Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Philippines’ NFA set to downsize its scope

Philippines’ NFA set to downsize its scope

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A farmer works in a rice field near the International Rice Research Institute in Laguna, south of Manila. NOEL CELIS/AFP

Philippines’ NFA set to downsize its scope

THE Philippine National Food Authority (NFA) is already preparing for the eventual downsizing of its functions and scope as a grains agency following the passage of the Rice Import Liberalization Act.

Under the law, the NFA will be limited to procuring local paddy rice and maintaining the country’s buffer stock, thereby stripping it of its power to regulate, license, market and monitor activities related to the staple.

According to the first draft of the law’s implementing rules and regulations written by officials of the National Economic and Development Authority, the NFA will be given 10 million pesos ($192,234) to ensure its smooth and timely transition to a new rice trade regime.

The amount does not include the compensation packages that would be given to employees who would be affected by the restructuring plan.

NFA employees association president Maxie Torda said that while most retirees were already opting to take the package, some employees still preferred continuing to work for the agency. Records showed the NFA has 4,136 employees nationwide.

According to NFA acting administrator Tomas Escarez, about 1,000 employees may lose their jobs from the restructuring plan, but this is a conservative estimate given the agency’s major function is linked to managing imports.

Members of the employees’ group are fearing a gradual phase-out starting with the removal of employees related to the agency’s regulatory and enforcement functions. Workers whose tasks are related to imports were seen to be terminated once the agency’s imports are depleted sometime in August.

In a Facebook post, Escarez said “it is still business as usual at NFA”, adding the agency would continue to aggressively buy paddy rice from farmers and distribute cheap rice in the markets. PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway