MANILA, Philippines — Senate Majority Chief Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri is taking agency a stand in opposition to agricultural importation, calling for the Division of Agriculture to stop importation throughout harvest season for native farmers. This name comes after two straight weeks of plummeting millgate costs for uncooked sugar, in anticipation of the upcoming sugar importation as introduced by the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).
“First it was rice and corn, then pork, beef, rooster, and fish. Now it’s sugar. If we don’t put a cease to this ill-timed importation program, our native sugar costs might be in freefall for the approaching weeks,” Zubiri stated. “We can’t permit this to occur. Our sugar farmers might be struggling subsequent sugar crop 12 months, with excessive manufacturing prices and decrease productiveness.”
In Negros Occidental alone, millgate costs of a number of sugar mills have dropped considerably over two bidding weeks: Victorias Milling Firm dropped by P240 for each 50-kilogram bag of uncooked sugar, SONEDCO by P213, Hawaiian Philippines and First Farmers by P136, and Central Azucarera de La Carlota by P188. Within the neighboring island of Iloilo, URC Passi dropped by P223 and millers in Bukidnon by about P100.
The Division of Agriculture and the SRA have greenlighted a sugar importation program by way of Sugar Order No. 3, aiming to stabilize costs and provide deficits within the wake of Hurricane Odette.
“Our sugar farmers have been asking for assist in coping with skyrocketing fertilizer and diesel costs since final 12 months, and so they haven’t heard of any interventions from the DA and the SRA. Urea now sells for round P2,400 from simply P800 eighteen months in the past. Diesel costs have doubled from P27 over the identical timeframe.
“Now that sugar costs are up due to rising farm enter prices, the DA and SRA are popping out with an importation program to stabilize costs. It’s ironic that importation is their reply to our farmers’ pleas to mitigate skyrocketing fertilizer costs. This may solely sink our farmers towards in additional hardships and saddle them with extra money owed.
“The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the important significance of our agricultural sector. They’ve offered us meals amid our strictest lockdowns. And but unusually, the DA continues with its pro-import insurance policies, to the detriment of our personal farmers.
“I’ll ask the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture to conduct a listening to on this matter, because the DA officers dedicated over the past finances deliberations and in open session that they won’t import sugar through the harvest and milling season,” Zubiri stated.
“We must always make it a coverage that there be no importation program whereas harvest season is ongoing. That goes for sugar and all agricultural merchandise. Meals safety must be our battle cry, not import dependency.”
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