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‘Ensure domestic sugar supply’ – Zubiri

Ronnie Baldonado photo

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri called on the Sugar Regulatory Administration to make sure that the country has enough domestic sugar supply to tide us over until the next crop year.

Zubiri, in a press release, said he was “thankful” that the SRA finally saw the need to terminate the “A” sugar allocation as figures from the ground show that the targeted sugar production may not be met for this crop year.

In fact, Zubiri said that he has been “harping on the A sugar issue for the last two years. I am not against it, but I have been stressing that before the A sugar program will even be considered, we must be cognizant of local supply.”

The senator said this already happened a couple of years ago when he called for SRA to release the A sugar allocation to food processors and industrial users to avoid importation. He was referring to the Senate Resolution 156 that he authored then, calling on the Department of Agriculture and SRA to convert the US sugar quota in order to mitigate the local shortfall.

SRA initially projected that national production this crop year is 2.190 million metric tons but recently, new figures showed that production will drop by about 90,000 metric tons.

“I have been calling for the real-time assessment of production given the many disasters we’ve had since last year till early this year when Negros Occidental experienced flooding,” Zubiri said.

He added that with the milling season about to end, “SRA must ensure that supply is enough for domestic needs. Unahin muna natin ang sariling atin.” (Let’s prioritize our own needs first.)

Meanwhile, the senator encouraged industry stakeholders to hang tight as the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.

“Let us work together and remain steadfast in this battle against COVID-19. We are all in survival mode but in unity and with the public and private sector helping each other, I am positive that we will surpass this too,” Zubiri said.*

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