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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Gov’t to flood market with sugar

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Mr. Marcos orders over 1.8m tons be made available for domestic use

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered the allocation of the country’s entire sugar production for the cropping year 2022-2023 for domestic use.

In Sugar Order No. 1, which was signed by Mr. Marcos as Agriculture Secretary and concurrent chairperson of the Sugar Regulatory Board, over 1.8 million metric tons of sugar will be made available to the market.

The order was signed on Aug. 26, 2022 but was only released by Malacanang yesterday.

“Sugar production for Crop Year 2022-2023 is expected to be 1,876,135.36 metric tons and shall be quedanned by the mill companies, as implementers of this Sugar Order, in the following percentage: ‘B’ or Domestic Sugar Market- 100 percent,” it said.

The cropping season is set from Sept. 1, 2022 until Aug. 31, 2023.

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Sugar allocation classifications include A for US quota, B for domestic market use, C for reserve, and D for the global market.

“The SRA shall undertake assessment of the Crop Year 2022-2023 sugar production and withdrawals trend. On the basis of such assessment, SRA may from time to time adjust the percentage allocation or distribution to other classes of sugar,” the order read.

Aside from Mr. Marcos, other signatories to SO No. 1 include Agriculture Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, Acting SRA Director David Thaddeus Alba, Acting Board Member-Millers’ Representative Ma. Mitzi Mangwag, and Acting Board Member-Planters’ Representative Pablo Luis Azcona.

Meanwhile, at the Senate, minority lawmakers said Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez was not entirely blameless in the controversial issuance of Sugar Order No. 4 that would have allowed the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III and Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros made the position in a separate report after the Senate blue ribbon committee released its own last week.

“The Committee Report failed, or purposely refrained, to discuss the part which Executive Secretary Rodriguez played in this unfortunate debacle,” the minority report read.

The minority report, however, did not recommend any charges against the Executive Secretary.

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