Marcos wants to protect jobs in sugar industry

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has underscored the need to increase the supply of quality sugar in the food manufacturing industry to protect local jobs.

In his meeting with food manufacturers on Monday, Marcos said there is a need to assess the government’s measures in ensuring sugar supply.

“It has become a worrisome problem. We are doing all of these things to protect the jobs of workers in those industries,” Marcos was quoted as saying in a press statement issued Tuesday.

“So we are studying several measures that we can take to immediately increase the supply of sugar in the country,” he added.

Amid the sugar price hike, Marcos has promised “to have systems in place to manage the price increase so that businesses are kept running and job security is ensured.”

He said the government is in talks with traders in order to bring down the prices of the said commodity.

“Hopefully, we can get some concessions with the traders so that at least the pricing will be reasonable. The concern is the supply right now. I’ll make sure that there is sufficient supply in the country so that you can operate at full capacity,” Marcos said.

Further, Marcos is also eyeing direct importation by food manufacturers with the approval of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) as part of the emergency measures to address current industry concerns.

The President earlier said the Philippines might need to import sugar in October of this year, but not the same volume earlier proposed by the regulatory board.

Marcos rejected the proposal to import 300,000 metric tons of sugar as, according to him, the country still has enough supplies to meet the demand despite the soaring sugar prices.

Data from the Department of Agriculture showed that prices of refined sugar were recorded at P100.00 per kilogram, washed sugar at P75.00 per kilogram, and brown sugar at P70.00 per kilogram in Metro Manila as of August 12, 2022. — RSJ, GMA News

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