NIA's No. 2 man quits

By Manny Galvez, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 12 2014 10:31 AM | Updated as of May 12 2014 06:31 PM

CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines – The second highest official of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has resigned from his post amid alleged anomalies in the agency and the designation of former senator Francisco Pangilinan as presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization overseeing NIA and three other attached agencies of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Acting senior deputy administrator Felix Razo tendered his resignation to DA Secretary Proceso Alcala in a letter dated May 5. Razo is the second in command at the NIA, which is headed by administrator Claro Maranan.

Maranan did not comment on Razo’s resignation. But Lorna Grace Rosario, NIA deputy administrator for finance, said it’s Razo’s prerogative to do so if he wants.

In his resignation letter, Razo told Alcala that the NIA is now confronted with a controversy on alleged anomalies committed by three of its executives.

In a recent manifesto, the NIA Employees Association of the Philippines and three other groups called on the Office of the President to look into the alleged irregularities.

Although Alcala’s office has talked with these groups and Malacañang has begun probing the allegations, Razo said the controversy is “negatively impacting on the integrity and credibility of the entire management team” of the NIA.

Razo said he tendered his courtesy resignation to give Alcala a free hand in instituting reforms at NIA.

“Such unavoidable scenario has already cast serious doubt if the top management can still effectively and efficiently manage and govern the agency. Worst, there is already animosity, distrust and infraction amongst us. It appears that no solutions are in sight to mend fences among those with differing stance,” he said.

Razo said as senior deputy administrator, the issue bothers him no end, adding it is now the defining moment to “subject ourselves to the fit and proper rule as senior executives” of NIA.

In offering to quit his post, Razo said his office has, in its little way, contributed to the policy reforms undertaken by the administration. Among which, he said, are the new strategic plan including vision, mission, objectives and strategies; the manual on corporate governance, rotation policy of NIA officials, revised delegation of authority among others.

In a separate interview, Razo said NIA was already in a mess. “This should come to an end otherwise it will destroy the organization,” he said.

He explained that government leaders should have the moral ascendancy to lead. “I submit myself to that protocol,” he said.

Razo explained that his resignation was not irrevocable and that it’s up to Alcala to evaluate if he is still fit to rule. “Let’s respect his decision whatever it is,” he said.

Asked if his resignation was meant as a shot at the leadership of Maranan, he said he was only concerned about himself. “In fact, my teamwork with Administrator Maranan and the NIA management team is okay,” he said.