NFA debts are commitment and policy ‘losses’ of government
The National Food Authority (NFA) has clarified that its “losses” are the cost of government’s commitment and policy to make rice available, affordable and accessible to the poor and marginalized sectors, and to stabilize palay and rice supply and prices at the farm and consumer levels.
The agency issued this clarification to enlighten the public on accusations that NFA is a losing agency due to “inefficiency and incompetence” of its management.
The agency said its debts ballooned to as high as P165.6 billion in 2010. But prudent financial management has cut it down to P140.5 billion by end of 2018.
“NFA’s fulfillment of its mandate is also influenced by the priorities and direction given by the incumbent government administration. Rice is the staple food of 85 percent of Filipinos and it plays a major role in the socio-economic and political stability of the nation,” NFA said.
Financial records of the NFA show that from 1973 to 1985, the NFA incurred only P459.8 million in loans. From 1986 to 1991, NFA incurred P4.9 billion in loans, which slightly increased to P5.7 B from 1992-1998.
It was from 2001 to June 2010 when the NFA incurred the biggest debts at P165.6 B.
On the other hand, the agency did not incur any debts during the terms of President Joseph Estrada (1998-2001); President Benigno Aquino III ( 2010-2016); and President Rodrigo Duterte (2016-present).
For its “legacy” debts, the NFA said had been paying an average of P6 billion annually, which is 200 percent more than the agency’s operational expenses.