Hinlo urges sugar leaders to dialogue with DA chief

Interior Undersecretary Jesus Hinlo Jr. urged sugar industry leaders in Negros Occidental to have a dialogue with Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol regarding the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte to abolish the Sugar Regulatory Board (SRA).

Hinlo, who hails from Bacolod City, said on Friday, September 15, he is suggesting a meeting with Piñol because he could be the right person to hear out the concerns of Negros and relay it to the President.

It had been reported that Piñol is planning to meet with stakeholders of the sugar industry in Negros Occidental late next month.

However, Hinlo said the sugar leaders should not wait for it and should set a meeting in Manila with him instead.

Duterte had earlier said he would ask Congress to abolish the two agencies, the Road Board and SRA, due to alleged corruption.

On May 28, 1986, SRA was created through Executive Order 18 to promote the growth and development of the sugar industry through greater participation of the private sector and to improve the working conditions of the laborers.

Hinlo said it could be that the statement of the President was just a result of having found out that there were some consultants allegedly receiving big amounts from the SRA.

“That is why we have to study well the implications regarding the possible abolition of the SRA,” he said.

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