News Release

PBBM assures sufficient sugar supply


President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Sunday said the country has a sufficient supply of sugar even as he vowed to make fertilizers affordable for farmers.

In his weekly vlog, Marcos explained the country’s current sugar inventory is enough and there is no need to import just yet.

He also stressed there is enough local supply that should be consumed first before the country resorts to importation.

“Nakita ko naman may sapat na suplay dito na nandito na sa Pilipinas. So sabi ko, ‘bakit ‘di natin unahin ‘yan dahil ‘yan ay galing dito sa Pilipinas?’ At mayroon na rin tayong na-import noon na nakaimbentaryo ngayon,” he said.

“So bago tayo mag-import ng panibagong asukal, dapat sabi ko ubusin na muna natin ang suplay dito,” he stressed.

In his calculation, Marcos noted that the supply might dwindle by October.

“Pero kakaunti lang hindi kasing dami ng kanilang sinasabi dati na 300,000 tons. Eh siguro marami — malaki na ‘yung 150,000 tons para sa buong taon na ito,” he said.

Malacañang earlier called for a probe into the “unauthorized” signing of a document by the members of the Sugar Regulatory Administration that directed the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Marcos, as board chairman, did not authorize the importation and did not sign any resolution or order to allow such a move.

Marcos said the administration is carefully studying and calculating the importation of sugar as well as seedlings, rice, and feed wheat to ensure food security.

“Ang mahirap talaga dito,ayaw na ayaw natin mag-import. Ngunit kung hindi sapat ang suplay ng pagkain, mapipilitan talaga tayo mag-import dahil kung hindi tayo mag-import at mababa ang suplay, magtataasan naman ang presyo. Hindi natin maaaring gawin ‘yun sa taumbayan,” he said.

The chief executive noted that while importation is inevitable, the government must ensure that it’s just enough and should not be done in a massive volume.

“Tiyakin natin na ‘yung importation hindi naman sobra. Hindi sobra-sobra doon sa pangangailangan at mayroon namang suplay dito sa Pilipinas,” he said.

Non-traditional supply source

Meanwhile, the President also discussed the problem of the continuing rise in the price of fertilizers due to the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Marcos said his administration is trying to look at “non-traditional” sources of supply of fertilizer to help farmers produce enough supply of crops.

“Iyong mga iba’t ibang bansa na hindi naman natin iniimporta noon ay nilalapitan na ngayon natin at baka sakali makabili tayo ng fertilizer na mas mura,” he said.

The President earlier bared plans to reach out to China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia to purchase cheaper fertilizer through bilateral deals.

“Sa parte ng gobyerno, ang ginagawa natin ay kinakausap natin ang mga kaibigan nating mga iba’t ibang bansa dahil pagka government to government ang naging tradingng fertilizer mas nakakamura,” he said.

Other government efforts to mitigate the impact of the rising fertilizer price, he said, include the issuance of e-vouchers to farmers and the discussion between the Department of Trade and Industry and fertilizer traders to control the price of urea. | PND