BACOLOD CITY: The appointment of Herminigildo Serafica as the new head of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) is an assurance that the agency will not be abolished, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on Thursday.
Pinol, who was in Negros Occidental for a two-day visit, said that President Rodrigo Duterte “only floated the idea,” for possible abolition of the controversy-hounded SRA.
The agriculture secretary was set to meet with sugar workers this Friday morning at the Provincial Capitol and the sugar industry stakeholders in neighboring Talisay City in the afternoon.
“This is not just a one-man job. We are going to work on this together,” he said, adding that “we would like tackle the very serious problems of the industry.”
He cited the concern of “very slow fund utilization of the SRA. For 2016, it used less than 50 percent of the fund under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SIDA). That is why the Department of Budget and Management reduced its budget. For 2017, it has not yet utilized its budget and it is nearing October already.”
Eugene Y. Adiong