THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) will hold road shows throughout the country to encourage stakeholders to actively participate in and benefit from the programs laid out under Republic Act 10659, or the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SIDA) of 2015.
The SRA hopes to engage representatives from the Mill District Development Councils (MDDC) at these road shows to emphasize their crucial role in the thrust for inclusive growth in the sugarcane sector.
On Tuesday, the Visayas leg of the road show was held in Bacolod City attended by representatives from the various MDDCs, planters associations, sugar mills, and block farms.
Without the MDDCs, the plans and projects under the SIDA will not proceed, SRA Administrator Ma. Regina Bautista-Martin emphasized.
Martin pointed out that the MDDCs will be the network of the sugar industry stakeholders with whom they can work closely, particularly on the sustainability of the projects under the SIDA and its bottoms-up budget policy.
Spearheading the discussions and open forums-cum-workshops were lawyer Jesus Barrera, SRA Sugar board member representing the millers, who tackled the salient provisions of the implementing rules and regulations of SIDA; Rosemarie Gumera, SRA Planning and Policy manager who talked about SIDA projects; lawyer Johana Jadoc, overall coordinator, Block Farming Project; and SRA legal department chief, Ignacio Santillana, who expounded on the strengthening of the MDDCs.
Also highlighted during the road show were the sources of funds for the various identified plans and projects; registration and accreditation of individuals or entities eligible of availing of the funds; preparation of project proposals; project evaluation; the role of the SRA; project implementation; and liquidation of funds.
The Mindanao road show will be conducted in two places, one in Davao and another in Bukidnon.
The Davao event is scheduled for January 11 at the Crisbelle Hotel, Digaos, Davao Del Sur while the Bukidnon road show will be conducted on January 12 at the Bukidnon Mill District Development Foundation Inc. Compound, Dologon, Maramag, Bukidnon.
The Luzon leg is scheduled on January 19 and will be held at the SRA Social Hall along North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.
The SIDA seeks to promote the competitiveness of the sugarcane industry, maximize the utilization of sugarcane resources and improve the incomes of farmers and farm workers through improved productivity, product diversification, job generation, and increased efficiency of sugar mills.
Its main programs and projects are focused on productivity improvement; infrastructures such as farm to mill roads irrigation and drainage and loading ports; research and development of other products derived from sugar, sugarcane, and their byproducts; human resource development; extension services; and financial assistance to farmers.