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PCCI asks gov’t to ensure stable sugar supply and prices

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has called on the government to ensure stable sugar prices and supply to prevent inflationary increases in food and other basic commodities.

PCCI president George T. Barcelon wrote to Sabin Aboitiz, strategic convenor of the Private Sector Advisory Council, to ask for a meeting to discuss concerns surrounding the high cost of sugar, an important raw material in food processing, and its impact on the domestic food manufacturing and processing industry.

“We are calling on our government to assure our food manufacturing industry that there is enough and sufficient supply of sugar at reasonable cost to be competitive with our neighbors in ASEAN,” Barcelon said.

He said the local food manufacturing and processing industry requires exclusive sugar allocation as it is an input for food production.

Currently, local sugar costs Php85 to P115 per kilo compared to the world market price of only P32 to P35.l per kilo.

The PCCI’s Agriculture and Fishery Committee has long advocated for small food processors and manufacturers to import refined sugar at 10,000 bags of 50 kilos per bag monthly since 2015, but their request has yet to be granted.

Barcelon emphasized that the government is aware of the local sugarshortage and has authorized limited importation to address the issue.

However, when enough quantities are allotted for the local food and beverage sectors, the lower cost of sugar will help mitigate inflation, which is critical for the country’s employment and economic activities.

Six big companies have earlier written President Bongbong Marcos to be allowed to import their own sugar requirements after some traders allegedly refused to give price quotations to some manufacturers.

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