File photo courtesy of the National Food Authority.

The government is figuring out ways to minimize the impact of the new rice tariffication law on the current personnel of the National Food Authority (NFA) who are likely to be affected by the removal of some of the agency’s key functions.

NFA provincial manager Osmundo Guinto Jr. said they are still working on the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) which will determine the agency’ personnel restructuring plan.

“Actually, ang timeline nyan ay July but because of the issues hounding the said law, iniisip nila ngayon kung paano nila i-implement na hindi masyadong maaapektuhan ‘yong empleyado at ‘yong community,” he said.

Guinto said the IRR might be released before September ends, but until then, no job will be affected in their local office.

Republic Act No 11203 or the Rice Liberalization or Tariffication Law has limited the NFA’s regulatory powers and its functions to merely procuring palay.

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Employees who will be particularly affected are those working under the enforcement and licensing divisions of the NFA because their functions have been removed by the new rice law.

Early this year, employees of the NFA nationwide held a mass action to protest the law that they said is a danger to their security of tenure since majority of them are regular employees.

Guinto said there are plans to transfer employees to different divisions and departments in their agency to prevent a major downsizing but this will only be known when the IRR is released.

“Pinag-aaralan nila kasi hindi lang naman licensing ang hinahawakan nitong aming mga regulation officer kundi buong industriya din. Malamang ay mabago pa ‘yon kaya hinihintay muna namin ang IRR dahil hindi rin kami makapagpuwesto ng mga tao kung wala. ‘Yon ang wino-workout nila kung paano ba ang magiging structure ng bawat probinsya kapag lumabas na ang IRR,” Guinto said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.