By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) and a local planters’ group welcomed the appointment of Francisco Tiu Laurel as the new secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Manuel Lamata, United Sugar Producers Federation (Unifed) president, said they warmly welcomed Laurel as DA secretary.
Lamata said they are looking forward to working with him.
He added that Unifed wanted to present to him the current state of the sugar industry, and how the DA could extend assistance and resources, particularly as they are now in the peak of the milling season.
Meanwhile, SRA head Pablo Luis Azcona also welcomed Laurel’s appointment, as he assured that the SRA will be supportive of the DA’s programs.
Azcona also said they are looking forward to strengthening their partnership with the Agriculture department.
“Rest assured that SRA will be supportive of the DA’s programs as it has in the past, and we are looking forward to strengthen this partnership with the DA,” Azcona said.
He also thanked President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. for his support and assistance to the entire sugar industry.
The Sugar Council — composed of the Confederation of Sugar Producers Association Inc., the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters Inc., and the Panay Federation of Sugarcane Farmers Inc. — also congratulated Laurel on his appointment.
“We commit to you our full cooperation as you begin the challenging but rewarding job of managing the country’s agricultural assets in general, and the sugar industry in particular,” they said.
Laurel was appointed by Marcos, who previously headed the DA, on Friday, November 3.
Marcos said Laurel’s appointment shows the significance of partnership between the private and public sectors while banking his credentials to head the department.
He added that Laurel knows how the agriculture sector’s system works in the country.
Laurel is known as a fishing tycoon, owning various fish processing companies, which supply fresh, frozen and processed seafood products to domestic and international markets.
He was also part of the Private Sector Advisory Council’s agriculture group, which helps the government address food security issues./DGB, WDJ