By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said yesterday that any planned importation of sugar by the government should only be made during the off-milling season.
Ferrer said if there is indeed a shortage of sugar, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) should present importation data immediately and President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. will decide on the matter.
He pointed out that they were never consulted about sugar importation.
“We are now in the milling season and imports have been made in previous months,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the SRA is currently in the process of drafting a plan to import about 450,000 metric tons of refined sugar in response to Marcos’ directive to maintain a two-month buffer stock of the commodity to ensure that there is no shortage of supply.
Earlier, the United Sugar Producers Federation had given the nod to allow the importation of refined sugar to arrest retail prices.
Other sugar groups, such as the Confederation of Sugar Producers Association Inc. and the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters have requested data from the SRA first before they could issue any comment regarding the new proposal to import sugar into the country./DGB, WDJ