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Friday, April 19, 2024

Bacolod: PBBM accepts SRA head resignation

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Bacolod City – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  has accepted the resignation of Negrense David John Thaddeus Alba as head of the Sugar Regulatory Administration, almost seven months after he replaced Hermenegildo Serafica as SRA chief, in August last year.

The Presidential Communications Office, in a statement, said Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin was informed by Alba’s decision to resign recently, citing his “worsening health condition.”

Bersamin attempted to persuade him not to, but his reason was his worsening health condition, the PCO said. “Upon the directive of the President, his resignation will be effective on April 15 in order to prepare the appointment of his replacement,” the PCO added.

Enrique Rojas, president of the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NSFP), yesterday said that they respect Alba’s decision to resign and safeguard his health.

However, people can’t help wondering if his resignation has something to do with the current sugar importation, which is highly questionable to say the least, Rojas said, as he also noted it was the first time that a shipment of imported sugar arrived, even before the issuance of the sugar order allowing its importation.

This is also the first time that Malacañang directly ordered SRA to release illegally imported sugar, thereby usurping SRA’s exclusive mandate to regulate the supply of sugar in the country, he pointed out.

Moreover, this is the first time that the Department of Agriculture, claiming it acted on direct orders from Malacañang, chose only three favored traders to import the sugar, which is in direct contravention to the provisions of Sugar Order No. 6 allowing such sugar importation and stating the process in awarding the volume of importation, Rojas further said.

Under these circumstances, we laud SRA Administrator Dave Alba’s decision to resign, and thus remove himself from any further involvement in this questionable importation, the NFSP president said, adding that they are confident that his resignation will not negatively impact the sugar industry.

Surely, Malacañang will not allow the top post in SRA to remain vacant at this crucial stage of the milling season, Rojas said, adding that they are hoping that the successor of Alba “will be a person who has a comprehensive knowledge of the sugar industry, is not identified with any vested interests, and is a person of proven honesty and integrity.”

Wennie Sancho, lead convenor of the Save the Sugar Industry Movement, an organization of labor groups in the sugar industry, raised suspicions that Alba was forced to resign because he cannot withstand the pressure from “above”, a statement he did not elaborate further. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)

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