SRA chief makes sweat plea to Congress: Add P2B to our 2023 budget

The new chief of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) wants an additional P2-billion allocation for the agency next year because of a “dire need” to implement projects for the industry.

Based on the spending plan submitted to Congress, the SRA will get a 29% funding increase from 2022. But SRA Administrator David Alba said it’s not yet enough.

“We welcome the budget increase for SRA for next year’s utilization as the industry is in dire need of programs to be implemented so we can increase productivity,” he said in a statement.

“We are also hoping that the P2 billion allocation under the Sugar Industry Development Act will be given by next year as this has been cut down to a fourth for this year,” Alba added.

Sugar block farms will be the main beneficiaries of the SRA’s proposed budget with a P166.2 million allotment, followed by P150 million for socialized credit.

Some P19.5 billion will also be allotted for fertilizer support so that farmers can cope with surging prices of farm inputs.

Alba said efforts are not the only element that needs to be doubled for the sugar industry to attain self-sufficiency.

“[W]e need to double time in our efforts and any budget increase will help ensure we can meet this if we get the much-needed help for the industry,” he said.