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DA exec: Philippines needs to import 300K MT of sugar

The Philippines needs to import around 300,000 metric tons of sugar to stabilize the commodity’s price on the market by augmenting a shortfall in supply, a top official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Saturday.

In an interview on Dobol B TV, DA Undersecretary and spokesperson Kristine Evangelista said there is a shortage in supply after Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai), which wrought havoc in the country in December 2021, affected sugarcane crops.

“Yung crop natin hindi maganda so merong mga nasira. Napakababa po talaga ng supply ng ating asukal kaya apektado ang presyo sa retail market,” she said.

(Our crops’ quality were not good and some were damaged. The supply of sugar dropped, which is why the price was affected in the retail market.)

The DA official said about 300,000 MT of sugar is the current shortage that needs to be plugged by importation.

“Based sa ating sitwasyon, kailangan munang mag-angkat (we need to import for now). This is the immediate solution but of course parallel po ‘yan ‘yung pagpapalakas ng ating production (with the strengthening of local production),” Evangelista said.

She said the Sugar Regulatory Administration will make sure that the volume of sugar to be imported will not be excessive.

“Inaayos ngayon ang timing ng importation... We are looking for September, October, November… dapat 'yan 'yung months na mayroon tayong dumating na asukal... Isinasapinal na ang import plan. Malalaman natin by next week,” she said.

(The timing of importation is being finalized… We are looking for September, October, November… those are the months when the imported sugar should arrive. The import plan is being finalized. We will know by next week.)

On the plan to implement a suggested retail price (SRP), the DA official said the agency is in consultation with stakeholders.

She said the prevailing price of sugar is at P90 per kilo, but some markets are selling it at P120 to P150 per kilo.

“Base sa cost structure sa asukal, puwede natin ilagay ang SRP (Based on the cost structure of sugar, we can place it under SRP regime),” Evangelista said.

She said the decision on imposing SRP on sugar may be released next week. —KG, GMA News