By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Philippine government has moved to include sugar in COVID-19 relief packs to be distributed nationwide in a desperate attempt to keep the prices of the sweetener from falling further.
On Monday, the country’s Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the proposal of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to include refined sugar in the relief packs to be distributed by local government units (LGU) to their respective constituents in Metro Manila and other urban centers nationwide.
This, as sugar traders are reportedly experiencing 30 percent to 40 percent decrease in orders from food manufacturers and other institutional buyers as a result of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon and in other parts of the country.
Right now, 68 percent of locally produced sugar is being consumed by industrial users, while 22 percent of the supply goes to institutional customers like pastry shops. Only 13 percent of supply goes to household costumers.