SRA chief resigns after sugar order controversy

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SRA chief resigns after sugar order controversy
Hermenegildo Serafica, administrator of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), has resigned following the recent controversy involving the issuance of a sugar importation order not approved by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. Photo from SRA.
  • Hermenegildo Serafica, administrator of the Sugar Regulatory Administration, has resigned
  • His resignation follows the recent controversy involving the issuance of an SRA sugar importation order not approved by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
  • Before Serafica, Leocadio Sebastian, former Agriculture undersecretary, and Atty Roland Beltran, SRA board member, also resigned
  • The controversial Sugar Order No 4 approved the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar

Hermenegildo Serafica, administrator of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), has resigned following the recent controversy involving the issuance of a sugar importation order not approved by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

Before Serafica, Leocadio Sebastian, former Agriculture undersecretary, and Atty Roland Beltran, SRA board member, also resigned.

SRA earlier issued Sugar Order No 4 which authorized the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar. The order was nullified by Marcos who did not approve the measure in the first place. The order was signed on his behalf by Sebastian.

Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez, in an August 15 letter addressed to Serafica dated, said the SRA administrator’s resignation has been accepted “effective immediately.”

The House of Representatives inquiry is now inquiring into the SRA’s supposed approval of the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.

According to Sugar Order No 4, the total volume of sugar that the country may import should not be more than 300,000 metric tons. As of July 31, it said the actual production of raw sugar is 1,792,102 metric tons and actual production of refined sugar 737,254, respectively 16.18% and 2.84% less than last year’s output, making importation necessary.

“Sugar retailers and businesses producing sugar containing products have complained to the Department of Agriculture, Sugar Regulatory Administration and even to media on the unavailability of sugar in the market,” the order said.

The order aimed to “specifically address the current sugar supply situation and its increasing prices.”