Food producers and manufacturers asked the government to address the high cost of domestic sugar by deregulating the industry and allowing the open importation of the commodity.
“Our domestics processors comprised mostly of small entrepreneurs are really hurting from Asean competition. The high cost of sugar in the local market is killing the local industry but favoring foreign competition,” said Philippine Food Exporters Inc. president Roberto Amores.
He said Philippine confectionery products could not compete in Asean amid the prohibitive cost of sugar which is an important ingredient in food processing.
He said Thailand’s refined sugar in the retail market was only P31 to 34 per kilogram compared to P60 to P65 a kilo in the Philippines.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the largest business organization in the country, also expressed support for the opening of sugar importation to make the industry more competitive.