CEBU CITY -- A fellowship cocktail was stirred by news that Ma. Regina Martin has been designated to succeed Sugar Regulatory Administrator (SRA) Bernardo Trebol when his term expires on November 1.

The fellowship followed the formal opening Tuesday of the Product Exhibitors Night of the Philippine Sugar Technologists Association's (Philsutech) 57th Annual National Convention.

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Text messages, which circulated among the delegates and other industry insiders, stated that Martin's appointment has already been signed by President Benigno Aquino III.

The text message reads: "Pnoy just called me to make sure I was fit to be appointed. He just signed my appointment papers just now. Let's wait for formal announcement."

The message allegedly came from Martin herself. She reportedly sent it to persons very close to her who apparently were not able to contain their excitement and passed on Martin's message to their own close friends.

Martin is the manager of the Silay-headquartered Asosacion de Hacienderos de Silay-Sarabia Inc.

Trebol was appointed as SRA head during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. His term of office was set to expire last July 31 but President Aquino extended his stay at the helm of the sugar regulatory body until October 31.

Sugar industry leaders cannot be reached for their reactions on this development because they were at a dinner meeting of the Sugar Alliance, a group composed of presidents of producers' federations and millers' associations.

The Sugar Alliance acts as a consultative and recommendatory body of the SRA before the agency formulates and implements policies which affect the sugar industry.

Trebol is scheduled to address Philsutech's plenary session Thursday. He is expected to update Philsutech members and guests on the present sugar supply and demand situation, as well as provide insights on what the industry can expect in the coming crop year which is set to open on September 1.

Incidentally, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon was the guest of honor during the formal opening of the exhibits Tuesday.

During the opening ceremonies of the convention proper Thursday, Secretary Prospero Alcala of the Department of Agriculture will be the keynote speaker. (Butch Bacaoco)