Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Aklan supports Iloilo’s call to scrap sugar allocation to US market

THE Provincial Board (PB) of Aklan has passed a resolution supporting the call of the Iloilo PB to scrap the allocation of sugar for the United States market.

The Resolution 2021-1325, dated July 30, 2021 and sent to Iloilo PB, was titled: "A Resolution Supporting Resolution No. 2021-294 of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Iloilo entitled: 'Resolution Appealing to His Excellency President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to Immediately Stop the Further Exportation of Sugar to the United States'."

It was sponsored by Third District Board Member Matt Palabrica and co-sponsored by Board Members Jason Gonzales (Third District) and Rolito Cajilig (Second District).

A copy of the resolution passed by Iloilo PB was also sent to Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).

There are 160,000 hectares of agricultural land in the province of Iloilo and just 15,000 hectares are planted of sugarcane by around 20,000 stakeholders.

According to Palabrica, the sugar milling season is about to start and SRA is about to issue an order that would allocate sugar produce classified as "A" and "B," wherein the "A" sugar is designated to be exported to the US and "B" sugar for domestic consumption.

“The price of ‘A’ sugar is P50 less than ‘B’ sugar,” Palabrica said.

He said that last year, the export was 112,000 metric tons and the sugarcane farmers lost around P784 million.

“The exportation has no legal basis because no treaty or obligation that would support this program and the Philippines has no production that could surpass its local consumption,” Palabrica added.

Palabrica lamented that if this will continue, “forcing to allocate sugar for US even though we have a shortage of supply,” the P784 million losses of sugarcane farmers will also continue.

He said the termination can be done for US exportation because the SRA has terminated the export allocation for US last March 2021, and with this, the 100 percent sugar output for the country this year will go to the domestic market. (PR)


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