Sugar producers twit ex-DA execs claim of 319,000MT sugar deficit

Bella Cariaso, The Manila Times

August 24, 2022

Sugar producers on Wednesday refuted the claim of former Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) administrator Hermenegildo Serafica and resigned Department of Agriculture (DA) undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian that there would be a deficit of 319,000 metric tons of sugar in December, which was why they recommended the importation of 300,000 metric tons.

Serafica disclosed this during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigation on Tuesday.

In a radio interview, United Sugar Producers Federation (UNIFED) President Manuel Lamata said that he was confident that the local producers will be able to meet the target of two million metric tons with the start of the milling season.

“I can guarantee that there will be no sugar deficit. With the [way the] weather is going now since sugar is dependent on weather, we will be able to hit two million metric tons,” Lamata said.”

At the same time, Lamata said that the discovery of 400,000 bags of sugar in a milling company in Bukidnon will further boost the supply of the sweetener in the market.

If the report on the stocks of 400,000 bags of sugar at Crystal Mill in Bukidnon is true, this only proves that Mr. Serafica is lying on the sugar shortage,” Lamata added.

Lamata noted that the sugar stocks in Bukidnon are bigger compared to the thousands of sacks found in the warehouses in Bulacan and Pampanga.

“Mr. Serafica has been saying that we will have [a] sugar deficit come [the] end of August, but authorities keep on discovering thousands of stocks in various warehouses,” he said.

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