MALACAÑANG ordered the Department of Agriculture to meet with the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) as sugar retailers set to implement price hike on the commodity next week, a Palace official said Wednesday.

"Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala will call a meeting with the Sugar Regulatory Administration and discussed that proposed hike," said Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

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The Philippine Sugar Millers Association (PSMA) pushed for an increase on the retail price for domestic sugar to P54 per kilo from the current P52.

This after world market prices increased to $560 per metric ton from $531 last week.

Meanwhile, Alcala will also meet President Benigno Aquino III on the disposal of the excess rice to poor Filipino families nationwide.

Lacierda said Alcala will seek the approval of the President after his meeting with Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Social Welfare and Development secretary Dinky Soliman and National Food Authority Administrator Lito Banayo.

Banayo earlier said they are formulating guidelines to distribute excess NFA rice stocks, expressing interest in selling and distributing them to poor communities.

The DSWD also expressed interest in using surplus rice for feeding program of malnourished children while the NFA is considering of selling it.(Jill Beltran/Sunnex)