THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) will seek the suggested retail price (SRP) on sugar of around P50 per kilo.
In a briefing in Manila, Emiliano Bernardino L. Yulo, said: “We’re being unfairly blamed for prices. We keep hearing the producers keep on making a lot of money.”
“We are calling on the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry). If we need to consult DA (Department of Agriculture), we’ll make the necessary representations,” Mr. Yulo said.
According to Mr. Yulo, consultations will help determine an ideal SRP.
“I think the sugar industry would have its own initiative. We’re bringing down the price of sugar to around P50 level in a few days,” Mr. Yulo said, noting that P50 per kilo is a reasonable price for consumers.
Sugar prices are currently at around P60 to P65 per kilo in supermarkets.
Roberto C. Amores, president of the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization Inc (Philfoodex) and chair of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) agriculture committee, said that P50 is very far from the 50-kilo bag price of about P1,400.
“The SRA’s proposed SRP of P50 per kilo at retail is wrong,” he said, noting that the 50-kilo bag price is P1,400, or about P28 per kilo.
Mr. Amores added during the Tapatan sa Aristocrat Forum that the shortfall in 2019 is projected at one million metric tons (MT). Philfoodex and PCCI have jointly asked the SRA to allow the importation of 100,000 MT of sugar for food processing.
“If the 100,000 MT import request for food processing is denied, all the products using sugar will become more expensive,” Mr. Amores said.
Mr. Amores said that Philfoodex and PCCI requested letter sent to SRA for the request for importation was around a month and a half ago, of which they were not able to receive any response.
“We’re waiting for the technical study that would justify the need to be competitive. As soon as the technical study is out, we will use it as the basis in compelling SRA and the government in particular to allow the importation of this very important commodity. If not, we cannot really be competitive,” Mr. Amores said.
According to him, the technical study being conducted by Philfoodex and PCCI covers the needs of the sugar industry, including support for farmers, and the impact on prices in the absence of imports.
“(Production) is expected to fall further by another 5.6% in 2019 and because of this shortfall… prices will increase,” Mr. Amores said. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio