Effects on manufacturers cited

By: Inquirer.net September 18,2018 - 12:29 AM


PHILIPPINE-made sugar-based food products might lose to their imported counterparts in Southeast Asia partly due to the “prohibitive” price of domestic sugar, business groups have warned.

Recently, the heads of the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization, Inc. (Philfoodex), Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport), and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and industry (PCCI) sent two letters that offered a glimpse of the landscape that local firms currently face, as they risk losing their edge against imported products that have access to cheaper sugar inputs.

On one hand, these imported products from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have a low barrier to entry, especially with the five percent preferential tariff under the Asean free trade deal, the letters noted.

On the other, Asean food processors buy their sugar at the equivalent of P26 to P28 per kilo, significantly cheaper than the cost of sugar here.

“These Asean products have been coming into the country and threatening similar domestic products with sugar inputs priced from P60 to P65 [per] kilo,” the letters, which both had similar content, read.

These two separate letters were addressed to the heads of the Department of Agriculture and Sugar Regulatory Administration on June 20 and August 17, respectively. Copies of these letters were shared to the media.

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TAGS: cited, effects, manufacturers

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