By Liza Soriano
MANILA — Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri called for an investigation into the unreleased 127,000 metric tons of sugar in warehouses amid the possibility of a supply shortage.
“Meron pa pong 126,336 metric tons in bodegas, in 40-foot containers all over Metro Manila and with the other traders. Hindi pa nila inilalabas. Bakit po nila hindi inilalabas itong asukal? Are they creating an artificial shortage? Zubiri said.
“Ang masama nito, gusto pa nilang magpasok, mag-import pa. They want to continue importing when we still have stocks that they haven’t released?” the Senate President said.
Zubiri also said that the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) should probe the unauthorized release of Sugar Order No. 4, which set an import quota for 300,000 metric tons of sugar into the country.
Sugar Order No. 4 was released on 10 August 2022 without the authority of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., concurrent head of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
“The unauthorized release of Sugar Order No. 4 is absolutely reprehensible and must be investigated,” said Zubiri his speech.
Zubiri prefaced his discussion of Sugar Order No. 4 by detailing the implementation of a similar order released in February of this year. Sugar Order No. 3 set an import quota of 200,000 metric tons of sugar, exclusively for industrial users. The order, Zubiri noted, was released right in the middle of the harvest season. (ai/mtvn)