DA, DTI urged to probe alleged sugar price manipulation
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Bam Aquino urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade Industry (DTI) on Thursday to look into the alleged price manipulation of sugar amid the reported rise in retail prices.
Aquino issued the call after officials of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) accused wholesalers and retailers of manipulating sugar prices.
The accusation came amid complaints of the rising retail of retail sugar in markets, despite a steady farmgate price from the sugar mills and an all-time high sugar stock balance.
“Dapat talagang tingnan ang isyung ito dahil hindi produksiyon ang nakikitang problema kundi may nangyayaring manipulasyon ng ilang tao na nais makinabang mula rito,” Aquino said in a statement.
The senator also said that the DA and the DTI must join forces in finding ways to stop the increase of sugar prices, which has an average price of P60 per kilo in the market.
Aquino earlier opposed the government’s plan to import sugar, pointing out that unabated importation would lead to the death of the sugar industry.
“Nakababahala ang planong ito ng gobyerno na bahain ng merkado ng inangkat na asukal dahil talo ang ating maliliit na magsasaka at kanilang mga pamilya,” he said.
“Sa walang habas na pag-angkat ng asukal, ninanakawan ng kabuhayan ang mahihirap na pamilyang umaasa sa pagtatanim ng tubo,” Aquino added.
Aquino proposed that the government should instead give small farmers the necessary resources to improve their livelihood. /gsg
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