Smuggled sugar will soon be sold in Kadiwa stores after the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) signed the deed of donation for the confiscated item.
“The confiscated sugar will be sold by Kadiwa; they are already signing the deed of donation, after that discussions will center on logistics,” Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Acting Administrator and CEO Pablo Luis Azcona said.
“So once that is done, we will store it, we will repack it and then sell the sugar.”
Azcona said the sale of confiscated sugar in Kadiwa stores could help pull down prices given its price tag of P70 per kilo.
“Hopefully the coverage will be nationwide. That’s what we are doing now at the SRA. We are helping the DA to identify channels outside of Manila where the sugar can be sold.”
The SRA said it has amended several rules to authorize the donation of confiscated smuggled sugar to Kadiwa stores and allow its sale to the general public.
He said that following the amendments of rules to allow the retailing of the confiscated contraband sugar at Kadiwa stores, the government is addressing issues on logistics and warehousing for the sale of the commodity.
“What we are fixing now is logistics—where it will be stored and how to release it to the market,” Azcona added.
He said a total of 4,000 metric tons (MT) of seized smuggled refined sugar are ready to be released for sale at Kadiwa stores at P70 per kilo.
When asked about the pricing scheme, Azcona said: “It’s difficult to go below P70 [per kilo] because it’s only 4,000 [MT]. Our production locally is 1.8 million [MT]. If the price is lower it will be detrimental to farmers and their dependents.”
“That is the rule of the SRA to try and maintain a careful balance between the income of farmers and the interest of consumers.”
The BOC filed in March three criminal complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against alleged sugar importers.
The first criminal complaint is against an importer and a customs broker for illegally importing 13 containers of refined sugar at the Manila International Container Port.
The other two criminal complaints were filed against another importer and their customs broker because of the alleged illegal importation of 58 containers of refined sugar at the Port of Subic.
Image credits: BusinessMirror file photo