NFA-NEGOCC employees urged to maintain attitude towards work
EMPLOYEES of the National Food Authority (NFA) in Negros Occidental are urged to maintain right attitude towards work amid the impending rice tarrification law.
Senate Bill 1998 seeks to lift quantitative restrictions on rice and allow private traders to import rice from countries of their choice.
Sponsored by Senate committee on agriculture and food chairman Senator Cynthia Villar, it is also seen to liberalize exportation of the staple commodity.
The bill is now with the Malacañang and up for the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte for it to become a law.
Amid this development, Nfa-negros Occidental Provincial Manager Frisco Canoy said he continues to encourage employees to work for the realization of the agency’s mandate.
Canoy said employees, especially younger ones, are apprehensive on possible reduction of personnel as the NFA might be put under a different agency.
“We keep on instilling to them not to have a low morale instead continue to perform their function,” he said, adding that Nfanegros Occidental constantly performs 100 percent of its mandate to stabilize prices and support farmers.
Like other provinces, protests were also conducted by employees of Nfa-negros Occidental to banner their strong opposition against the proposed rice tariffication law.
For them, the tariffication will abolish the regulatory function of the NFA as well as its social mandate to provide quality yet cheaper rice in the market.
Despite the government’s intention to address rising inflation through the rice tarrification, employees claimed that free entry of cheaper rice from other countries will negatively impact Filipino farmers as they cannot compete because of their higher production cost.
Canoy said there have been several attempts in the past to abolish the NFA.
Knowing the important role of the agency in the food sector, Canoy said they are not “shocked” of the new measure.
“The NFA is there not to compete with traders but to stabilize rice prices in the market for consumers and support the farmers by buying their palay in higher cost,” he said, adding that they are still on “wait and see” stage as to the outcome of rice tarrification push./epn