BACOLOD

Congressional probe into sugar manipulation pushed

SunStar File

SUGAR Board Member Emilio Yulo is pushing for a congressional inquiry into the alleged sugar manipulation that resulted in the huge price difference between the farm gate and market prices of sugar.

Yulo said he is already drafting the letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives.

All those who are suspected to be involved in the manipulation of sugar prices from the traders, retailers, repackers and wholesalers will be invited to shed light on the matter during the investigation, Yulo said.

"Basically, this is a consumers' issue but the Sugar Regulatory Administration would like an inventory of those involved in selling of sugar," Yulo said.

He also assured that there is enough supply of sugar.

Yulo also expressed fears that the sugar manipulation is part of the plan to later push, after the election, the sugar liberalization.

The issue on sugar liberalization has been put to rest because of the election but it could be taken up again after the election at the beginning of the 18th congress, Yulo said.

He said the farm gate or mill gate price of sugar is still from P1,400 to P1,500 per sack but the market price is already pegged at P3,000 per sack.

Yulo and SRA Board Member Roland Beltran said wholesalers and retailers are possibly manipulating the price in the market.

This pronouncement was based on the result of their consultation with the stakeholders over the long weekend.

The officials said constituents have been complaining that the high cost of retail sugar among public markets and supermarkets that reached P60 per kilogram is "artificial."

"There are sectors profiting largely from this at the expense of the industry," the officials said.

Yulo said they have not been remiss in reminding the Department of Trade and Industry to do its job and monitor retail prices of sugar.


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