Sugar Regulatory Administration chief Ma. Regina Bautista-Martin yesterday denied that Sugar Order No. 7, Series of 2011-2012, prescribing the deadline for verification of “A” sugar or U.S. quota sugar on January 31, will lead to “homeless” sugar.
Verification is the process where SRA determines the volume, source and exporter of the sugar. Importantly, through verification, SRA earmarks the sugar covered by the verified “A” quedan for export to the United States market, she said.
The deadline was set because the Philippine raw sugar quota to the United States is already fully subscribed and no definitive indication was extended by the U.S. government that there is an additional allocation to the country, Martin said.
We provided the deadline for verification so that the remaining unverified “A” sugar can be utilized for other purposes such as for replenishment as “B” sugar domestic market, after compliance with appropriate SRA orders on the matter, she added.
The SRA chief dismissed the idea held by a few in the sugar industry that, because of the deadline, the unverified “A” sugar will be “homeless” or can no longer be exported to the United States under the quota.
“It is totally inaccurate to say that the remaining unverified ‘A’ is or will be homeless. First, only SRA can declare whether a particular classification of sugar is homeless and there is nothing in Sugar Order No. 7 which states that the resulting unverified ‘A’ due to the deadline is homeless sugar,” she said.
Second, the unverified ‘A’ can still be exported to the U.S. when an additional quota is allocated to the Philippines. The quedan holders of such will just have to submit them to SRA for verification when a new sugar order is issued after an additional allocation is extended to the country. Matin said.
Third, everybody in the sugar industry, meaning all holders of “A” quedans such as farmers, mills and traders, can participate in the additional quota allocation, if given by the U.S., she said. Contrary to the opinion of a very few, the Philippine raw sugar quota can be availed by the stakeholders of the sugar industry holding valid “A” quedans, she added.
The Philippine raw cane sugar quota to the United States is around 138,827 metric tons. As of January 30, 2012, a total of 118,664.07 metric tons have already been exported, while 158,208.35 metric tons are verified, she said.
The Philippines is hopeful it will get an additional quota allocation of around 100,000metric tons. Under the U.S Farm Bill, additional quota can be announced only after April 1 of the year, she said.*CPG