Sugar producers seek SRA audit

Published by rudy Date posted on December 2, 2019

By Madelaine B. Miraflor, Manila Bulletin, 2 Dec 2019

A group of sugar producers has sought an audit on Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) amid the “challenges” being faced by the local industry.

The Confederation of Sugar Producers Associations, Inc. (CONFED) has requested the Department of Agriculture to “conduct a performance audit” on SRA’s “current organizational structure and capabilities.

The audit is being requested by CONFED to ensure that the sugar regulatory body still performs its mandate.

“Given the industry’s current challenges, it is timely to examine the effectiveness by which SRA performed its mandated functions and responsibilities with the end in view of determining what measures are needed for SRA to serve the industry better,” CONFED said in a statement.

Industry stakeholders have been concerned about the manner in which industry affairs have been managed in terms of policies, transparency with stakeholder and implementation of Sugar Industry Development Act (SIDA) programs.

CONFED also urged SRA to establish a rationalized and calibrated sugar allocation and import and export policy and comply with Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri’s Senate Resolution 156 which recommends conversion of “A” sugar to be allocated for local industrial consumers.

Zubiri noted that since the country is falling short in sugar production, the country must put on hold its sugar exports to the United States.

As part of this, CONFED wants SRA to establish a mechanism to address shortage of local supply for industrial users and issue importation authority to industrial users only to the extent of the actual shortfall, among others.

CONFED is also urging SRA to create a full time Project Management Unit that will focus on SIDA programs and create and mobilize the Sugar Industry Development Council (SIDC).

The management unit will “facilitate coordinated and harmonized development initiatives for the good of the industry,” CONFED said.

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