Marcos rejects proposal to import additional 300,000 MT of sugar

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has rejected the proposal to import an additional 300,000 metric tons (MT) of sugar to the country, Malacanang said on Wednesday, 10 August.

“The President rejected the proposal to import an additional 300,000 MT of sugar,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles said in a statement released to reporters.

Angeles said that Marcos is the chairperson of the Sugar Regulatory Board (SRB) and denied the claims that Marcos had approved the proposal to import the said amount of sugar to the country. 

However, Malacañang’s statement contradicted the earlier claims of Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica that the government is planning to import at least 300,000 MT of sugar to prevent its shortage.

In June this year, SRA warned that the country could face a shortage of raw sugar due to the lacking supply of refined sugar.

SRA predicted that the country will run out of refined sugar in the last week of July.

Meanwhile, the farmer’s group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) said as the sugar shortage looms, it is “high time” for the government to “finally support” the local producers of the sweetener.

“The Sugar Regulatory Board and the Department of Agriculture( DA) should realize that the marching order of the President is to support local production,” SINAG Executive Director Jayson Cainglet said.

“Hindi na pwede yung import at first instance tulad ng panahon ni dating Secretary William Dar na nagpahirap sa local agriculture industry,” he lamented.

The government, he averred, should only import “what is needed” and only “upon the approval of the local industry.”

“The SRB should immediately heed the call of the President and the local industry to stop this madness for imports,” he said.

In an advisory last month, the SRA announced that it will conduct a sugar inventory in all operating sugar mills and refineries around the country.

The inspection will be conducted from 15 to 20 August amid fears of a sugar supply shortage.

The SRA earlier warned that the local sugar supply may run out if the government would prohibit the importation of the sweetener.

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