SUGAR Regulatory Authority (SRA) administrator David John Alba has resigned from post due to his “worsening health condition,” the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said on Friday, March 24, 2023.

The PCO said Alba informed Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on Wednesday, March 22, about his resignation.

“ES Lucas Bersamin persuaded him not to, but he reasoned his worsening health condition,” the PCO said.

“Upon the directive of the President, his resignation will be effective on April 15 to prepare the appointment of his replacement,” it added.

Alba was appointed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in August 2022, in replacement to officials who resigned amid the importation controversy on sugar in relation to the issuance of Sugar Order (SO) 4, which was tagged by the Malacañang as “illegal.”

Alba’s resignation came amid what Senator Risa Hontiveros called “state-sponsored” sugar smuggling.

The opposition senator earlier filed Senate Resolution 497 seeking an investigation following the issuance of Sugar Order (SO) 6 for the importation of 440,000 metric tons of sugar.

Hontiveros presented documents showing that there were three firms hand-picked for the importation of 440,000 metric tons of sugar, even without a Sugar Order from the SRA as required by law.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban admitted that it was he who chose the three based on a memorandum from the Office of the Executive Secretary to which Marcos, who serves as the concurrent secretary of the DA, is aware of. (SunStar Philippines)