ILOILO CITY, April 23 (PIA) - - The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) ng Iloilo thanked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Department of Agriculture and Sugar Regulatory Administration for the immediate action in stopping the exportation of class 'A' sugar to the United States.
On April 13, SP Iloilo expressed its profound gratitude to the President, DA and SRA through a resolution entitled "A Resolution Expressing Deepest Gratitude to His Excellency President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the Honorable Secretary of Agriculture William Dar and the Sugar Regulatory Administration for Putting an End to the Exportation or Sale of 'A' Sugar to the United States."
"The entire province of Iloilo, through Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr., expresses deepest gratitude to the immediate action made by President Rodrigo Duterte through DA and SRA," said a press report from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
The decision of SRA to stop the exportation of class 'A' sugar is contained in its issued Sugar Order No. 1-A, Series of 2020-21 that amended the Sugar Order No. 1, Series of 2020-21 regarding the sugar policy for crop year 2020-2021 mandating that the class 'B' sugar or domestic sugar should now be 100 percent instead of only 93 percent allocation and class 'A' sugar or for US market is now zero percent instead of seven percent. Class 'A' sugar is sold to the US at a much lower price of P350 per bag or P7,000 per metric ton.
Third District Board Member Matt Palabrica, who pushed for the resolution, said the sugarcane farmer is losing P350 per 50-kilogram bag of sugar classified as 'A' sugar exported to the United States.
"I believe that the resolution passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan helped in the recent decision made by SRA," said Palabrica in the SP press report.
Last year, during the 63rd Regular Session, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan enacted Resolution No. 2020-646 entitled "Resolution Requesting His Excellency President Rodrigo R. Duterte And the Honorable Secretary of Agriculture William Dar To Consider Putting A Stop to The Export of Sugar to The United States and Urging the President to Provide More Support to The Sugar Farmers" dated October 6, 2020.
The resolution was sponsored by Palabrica taking into account the plight of sugar cane farmers. Vice Governor Christine Garin, 4th District Senior SP Rolando Distura and 2nd SP Member Rolito Cajilig were co-sponsors of the resolution.
According to the SP Member, the decision of SRA to stop the classification of class 'A' sugar and all sugar should be considered as 'B' sugar could help the sugarcane farmer in alleviating their income, especially the sugarcane farmers of the province of Iloilo.
The Confederation of Sugar Producers Association, Inc. and National Federation of Sugar Planters have expressed their concern that the total production of sugar this year will not be enough and would not be sufficient for the demand of local consumption. (SIA News/Bert Ladera/JSC/laf/PIA6 Iloilo/ Photo courtesy of SIA)