President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Sunday that the country has sufficient supply of sugar and “there is no need to import just yet”.
Marcos, in his weekly blog, stressed that there is enough local supply that should be consumed first before the country resorts to importation, a press release from the Office of the Press Secretary said Monday, August 15.
But Marcos noted that the supply might dwindle by October.
“There is a possibility that by October, our supply in the Philippines will be depleted. We might need to import”, he said but not as much as 300,000 metric tons.
“Perhaps 150,000 (metric) tons would be good for the entire year,” he said.
Malacañang earlier called for a probe into the “unauthorized” signing of Sugar Order No. 4 by members of the Sugar Regulatory Administration Board that directed the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Marcos, as board chairman, did not authorize the importation and did not sign any resolution or order to allow such a move.
Marcos said the administration is carefully studying and calculating the importation of sugar as well as seedlings, rice, and feed wheat to ensure food security.
The president noted that while importation is inevitable, the government must ensure that it’s just enough and should not be done in a massive volume.
Marcos also vowed to make fertilizers affordable for farmers, noting that the continuing rise in their price is due to the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war.
The president earlier bared plans to reach out to China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia to purchase cheaper fertilizer through bilateral deals.
Other government efforts to mitigate the impact of the rising fertilizer price, he said, include the issuance of e-vouchers to farmers and the discussion between the Department of Trade and Industry and fertilizer traders to control the price of urea.*