Rice cartel inside NFA alive and well

Dr. Dante Ang

Is NFA Administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino just naïve or part of the cabal?

For the past few weeks, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco and Aquino were at loggerheads over the issue of rice importation specifically whether or not to extend the import permits that had expired on February 28, 2017 to March 31, 2017. The NFA Council and its Chairman Evasco were for the extension; Aquino was against it.

Read on…

The NFA mess
Rice is what we make of it by jemy gatdula
All rice by gary olivar
June 30, 2017 by lito banayo
What are Duterte’s men fighting over by federico pascual
Ditch rice policy, gov’t urged by foundation for economic freedom
GATT issues, Gut issues by corinne canlas
Mekong rice by frank lobrigo


  1. ricelander

    Our rice problems are just a consequence of our problems with our agriculture aggravated by the fact that rice is the be all and end all on our dining table.

    Something is often lost in the conversation: what really is the most important component in agriculture? We often hear about programs providing financial assistance, seedlings, fertilizers and pesticides, post harvest facilities, technology transfers, modern equipment, marketing, etcetera. But ask any farmer what he needs most and he will tell you: WATER. Indeed the lifeblood of agriculture IS water. The fact is, without it, the farmer no matter how hardworking is actually helpless. Without enough of it, all government assistance are really useless.

    Traveling from North to South and back you can see wide wide swathes of barren unproductive lands after the rainy season. How could this be? Well, because there is no water! Imagine if all these lands had always been productive all year round all these years!

    “One shocking discovery was that when Ferdinand Marcos left the country, 1.35 million hectares of palay fields were irrigated through efforts of President Elpidio Quirino down to Marcos. All those years after Marcos, or from Cory Aquino to when Benigno S. Aquino III became president, the number of irrigated ricelands increased by a scant 80,000 hectares. More than 2.5 million hectares were still rain-fed.” (Lito Banayo)

    They demonized Marcos because of one project, the Chico River Dam project because it would drown entire communities. Cory too mothballed all irrigation projects of Marcos because they were considered too expensive and ecologically disturbing. See, there is a backside to every alternative.

    • WATER! yes, thanks, ricelander :) i’ve always wondered what former NIA chief peter laviña was planning re irrigation and why he was fired by duterte, and what his replacement sa national irrigation authority is up to, if anything.

      • ricelander

        I don’t know, but have you heard of any notable project on deck? I have heard about free irrigation and planned rehab of existing facilities, hardly noteworthy I think, and nothing else.

        Thing is, to bring water to these millions of hectares of unirrigated farms, you need to do it on a massive scale. To do that, you need big dams. But dams, besides being enormously costly, always attract popular opposition. Indeed they make folk heroes of the like of Macliing Dulag. There are the micro versions called SWIP or small water impounding projects. But how many such projects is actually needed to even match one dam like, say, Pantabangan? Thousands! Land acquisition too for SWIPs is not without hitch, in reality, it is more problematic and way more expensive.