Sugar Board Member Paul Azcona said of the 440,000 metric tons of refined sugar allowed to be imported only about 38,000 MT has entered the country, which has been classified as “C” or reserve.
As the farmers’ representative on the Sugar Board he is trying his best to ensure that there is no flood of imported sugar into the domestic market, said Azcona, who joined Senator Imee Marcos at a press conference in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, on Thursday.
However, if sugar retail prices do not drop they may have to release some of the “C” sugar into the market, he said.
He said the 11,500 MT that arrived ahead of the issuance of a sugar order granting importation had been issued import clearances. When they arrived they paid duties and taxes as the importation had been allowed by Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, Azcona said.
Azcona said a lot of smuggled sugar have been seized and charges were filed against the smugglers.
Marcos said there is a need for better planning to boost domestic sugar production to prevent a supply shortage and importation.*