MANILA - The Department of Agriculture has ordered the fast-tracking of the importation of refined sugar to stabilize the prices of the commodity amid high inflation in November.
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, President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr, who also sits as the Agriculture Secretary, "ordered the Department to take action and to stabilize sugar prices," the agency said in memo dated Dec. 20.
"In this regard, you are hereby directed to immediately convene the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) Advisory Council and expedite the importation of 64,050 Metric Tons of refined sugar through the MAV mechanism," the DA said in a memorandum order addressed to the MAV Secretariat OIC Executive Jocelyn Salvador.
Sugar prices escalated earlier this year, biting into the earnings of local bakers who rely on sweets for a living. Soda producers have also cited the shortage in the commodity.
Some former Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) officials were earlier dismissed due to the controversial order to import the commodity.