August 12, 2016 at 12:01 am
John Paolo Bencito
A SENIOR Cabinet official on Thursday bared a plan to abolish at least three national agencies, including the National Food Authority, the National Irrigation Administration and the National Electrification Administration.
In a speech in Bohol province, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco said he will propose that President Rodrigo Duterte abolish the three national agencies following a thorough review, saying they were an unnecessary burden on the people.
The NFA could be abolished or turned into a purely regulatory body that does not interfere with market forces by buying and selling rice.
The NFA, which is under the Agriculture Department, has an outstanding debt of P167 billion.
The NIA, on the other hand, is tasked to construct and maintain big irrigation dams, but has wasted funds and submerged many barangays, Evasco said.
Evasco said small impounding facilities would probably be better than the large dams.
The NEA is also on Evasco’s endangered list of agencies.
The NEA’s mandate has already ended, but is causing trouble to some 129 electric cooperatives nationwide, he said.
Evasco acknowledged that many people would lose their jobs if the national agencies were abolished, and said his proposals would have to be studied further.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella added that nothing was final.
“The Cabinet secretary was discussing the matter with some Bohol mayors and other government officials when he floated the idea of abolishing the NIA, NEA and NFA to get the actual pulse, and to determine the viability of said offices. Nothing is final,” Abella said.