DA looks at amending law meant to develop sugar industry
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the government is looking at the possibility of amending the Sugarcane Industry Development Act of 2015 (SIDA) less than two years of its enactment and merely a year it got its budget for implementation.
To be implemented by key government agencies headed by Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), SIDA is a law that is meant to provide a clear direction for the complicated sugar industry.
The possibility to amend SIDA was brought up amid the alleged cases of corruption within SRA which were exposed by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We will take a look at SIDA and we will see what we can do. While the SIDA is there it has not addressed the vulnerabiity of the sugar industry in the fluctuation of sugar prices. So we will find out what else could be done,” Piñol said in an interview with reporters.
Piñol said he instructed Agriculture Undersecretary Siegfried Serrano to review SIDA as the Department of Agriculture (DA) is scheduled to make a presentation on it next week to sugar stakeholders.
“To address the concerns in the sugar industry, we will see if we can make adjustments at SIDA. Or we can still call it a roadmap. The law does not prevent as from targeting an objective. The underspending at SRA now is just really significant,” Piñol further said.
Meanwhile, the DA chief is yet to confirm whether SRA has a new chief now following the resignation of Ana Rosario Paner.