Employees rally against NFA abolition
The more than 4,000 employees of the National Food Authority (NFA) nationwide rallied yesterday to protest attempts to abolish the agency.
This, as the National officers of the NFA Employees Association (NFAEA) and NFA’s Management-Union Consultative Committee (MUCC) agreed that they will no longer take the unfair attacks against the agency silently.
Abolition of NFA, according to them, means abandoning the government’s responsibility of providing food security for the Filipino people.
“The NFA has been effective in its mandate for more than four decades. The problem of rising rice prices and low supply is not NFA’s fault, but the result of short-sighted decisions and wrong assumptions by people who work in the boardrooms unaware of what is happening in the rural areas, island provinces, highly populated urban areas and remote places across the country,” the NFA employees said.
NFA employees, who have worked with the agency since the 1970s, are particularly hurt by accusations of inefficiency, corruption and incompetence.
Some sectors have collectively blamed NFA for the high inflation rates and rising rice prices.
“It is unfair for our employees who are working 24/7 in areas hit by calamities just to ensure that there will be rice ready for the victims. It is unfair for NFA management that has consistently been proposing measures to avert this current problem but whose proposals are consistently thumbed down by those who have the power to approve or disapprove these proposals,” MUCC said in a separate statement.
NFA employees believe that if the agency had the power to decide on its own, or if its governing board were as receptive and supportive as their previous Council members, this present problem with rice prices may have been prevented.
The NFAEA, on the other hand, believes that “abolition of the NFA is not the solution to the present situation (of the staple)” and instead calls for the strengthening of the agency.