AGRARIAN reform beneficiaries belonging to the ARBs Sugar Farmers Federation- Kilusang Pagbabago hit the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) for failing to act on the entry of imported sugar in the country since October 2018.
Aaron Sorbito, chairman of the ARBs Sugar Farmers Federation-Kilusang Pagbabago which is composed of 11 ARB associations in Negros, said the SRA seemed to be playing coy with the real situation of the sugar industry in the country.
"Why do they keep on talking about sugar liberalization when in fact imported sugar has been coming in the country since President Rodrigo Duterte signed Administrative Order No. 13. Even a barbecue vendor now can import sugar without government restrictions," Sorbito pointed out.
Sugar import liberalization is a done deal because of that Administrative Order No. 13, Sorbito emphasized.
Administrative Order No. 13 removes the non-tariff barriers and streamlines administrative procedures on the importation of agricultural products.
The purpose, as stated in the order, is to ensure the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities at reasonable prices at all times without denying legitimate business a fair return on investment.
Sorbito explained that since the issuance of the order, they have been signifying their opposition and, in fact, they have sent a letter appealing to Duterte to rescind the order.
He also revealed that "right now the warehouses of the traders are full of sugar stocks and SRA is very much aware of that”.
"They are keeping something from all of us and we don't know the reason why," Sorbito lamented.