House Agri Committee to hold hearings on bill seeking amendments to Sugarcane Industry Development Act | Inquirer News
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House Agri Committee to hold hearings on bill seeking amendments to Sugarcane Industry Development Act

/ 03:59 PM November 23, 2020

BACOLOD CITY –– The House Committee on Agriculture will conduct hearings on a bill filed by Rep. Manuel Sagarbarria (Neg. Or., 2nd District), who sought amendments to the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SIDA).

This is to protect the domestic sugar market from the saturation of imported sugar to stabilize prices and foster competition among local sugar producers.

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Sagarbarria, in House Bill 2971, seeks to amend Section 11 of Republic Act 10659 to ensure a proportionate allocation of the SIDA funds based on productivity and the strengthening of the Sugar Regulatory Administration’s supervisory powers on the importation of sugar

The SIDA requires the annual allocation of P2 billion for the sugar industry to go to the following: 15 percent for block farm grants, 15 percent for research and development, capability building and technology transfer, 15 percent for socialized credits for farm support and mechanization, 5 percent for scholarship grants and human resources development programs, and 50 percent for infrastructure development programs for farm to mill roads, irrigation, and transport infrastructure.

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On the proportionate allocation of funds, Sagarbarria explained that if a mill district produces 15 percent of the total net sugar produced in a year, then 15 percent of the following year’s program of expenditure should be allocated to that district.

“Because mill districts have varying production levels, it stands to reason that the allocation of expenditures should be proportionate to such production levels,” he said.

He said by basing the expenditure on productivity, the proposed amendment intends to foster healthy competition among mill districts.

“Districts are incentivized to produce more sugar if there is an expectation of greater funding as a reward,” Sagarbarria added.

He said his bill also seeks to grant Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) greater oversight and coordinating powers with the National Economic and Development Authority, Bureau of Customs, and other agencies on the importation of sugar.

“The SIDA’s goal is to make the Philippines a primarily sugar-exporting country. This can not be achieved if the SRA has no power to limit, stop, or regulate the amount of sugar imported into the country, ” he said.

LZB

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TAGS: amendments, bill, competition, domestic sugar market, hearings, House Committee on Agriculture, imported sugar, local sugar producers, Negros Oriental, Prices, Rep. Manuel Sagarbarria, Sida, Sugarcane Industry Development Act
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