Press Releases

Salceda to SRA administrator: Adopt ‘rules-based’ allocation of imports

September 11th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) sought the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA)’s commitment to abide by a “rules-based” system of allocating imports authorized by Sugar Orders, during the joint Committee Hearing of the House Committees on Agriculture and Good Government.

Salceda told Acting Administrator David John Thaddeus Alba to commit “to basing your import program on a rules-based system,” during the hearing, after Salceda asked the agency how the import program under Sugar Order No. 3 was allocated.

“I have here the list of actual import allocations granted by the SRA under Sugar Order No. 3. It does not include a few of the leading players. How did you allocate the import program? How did those who are not included in the list buy their sugar?”

When Salceda asked whether the SRA follows certain rules in allocating imports, the SRA administrator responded that the Board determines how to equitably allocate the import program.

Salceda also asked whether the SRA conducts an auction of the import slots, to which the SRA responded in the negative.

Salceda pointed out that being allowed to import “is a unique privilege.”

“Who allows the big guys to import at P20 and the average citizen from Polangui at P120” Salceda asked, referring to the price per kilo of imported sugar in the world market, and the retail price in his family’s hometown.

“And how are the big retailers able to promise President Marcos to sell at P70 per kilogram?”

Salceda suggested that an auction of sugar import slots should instead be conducted, to ensure fair allocation as well as to generate revenues for local industry support.

“Since we impose no tariffs on sugar from our ASEAN neighbors, we should just auction off the slots for auction fees. That can be earmarked for local sugar industry development. That’s much better than setting very random import figures and allocating them arbitrarily among a small number of players.”

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