THE Sugar Regulatory Administration has ordered the importation of 150,000 metric tons of raw or refined sugar to address rising prices for the commodity, with delivery expected not later than Dec. 31.
The decision to import was derived from a preliminary report by the National Economic and Development Authority, which found inflation of 9.1% in August for products using sugar, including jam, honey, chocolate, and confectionaries, from 7.4% in July.
The SRA cited President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s Administrative Order No. 13, citing the “urgent need to tame price spikes of basic agricultural commodities by adopting measures to streamline administrative procedures to allow importation that will address supply shortfalls and ensure stable prices of agricultural products in the domestic market.”
The SRA also said that various planters and millers associations have submitted to the DA or to SRA their proposals and position papers supporting the importation of sugar.
The SRA will start accepting bids by Oct. 8. Eligible importers may apply for SRA Clearance for Release of Imported Sugar at a minimum allocation of 2,500 metric tons or raw or refined sugar per application, but not more than 15,000 metric tons as the maximum.
According to SRA, an importer that fails to ship by Dec. 31 will have its registration as an international sugar trader revoked or suspended.
Imported sugar in excess of 150,000 MT shall be classified as “C” Reserve Sugar indefinitely and subject to fines, and will not be considered part of the import program. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio