Plan to liberalize sugar importation worries local industry
The statement of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on the liberalization of sugar importation didn’t result to anything good. First, it worried the local sugar industry. Then sugar prices started to fall.
This was according to a joint statement made by Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Board Members Roland Beltran, who represents the millers, and Dino Yulo, who represents the planters.
The statement was made to allay the concerns of our sugar farmers, millers, and workers regarding what Diokno said about rising cost of sugar and that it may be the right time to relax the country’s rule on sugar importation.
“The immediate effect of that news was a further drop in millsite sugar prices at the time we are entering peak milling, heightened the restlessness of sugar producers over the future of their industry, livelihood for their families, and continued employment for sugar workers,” the SRA Board Members said.
They also pointed out that it is not farmgate or millsite prices of sugar that has remain high, but retail prices of sugar.
According to SRA Price Monitoring reports, domestic raw sugar has gone down from P1,693/bag (in September 2018) to P1,575/bag as of January 6, 2019.Thats a 6.96% drop in roughly 3 months.
Therefore, the high retail prices of refined sugar is not attributable to sugar farmers and millers.
“The sugar industry – its farmers, mills and workers, are partners of government. They provide investment, employment and revenue in the countryside. It is unfair to subject them to this insecurity,” Beltran and Yulo said.