THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) may be getting some flak from the recent issuance of Sugar Order (SO) 5 and the underutilization of the Sugar Industry Development Act (Sida) fund.
The SRA, however, found allies in Luzonfed, a group of sugarcane producers based in Luzon that supports SO 5 and for the agency to play a bigger role in determining programs for Sida that will help the sugar industry become globally competitive.
Luzonfed chairman Cornelio Toreja, in a statement, said their group believes that "the SRA maintains statutory and discretionary authority to allow imports when local production cannot meet domestic demand."
Toreja stressed that timely and limited importations, only through the SRA, can prevent drastic increases in domestic sugar price levels because of tightness in supply.
"This is part of our responsibility to the consuming public and is in the greater interest of our industry and our country," he added.
The group also called on the National Government to allow the restoration of the entire Sida fund of P2 billion annually.
This is one of the solutions to modernize the industry and make it more competitive, it added. (PR)