MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday said the government would maintain a 2-month buffer stock of sugar prevent another shortage of the commodity.
Marcos, who also heads the agriculture department, says the Philippines was recently forced to import sugar to address high prices as local supplies were not enough to meet demand.
“We will maintain from now on, in sugar, a 2-month buffer stock para hindi magkaroon ng masyadong speculation ng sugar, so that we will know, hindi tayo magkaka-shortage, dahil lagi na tayong may 2 months na buffer stock which I will maintain,” he said.
(We will maintain from now on, in sugar, a 2-month buffer stock so that there won't be too much speculation ng sugar, so that we will know, we won't have a shortage.)
Inflation in November reached 8 percent, the highest level since November 2008. Sugar confectionery and desserts, meanwhile, posted a 38 percent inflation for the month, according to government data.
Due to the elevated prices, Marcos ordered the agriculture department to "expedite the importation of 64,050 metric tons of refined sugar" to stabilize prices, the agency said in memo dated Dec. 20.
Some former Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) officials last year were dismissed due to a controversial order to import the commodity. A Palace probe later cleared them while Marcos attributed the fiasco to a "procedural mistake."