MANILA (UPDATE)— Major supermarkets will sell sugar at P70 per kilo starting next week "until supply lasts," Malacañang said on Friday.
Robinsons Supermarket, SM Supermarket, and Puregold Supermarket "all agreed to the suggested retail price of P70 per kilo of sugar, from a high of P90-P110 per kilo," following talks with Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez, the Palace said.
S&R Membership Shopping will not be included in the program as they only sell wholesale sugar, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said.
At least 2 million kilos of sugar will available at P70 per kilo next week, Rodriguez said in a news release.
"The availability of P70 per kilo of sugar is good until supply lasts, according to the supermarket owners. The agreed selling price of P70 per kilo will likewise be monitored by DTI (Department of Trade and Industry)," the release said.
It added that a purchase limit of 1 kilo per customer will be implemented "to prevent possible household hoarding by some enterprising consumers."
Meanwhile, Victorias Milling Company pledged to make available 45,000 sacks of bottler-grade sugar at P50 per sack for soft drinks companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi and RC Cola.
“This is to avert a possible temporary halt in their operations that could result to the displacement of their workers,” Rodriguez said.
The beverage bottling and manufacturing firms on Tuesday said the industry was facing a shortage of premium refined sugar, a key ingredient in sodas and other sweetened drinks.
Rodriguez said the Negros Occidental-based Victorias firm also "allotted 500,000 kilos of sugar for consignment in Kadiwa stores in the populated parts of the Visayas."
Meanwhile, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier met with members of the Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers, Inc. (PCFMI) "to discuss possible solutions to the country’s looming sugar supply shortage," said the Palace.
“Hopefully, we can get some concessions with the traders so that at least the pricing will be reasonable. The concern is the supply right now. I’ll make sure that there is sufficient supply in the country so that you can operate at full capacity,” Marcos was quoted as saying in the release.
On Thursday, Malacañang said stakeholders agreed to import 150,000 metric tons of sugar to address the shortage. Senate President Migz Zubiri said this could be done "before the milling starts fully" in October.
Marcos this week said he was looking into the direct importation of sugar through industry players.