No sugar shortage, but prices rise in Baguio
by Redjie Cawis
Baguio City (30 January) -- The Department of Trade and Industry – Cordillera reported that there is no shortage of sugar supply but prices continues to increase in Baguio City.
Refined sugar prices reached P52 a kilo and P43 for the brown but suggested retail prices are P45.00 and P38.00 per kilo, respectively.
DTI Regional Director Myrna Pablo said that sugar prices have spiraled because of the high demand and it is also an international market dictation.
In the National Capital Region, sugar prices are higher reaching to as high as P60.00 per kilo for the refined sugar because of the bigger demand for industrial users. Pablo said industrial users like big food companies have high demand for sugar which is a major component of their products.
Pablo said that the Department of Agriculture and the DTI have two ways of stabilizing the sugar prices. The first option involves importing sugar to stabilize supply in the local market but since importing will have tariff and value added tax it will be intended for the industrial users.
Pablo added that the locally produced sugar will be prioritized to the local consumers.
The second option is the imposition of price control. The DTI takes the initiative to monitor sugar price even if it is not a regular commodity for DTI.
According to Pablo, DTI does not want the imposition of price control to happen because it might cause hording of products by the business sector. DTI and DA will force business establishments to impose a 45-50 pesos price if prices continue to rise.
Pablo added that during the Christmas holidays, the DA has lost its two months buffer supply of sugar and this also caused the increase of sugar prices. (PIA) [top]