SRA: Increase in sugar prices not alarming

By Jeo Angelo Chico Elamparo, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jun 14 2014 04:52 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2014 12:52 AM

MANILA – The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) on Saturday said that there is no need to be alarmed about the increase in the prices of sugar in the country.

In an interview with DZMM, SRA Planning Office Manager Rosemarie Gumera said that the price of sugar remains normal as it still has not reached the 10 percent increase limit.

“Ang situation ng sugar natin ngayon, in terms of prices, medyo gumalaw. Pero so far naman, hindi pa natin nalampasan ‘yung 10 percent na limit natin para ma-declare natin na kailangan makontrol ‘yung price,” Gumera said.

Gumera said that even though the price of sugar sold in groceries are a little bit cheaper than those sold in public markets, the varying prices are still justifiable because they are still within SRA’s suggested retail price.

“Actually, ang common nating presyo sa grocery is P49.50 per kilo ng sugar. But then sa public market, umabot na siya ng P50, gumalaw lang siya ng dalawang piso lang naman dahil ‘yung paggalaw na naman na iyon sa retail market, na-justify naman siya kasi gumalaw din ‘yung farm gate,” she explained.

She said that the variation in prices is only normal as each market has different market forces.

“Meron kasi may mga high-end at kung prevailing price kasi, ‘yan ‘yung common price pero siyempre may mas mataas, may mas mababa. Pero kung ‘yung common price natin, within pa SRP, hindi pa ‘yan alarming,” she said.

Asked if SRA will put a price ceiling on the price of sugar should it exceed P50, Gumera answered in the negative.

“Not necessarily na lalagyan siya ng ceiling kasi hindi pa naman niya na-breach ‘yung 10 percent na, according sa Price Act natin, kapag 10 percent na, dapat i-control mo na. Eh ang 10 percent ng P48 ay P4.50. Hindi pa siya alaraming dahil natural sa commodity na gumagalaw.”

Meanwhile, Gumera believes that the reported issue of sugar smuggling in the country has already been taken cared of by the Bureau of Customs.

“Tignan natin ang demand ng domestic consumption of sugar for the past several years, last year na-notice natin na siya ‘yung pinakamaatas na domestic consumption natin. Umabot tayo ng 2.184 million metric tons, tapos this year, ang projection natin 2.2 [million]. Ibig sabihin, umangat, hindi siya flat. Kasi kung flat, magdududa ka nab aka may pumasok na iligal.”

She also said that the SRA and the Department of Agriculture have already enacted programs and policies that will help stabilize the supply of sugar in the Philippines.