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Planters hit by double whammy as fertilizer, diesel prices continue to rise

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The political frenzy might be here and higher temperatures are expected as summer creeps in but to sugar producers, the heat is on as petroleum prices push higher and as that of fertilizer continue to soar.

“This what can be truly called a double whammy,” lawyer Emilio Bernardino “Dino” Yulo III told DNX on the sideline of his congressional campaign in the province’s fifth district where a sizeable number of sugar producers are located.

Yulo, a former planters representative to the Sugar Board, said urea now sells for P3,000 a bag, up by almost half since the start of the year when producers started to complain and bring government’s attention to the issue.

Aside from urea, the common input and one of the key production components during the planting season, diesel fuel has also increased, breaching the P60 mark with more increases expected.

Fortunately, however, sugar millsite prices seem to have stabilized after successive court orders putting a halt to the importation of sugar authorized by the Sugar Regulatory Administration that had planters up in arms.

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