BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The Palace has announced the appointment of Negrense sugar producer Pablo Luis Azcona as acting administrator and chief executive officer of the Sugar Regulatory Administration after the resignation of former SRA head David Thaddeus Alba, also a Negrense.
Provincial officials welcomed the appointment of Azcona who is already a sitting member of the Sugar Board reoresenting planters, possibly the youngest since the SRA was created in 1986.
Azcona’s high school classmates, provincial board members Andrew Montelibano (Third District) and Valentino Miguel Alonso (Sixth District), praised his appointment in separate replies to this writer when both were sought for comment.
“It is with great pride that a classmate of mine is appointed SRA chief; may God guide him in (this) new obligation and may he always be reminded to serve and protect the interest of his fellow sugar planters and all involved in the industry,” Montelibano said.
Alonso, on the other hand, called Azcona a” very qualified and able administrator” who will defend the interests of the sugar industry. “
He said he expects Azcona to deliver programs of the agriculture department, under which is the SRA, to sugar farmers.
“I (know) how technical and determined he is,” Alonso added as he pointed out that the lives of people in the province depend on the sugar industry.
In the Sixth District, Board Member Anton Occeño said the appointment of Azcona is “favorable” for Negrenses since “we need someone who knows the (ABCs) of the sugar industry” as he voiced hopes that Azcina can “help sugar farmers” especially small producers who need the help of the national government.
Alba tendered his resignation last March, citing failing health as his reason.
It came, however, on the heels of a controversy sparked by alleged unauthorized sugar imports.