Editors Note: The following is a press statement from lawyer Emilio Bernardino Yulo III, planters representative to the Sugar Regulatory Administration board om the call of planters for the termination of the US sugar quota.
DNX is printing it in full.
I am fully supportive of all the stakeholders call (CONFED, NFSP, UNIFED, PANAYFED and LUZONFED) to terminate the current seven percent allocation for the US quota in light of the obvious fact that we may not be able to reach our targeted sugar output for this crop year.
The projected national production of 2.190 million metric tons appears to be a long shot based on simple mathematics and I expressed this to Sugar Regulatory Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica as early as November to revisit and review SRA’s estimates given the heavy rainfall we experienced in Negros Occidental and with Batangas getting hit by Typhoon Quinta that time.
(SRA Administrator) Serafica assured me in a letter that he has ordered a study as early as October and will appraise the Sugar Board about the situation but nothing happened. Rather, the administrator reiterated through media, last February, his forecast that “we will have excess sugar this crop year which will need to be exported.”
That statement was quite alarming because of clear figures coming from the ground which prompted me to reiterate my reservations in my letters between January to March because it was near impossible to attain by then the initial projected national production.
Doing the mathematics, the sugar industry needs to average an LKg/TC of 2.22 for the remainder of the milling season to be able to attain the projected national production. In fact, just to be able to reach 2 million MT, the industry needs to average an LKg/TC of 1.78 for the remainder of the crop year. But by end of February, figures showed that the LKg/TC continued to be mired in the 1.71 level which makes it next to impossible to aim for the projected national production.
CONFED, in their recent letter to Admin Serafica was right to assume that there is expected tightness in our domestic supply as figures have clearly shown and thus, called for the scrapping of “A” sugar. The handwriting is on the wall and in fact scribbles were already seen as early as January and should have been acted upon.
As I have repeatedly stressed in my correspondences, it is UNCONSCIONABLE to export if eventually we are to import which will again prompt the resurgence of calls to liberalize which industry stakeholders have been fighting against, knowing that this will kill the sugar industry.
I enjoin industry stakeholders that our battlecry for now should be, let us ensure first that we have enough domestic supply.