Duterte wants Chinese-Filipino businessman to head NFA

MANILA, Philippines – A Chinese-Filipino businessman who is in the rice trade will become the National Food Authority administrator if President Rodrigo Duterte has his way.

In an interview with reporters on Tuesday, October 9, Duterte said he already has someone in mind to take over the post vacated by former soldier Jason Aquino.

"Ngayon, ang (Now, for ) NFA, I'm looking for somebody else. I'm looking for a Chinese who has been there in the business maybe 20 years and just ask him to, in the meantime, be in NFA," said Duterte.

Duterte did not reveal the name of his possible appointee.

He also did not explain why he changed his mind about appointing Army chief Lieutenant General Rolando Bautista as NFA administrator.

Soon after announcing Bautista's appointment, Duterte said he had decided to name the soldier, formerly head of his presidential security, as social welfare secretary.

The Chinese-Filipino businesman may lead an NFA with clipped powers, however.

Earlier that day, Malacañang announced that Duterte is "fully liberalizing" rice importation. This would mean NFA would lose its power to accredit rice importers and determine the amount of rice they can import.

However, the NFA would still help implement open rice importation where importers would still have to secure import permits and pay tariffs for bringing rice into the country. – Rappler.com


Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.