President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. disclosed that the government was looking into the possibility that food manufacturers would be able to directly import sugar to address the “worrisome” sugar problem in the country.
During a meeting with the members of the Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers, Inc. (PCFMI) on Aug. 15, Marcos raised the need to assess how the government can increase the supply of quality sugar for food manufacturing to protect local jobs.
“It has become a worrisome problem. We are doing all of these things to protect the jobs of workers in those industries,” he said.
The President said, on Tuesday, Aug. 16, the government was looking into the direct importation by food manufacturers with the approval of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) as part of emergency measures to address current industry concerns.
Marcos said although there was a need for the country to increase sugar production in the future, the current pressing concerns of food producers must be addressed.
Industry players said if the government were to consider importation for industrial use, it must act now to secure supply from global sugar exporters since they may allocate their produce to other markets.
The President earlier recognized that there might be a need to import sugar to stabilize domestic prices of the commodity.
However, he noted that the Philippines might only need 150,000 metric tons (MT), half of the 300,000 MT earlier proposed by the SRA, which was rejected and is now under investigation.
The Chief Executive also said the government is in talks with traders to bring down the prices of commodities.
This as he assured traders that there will be an ample supply of sugar to keep their operation going.
“Hopefully, we can get some concessions with the traders so that at least the pricing will be reasonable. The concern is the supply right now. I’ll make sure that there is sufficient supply in the country so that you can operate at full capacity,” Marcos said.