SRA tweaks rules for sugar purchase program

March 25, 2024
Business Mirror |

The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) announced amendments to the guidelines for the implementation of an order that allowed traders to purchase a limited volume of raw sugar produced in the Philippines at a premium.

The SRA released a memorandum dated March 19 which specified the changes to the rules for implementing Sugar Order (SO) 2, or the “Voluntary Purchase of Crop Year 2023-2024 Locally Produced Sugar for Reclassification to Reserve Sugar to Avail of Allocation for Future Import Program.” The agency issued Memorandum Circular (MC) 4 which prescribed the guidelines last March 14.

“Consonant with the observations and feedback in the conduct of implementation of Sugar Order No. 2, Series of 2023-2024 and the Guidelines therefore, there exist the necessity to Amend certain provisions of the ‘Guidelines’ which took effect on March 14, 2024,” the memo read.

The SRA amended Item II of the guidelines which pertained to the application period and volume of the program, which will allow traders to purchase 300,000 metric tons (MT) of raw sugar.

According to the memo, applications for reclassification from “B” (domestic sugar) to “C” (reserve sugar) of quedans should follow this schedule:

• For quedans issued on or before the week ending January 28, 2024, eligible participants may apply for reclassification strictly between 8 a.m. to 5 pm., Monday to Friday, but not later than March 26;

• For quedans issued starting the week ending February 4, 2024 and until the week ending March 3, 2024, eligible participants may apply for reclassification between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, but not later than March 26;

• For quedans issued for week ending March 10, 2024, and for quedans issued for the succeeding week endings, and provided the total volume covered by items II(a) and II(B) has not yet reached 300,000 MT, eligible participants for reclassification with the Regulation Department in Quezon City or Bacolod City, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., every Monday and Tuesday only, starting March 18 and 19, and the Mondays and Tuesdays of the succeeding weeks until the total volume applied for under Sugar Order No. 2, Series of 2023-2024 has reached 300,000 MT.

A quedan is the equivalent of a warehouse receipt. It shows ownership of a specified amount of sugar in a warehouse or sugar central. A negotiable instrument, it is a primary trading document in the Philippine sugar industry.

The SRA said its Regulation Department will deny or reject all application for reclassification that did not comply with all the mandatory requirements or procedures stated in SO 2.

It said it will reject applications with incomplete documentary requirements, those covering volumes in excess of 300,000 MT and applications that did not meet the deadlines.

SRA said the sugar purchase program was implemented to maintain a balanced supply and demand of sugar for domestic consumption and ensure stable farmgate prices.

Eligible participants who purchased raw sugar under SO 2 and have complied with all its conditions and requirements will be prioritized in future government program for sugar importation based on the volume of raw sugar purchased under SO 2, at a ratio of 1.5 (local raw sugar):1 (imported sugar).