The Palace confirmed Evasco's removal from the NFA Council on Tuesday.
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Evasco's removal from NFA Council a step backward in battle vs corruption — senators
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - April 17, 2018 - 6:20pm

MANILA, Philippines —The president’s order to boot Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. from the National Food Authority is a loss not only for the agency but also for consumers, senators said.

In a statement, Sen. Polo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV said that Evasco showed dedication to providing checks and balances in the NFA, which is charged with ensuring a steady supply of subsidized rice.

“The removal of Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco from the NFA Council is a loss in our fight against corruption in the importation and management of rice,” he said.

Without the checks and balances that Evasco endeavored to implement when he was the head of the 18-member council, “corrupt deals will continue [to be] unpunished,” the senator noted.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. on Tuesday announced that the NFA, along with the Philippine Coconut Authority and Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority, will be reverted to Department of Agriculture’s supervision.

The decision to strip Evasco of his leadership and membership in the council came amid reported squabbling between Evasco and NFA Administrator Jason Aquino over the plan to import rice following the depletion of stocks.

READDuterte orders Evasco’s removal from NFA Council

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who used to head the NFA Council, said that Aquino is the “clear winner” while the rice consumers are the “losers” in the removal of Evasco from the council.

“Why did they remove the person with a clean track record and who initiates investigation into the illegal actions of NFA but they sided with those who are corrupt?” he said.

The NFA Council is different from the NFA management, which makes recommendations to the Council on procurement operations, among others. The two offices were formed through Presidential Decree No. 1770.

The NFA Council is composed of officials from the central bank and the trade, finance and socioeconomic planning departments, among others.

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