Pascual: DTI helping government partners monitor sugar hoarding

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2022 10:39 AM

Vendors sell sugar by the kilo at the Bagong Silang public market in North Caloocan on August 11, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Vendors sell sugar by the kilo at the Bagong Silang public market in North Caloocan on August 11, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The Department of Trade and Industry has also been keeping tabs on the current sugar shortage in the country, its head said Friday.

Sec. Alfredo Pascual told reporters he has received a report of operations against suspected sugar hoarders and illegal importers but said it is being evaluated by his office.

Pascual clarified the DTI is only playing a supporting role in government efforts to address the issue.

"Chine-check namin lang. Tinutulungan namin ang other partners in government to check kung mayroong hoarding. Di ba ‘yon lang naman ang titingnan diyan," Pascual said during an interview at an aviation company’s event in Pasay City.

He declined to say if there will be further actions taken against those who had been raided in previous days.

"Wala pang final verdict. Of course, may due process pa nga. I don’t want to jump into any conclusion when I don’t have all the facts yet," Pascual said.

The Department of Agriculture and the Sugar Regulatory Administration are the agencies in charge of managing supply and regulating the price of sugar.

However, the DTI has been constantly monitoring sugar prices, Pascual said.

Malacañang earlier said major supermarkets agreed to hold the suggested sugar retail price at P70 and sell only a maximum of a kilo by next week.

The Palace added it will probe a possible "artificial" shortage in the commodity. 

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