Egay Uy .
MAYOR Oscar S. Moreno’s “victory message” that was posted on Facebook speaks well of the man. His message does not in any way carry with it even an iota of arrogance. Magnanimity, which is the virtue of being great of mind and heart, may even be an understatement.
Mayor Moreno has always been tolerant of his political opponents despite his being vilified and ridiculed. He has always refused to be petty and has often expressed willingness to face danger for noble purposes.
His proclamation as the winner in the May 13 polls for his third term will be part of history of the city as it will be written time and again, and will serve as the major factor in charting the good future of Cagayan de Oro.
All the good things that he has done for the City of Cagayan de Oro in his first two terms may be a result of what he aptly said: “The Kagay-anon is worth fighting for.”
In a letter dated April 17, 2019, the National Food Authority through its provincial manager, Ma. Celeste Gaabucayan, informed Mayor Moreno of the NFA’s new role under Republic Act No. 11203 or the Rice Liberalization Law which took effect on March 5, 2019.
This law removed the NFA’s authority to regulate the importation and exportation of rice and the licensing and registration of those who engage in the grains business. Among other repealed functions, the NFA could no longer collect regulatory fees, issue negotiable warehouse receipts, inspect warehouses, seize hoarded stocks, or enforce rules and regulations in the grains business.
The law focuses the NFA’s functions on buffer stocking for calamities and emergencies, with buffer stocks to be sourced solely from local farmers. While NFA’s rice distribution shall be limited to the requirements of relief agencies during calamities and emergencies, it will continue to sell rice at P27 per kilo until August 2019 because it still has some 12 million bags of imported rice. After August, the agency will dispose of its inventory through public bidding.
Given the new mandate, the NFA leadership has instructed its field offices to focus on palay procurement for buffer stocking. It buys palay at P17 per kilo plus additional incentives of P3 per kilo as buffer stocking incentive and seventy centavos for delivery, drying and cooperative development.
The letter further reads, “As NFA assumes its new role under RA 11203, we bank on your continued support and active partnership with our agency. Rest assured that we will continue to provide you with the same brand of service that NFA had been known for in the past 46 years. We will continue to provide you with updates on any developments in our services that will directly affect your constituents, especially the farmers.”
Without batting an eyelash, I would say that the city government’s active partnership with the NFA will continue, through the City Price Coordinating Council, which Mayor Moreno chairs.
(Egay Uy is a lawyer. He chairs the City’s Regulatory and Complaint Board, co-chairs with the city mayor the City Price Coordinating Council, and chairs the city’s Joint Inspection Team. He retired as a vice president of Cepalco.)