various House panels.