Governor okay with sugar importation; Planters want transparency, consultation 

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson  said he is okay with the country’s importing 200,000 metric tons of refined sugar but the timing must be right so it does not hurt local farmers. 

“We’re really short so the 200,000 MT is okay, the concern of the planters is the timing,” Lacson said on Tuesday, July 2. 

The imported sugar should not come in when the milling season starts, so there will be a market for locally produced sugar, he said. 

The planters will be okay if their sugar sells at P3,000 per Lkg, he said. 

Meanwhile, the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NFSP) and the Panay Federation of Sugarcane Farmers (PanayFed) in a joint statement Tuesday said they are united with the Confederation of Sugar Producers Association (CONFED) in calling for a data-based, transparent and consultative sugar importation plan.

NFSP president Enrique D. Rojas and PanayFed president Danilo A. Abelita issued the statement amid the recent announcement of government’s plan to import 200,000 metric tons of refined sugar to arrive by September. 

They also debunked malicious insinuations that the Sugar Council, composed of CONFED, NFSP and PanayFed has disbanded. 

“Our united commitment in the Sugar Council remains strong in advocating for the welfare of the majority of sugarcane farmers in the country,” Rojas and Abelita said. 

Last week, Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr. announced that the government plans to authorize the importation of 200,000 MT of refined sugar to arrive by September, which is traditionally the start of the milling season, they said. 

 The arrival of imported sugar at the start of the milling season will exert downward pressure on domestic millgate sugar prices, they pointed out. 

“We call on the SRA to conduct a stakeholder consultation and enlighten us on the basis of the proposed sugar importation plan. We need to see the sugar production and demand figures which were used as basis for such a plan,” Rojas and Abelita said.* 

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