Officials hope Negrense named new SRA head

Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia – Yulo, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Rep. Emilio Yulo III, Councilor Vincent Garcia and Board Member Rita Gatuslao (l-r) at the Magayon Hinuptanan Festival in Moises Padilla Saturday.*Dolly Yasa photo

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Rep. Emilio Yulo III (Neg. Occ., 5th District) said they hope another Negrense is appointed to head the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) following the resignation of Acting Administrator David Alba, which takes effect April 15.

However, they leave the choice of a new SRA administrator to the discretion of the appointing authority, Lacson and Yulo said in interviews at the Magayon Hinuptanan Festival in Moises Padilla Saturday, March 25.

Alba, in a statement issued Sunday, said it was his honor and privilege to serve the sugar industry.

“I thank President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for the opportunity to serve under his administration. I am likewise thankful for his kind consideration and understanding in accepting my resignation due to health considerations,” he said.

Alba said in as much as he would like to serve the industry, its stakeholders, the president, and the Filipino people, the duties and responsibilities of being acting administrator “has taken a negative toll on my health and family life”.

“I must regrettably resign as the acting administrator in order to preserve my health as well as make a full recovery,” he said.

Alba said he was taking the opportunity to dispel any other interpretations and speculation regarding his resignation and to make it clear that it stems from purely health-related reasons.

Had he been in better health, he would gladly continue with the responsibility entrusted to him by the president, Alba said.

“I wish the next administrator the best, and I hope that gains and programs we have achieved for the sugar industry will continue long into the future,” he said.

Lacson said he hopes Alba will overcome whatever health issue he is facing.

Yulo and Lacson said during Alba’s time as SRA administrator the sugar farmers were very happy because the millgate prices remained high.

“What’s important is a replacement would be appointed as soon as possible,” Lacson said, adding that he hopes a Negrense will be named to the post.

Yulo said he agrees with the governor on the need for a Negrense to head the SRA as Negros Island produces 60 percent of the country’s sugar.

“We are at the tail end of the milling season so it is important that there should be somebody on board before the new crop year begins”, Yulo said.*

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