SENATOR Cynthia Villar has assured Negrenses that the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Foods, which she chairs, will closely monitor the implementation of the Republic Act 10659 or the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (Sida).

Villar, who is the main author of Sida, said in a radio interview over the weekend that the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) is now finalizing the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the law.

During her recent visit here, Villar revealed that the bulk of the P2-billion annual appropriation of Sida will go to Negros Occidental because more than half of the country’s sugarcane production is in the province.

Of the total sugar output in the country, 60 per cent comes from Negros Occidental, the rest are from Tarlac and Bukidnon, Villar said.

The senator said the appropriation became the major feature of the Sugarcane Law as a product of her consultation with the industry stakeholders, who pinpointed which areas will benefit from the P2 billion-fund.

SIDA was enacted into law by President Benigno Aquino III in December 2014. It seeks to improve the country’s sugar industry through the implementation of a productivity improvement program, farm support, research and infrastructure support, among others.

With the Sugarcane Law, farmers are expected to be more efficient and competitive in facing the challenge of the Asean Free Trade Agreement or the so-called “economic integration,” Villar added.