MANILA, Philippines – The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) on Wednesday, February 15, made public an order authorizing the importation of 440,000 metric tons (MT) of refined sugar to temper prices.
Sugar Order (SO) No. 6, signed by Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, Acting SRA Administrator David Alba, and other SRA board members, was transmitted to the Office of the President last Thursday, February 9.
The copy released to media did not have the signature of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who concurrently sits as agriculture secretary.
SRA Board Member Pablo Azcona earlier told reporters that Marcos is represented in the board by Panganiban.
A previous sugar order had become controversial, leading to a domino of resignations and a Senate probe, as it did not bear Marcos’ signature.
Under SO 6, 200,000 MT will be allocated to consumers, while the remaining 240,000 MT will be for buffer stock.
Sugar industry stakeholders earlier urged the government to admit all interested parties into the import program.
The Confederation of Sugar Producers Associations called for the import program to be implemented in an “open, transparent, and equitable manner.”
The National Federation of Sugarcane Planters and the Panay Federation of Sugarcane Farmers also sent a similar letter to the SRA.
At present, sugar prices have gone up by 38.8%, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. – Rappler.com
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