Sugar Regulatory Administration Board Member Emilio “Dino” Yulo said he fully supports the call of the country’s sugar groups “to terminate the current 7 percent allocation for the US quota in light of the fact that the industry may not be able to reach its targeted sugar output for this crop year”.
The projected national production of 2.190 million metric tons appears to be a long shot based on simple mathematics, Yulo said in a statement issued Sunday, March 28.
The Confederation of Sugar Producers Associations, National Federation of Sugarcane Planters, United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines, Panay Federation of Sugarcane Farmers, and the Luzon Federation of Sugarcane Growers are all calling for the scrapping of the 7 percent sugar allocation for the US quota.
“It is unconscionable to export if eventually we are to import which will again prompt the resurgence of calls to liberalize which industry stakeholders have been fighting against, knowing that this will kill the sugar industry,” Yulo said.
“I enjoin industry stakeholders that our battle cry, for now, should be, let us ensure first that we have enough domestic supply,” he added.
Yulo said he informed Sugar Regulatory Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica as early as November of the need to revisit and review SRA’s estimates given the heavy rainfall experienced in Negros Occidental and Typhoon Quinta hitting Batangas.
Serafica assured him in a letter that he ordered a study as early as October and would apprise the Sugar Board about the situation but nothing happened, Yulo said.
Instead, the administrator reiterated through the media in February his forecast that “we will have excess sugar this crop year which will need to be exported”, Yulo added.
“That statement was quite alarming because of clear figures coming from the ground which prompted me to reiterate my reservations in my letters between January to March because it was near impossible to attain by then the initial projected national production,” Yulo said.
Yulo said the sugar industry needs to average an LKg/TC of 2.22 for the remainder of the milling season to be able to attain the projected national production.
In fact, just to be able to reach 2 million MT, the industry needs to average an LKg/TC of 1.78 for the remainder of the crop year, he added.
But by end of February, figures showed that the LKg/TC continued to be mired in the 1.71 level which makes it next to impossible to aim for the projected national production, he said.*