The Sugar Regulatory Authority (SRA) said at least 11,500 bags of sugar seized during the raid on the warehouses will be auctioned after owners fail to show documentation.
“About 11,500 bags were auctioned off. A new arrest is being investigated,” SRA board member Pablo Luis Ascona said in a message to the Manila Times.
Azcona added that the customs office had requested the SRA for the floor price to be used as a basis for auctioning illegally acquired sugar. He said seized sugar should be disposed of before the end of the year as its quality deteriorates.
“These confiscated sugar stocks cannot be stored for long, as if the condition of the warehouse is bad. Sugar will be damp,” Ascona said, adding that traders in good standing could participate in the auction.
“Legal traders who will engage in illegal activities will not be allowed to participate in the auction,” he said.
“When the confiscated sugar has been classified as a reserve, The customs office can auction sugar to increase supply in the local market,” Ascona said.
SRA supervisor David Alba previously said some sugar stocks at some of the warehouses under raids were allowed to hit the market after owners showed the appropriate documentation.
Azcona said that in addition to Kadiwa Centers and SRA offices in Quezon City and Bacolod City, per kilogram of refined sugar is also available in 23 CSI Supermarkets locations.
“If LGU wants to join We can consider that CSI Supermarkets, which have at least 23 stores, including in the provinces of Ilocos and Pangasinan, sell refined sugar at 70 pesos per kilogram,” added Ascona.
Azcona said sugar importers agreed to allocate at least 10 percent of the allocation to support the Department of Agriculture and SRA’s 70-pesos-per-kg refined sugar program.
“Sugar importers make 300,000 bags of sugar, which weighs about 15 million kilograms,” he said.
Each buyer is entitled to at least 3 kg of sugar to prevent hoarding.
“We are limiting the weight to 3 kg per person. So we expect the program to continue until December,” he said.
Azcona said that according to the SRA inventory as of Oct. 15, 2022, domestic sugar stocks are up 20 percent compared to the same period last year.
“Actually, our mill in Negros is working at full capacity. So we have no problem sourcing,” he said.