The Confederation of Sugar Producers Associations Inc. (CONFED) has requested the Department of Agriculture to conduct a performance audit on the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).
The sugar industry stakeholders said an examination of the regulatory body’s current organizational structure and capabilities is crucial to ensure SRA performs its mandate effectively especially in the creation of policies, conduct of stakeholder consultations and implementation of programs under the Sugar Industry Development Act (SIDA).
CONFED has its own recommendations, one is for SRA to establish a rationalized and calibrated sugar allocation and import/export policy.
Another is for SRA to consider the proposal of Sen.Juan Miguel Zubiri in Senate Resolution 156 recommending the conversion of sugar allocation to the United States for the use of local industrial consumers instead.
CONFED is also seeking the establishment of a mechanism that will address the shortage of local supply for industrial users and the issuance of importation authority to industrial users only to the extent of the actual shortfall, among others.
CONFED said the SRA should also create a full-time project management unit that will focus on SIDA programs and mobilize a council to facilitate coordinated and harmonized development initiatives for the industry.
CONFED earlier sent several proposals to Zubiri, Agriculture Secretary William Dar and to the SRA board for the full restoration of SIDA’s P2-billion budget to enhance the institutional and political structure of the industry.
“(There is also) imperative need for additional support on research and development, not only in developing and propagating new varieties that can withstand weather and soil challenges but on technology that can make farms more efficient,” said Raymond Montinola, CONFED spokesperson.