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On the rice issue

Ben Contreras .

NATIONAL Food Authority (NFA) has been through many names since the time of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Through the decades, Mr. Edgar Bentulan rose from the ranks and held different positions until he retired as regional director in 2015. Following, “Rice issue used to undermine DU30,” is what he wrote:

“The economists, neo-liberalists are really drumming up forces to cause that mounting call to abolish NFA to put it out completely of the tarrification bill. This is an affront to the President’s preference to protect the Filipino from hunger and further, deeper poverty. If DU30 supporters in his Cabinet and Congress are truly supporting him, this is no time for these DU30 allies in government for tryst adventure to pursue their personal elitist, capitalist agenda. Unless, if they are out to sap DU30 and unduly put him out of power.

“Their actions are sending different signals, most of them somewhat already insidiously undermining his noble intention. Never has the NFA Council been this bold to drain Filipino consumers of this staple thru excessively costly prices by blocking NFA’s recommendation for prompt and sufficient rice importation.

“Queues of poor buyers are getting longer in NFA rice stores as demand for the cheap quality rice continues to get stronger. Issue of weevil’s presence in incoming rice cargoes which otherwise should not be unusual, is magnified.

“Proposal to respect traditional barter system in the South as a way to pull down back the prices to their normal level is given meaning of economic sabotage. Editorializing, slanting, dubbing in news stories and interviews in media networks becoming the order of journalistic fora to blow up the rice situation against the administration image is showing evident involvement in Yellow conspiracy against the government.

“Calls demanding for the removal from office of the DA and NFA officials are getting the headlines of mainstream media. Things are threatening national security. All are not anymore good signs, protective of the DU30 leadership. About time the chaffs in his administration are separated from the grain and for the President to use his iron hand top protect the greater Filipino consumers and abort a more serious situation.”

***

It was my first time to hear about the NFA Council from NFA regional director Dianne A. Silva. Apparently, the NFA Council is the governing body that formulates policies. NFA regional offices merely enforce the policies and guidelines. Being the frontliners, regional officers have hands on knowledge on the real situation and that their recommendations should be given weight. I bet people comprising the Council are indeed the elitists out to protect their interests.

Amid the negative views NFA is getting from mainstream media, Ms. Silva has simple defense for that. Work, work, work, bahala na sila magyawyawa.

As for separating the chaff from the grain, it is really about time for the President to do that no matter how hard and who gets hurt. Some people around the President are showing their true colors. Some must have entertained the thought that it’s still about “Weather, weather lang.” Just to begin with, who was it who said, “Do not use your position to promote your political image and business interests?”

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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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