Sugar shortage worries local legislators; Panay sugar mills urged to open early for next milling season

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The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Iloilo is worried about the looming shortage in the supply of sugar in Western Visayas.

To avert this, the local legislative body passed a resolution requesting sugar mills on Panay Island to open early for next milling season.

Third District Board Member Matt Palabrica, who sponsored the resolution, said the importation of sugar might not be manageable and will work against the interest of Filipino sugar farmers.

This, according him, will result to depressed local sugar prices and, thus, lower incomes for them, especially the small ones.

“The most logical, equitable and beneficial solution for all sectors in the industry would be an early start of the sugar milling season so that farmers can cash in their mature sugarcane crops and also increase the supply of sugar ill the local market,” he added.

The call is directed to three sugar mills operating within Panay. These are the Central Azucarera de San Antonio (CASA) in Passi City, Iloilo; Universal Robina Corporation-Passi (URC-Passi) in San Enrique, Iloilo; and Capiz Sugar Central (CSC) in President Roxas, Capiz.

Palabrica said the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) anticipates sugar shortage before the opening of milling season for 2022-2023 which is estimated at about 300,000 metric tons and some key players are agitating for immediate importation of sugar.

In Negros Occidental, the sugar mills have vowed to reopen their mill operations before the official milling season in response to the call of Negros Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer to allay fears of a sugar shortage in the country.IMT




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