Sugar Alliance to Back New SRA Chief

The Sugar Alliance of the Philippines (SAP) has vowed to support Hermenegildo Serafica, the newly appointed head of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).

Lawyer Emilio Yulo, spokesperson of the SAP yesterday said that while he has not yet an official confirmation of the appointment of Serafica by President Rodrigo Duterte to the SRA, “we welcome the development especially with the opening of the new milling season.”

“We hope that the appointment will enable SRA to have a fresh start,” Yulo said.

Serafica, a member of the Sugar Board representing the sugar planters was recommended by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol to Malacañang.

“We are willing to work with the new administrator,” Yulo said, adding that the appointment “is a sign that the President will prolong the life of the SRA.”

He added that if given a chance to talk with the new SRA chief, SAP will lobby that “there will be no threat to Sugar Order No. 3 and he will buckle down to work especially on the implementation of the Sugarcane Industry Development Act.”

“An SRA administrator will mean stability in the agency and the industry,” Yulo said.

Earlier, Representative Alfredo Benitez (3rd district) said that he has talked with Pinol during the budget hearing and that the Secretary told him that he has sent a letter to the president lobbying to retain the SRA because it is the gate keeper of the sugar industry and the consumers as well.

Benitez also revealed that he heard that the president was irked of certain individuals at the SRA because of alleged corruption that’s why he is thinking of the abolition of the whole institution.

“The president would only like to spare the institution from alleged corruption especially about the alleged consultants having huge allowances,” the Congressman pointed out.*(NDB)