Duterte wants to appoint Chinese businessman as NFA chief

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 9) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he will appoint a long-time Chinese rice trader as the new head of the National Food Authority (NFA).

"I'm looking for someone else for the NFA. I am looking for a Chinese who's been there in the business, maybe 20 years," Duterte told the media.

"I'll just ask him to, in the meantime, to be in the NFA, alam naman nila yung negosyo na yan," he added.

The President previously said former NFA Administrator Jason Aquino requested to be relieved from the post due to disagreements with other officials.

This was amid the rising prices of rice and the shortage of affordable NFA rice.

"He (Aquino) said he's tired and cannot cope up with the laro dyan sa (dynamics there) inside, which is always ordinary happening in the government because we cannot be in agreement all the time. I will scout for a new one," Duterte said in a televised interview with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sal Panelo on September 11.

Duterte, during a meeting meeting on the impact of typhoon "Ompong" on September 16, offered the position to retiring Army chief Lt. Gen. Rolando Bautista. A formal appointment, however, did not follow. Bautista will eventually head the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

"In the meantime, I cannot place you in the central bank, perhaps I can place you in the NFA to rationalize the idiotic...to come up with plans, make it structural," Duterte told Bautista.