Press Release
February 16, 2023

STATEMENT OF SENATOR RISA HONTIVEROS ON SUGAR IMPORTATION ISSUE

The absence of the signature of the President on Sugar Order No. 6 is probably the least of my questions. Andami kong katanungan. Una, where did they get the volume of 440,000MT when three major federations of sugar producers pushed for only 330,000MT?

Second, why is the Department of Agriculture given the discretion of final approval of the volumes to be allocated to importers, when in previous SOs they were pro-rated based on a mechanical computation? Pwede bang sabihin ng DA na sa tatlong trader lang, at etsapwera na ang iba kahit sila ay nag-apply at eligible importers naman? Hindi ba ito favoritism at virtual monopoly?

Lastly, matanong ko lang, can a Sugar Order be retroactive and legitimize the entry of imported sugar that arrived before the SO's issuance? Because if we follow the law, imported sugar not covered by a sugar order is technically smuggled. Sino ang nag smuggle? Sino ang nagbasbas?

Yan ang mga tanong na mahalaga sa akin into which I will dig deeper.

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