Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica on Thursday said that the government plans to import at least 300,000 metric tons (MT) of sugar as price of refined sugar in the local market has reached P100 per kilo.
In an interview with The Manila Times, Serafica said that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has approved the importation of sugar to prevent a shortage in the supply of the sweetener.
“This is very urgent. The marching order of the President is we need the supply so we are trying to get all the needed data. It is a work in progress and the SRA is working double time to finalize the importation of sugar the soonest possible time,” he said. “This is the first time in history that the retail price of refined sugar hit P100 per kilo as traditionally, the SRP (suggested retail price) is only at P50 per kilo while the raw sugar is at P45 per kilo.”
Serafica added that the SRA already asked companies to submit their projected consumption of sugar until August 9, 2022.
“Industrial users were tasked to submit their projection of usage of sugar until December 2022. They are complying and in fact some already submitted their data. These will be used by the board in approving the volume of importation,” he said.
He said that the 300,000 MT of imported sugar will supply the needs of households, industrial and institutional users.
“I cannot give you the details since the board will still deliberate on this but definitely importation is only the option as we are in critical situation and by end of August we will have a negative inventory,” he said.
Serafica said the SRA expects to receive more supply of refined sugar for Metro Manila.
“A sugar mill started to receive sugarcane on August 1 and anytime today or tomorrow, they will start operating. In two weeks, we expect supply of refined sugar for Metro Manila but these are stopgap measures while waiting for the importation,” he explained.