The advantage of having the country’s chief executive personally run the Department of Agriculture has started to bear fruit following reports that prices of sugar have started to drop.
San Jose Del Monte City Lone District Rep. Florida Robes pointed out that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has succeeded not only in averting sugar prices from shooting up but he has also blocked the highly questionable importation of the prime commodity.
“The series of determined moves that the president initiated to address an impending sugar crisis turned the tables against agricultural smugglers and food hoarders.
Meanwhile, the consumers and farmers are winning,” said Robes, chairperson of the House Committee on Good Government.
Robes said President Marcos directive for the inspection of food warehouses in the country has led to the discovery of stockpiled sugar, rice and other vital agricultural products.
She also lauded the chief executive’s swift action against moves by the Sugar Regulatory Administration to authorize the importation of some 300,000 metric tons of sugar notwithstanding the fact that the current supply situation is still normal.
Acting on orders from the president, Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez directed a coordinated inspection of various warehouses starting Thursday (August 18).
The operation was jointly conducted by the Bureau of Customs, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine National Police and the SRA.
At least three metric tons of refined sugar apparently imported from Thailand were discovered among the estimated nine metric tons of local produce.
Robes lamented that a warehouse located within her congressional district area yielded a hoard of some P222 million worth of 50-kilo bags of refined sugar.
The city government headed by her husband, Mayor Arthur Robes, has ordered an investigation into the operations of the SJDMC warehouse owner identified as Victor Teng Chua.
“I invited Mr. Chua to show up on Monday for the continuation of congressional inquiry into the sugar importation controversy,” said Rep. Robes.