Fil-am NFA Chief urged to resign

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Embattled National Food Authority (NFA) Chief Orlan Calayag should resign, if not fired from his post for being a dual citizen of the Philippines and the United States, a lawmaker said on Thursday.

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Rep. Fernando Hicap of Anakpawis party-list, whose group represents the farmers’ interests, made the call by citing the law that bans Filipinos with dual citizenship cannot be appointed to public office unless they renounce their allegiance to their second country.

“Being in charge of the nation’s food security is a very important and sensitive position. We cannot allow an individual with questionable credentials to head the NFA,” Hicap pointed out.

Calayag was first appointed to the NFA in January 2013 to serve the unexpired term of former NFA chief Angelito Banayo. Calayag was reappointed last July 12, 2013.

The Palace has already announced that it is reviewing Calayag’s appointment, but Hicap maintained that it is time to let Calayag go since the NFA chief who has questionable citizenship documents has also failed to bring down the rice prices.

“Under Calayag’s leadership at NFA, rice prices have skyrocketed to almost P40 to P45 per kilo. The Alcala-Calayag tandem failed to stop the rice cartel  and failed to reduce the prices of rice, making it even more unaffordable for ordinary consumers and wage earners,” Hicap added.

Llanesca T. Panti

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