DO SOMETHING: The Negrense lawyer and former member of the Sugar Board urges government agencies to do something. Below is a news release from his publicist.
The unabated increase in fertilizer cost despite their call for a freeze price increase, is causing trouble to the sugar industry now that the milling season is already peaking and sugar planting has commenced in many areas.
Former Sugar Regulatory Board Member, Atty. Dino Yulo said that prices of fertilizers have more than doubled compared to last year. Urea, which is the fertilizer grade most heavily used by farmers, was selling around P900 per 50-kilo bag of urea about 18 months ago, and we are now buying it at P2,300-2,400 per bag, Yulo said.
“We have been feeling the effects since the last planting season and in fact, we called out several months ago for national intervention, particularly to the Department of Agriculture and Department of Trade and Industry, yet there has been no concrete action,” he said.
“Coupled with that is also the petroleum price hike that has almost doubled as well, with diesel fuel breaching the P50 per liter mark,” Yulo said, adding that these price hike in two major farm inputs will definitely have a “severe impact” in the sugar industry.
With Typhoon Odette affecting most of southern Negros that even led to the temporary stoppage of a sugar mill, “our planters in the south may not be able to survive this crisis if DTI will not step in and ensure that fertilizers’ cost are kept at bay,” Yulo said.
Since September there have been appeal for fertilizer subsidies and setting a price cap on this particularly commodity, yet our appeal has not been acted upon, he said.
“This alone has led to our production cost skyrocketing as well. And with the sugar planting season now commencing, we do not know how our producers can survive this, especially the farmers in the south,” Yulo added.