BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The new acting Philippine sugar chief said new officials of the regulatory body will “move forward” and will be a “working board.”
“We will just sit down, do our work, do our jobs, and then the result will speak for itself. We don’t want to delve on the past, we are going to move forward, and we are going to be a working board,” Acting Administrator John Thaddeus Alba said today, 24 August 2022, during his first news conference with the local press here after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr appointed him to the position.
Alba was asked by DNX for his impressions on the answers of former sugar chief Hermenigildo Serafica when probed by senior solons yesterday on his controversial signing of Sugar Order No. 4 that was eventually rejected by Marcos Jr.
The new sugar board officials plan to reach self-sufficiency in more or less three years within the industry, and to propose to get back the P2 billion funding from the Sugar Industry Development Act (SIDA) which was “underutilized” by the previous administration.
He added that the planned importation of 150,000 metric tons of sugar is targeted to be done on 15 November because “refineries will be operational” at that period of time.
The sugar will need the approval of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. first before importing, and will need to establish the mechanics and to determine how to divide the material between bottlers and consumers.
Along with Alba were Sugar oard members Pablo Luis Azcona for sugar planters, and Ma. Mitzi Mangwa, sitting for millers.
Alba was appointed on 20 August by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. following Hermenegildo Serafica’s resignation from the post after controversial Sugar Order No. 4 that allowed the import of the sugar stocks.