After swearing in new officials to the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) on Monday (August 22), President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is confident that the three officials will be able to help him solve the looming sugar shortage in the country.
“Tayo’y nagpapasalamat sa mga bagong opisyal ng Sugar Regulatory Administration na nangakong gagawin nang tapat ang kanilang mga tungkulin para sa ikabubuti ng bayan,” Marcos said during the oath taking held in Malacañang.
(We are thankful to the new officers of the Sugar Regulatory Administration that promised to do their job faithfully for the betterment of the country.)
“Tiwala tayong mapagtatagumpayan natin ang anumang hamon na ating kahaharapin sa industriya ng asukal kasama ang mga bagong kawani ng SRA,” Marcos added.
(We are confident that we will be able to resolve the challenges ahead in the sugar industry together with the new officials of the SRA.)
Marcos appointed David John Thaddeus Alba to replace former administrator Hermenegildo Serafica, who resigned after the importation fiasco. Alba used to work for a sugar plantation in Negros.
Along with him, the president also appointed Pablo Luis Azcona and Ma. Mitzi Mangwag as SRA board members representing sugar planters and millers, respectively.
Meanwhile, former officials of the SRA on Monday during a House of Representatives inquiry that they may have overplayed their hand by ordering, and approving, an additional 300,000 metric tons of sugar import.
Former Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian said that he may have misread the president, who is also the current head of the Department of Agriculture, and his intent on the issue.
“I may have misread the intent of the President when I pushed through with deciding on [the Sugar Order No. 4] based on the authorization given to me last July 15, 2022,” Sebastian said.
Serafica, on the other hand, said that he did not follow the protocol in issuing the sugar regulatory orders as he is distrustful of his subordinates with the changing of the new administration and different positions being declared vacant to give way to the appointments of the new president.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.
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