Oliver Bugarin 4 0 0 3 min to read

Major producers support importing 150,000 MT of refined sugar.

The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) proposal to import 150,000 metric tons (MT) of completely refined sugar to stabilize supply and market prices has received approval from the nation’s largest organization of sugar farmers.

The United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines (UNIFED), represented by its president Manuel Lamata, said in a statement on Tuesday that the volume should be just enough to have no impact on mill gate prices.

The joint statement last week from the Confederation of Sugar Producers, National Federation of Sugar Planters, Panay Federation of Sugarcane Farmers, and the Philippine Sugar Millers Association that pushed for the importation of 300,000 MT instead was rejected by Lamata, who is in charge of the alliance with more than 30,000 member-planters.

According to logic, mill gate prices will undoubtedly decrease if the 300,000 MT of imported sugar they are proposing arrives in our nation by November or December, when our milling season is at its busiest.

Since this action alone suggests they are willing to “lower local prices of planters,” he questioned whether these sugar organizations are protecting the interests of their member-planters.

A few days after purportedly offering their support, Lamata criticized the other federations for “seeking to undermine the new leadership” of the SRA Board publicly.

On the advice of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the SRA is working on the importation order of 150,000 MT of exclusively refined sugar, which will be included in Sugar Order (SO) No. 2, according to acting SRA Administrator David John Thaddeus Alba.

He continued, “Our goal is to have the SO 2 released by mid-September so that its arrival won’t interfere with the commencement of our sugar refineries’ normal operations in mid-November.

Before presenting the proposed mechanics for Malacaang’s approval, Alba stated that the SRA would “write up the mechanics equal to all participants.”

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