THE relentless campaign of the Marcos government to bring down the price of sugar continues to bear positive results with four more warehouses in Guiguinto, Bulacan inspected by authorities over the weekend, yielded at least 60,000 bags of suspected hoarded sugar.
This is the latest sugar warehouse inspection ordered by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s to fulfill his promise to consumers and traders to bring out the stocks of sugar in the market as this will bring down sugar prices.
The huge volume of sugar discovered by authorities in the various inspected warehouses in Luzon has led Malacanang to conclude that the sugar shortage is artificial, brought about by the hoarding of sugar traders who want to rake-in huge profits from the sudden spike in sugar prices.
Armed with a Letter of Authority (LOA), Customs personnel used their visitorial power to inspect four warehouses in T12 Polo Land, Ilang-Ilang street in Barangay Tabang, Guiguinto, Bulacan late Saturday afternoon.
Authorities found imported sugar from Thailand in the inspected warehouses at 50 kilograms per sack. At least two of the warehouses were half-full while one warehouse have sacks of sugar neatly stacked up to the roof.
The warehouse caretaker told Customs inspectors that the Thai sugar have just been delivered from the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) Friday evening.
Authorities also learned that the import permit used for the Thailand sugar was the allocation for Sugar Order No. 3 issued last February by the Sugar Regulatory Board.
Customs officials are now conducting verification on the authenticity of the importation documents presented to them by the warehouse caretaker in Guiguinto, Bulacan.
ON orders of the President, the Office of the Executive Secretary had earlier directed the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to account for the 63,000 metric tons of sugar from the 200,000 MT importation authorized under Sugar Order No. 3.
It can be recalled that Subic Port customs personnel have also seized 140,000 bags of imported sugar from Thailand equivalent to 7,000 metric tons. The Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) has suspected that “recycled permit” was used in the Subic Port.
At a recent press briefing, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles announced that the Bureau of Customs and other agencies are continuously inspecting sugar warehouses, in accordance with the President’s intensified campaign against illegal importation of agricultural products.
In a span of two days, simultaneous operations were conducted by the BoC, the SRA and the Department of Agriculture to inspect sugar warehouses in Deparo, Caloocan City; Balut in Tondo and San Nicolas in Manila; Rosales, Pangasinan; San Fernando, Pampanga; Ibaan, Batangas, and Davao.
San Jose Del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes has lauded President Marcos for his successful campaign in not only 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 the President’s directive for the inspection of food warehouses in the country has led to the discovery of stockpiled sugar, rice and other vital agricultural products. By ANCHIT MASANGCAY