Oliver Bugarin 5 0 0 4 min to read

The acting SRA head applauds the 41% increase in the budget for the following year.

The Sugar Regulatory Administration’s (SRA) 41 percent annual budget increase for the year 2023 has been praised by acting administrator David John Thaddeus Alba.

In a statement on Monday, Alba stated, “We appreciate the budget increase for SRA for next year’s utilization as the industry is in critical need of programs to be executed so we may boost productivity.”

SRA will get PHP1 billion from a budget of PHP712.2 million next year.

According to him, increased funding for block farming and small farmer support services, as well as programs for research and development, will strengthen the national government’s focus on food security.

The PHP19.5 billion fund for fertilizer support is also welcomed, according to Alba, who noted that fertilizer costs had risen over the past three years.

“We hope that this designated initiative will benefit sugar growers and all other members of the agriculture business,” he continued.

Alba also expressed his optimism that the SRA will be able to recover the full PHP 2 billion allotted under the Sugar Industry Development Act (SIDA).

For this year, this has been reduced to a fourth. We need to double our efforts in order for the sugar business to be sustainable and achieve self-sufficiency for the nation, and any budget increase will help assure we can do so, he said.

According to Alba, the sugar business has been accused of underusing the allotment. Therefore, the SIDA grant was further lowered to just PHP500 million this year.

Through increased productivity, product diversification, job creation, and improved sugar mill efficiency, the SIDA, also known as Republic Act 10659, which was passed in 2015, aims to promote the competitiveness of the sugarcane industry, maximize the utilization of sugarcane resources, and improve the incomes of farmers and farm workers.

One billion pesos (PHP) of the PHP2 billion annual fund is set aside for infrastructure, primarily farm-to-mill roads; 300 million pesos (PHP) for credit; 100 million pesos (PHP) for scholarships; 300 million pesos (PHP) for block farms for land reform beneficiaries; and 300 million pesos (PHP) for shared facilities programs.

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