PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has ordered the Department of Agriculture (DA) to expedite the importation of over 64,000 metric tons (MT) of refined sugar to stabilize the prices of basic commodities.

Under DA Memorandum Order No. 77, Series of 2022, signed by Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban on December 20, 2022, it said the summary inflation report consumer price index issued on December 6, the annual inflation increment for sugars, confectionery and desserts have reached 38 percent.

“Concerned with this very high inflation rate, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., secretary of the Department of Agriculture, has ordered the department to take action and to stabilize sugar prices,” the memo reads.

“In this regard, you are hereby directed to immediately convene the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) Advisory Council and expedite the importation of 64,050 metric tons of refined sugar through the MAV mechanism,” it added.

Marcos earlier approved Sugar Order (SO) No. 2, which allows the importation of 150,000 MT of sugar.

Under SO No. 2, the imported sugar shall arrive in the country not later than November 15, 2022.

Half or 75,000 MT of imported sugar will be allocated to industrial users while the rest will be for consumers. (SunStar Philippines)