PASAY CITY -- Members of the Sugar Board have yet to discuss the proposal to “suspend” the exportation of five percent allocation for A sugar or US quota, rather allocate it for domestic use.
Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) head Hermenegildo Serafica, on the sidelines of the budget hearing of the Department of Agriculture (DA) at the Senate here Wednesday, October 9, said he does not want to preempt the decision of the board.
“I am just one of the members so I don’t want to speculate as we have to meet and discuss this matter,” he said.
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, who has been opposing the liberalization of sugar importation, said the US allocation can be used as domestic sugar specifically for local industry users.
The senator said it is not necessary, for now, and it does not make any sense to export sugar.
He reported that the country’s shortfall is 300,000 metric tons while it exports about 105,000 metric tons to United States.
In terms of price, the current price of sugar for US allocation is P1,100 per 50-kilo bag while the domestic costs P1,500 per bag or a difference of P400 per bag.
“US does not need our sugar and we sell it to them at a lower price,” Zubiri said, adding that the suspension of exportation to US can be done this year or up to next year if needed.
For his part, Serafica said they acknowledge the position of the senator pointing out that “we belong to the same industry.”
The SRA will take all angles in this issue, Serafica said.
“But we have to act as one with the guidance of the chairman Agriculture Secretary William Dar,” he said, assuring that “we will be fair on deciding what should be done.”