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Metro Opinion

Much Ado About Rice

account_balanceMetro Opinion account_circleLeigh Bellosillo chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

Yes, there has been much ado about the P40 per kilo price ceiling on out staple food – rice.

After all is said and done with Maria Ceilo Magno’s engagement as finance undersecretary for fiscal policy and monitoring group unceremoniously bailed, the news going now is that the price cap on rice could be lifted as early as the end of the month.

Was it only a couple of weeks when Magno threaded on unchartered territory with her FB post expressing an altogether alternative opinion on the imposition of price on the very basic commodity, rice.


Such imposition, no matter how temporary, defies the law of supply and demand. Naturally, this did not sit well with the Chief resident of the Palace, who holds the Agriculture portfolio, including the Cabinet.


One thing led to another and voila, Magno’s service as undersecretary expired. She knew the possibility of her being removed. She resigned, which was supposedly effective middle of this month but was fast tracked with the letter from Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin saying her tenure expired.

Based on Bersamin’s expiration of tenure explanation, do I take this to mean that Magno’s engagement renewable every year? From the date she held the position and up to the expiration of her tenure, Magno was undersecretary for exactly a year.


The lady economist admitted that even as early as July her boss, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno was “asked to remove” her simply because she’s “ka-kampink.”

But to others, Magno was more than “ka-kampink.” She’s actually “pink-lawan,” a combination of pink and dilaw (yellow). Colors pink and yellow are associated with former Vice President Leni Robredo and the late President Benigno “Nonoy” Aquino.

In the aftermath of Magno’s so-called “expiration of tenure,” as phrase in the letter of Bersamin, has stirred the hornet’s nest, relative to the engagement of professionals from the private sector to join the government.

Words reaching my view deck indicate that headhunters are having difficulty in scouting or inviting personalities from the private sector to join the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).

Come to think of it, who would, in his right mind, accept a top position in government when your tenure could be fleeting. Of course, we do understand that one serves at the pleasure of the appointing authority, specifically when one holds a Cabinet rank.

And the latest is that Diokno may be on his way to the finance portfolio. The caveat, though, is: he will still be with the government as the chief strategist/investment officer of MIF.

From what I've heard, the remuneration of the top MIF position is parallel to the salary scale of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. aside from Diokno, the presidential son Sandro Marcos is rumoured to be the fund manager of MIF.

If and when Diokno transfers to MIF, now, who will be his successor? Two Rectos are rumoured to take the slot – Eric Recto, the Chief Executive Officer of Alphaland, and Ralph Recto, representative for the 6th district of Batangas.

Will fill you in as development unfolds.

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