NFA mulls legal options to protect employees vs. liberalization law
The National Food Authority (NFA) is exploring its legal options to protect its 4,000 employees from the Rice Tariffication Bill, which threatens to cut jobs within the state-run grains agency.
A report in Philippine Star showed that NFA Employees Association, led by its central office president Maximo Torda, may seek Supreme Court’s intervention against the law’s enactment.
“We are now contemplating to file a case before the SC for the violation of our security of tenure right because close to 100 percent of [NFA] employees are permanent and career government workers,” Torda said in the report.
The Rice Tariffication Bill, which would remove the volume restriction on rice imports and replace it with tariff, was drafted in a way that NFA should no longer be allowed to import as well as regulate the local rice market.
“On the part of rank and file employees of the NFA, the passage of the law will lead to the eventual abolition of the NFA as its main function will also be removed,” Torda further said in the report.
On the exact day the Rice Tariffication Bill was supposed to lapse into law, President Rodrigo Duterte already signed it.
There is now a move to fast-track the drafting of the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).