The Sugar Regulatory Administration will investigate the alleged unabated and undocumented entry of High Fructose Corn Syrup into the country, that is being blamed for the drop in domestic sugar prices.
SRA Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica gave the assurance after meeting with sugar industry leaders in Bacolod City yesterday.
The Sugar Alliance of the Philippines requested Serafica to investigate the influx of HFCS into the country and to implement Sugar Order No. 3 regulating its entry because the industry is in full milling operation, Manuel Lamata, president of the United Sugar Producers' Federation of the Philippines, said.
The SAP leaders also asked Serafica to help arrange a meeting between them and the president of the LandBank of the Philippines to request the bank to provide the industry quedan financing to support the small and marginal farmers for the next three months so they can cover expenses, while they wait for higher prices, Lamata added.
Domestic sugar prices have dropped to an average of P1,224 per Lkg., SRA data shows.
Seraficawas accompanied by Sugar Board Member Roland Beltran at the meeting with the sugar leaders.
The administrator said he assured the sugar leaders that SRA will investigate their concerns. The HFCS importation is regulated by SRA through Sugar Order No. 3 which provides guidelines for its entry into the country, Serafica said.
Under the SO, no imported HFCS shipment can be released from customs without SRA clearance, Serafica said, pointing out that SO 3 will remain in full force.
HFCS importers are required to show proof that they followed the rules and guidelines under SO 3 before they can be issued the clearance, Beltran added.*CPG
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