SRA targets Sept. release of 150K tons

The Sugar Regulatory Administration is aiming to release an order that would allow the importation of about 150,000 metric tons of sugar by September amid an alleged lower domestic supply of the sweetener.

“Upon the recommendation of the President, we will work on the importation order of 150,000 metric tons of purely refined sugar as a balancing act to stabilize market prices and this is what is enshrined in Sugar Order 2,” SRA acting administrator David Alba said in his speech during the 68th PhilSutech National Convention on Thursday.

The agency targets to release the order by mid-September so “its arrival will not interfere with the resumption of operations by our sugar refineries that normally starts mid-November,” Alba said.

According to him, the SRA, under his leadership, will follow the president’s tall order to boost local production to ensure that the country’s total sugar requirement of 2.5 million metric tons will be met.

“We have been falling short in the past few years because of various factors, some of which are beyond our control such as climate change, high inputs prices and of course the pandemic that drove up our production costs,” he said.

“There are also doable remedies such as implementing a good drainage plan in your farms and longer planting season among others and maximizing our resources to invest in research and development, technology and mechanization,” he added.

In his vlog last Sunday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. already announced that the government will import 150,000 MT of sugar, half the volume earlier proposed by SRA SO 4 order. Marcos concurrently sits as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and SRA chairperson.

Marcos also said that he wants the SRA to undergo a “reorganization” following the signing of an “unauthorized’ resolution to import 300,000 MT of sugar, which he rejected that late on led to fiasco and resignation of several DA officials.

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