SRA to act on cola companies’ woes

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. with David John Thaddeus Alba (left), acting administrator of the Sugar Regulatory Administration, and Pablo Luis Azcona (right) and Ma. Mitzi Mangwag, SRA board members representing the sugar planters and the sugar millers, respectively, after taking their oath of office at Malacañan Palace on Aug. 22, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Paul Azcona)

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Sugar Regulatory acting administrator David Alba on Tuesday said that they are asking softdrink companies to give them time but assured that they will act on their claims of sugar shortage.

“We acknowledge that there is a shortage as far as refined sugar being used primarily by the beverage industry,” Alba said in a statement.

Alba said they are currently consolidating the data as to how much is really needed so they can recommend the necessary actions to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

But while Coca-Cola is in a critical place in its sugar needs, he cited that Pepsi and RC Cola companies still have available supply per SRA records.

“The Sugar Board just took office, and we ask our industry partners to indulge us with some time so we can address this issue based on established facts,” Alba said.

Earlier, Cola-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. said that the country’s food and beverage industry will need at least 450,000 metric tons of premium refined sugar to meet consumer demand.

In an official statement, the beverage giant said it uses premium refined sugar in its products, which is different from the sugar used in households.

Meanwhile, Alba said Pres. Marcos Jr. convened the Sugar Board “and we were directed to immediately come up with Sugar Order No. 1 regarding sugar allocation, of which the Sugar Board recommended that all sugar for this crop year will be classified as ‘B’ sugar or domestic sugar.”

He also said that there will be no allocation for the US quota.

“This will of course be subjected to thorough consultation with all industry stakeholders. We also came up with Sugar Order No. 2 which recommends the importation of 150,000 metric tons of refined sugar. While in principle this has been approved, we still need to draw up the mechanics covering this order after consultations as well,” Alba said.