MANILA, Aug 23 (Mabuhay) — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday expressed confidence that the three new appointees at the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) will help the country overcome problems in the sugar industry.

NEW SRA EXECS. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. administers the oath of new appointees to the Sugar Regulatory Administration at Malacañan Palace on Monday (Aug. 22, 2022). Marcos also briefed the new appointees about the administration’s thrusts on securing the sugar supply in the country. (MNS photo)

This, after he administered the oath of office of David John Thaddeus Alba as SRA acting administrator, and Pablo Luis Azcona and Ma. Mitzi Mangwag as board members of the sugar regulatory body.

“Tayo’y nagpapasalamat sa mga bagong opisyal ng Sugar Regulatory Administration na nangakong gagawin ng tapat ang kanilang mga tungkulin para sa ikabubuti ng bayan (We are grateful to the new officials of the Sugar Regulatory Administration who promised to do their duties faithfully for the good of the people),” he said in a post in his official Facebook page.

“Tiwala tayong mapagtatagumpayan natin ang anumang hamon na ating kahaharapin sa industriya ng asukal kasama ang mga bagong kawani ng SRA (We are confident that we can overcome any challenges we may face in the sugar industry with the new SRA staff),” he added.

On Saturday, Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez confirmed the appointments of Alba, Azcona, and Mangwag.

Alba replaced Hermenegildo Serafica who resigned as SRA administrator in the wake of the unauthorized signing of Sugar Order (SO) 4, a resolution allowing the importation of 300,000 metric tons (MT) of sugar.

Alba is former general manager of the planters’ groups based in Negros Occidental, the Asociacion de Agricultores de La Carlota y Pontevedra and the La Carlota Mill District Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

Azcona and Mangwag, on the other hand, will represent sugar planters and sugar millers, respectively.

Minutes after the oath-taking, Marcos also briefed the new SRA appointees about the administration’s thrust on securing the sugar supply in the country.

Last week, Marcos announced that he will be “reorganizing” the SRA to address the current issues plaguing the sugar industry.

A number of SRA board members also resigned following the unauthorized signing of the resolution to import more sugar.

The SRA is a government-owned and -controlled corporation attached to the Department of Agriculture (DA), which Marcos currently heads.

Marcos is also the concurrent chair of the SRA.

Earlier, Malacañang confirmed that the supposed sugar shortage in the country is “artificial” and merely caused by hoarding done by unscrupulous traders.

The Bureau of Customs, Sugar Regulatory Administration, and Department of Agriculture conducted a series of raids in warehouses in Deparo, Caloocan City; Balut in Tondo and San Nicolas in Manila; Rosales, Pangasinan; San Fernando, Pampanga; Ibaan, Batangas, and Davao and discovered smuggled bags of sugar. (MNS)