‘Slight improvement’ in sugar prices noted

THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) noted a “slight improvement” in the prices of domestic sugar in the past days.

SRA Administrator Anna Rosario Paner said Wednesday that “prices reached dangerous levels before,” however, they “observed slight improvements,” following the issuance of Sugar Orders No. 1-A, 1-B and 4.

She added that the price of sugar has slightly increased by about P14.80 per 50-kilo bag.

In Sugar Order 1-A, the SRA increased the allocation of domestic sugar for crop year 2016-2017 by two percent.

The new allocation for “B,” or domestic sugar, is 94 percent while six percent for “A” or US Quota Sugar.

Under Sugar Order No. 1-B, SRA said that allocating “D,” or World Market Sugar, will help ease the pressure of expected high sugar stock inventory and help stabilize the sugar situation to benefit the public.

Sugar Order No. 4 stated that early shipment of US quota sugar would help ease the pressure of high sugar stock inventory in the country and help stabilize the sugar situation.

It further stated that 94 percent of the sugar production is for the domestic market while the remaining six percent has been allocated for the US market.

Paner also attributed the development to the court’s denial of the temporary restraining order sought by Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines on Sugar Order No. 3 regulating the entry of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the country.

Coca-Cola has a pending injunction case before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

Paner said the next hearing is set on May 10.

SP seeks certification

Meanwhile, the Provincial Board of Negros Occidental has asked Coca-Cola to submit a certification indicating that the HFCS used in their beverage products are sourced from non-genetically modified organism (GMO) raw materials.

The resolution, authored by Fourth District Board Member Victor Javellana, was approved by the Provincial Board during their regular session Wednesday.

It said that the provincial government and its leaders are committed to keeping Negros Occidental as GMO-free.

There is a doubt as to whether the HFCS purchased by Coca-Cola are sourced from non-GMO raw materials, the resolution added.

It further said that the price of raw sugar in the market has dropped, which has been attributed to the decrease in the demand as HFCS is a cheaper sweetener substitute.

A copy of the resolution will be forwarded to Coca-Cola Femsa.

The Provincial Government had already banned the sponsorship and sale of Coke products in the annual Panaad sa Negros Festival next month.

Last week, about 6,000 Negrenses trooped to the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Bacolod City to call on the public to boycott the beverage giant.

Some of the restaurants and establishments in the city have also stopped serving beverage products using HFCS.
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