QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has approved the additional importation of sugar following the recommendation of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to strengthen the country's stock.
Pres. Marcos agreed to additional importation to stabilize the price but the importation should not exceed 150,000 metric tons.
"We agreed to additional importation of sugar to stabilize the prices. Maximum amount will be 150,000 MT but probably less," the Chief Executive said after the meeting held at the SRA led by SRA Acting Administrator Pablo Luis Azcona and Board Member Ma. Mitzi Mangwang representing the millers.
Also present were Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile and SRA Board Secretary Rodney Rubrica.
"The exact amount will be determined once we have determined the exact amount of supply, which will come at the end of this month," said Marcos.
He added that the government is opening the importation of sugar to all traders.
Based on SRA's forecast, the country will have a negative ending stock of 552,835 metric tons by August 2023 or the end of the milling season.
So the President said that in order not to run out of supply, it is necessary to import 100,000 to 150,000 metric tons of sugar.
As of May 7, the supply of raw sugar is still sufficient at 160,000 metric tons.
But he needs to import because the expected local production this year is only 2.4 million metric tons.
To boost sugar production, the President has also approved changing the start of the milling season from August to September this year.
The President also directed the SRA to speed up block farming initiatives to increase production as well. Block farming is a system where small farm lots are combined into at least 30 hectare farm blocks.
Currently, there are 21 block farms in the country with an average of 40 hectares each. (PIA-NCR)