NFA, PCA chiefs resign

By on May 12, 2014

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MANILA (PNA) — Two top officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) have filed their courtesy resignation to President Benigno Aquino III.

National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Orlan Calayag and Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Administrator Euclides Forbes confirmed on Monday that they have submitted their respective resignation letters last week to the Office of the President.

In his letter of resignation dated May 6, Calayag said he is resigning to allow Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Francis Pangilinan “greater latitude in performing his (Pangilinan’s) mandate.”

The NFA is one of four Department of Agriculture (DA) agencies that Pangilinan will oversee in his new Cabinet position.

The others are the National Irrigation Authority (NIA), the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA).

In the same letter, Calayag also relinquished all positions that he holds “ex oficio.”

His resignation will be effective upon the appointment of an official replacement.

Calayag thanked the President for giving him the opportunity to serve as head of the food agency.

He was appointed by President Aquino in January 2013 to replace then Administrator Lito Banayo who quit in order to run for a local elective post.

“This gave me the opportunity to directly contribute to alleviating the plight of our rice farmers while at the same time ensuring food security in our country,” Calayag said.

During his 16-month stint, Calayag said he had institutionalized key reforms in NFA operations to improve the quality of food security stocks resulting in an almost 100 percent good quality stocks.

The NFA had also increased the volume of its procurement program and stabilized farmgate prices in support to small farmers during that time.

Other major accomplishments of Calayag include a 2.0-percent decrease in NFA’s operational loss before subsidy; a 2.0-percent decrease in the agency’s long-term liabilities; and the establishment of a Reform Agenda to improve the NFA’s fiscal situation among others.

For his part, Forbes said they are continuing efforts to help coconut farmers affected by super typhoon “Yolanda.”

The agency is also beefing up its massive salt fertilization program to increase coconut production, and achieve the 5.0 percent biodiesel blend.

Meanwhile, NIA Administrator Claro Maranan said he has no plans to file a courtesy resignation, noting that his term would end on June 30 this year.

“My term is only for one year and will end in June 2014. This may be expedited once my replacement has been appointed by the President. I will wait for it,” he said.

“We have been instructed by (DA) Secretary (Proseso) Alcala to support Mr. Pangilinan. In NIA, we have done everything we can to improve the irrigation in the country,” he added.