The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is asking the government to ensure the country’s stable supply and prices of sugar to caution against possible inflationary increases in food and other basic commodities.
In a letter to Sabin Aboitiz, strategic convenor, Private Sector Advisory Council, PCCI President George T. Barcelon is seeking an audience with Sabin to discuss the concerns, particularly of the domestic food manufacturing and processing industry on the high cost of sugar and how it puts them at a disadvantage.
“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,” said Barcelon adding that sugar is an important component in food manufacturing and processing.
He said that the industry requests an allocation exclusively as input in food production so that our local food manufacturers can compete with our ASEAN counterparts selling various food items. The prevailing world market price of sugar ranges only from P32.00 to P35.00 a kilo compared to our local cost which ranges from Php85.00 to 115.00 per kilo.
“Government is cognizant of shortages from local sugar millers and thus allowed limited importation. The lower cost of sugar will help mitigate inflation when enough quantities are allocated for local food and beverage sectors. The employment and economic activities are crucial for our country and her citizens,” he stressed.
The PCCI, through its Agriculture and Fishery Committee, has been advocating with the government to allow small food processors and manufacturers to import refined sugar at 10,000 bags of 50 kilos per bag monthly since 2015 but this has never been granted.