May 24, 2019
The proposed restructuring plan of the National Food Authority (NFA) has been approved by the NFA Council, the decision-making policy body of the grains agency.
It now awaits review and approval from the Governance Commission for Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG) as stipulated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tarrification Law.
In a statement, NFA acting administrator Tomas Escarez said the NFA Council on Tuesday approved the restructuring plan “with minor reservations.” The reorganization of the grains agency was seen to displace 869 employees.
“While our reorganization is still a work in progress, we are happy to announce that majority of what we have planned, and agreed on, based on the nationwide consultations conducted by our Change Management Team (CMT), were approved by the NFA Council,” Escarez said.
“With the Council imprimatur, we are confident that the outcome of this restructuring will be a win-win situation for our employees,” he added.
Based on the released IRR of RA 11203, the NFA is given a 60-day transition period from the effectivity of the IRR to restructure or reorganize. The grains agency is given 30 days to submit its Restructuring and Reorganization Plan to GCG for review and approval within 30 days.
Some of the salient revisions in the proposed restructuring plan included that “NFA shall become a lean and mean organization, with just the right structure and personnel complement to suit its new mandate of buffer stocking with financial stability.”
Escarez said the plan would offer affected employees options to apply for vacant positions under the new structure; be matched with another employee who is not affected, based on qualification standards of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), or avail of the compensation package.
“As approved by the Council, there will no longer be CTI (co-terminus with the incumbent) positions in the new NFA structure. Thus, all CTI positions under EO (Executive Order) 366 reorganization are automatically affected. The same options as those employees affected by the RA 11203 reorganization will apply,” Escarez said.
With the NFA Council’s endorsement, two sets of compensation package were proposed for GCG’s final determination, Escarez said. Affected employees may choose a maximum of one and a half months’ salary for every year of service, as stated in the IRR of RA 11203 or maximum of two months’ salary for every year of service, based on the compensation package given to former employees of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) who were displaced in the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Law.
“While waiting for the GCG approval, our CMT and NFA Management shall proceed with preparations related to the succeeding procedural requirements of restructuring under the IRR. General and specific guidelines on the step-by-step procedures for the implementation of our restructuring plan shall be finalized,” Escarez said.
The Rice Tarrification Law has revised the NFA’s mandate from ensuring national food security and stabilizing supply and prices of rice, to buffer stocking for emergencies and calamities.
The new law also stipulates that NFA shall source its buffer stock solely from local farmers.
Currently, the NFA buys clean and dry paddy rice at P20.70 per kilo, giving local farmers with a P3.70 incentive per kilo to the P17 per kilo buying price.
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