By Paulo Loreto Lim
Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson believes President Rodrigo Duterte will not eliminate the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), despite recent pronouncements calling for its abolition following allegations of corruption.
“I don’t think he will dissolve it,” he stated. “There’s no concrete plan laid [out].”
The vice governor also believes it would not be advantageous to dissolve the said agency.
“SRA has been there for several years,” he explained. “It has been functioning as a regulatory body for the sugar industry that has gone through ups and downs.”
Lacson pointed out, the appointment of SRA board member and Ormoc City sugar planter Hermenegildo Serafica as the new administrator, replacing Atty. Anna Rosario Paner, will bring a resolution to the problems hounding the agency.
However, General Alliance of Workers Association (GAWA) Secretary-General Wennie Sancho said he is planning a protest against the new appointee, claiming Paner was removed because of a conspiracy hatched by Serafica and other board members.
In response to the president’s claim that, among the agencies he labeled corrupt, one had hired consultants who were paid P200,000 a month, Sancho earlier explained SRA consultants are approved by the SRA board.
Meanwhile, Lacson also noted he will not be participating in next month’s mass oath taking in Victorias City to join the PDP-Laban.
The vice governor said he will remain with his current Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) affiliation, noting he does not see a reason to switch parties.
Immediately following last year’s presidential election, Lacson offered a similar statement, stating the NPC is already in coalition with PDP-Laban.
According to Negros Occidental third district Rep. Alfredo Benitez, around 9,000 local Negros Occidental officials have already confirmed their participation in the said event./WDJ