Business tycoons have heeded the call of local consumers to make available cheaper sugar in the market, the Office of the Press Secretary said on Friday.
The OPS said Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez had facilitated a series of discussions with owners of Robinsons Supermarket, SM Supermarket, and Puregold Supermarket in which they agreed to the suggested retail price of P70 per kilo of sugar.
The OPS report said a membership shopping club was also in the talks but Press Secretary Trixie Angeles corrected the information in a later press briefing. She said the membership outlet sold sugar wholesale and not retail.
This was from the high price of P90 to P110 per kilo, according to the OPS.
“The President lauded the selfless response from these businessmen who are sacrificing not just their own inventory but also their projected business profits for the sake of the ordinary Filipinos at this time when the country is besieged by many problems,” Rodriguez was quoted as saying the in the statement.
“This is a classic display of the indomitable Filipino spirit of ‘bayanihan’ and love of country,” he added.
According to Rodriguez, the SM stores have committed to sell their inventory on washed sugar at P70 per kilo while Robinson’s Supermarket has agreed to unload one million kilos of sugar at P70.00 per kilo, with one kilo per pack in Metro Manila.
"This will give ordinary Filipinos access to cheaper sugar with more than 3 million kilos available in the market next week,” Rodriguez said.
Puregold also committed to make available one million kilos of refined sugar at P70 per kilo.
The OPS earlier said that Puregold was to make available two million kilos P70 per kilo but this has also been corrected by Angeles.
Aside from monitoring the P70 per kilo of sugar, Rodriguez said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) would also keep an eye on participating retailers’ compliance to the agreed purchase limit of one kilo per consumer in order to prevent possible household hoarding by some enterprising consumers.
Rodriguez said consumers could expect the drop in prices in leading groceries and supermarkets across the metro by next week.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez said Victoria's Milling Company also committed to help traders in the food manufacturing industries by making available 45,000 sacks at 50 kilos per sack bottler-grade sugar for soft drinks companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi and RC Cola.
“This is to avert a possible temporary halt in their operations that could result to the displacement of their workers,” Rodriguez said.
“Victoria’s milling also allotted 500,000 kilos of sugar for consignment in Kadiwa stores in the populated parts of the Visayas,” he added.
Meeting with food manufacturers
Meanwhile, the OPS said President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. met with members of the Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers, Inc. (PCFMI) to discuss possible solutions to the country’s looming sugar supply shortage.
According to the OPS, the President is eyeing direct importation by food manufacturers as part of the emergency measures to address the current concerns in the sugar industry.
“Hopefully, we can get some concessions with the traders so that at least the pricing will be reasonable. The concern is the supply right now. I’ll make sure that there is sufficient supply in the country so that you can operate at full capacity,” Marcos said. — RSJ/NB, GMA News