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PhilRice management and staff had entered into a new Collective Negotiations Agreement (CNA), which aims to boost employees’ welfare and improve the workplace.

Eufemio T. Rasco Jr, PhilRice executive director, and Aurora M. Corales, Association of PhilRice Employees (APE) president, agreed on the third CNA after deliberations on six new articles and 49 new or improved sections formulated by the Workplace Consultative Council and ratified by APE members.

Articles stipulating commitments and employees’ rights and privileges were added.  Commitments include discipline among APE’s ranks, quality work output and compliance to Integrated Management System, conduct of eco-friendly and health and wellness activities, and punctuality to work.

Meanwhile, additional rights and privileges include management support to APE’s income generating activities, use of service vehicles for activities and attendance to meetings, and inclusion of APE to official communications in the Institute.

Moreover, improved employee benefits cover better equity in the Institute’s provident fund, loyalty and anniversary incentives, policies and projects in accordance to the Magna Carta for Women, housing and retirement privileges, official day-offs from travel, and accident insurance.

New provisions for a better workplace include systems and policies to reduce stress; medical assistance to staff exposed to health hazards, periodic earthquake, and fire drills; and exemption of   pregnant women from strenuous work.

Improved recognition of the employee’s association is also embodied in provisions that guarantee transparency from management, and nondiscrimination against association members and officers.

As CNA benefits are derived from year-end savings, cost-cutting measures were outlined with a committee to be designated later to monitor and document the progress of stipulated measures and to provide a year-end accounting of cost savings.

The agreement’s implementing guidelines is set to be released in Sept. and is now with the Civil Service Commission for accreditation.

CNAs were signed between former executive director Leocadio S. Sebastian and Dr. Eduardo Jimmy P. Quilang, and Atty. Ronilo A. Beronio and Joy Bartolome A. Duldulao, in 2006 and 2009, respectively.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute