MANILA—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is also keeping tabs on the current sugar shortage problem in the country, its chief said on Friday.
Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual told reporters he has received a report on operations against suspected sugar hoarders and illegal importers, but said it is still being evaluated by his office.
Pascual clarified the DTI is only playing a supporting role in government's 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 any further actions taken against those that have 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 sugar’s suggested 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.