The Sugar Regulatory Administration has already intervened in the plight of the sugarcane farmers by issuing an order to stop the exportation of sugar to the United States.

The decision to stop the exportation of class ‘A’ sugar is contained in the issued Sugar Order No. 1-A, Series of 2020-21 of Sugar Regulatory Administration that amended the Sugar Order No. 1, Series of 2020-21 regarding the sugar policy for crop year 2020-2021 mandating that the class ‘B’ sugar or domestic sugar should now be 100 percent instead of only 93 percent allocation and class ‘A’ sugar or for US market is now zero percent instead of seven percent. Class ‘A’ sugar is sold at to the US at a much lower price of P350 per bag or P7,000 per metric ton.

“The sugarcane farmer is losing 350 pesos per 50-kilos bag of sugar classified as ‘A’ sugar exported to the United States,” Palabrica said.

The 13th Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Iloilo passed unanimously a resolution pushed by 3rd District Board Member Matt Palabrica entitled “A Resolution Expressing Deepest Gratitude to His Excellency President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the Honorable Secretary of Agriculture William Dar and the Sugar Regulatory Administration for Putting an End to the Exportation or Sale of ‘A’ Sugar to the United States.” The entire province of Iloilo through Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr. express deepest gratitude to the immediate action made by President Rodrigo Duterte through the Department of Agriculture and Sugar Regulatory Administration.

“I believe that the resolution passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan helped in the recent decision made by SRA,” Palabrica said.

He also believes that the decision of SRA to stop the classification of class ‘A’ sugar and all sugar should be considered as ‘B’ sugar could help the sugarcane farmer in alleviating their income, especially the sugarcane farmers of the province of Iloilo.

The Confederation of Sugar Producers Association, Inc. and National Federation of Sugar Planters expressed their concern that the total production of sugar in this year will not be enough and would not be sufficient for the demand of local consumption. This is the reason why we must have a sufficient supply of sugar.

Board Member Palabrica started his advocacy last year in defending the plight of sugarcane farmers and passed Resolution No. 2020-646 entitled “Resolution Requesting His Excellency President Rodrigo R. Duterte And the Honorable Secretary of Agriculture William Dar To Consider Putting A Stop to The Export of Sugar to The United States and Urging the President to Provide More Support to The Sugar Farmers” dated October 6, 2020 during the 63rd Regular Session.

The resolution was sponsored by 3rd District Board Member Matt Palabrica and the co-sponsors are Vice Governor Christine “Tingting” Garin, 4th District Senior Board Member Rolando Distura and 2nd District Board Member Rolito Cajilig.
(SIA News / Bert Ladera) Photo source: Eva Elijas/Pexels