On SRA Abolition, 'Sugar Workers' Interest Must Prevail than Palace's'

Reacting to the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte to abolish the Sugar Regulatory Commission (SRA), labor leader Wennie Sancho said that “the interests of the more than five million stakeholders of the sugar industry should be more important than that of Malacañang.”

At the same time, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said the abolition of SRA cannot be effected without the act of Congress. “We tend to believe that there are some people close to Malacañang who want to control and dictate the industry much like the reason behind the dissolution of the Negros Island Region (NIR),” Sancho, chairman of the Grand Alliance of Worker’s Association (GAWA) said.

Sancho also said, he does not believe that resigned SRA head Atty. Anne Paner has committed any anomaly or corruption.

Sugar leaders have expressed concern over the report but throw their support behind the agency which they said has protected the interests of the industry and its stakeholders and protected it against smuggling and globalization.

GOV. MARAÑON

“The President’s statement (to abolish SRA) may just be simply a knee-jerk reaction. Sugar industry leaders need to lobby with him. The sugar industry is a big industry. You can’t just abolish its regulating agency. There are millions who depend on it,” Marañon pointed out.

The Governor believes that President Duterte will listen to industry stakeholders.

“If there are claims of corruption, it is the fault of the one managing it. They should put an administrator who is knowledgeable, with experience as well as track record who knows the industry from A to Z. The sugar industry is a very complex industry. There is milling and farming,” Marañon also said.*(NDB)