By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said that “it has been a good year for the sugar industry” under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., noting the high prices of sugar.
Lacson said on Monday that raw sugar prices are holding at an average of more than P3,000 per 50-bag kilogram, amid threats of imported sugar that the Marcos administration approved.
“We’re hoping that the prices will be maintained at that level. While there are many questions with regards to importation, the bottom line is, can we expect the same prices as we have in the first year of the present administration,” he added.
The Sugar Council, representing thousands of sugarcane farmers from three planters’ federations, earlier asked the Sugar Regulatory Administration to reconsider starting the milling season in August instead of September this year, stressing that delaying the harvest will cause them to become overripe, compromising purity and tonnage.
In reaction to the request of the Sugar Council, former SRA board member now Rep. Emilio Yulo III advised the SRA to go down to the level of sugar planters and explain what is the good milling practice to ensure maximum sugar productivity.
“I think the SRA should go down to explain why we need to return to that old milling period,” Yulo said.
With problems in the reduction of areas planted by sugarcane – from 430,000 hectares to 390,000 hectares – he stressed the need to compensate for the maximum productivity.