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That ain’t sweet! Bam urges gov’t: Stop sugar prices from rising

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Senator Bam Aquino on Thursday asked concerned agencies to stop the blame game and immediately address the rising cost of sugar despite the stable supply in the market and low millgate prices.

He said the Department of Agriculture (DA) must look into the accusation made by Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) officials that manipulation is behind the increase in sugar prices in the wholesale and retail levels.

The re-electionist senator said the Department of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) should activate the Price Coordinating Council, which it chairs, to protect consumers from unjust increase in sugar prices.

He said the DA and DTI must join forces in looking into alleged price manipulation of traders and retailers despite steady farmgate price from the sugar mills.

Aquino said the DA and DTI must find ways to stop the increase in prices of sugar, which has an average price of P60 per kilo in the market.

“Huwag na tayong magsisihan. Magkaisa sana tayo para maprotektahan ang mga mga kababayan nating kumokonsumo ng asukal,” he said.

“Dapat talagang tingnan ang isyung ito dahil hindi produksiyon ang nakikitang problema kundi may nangyayaring manipulasyon ng ilang tao na nais makinabang mula rito,” Aquino added.

He earlier rejected the government’s plan to import sugar, saying that unabated importation would lead to the death of the sugar industry.

“Nakababahala ang planong ito ng gobyerno na bahain ng merkado ng inangkat na asukal dahil talo ang ating maliliit na magsasaka at kanilang mga pamilya,” he said.

“Sa walang habas na pag-angkat ng asukal, ninanakawan ng kabuhayan ang mahihirap na pamilyang umaasa sa pagtatanim ng tubo,” Aquino said.

Instead of allowing the unabated entry of sugar into the market, he said the government should give small farmers the needed resources to improve their livelihood.

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