By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) unanimously approved a resolution yesterday reiterating their policy on regulating imported sugar.
The resolution cited Executive Order No. 18, series of 1986, which indicated, “It is the policy of the state to promote the growth and development of the sugar industry.”
SRA also presented the 2006 Court of Appeals decision on La Filipiniana Uygongco Corporation vs. Salvador Escudero, which defined SRA regulation authority pertaining to domestic sugar, reserved sugar, and imported sugar released on the domestic market.
The group also noted, “Regulation is clearly intended to protect national interest, as well as interests of local producers who may be adversely affected by the influx of foreign sugar.”
SRA board member, Atty. Emilio ‘Dino’ Yulo III, earlier said, without intervention from President Rodrigo Duterte on the proposed deregulation of sugar importation, the local sugar industry would die.
The SRA official went on to reiterate an assertion from an earlier joint statement, saying, such a move would “foment social unrest.”
Yulo speculated beverage and food companies are lobbying for open sugar importation.
Meanwhile, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed, despite 2018 fourth quarter agriculture numbers up, sugarcane production was in decline.
According to their 4Q report, agriculture overall, which includes crops, livestock, poultry, and fisheries, saw an increase of 1.8 percent; crops, in particular, saw a marginal 0.25 percent increase.
However, the report noted sugarcane production saw a 2.22 percent drop, noting a reduction in areas harvested in the Western Visayas./DGB, WDJ