Bacolod mayor seeks steady allocation of cheaper sugar
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez in this city is asking the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) for a regular allocation of sugar to be sold at affordable rates in this capital of Negros Occidental province, which accounts for 60 percent of the commodity produced by the country.
According to Benitez, the sale of affordable sugar, which will eventually expand to other food products, will benefit residents and also help bring down the country’s inflation rate.
“We all know that inflation is caused by high food prices. To control inflation, we have to make sure that the prices of food do not go up,” he said.
The program to sell sugar at an affordable price would eventually cascade down to other food products, including rice, the mayor said.
Benitez said Bacolod would need about 4,000 kilos of refined sugar a month to be sold at affordable rates, noting that the initial sale last week of 500 kilos of sugar at a Kadiwa outlet here sold out immediately.
He said the affordable sugar provided in the city by the SRA was not from seized smuggled sugar but from the Victorias Milling Co., one of the country’s biggest sugar millers located in Victorias City in Negros Occidental.
In February, Benitez wrote a letter to SRA acting Administrator David Thaddeus Alba, expressing the city’s intent to participate in the program that ensured the availability of affordable sugar to household consumers and Kadiwa outlets.
The mayor said the City Cooperative and Livelihood Development Office (CCLDO) would want to avail 1,000 kilos of sugar every week on a consignment basis.
Last April 3, the city government launched the SRA-DA (Department of Agriculture) Sugar Program through the CCLDO at the Bacolod City government center.
During the launching of the SRA-DA Sugar Program in Bacolod, the allocated 500 kilos of sugar was sold out within an hour, according to Brenda Burdeos, CCLDO head.
Sugar, she said, was sold at P70 a kilo by the CCLDO, with each buyer allowed to purchase up to 2 kilos per household.
Refined white sugar sells at about P112 per kilo in commercial outlets, she added.
“The affordable food products will be sold at Kadiwa stores at the Libertad, Burgos, and Central markets,” she said.
Burdeos said the CCLDO is coordinating with the vendors’ groups to serve as the city’s partners in selling Kadiwa sugar in designated areas in the three major public markets here.