President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the additional importation of sugar following the recommendation of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to boost the country's stock.
Marcos said they agreed to additional importation to stabilize the price, but the importation should not exceed 150,000 metric tons.
“We agreed to additional importation of sugar to stabilize the prices. Maximum amount will be 150,000 MT but probably less,” said Marcos after the meeting at the SRA led by SRA Acting Administrator Pablo Luis Azcona and Board Member Ma. Mitzi Mangwang representing the millers.
Also present were Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Presidential Legal Counsel juan ponce enrile and SRA Board Secretary Rodney Rubrica.
“The exact amount will be determined once we have determined the exact amount of supply, which will come at the end of this month,” said Marcos.
He added that the government is opening the importation of sugar to all traders.
Based on SRA's forecast, the country will have a negative ending stock of 552,835 metric tons by August 2023 or the end of the milling season.
So the President said that to avoid running out of supply, it is necessary to import 100,000 to 150,000 metric tons of sugar.
As of May 7, the raw sugar supply is still sufficient at 160,000 metric tons.
President Marcos improves importation of 150K MT of sugar
But he needs to import because this year's expected local production is only 2.4 million metric tons.
To boost sugar production, the President has also approved changing the start of the milling season from August to September this year.
The President also directed the SRA to speed up block farming initiatives to increase production. Block farming is a system where small farm lots are combined into at least 30 hectare farm blocks.
There are 21 block farms in the country, with an average of 40 hectares each.
SRA announced earlier that roughly 4,000 metric tons of confiscated smuggled sugar had been sanctioned for sale at reduced prices in kadiwa outlets.
According to SRA acting administrator Pablo Luis Azcona, this equates to approximately 4 million kilograms of sugar, which will be sold for P70 per kilogram. The announcement was made during a televised public briefing.
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