By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental 5th district Representative Dino Yulo is urging the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to take a second look at the overall quantity of sugar imported by the government.
“Personally, I would like SRA to revisit the proposal and take a look at the figures,” Yulo said adding that “we already imported a total of 440 metric tons of sugar plus 150 metric tons.”
“I do not have all the figures at hand so ang ayo lang naton sa SRA is to take a second look.”
Yulo, who is a former SRA board member, pointed out that, “kon kinahanglanon gid man so be it.”
What is important is that sugar producers have recovered in this particular crop year.
“We hope that trend continues. It is important for us to effectively manage the supply and demand,” he added.
On Monday last week, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the additional importation of up to 150,000 metric tons of sugar in an effort to stabilize the commodity’s price amid continued inflation.
Marcos met with officials from SRA in Malacañang, headed by acting administrator Pablo Luis Azcona and board member Ma. Mitzi Mangwang.
The president said “We agreed to additional importation of sugar to stabilize the prices. Maximum amount will be 150,000 MT but probably less.”
National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NFSP) president Enrique Rojas asked the SRA “to disclose figures on production, inventory and projected demand of sugar, before the issuance of any sugar order for additional importation.”
Rojas said there is a need for the SRA “to disclose this vital information not only to a few selected groups but more importantly, to sugar federations who make up the majority of sugar production in the country.”
“What is our current production? How much is our inventory, including the 440,000 MT importation and other importations? What is our projected consumption? How much is our projected shortfall until the end of the crop year, if there is any?” Rojas asked.
He said these questions have to be answered so that sugar producers can make an informed decision about whether there is a need for more importation, and if indeed there is still a shortfall.
“What is the exact minimum volume that we need to import to fill the shortfall,” he asked.
Rojas also said that SRA should consult all stakeholders, and ensure that the volume and schedule of any additional importation will not lower sugar prices at the start of the next milling season.