Sugar industry pushing for faster release of dev’t funding

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THE Confederation of Sugar Producers (CONFED) said it will seek revisions to the implementing rules and regulations of the Sugar Industry Development Act (SIDA) to make project approvals faster.

Which will leave sugar development projects with a greatly reduced 2020 budget of P67 million, from P500 million in 2019.

“I think (we will seek a) review of the SIDA IRR to streamline the process in order to fast-track the projects,” Raymond V. Montinola, spokesperson of CONFED, told reporters.

“We cannot feel the impact of the program now… Some are also frustrated by the slow pace of approval especially when giving out the funding,” he said.

He said applications do not go ahead due to the slowness of the process of orders to re-submit requirements.

He also said the sugar development budget might fall to P67 million in 2020 from P500 million in 2019. Mr. Montinola said the industry plans to appeal to Congress to increase the allocation to about P1 billion.

“They are trying to re-negotiate the program to increase it to P1 billion… with Congress… mostly (for) scholarships, socialized lending,” he said. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang