UNIFED gives nod to proposed sugar importation plan 

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The United Sugar Producers Federation (UNIFED), the biggest group of sugar planters in the country, expressed support for the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to import 450,000 metric tons of refined sugar to help arrest rising retail prices.

UNIFED President Manuel Lamata said “We are fully supporting the decision of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to import refined sugar that will hopefully arrest runaway retail prices.”

The sugar stakeholders are being consulted on the volume which varies between 400,000 and 450,000 metric tons which to UNIFED “is an acceptable volume for buffer stocks amidst speculation that there may be a shortage by the end of the milling season.”

Lamata urged SRA to “program well the releases of these imported sugar to ensure that millgate prices will not be drastically affected to the detriment of the sugar farmers.”

UNIFED will leave the discretion of formulating the guidelines and mechanics for importation to the President and the SRA.