Philippines: Govt should tread carefully on sugar importation


WITH debate still raging over the impact on farmers of the liberalization of rice imports, the Department of Finance (DoF) has proposed taking a similar course on sugar, another Philippine agricultural staple. This has been met by fierce resistance from the sugar industry, including formal opposition from the Sugar Regulatory Authority (SRA). To avoid the sort of extended tension that has resulted from the Rice Tariffication Law, the government must approach liberalization of the sugar trade with caution.

The sugar import liberalization scheme, which would allow for up to 400,000 metric tons of imports to augment the annual domestic supply, is necessary, according to the DoF, because domestic sugar production consistently falls short of demand, and domestic sugar prices have been consistently double the world average.


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