SRA eyes selling seized smuggled sugar by April, says exec

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 31 2023 08:42 AM | Updated as of Apr 01 2023 08:35 AM

Store workers attend to customers buying sugar at their stall in Bagong Silang public market in North Caloocan on Jan. 19, 2023. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
Store workers attend to customers buying sugar at their stall in Bagong Silang public market in North Caloocan on Jan. 19, 2023. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) eyes selling confiscated smuggled sugar in Kadiwa stalls starting April, an executive said on Friday. 

“We already have the approval for the donation of the sugar na nahuli for the Kadiwa for sale. Last week, we were just discussing the documentation and the legalities so we can sell it right away,” SRA board member Pablo Luis Azcona said. 

“I think just as long as we finish, there are certain details we are fixing up, kung saan papasok yung funds, small details, something like that. And then after that, hopefully by April puwede na yun,” he told reporters in a chance interview. 

(There are certain details we are fixing up, where the funds will go, small details, something like that. And then after that, hopefully by April, it's a go.) 

An initial 4,000 metric tons of sugar will be sold next month, he said. 

“They were saying the retailers have stock of the sugar so we slowly see yung P85 per kilo na target talaga ng DA (Department of Agriculture),” he said. 

Phytosanitary permits are not a problem, he noted, as all sugar products, seized or legal, undergo a check for quality assurance. 

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has approved selling seized smuggled sugar, which could be given to government agencies as "donation", the Presidential Communications Office recently said. 

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SUGAR PRICES -

The SRA expects sugar prices to go down to P85-90 per kilo following the approval to import 440,000 metric tons of the sweetener, said Azcona. 

He said some 100,000 metric tons of sugar imports have arrived, with 16,000 metric tons already released and converted from reserve to domestic use. 
 
The SRA is still waiting for approval of their request for the use reclassification of 24,500 metric tons, he said. 
 
The regulator earlier said the imports would augment the local supply of sugar and curb rising prices.