By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
In response to sugar farmgate prices hitting P1,450 per sack, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are both backing plans to introduce a suggested retail price (SRP) for sugar.
In a report by ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol, SRA board member, Atty. Emiliano Yulo III, said the market price for sugar should be around P50 per kilogram and is calling for an investigation into the current higher prices.
“We should have a stakeholders’ meeting [with regard to pricing] so that we can come [to] a consensus on the ideal SRP for sugar,” Yulo suggested.
Consumers group Laban Konsyumer, meanwhile, claimed the price of white sugar could spike to P65 after economic managers decided to withdraw their recommendation to suspend the excise tax on fuels.
In addition, food processors are proposing the importation of sugar, which would be exclusive for them in order to maintain the current prices of their products.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol also expressed support for an SRP on sugar, saying, price regulations must be implemented when the price of any commodity goes up.
After planters were being blamed for high sugar prices, Yulo challenged critics in the sugar industry to substantiate their claims. He said, over the past three weeks, sugar prices in Negros have gone down yet retail prices have not. The SRA official surmised, someone other than sugar farmers are profiting greatly./DGB, WDJ