THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) on Monday stood pat on its proposal to import sugar, sounding the alarm that the nation might grapple with a scarcity and excessive costs of the sweetener by the third quarter.
In a press release, SRA Administrator Hermenegildo R. Serafica defined that the nation may face inadequate provide of sugar within the coming months as greater demand continues to outpace anemic manufacturing of the sweetener.
Serafica identified that the decrease sugar output this crop yr 2021-2022, brought on by climate issues, has contributed to the spike in sugar costs which have soared “to record highs and continue to go higher every week.”
Serafica added that farmers are dashing to mill their canes to make the most of the upper sugar costs, leading to lesser tonnage and sugar content material. That is additionally main to an earlier finish of the sugar milling season, he defined.
The SRA administrator maintained that the company’s evaluation of the nation’s sugar provide state of affairs is sound, primarily based on historic and precise knowledge.
“As such and coupled with the increase in demand for sugar due to the opening up of the economy, SRA has determined that there won’t be enough local production of sugar to meet our domestic consumption in the coming months, particularly June to August,” he stated.
Serafica lashed out on the “detractors” of the SRA’s sugar importation applications, daring them to be accountable ought to a sugar scarcity happen within the upcoming months.
“Can you imagine what will happen if there is no sugar available in the local market for households, for food retailers and manufacturers?” he requested.
“I would like to ask the detractors of importation: will they be accountable when we run out of sugar?” he added.
With out naming names, Serafica lamented that the problem on sugar importation has grow to be “very political” due to the “stoking” of individuals, who solely take into account their “self interests.”
Not midnight deal
Serafica additionally dismissed claims that the proposed 350,000-metric ton (MT) sugar importation is a “midnight deal” or a “sweet deal,” claiming that the proposal was aimed toward making certain the nation’s meals safety.
“There is no midnight deal or sweet deal, I will always do what I believe is right for the greater good. As the government agency regulating sugar supply, SRA has a mandate to ensure food security,” he stated.
“What the detractors of importation have failed to consider is the issue on food security, in particular, the availability of supply and the issue on affordability of sugar,” he added.
The BusinessMirror broke the story final week that the nation is mulling over importing 350,000 MT of sugar to plug the shortfall in home provide and arrest skyrocketing costs of the sweetener.
The SRA plans to open an importation program of 250,000 MT refined sugar and 100,000 MT uncooked sugar, primarily based on a draft SRA Sugar Order obtained by this newspaper. (Associated story: https://IH.com.ph/2022/04/07/phl-eyeing-importation-of-350k-mt-of-sugar/)
Final week, Sen. Imee R. Marcos slammed the proposed importation program by the SRA, calling it a “midnight deal.” Marcos urged Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar, who chairs the SRA board, not to signal the SO formalizing the importation.
The United Sugar Producers Federation additionally known as the proposed sugar importation a “midnight deal” that may “greatly benefit the industrial users, particularly the bottling companies.”
Newest SRA knowledge confirmed the typical wholesale worth of 50-kilogram bag uncooked sugar as of April 1 is now at P2,266.15, whereas wholesale worth of refined sugar has reached an unprecedented P3,084.23 per 50-kilogram bag. SRA knowledge additionally confirmed that the typical retail worth of uncooked sugar is now at P51.43 per kilogram whereas refined sugar is at P68.14 per kilogram.