Sugar Regulatory administrator resigns

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 16) — The Office of the President has accepted the resignation of the chief of the Sugar Regulatory Administration following the controversial order to import 300,000 metric tons of sugar to avert a supposedly looming shortage.

Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez on Tuesday confirmed that the resignation of Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica was effective immediately.

Serafica is the third of four signatories of Sugar Order No. 4 to step down over the past week.

In a statement, Serafica said he submitted his resignation on Aug. 10, but had to wait until it was approved by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. before publicly announcing his exit.

“Today, I am officially leaving my post with a light heart and clear conscience knowing that I performed the functions of my office consistent with, or within the bounds of the law,” he said.

“Before I was asked to become part of SRA, I was a simple farmer. After this, I will go back to my first love, farming. I never thought of becoming a public servant but I became one. It was a long and taxing job but definitely meaningful and I thank those who gave me this once in a lifetime opportunity to serve the sugarcane industry and the Filipino people,” he added.

The order signed by members of SRA's Sugar Board was described by Malacañang as "illegal" and rejected by Marcos, who sits as SRA board chairman and Agriculture secretary. The order prompted Malacañang to conduct an investigation.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles also confirmed Serafica's resignation, along with SRA board member Roland Beltran, also a signatory to the controversial order.

Beltran, who represented the sugar millers, earlier cited health reasons behind his resignation, and clarified that it is "without prejudice to any investigation that may be conducted in connection with the issuance of Sugar Order No. 4."

RELATED: Another signatory of 'illegal' sugar importation order resigns 

Data from the Department of Agriculture showed the retail price of refined sugar has skyrocketed to ₱100/kilo, ₱75/kilo for washed sugar, and ₱70 for brown sugar in Metro Manila.