In what could be considered as the official stand of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said “sugar importation should be allowed if local production is unable to meet the rising demand to prevent further price increases.”

He (Balicasan) was further quoted saying “Local production has to grow. Now if it cannot grow, imports should be allowed . Otherwise, prices will continue to skyrocket.”

It should be noted that sugar prices have been rising by over five percent per month since the start of 2022, a pace considered by observers as fast. NEDA honcho identifies the biggest problem of the sugar industry is the “insufficient volume of supply” – proven by the falling production in recent years, aggravated by typhoon Odette that hit the country during the cropping year.

The issue of sugar production shortfall has caused one of my fellow Outstanding Young Scientists departure from his post with the Department of Agriculture – referring to Dr. Leocadio Sebastian (who was VP of the Outstanding Young Scientists Association of the Philippines during my watch as President). This made me think naughtily that DA is not an office-friendly government agency as another fellow young scientist in Dr. William Dar got a “whipping” during his sojourn as secretary.

Scientists are not meant to join the DA least suffer the destinies of my fellow outstanding young scientists – go elsewhere – science and politics are immiscible! Tomodachi-tachi Dr. Leo was for sugar importation, Dr. Balicasan is up production.
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