4 more sugar warehouses inspected in Bulacan

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2022 10:08 PM

MANILA - Authorities have inspected 4 more warehouses in Bulacan, Malacañang said on Saturday, yielding at least 60,000 bags of suspected hoarded sugar.

Each sack contained 50 kilos of imported sugar from Thailand, according to a Palace statement.

“At least two of the warehouses were half-full while one warehouse have sacks of sugar neatly stacked up to the roof,” the statement read.

“The huge volume of sugar discovered by authorities in the various inspected warehouses in Luzon has led Malacanang to conclude that the sugar shortage is artificial, brought about by the hoarding of sugar traders who want to rake-in huge profits from the sudden spike in sugar prices,” it read.

The goods were delivered to Guiguinto town from the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) Friday evening, the statement said, quoting the statement of the warehouse caretaker.

“Authorities also learned that the import permit used for the Thailand sugar was the allocation for Sugar Order No. 3 issued last February by the Sugar Regulatory Board,” the Palace said.

“Customs officials are now conducting verification on the authenticity of the importation documents presented to them by the warehouse caretaker in Guiguinto, Bulacan,” it said.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier ordered the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) “to account for the 63,000 metric tons of sugar from the 200,000 MT importation authorized under Sugar Order No. 3.”

Authorities earlier foiled the "possible smuggling" of some 7,000 metric tons of sugar at the Subic Port in Zambales, Malacañang said Friday. 

The Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) noted that a “recycled permit” may have been used to bring in the commodity from Thailand.

Next week, the House of Representatives is expected to conduct a hearing over the possible illegal importation and hoarding of sugar that led to a supposed shortage of supply in the country. - report from Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News