Ex-SRA chief Serafica on order to import sugar: I didn't consult the board | Inquirer News

Ex-SRA chief Serafica on order to import sugar: I didn’t consult the board

/ 03:46 PM August 23, 2022
Resigned Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) chief Hermenegildo Serafica admitted that he did not consult the board when he and his staff drafted the controversial Sugar Order No. 4, which supposedly green-lighted the importation of 300,000 metric tons of the sweet substance.

Sugar Regulatory Administration logo

MANILA, Philippines – Resigned Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) chief Hermenegildo Serafica admitted that he did not consult the board when he and his staff drafted the controversial Sugar Order No. 4, which supposedly green-lighted the importation of 300,000 metric tons of the sweet substance.

Serafica, who showed up physically at the Senate following a summon, made the statement before the chamber’s blue ribbon committee’s hearing on the sugar importation fiasco on Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

READ: Senate panel orders physical presence of ex-SRA chief in sugar import probe 

“On Sugar Order No. 4, I did not consult them. In the past, any board member can craft a sugar order. There is no rule that only the regulations department can endorse a sugar order,” he said when asked whether he conferred with the SRA board on his drafted importation plan.

FEATURED STORIES

Serafica resigned in the wake of the said controversy and added: “In this case, since it was a directive to craft an importation plan, we did not want to let anybody know until it will reach the Office of the President.”

He claimed, however, that Sugar Order No. 4 was pursued after an online consultation last July 29 with the concerned stakeholders, including Confed, and the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters, among others.

Manuel Lamata, United Sugar Producers Federation president, later refuted this, arguing that they thought the said sugar order had already earned the nod of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Palace: Heads will roll for sugar import mess 

“We were made to believe that the President ordered the importation of 300,000 metric tons [of sugar], because it was a national emergency. So we signed, because who are we to question the wisdom of the President?” he said.

But Lamata clarified that they only signed for the importation of refined sugar.

“We can never allow brown sugar to be imported because Negros is already milling. If that comes down to Negros, patay ang mga planter namin po, bagsak ang presyo [If that comes down to Negros, our planters will suffer because prices will plummet].We will never allow that,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri also questioned a special provision in Sugar Order No. 4, which gives Serafica the sole authority to re-classifying sugar.

“That would have been up to the board if they would have commented on that particular provision on the draft sugar order…So meaning, they did not object to the idea of the draft sugar order,” Serafica pointed out.

With this, Zubiri asked for the SRA board to clarify this since such authority is a “very important and powerful position” especially since there is a price difference among the sugar classifications.

RELATED STORIES: 

Rodriguez recalls confronting agri exec on sugar import mess 

SRA exec points to memo as reason for crafting sugar import order without Marcos’ nod 

JPV/abc
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: importation, Senate, SRA, sugar
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.