President Marcos Jr. will have the final say on the sugar allocation of every eligible importer under the latest importation program of the national program, based on Sugar Order (SO) 6.
The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) published on its website SO 6 that authorized and outlined the guidelines for the latest import program of the national government. The Philippines will import 440,000 metric tons (MT) of refined sugar under SO 6.
SO 6 was also filed by the SRA at the UP Law Center Office of the National Administrative Register. The sugar order will take effect three days after filing it.
SO 6 was transmitted to the Office of the President (OP) as President Marcos Jr. is concurrently the agriculture chief and the chairperson of the SRA board.
However, SO 6 does not bear Marcos’ signature. Only the four other members of the SRA board signed the document.
The board members that signed the document are Senior Agriculture Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban, SRA Administrator David John Thaddeus P. Alba, millers’ representative Ma. Mitzi V. Mangwag and planters’ representative Pablo Luis S. Azcona.
SO 6 stipulated that the allocation per importer will need the approval of the Department of Agriculture, which is headed by Mr. Marcos.
The allocation per importer under the latest round of importation would be based on the recommendation of the SRA board.
In the previous sugar import programs, the SRA board set a limit on the allowable import volume per importer or the allocation was prorated for each eligible importer.
“The volume allocated to an eligible importer shall be that as recommended by the SRA board and approved by the Department of Agriculture,” Section 5 of SO 6 read.
Under the import rules, the SRA will start accepting applications for five calendar days starting from the effectivity of the sugar order. The SRA will award the allocations within five calendar days from the last day of acceptance of applications.
The eligible importers must be an international sugar trader in good standing provided that they are engaged in actual purchase of locally produced sugar directly from the local producers as well as selling of physical sugar to consumers.
Interested importers are required to submit an application letter containing the following information: volume of sugar applied, country of origin, and an undertaking that they would purchase locally produced refined sugar and/or raw sugar in the current crop year as well as in the next crop year.
The requirement to purchase sugar from local producers is necessary to “maintain the importer’s eligibility for future import programs,” according to SO 6.
As earlier announced by government officials, the arrival of the imported refined sugar will be in three tranches: 100,000 MT as soon as possible, 100,000 MT before April 1 and 240,000 MT after April 1.
The Philippines allowed the importation of 504,050 MT of sugar, bulk of which is refined, to augment local supply and pull down prices. (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2023/02/13/sra-board-okays-importationof-440000-mt-of-refined-sugar/)
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