Marcos appoints SRA board member as new acting chief: Palace

Job Manahan and Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 28 2023 12:29 PM | Updated as of Apr 28 2023 10:09 PM

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New SRA acting chief to prioritize donations of smuggled sugar to Kadiwa

MANILA (UPDATE)— Pablo Luis Azcona has been appointed as the acting administrator and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), Malacañang said on Friday. 

A press release from the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) showed Azcona was appointed on April 20, 2023. 

In a Zoom interview, Azcona said he would prioritize donating smuggled sugar to Kadiwa, helping sugar farmers prepare for El Niño, and briefing the Palace about the sugar industry. 

The official replaced Agriculture Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, who was the acting head for a while.

The official had said Panganiban's designation was based on their office's charter and was just temporary.

"The chairman of the board is designated as officer-in-charge in the absence of an [administrator]," Azcuna told ABS-CBN News in a text message.

Prior to his new post, he was an SRA board member since August last year representing the sugar planters. 

Former SRA administrator David John Thaddeus Alba stepped down from his post on March 24 due to his "worsening health," Malacañang said. 

His resignation took effect last April 15. 

Alba's resignation happened at the height of issues regarding the recent importation of 440,000 metric tons of sugar, which was supposedly allocated to 3 "handpicked" importers.