REELECTIONIST Senator JV Ejercito wants officials of the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, and the Sugar Regulatory Board to explain in a Senate investigation the “highly irregular” sugar price increase in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.



This developed as Ejercito, author of the “Sugar Cane Industry Development Act” law, is set to file a resolution calling for a Senate probe on the rising price of sugar.



“I will file a resolution urging the Senate to investigate the increase of sugar price, especially here in Manila. One of the directions of this investigation is to unmask the people behind this,” he said in a statement.



He added: “But what is important and urgent right now is a quick government intervention to lower the price and protect the consumers and end-users as well as the sugar farmers and producers.”



Ejercito suspected that some “dirty hands” were manipulating the market price, whether wholesale or retail, since the production was high and the supply was adequate.



“The prevailing farmgate price of raw or brown sugar, I was told by sugar farmers themselves, is P30 per kilo lang, pero dito sa Metro Manila at iba pang lugar, marami ang umaangal na namamalengke dahil mahal ang asukal. Unfair naman ito sa mga magsasaka dahil sila ang talagang nagtatrabaho ‘tapos ang nakikinabang ng husto ay iba. At unfair din sa mga consumers,” he said.



He stressed: “We will see where will the Senate probe will lead us to. Ang mahalaga, una, dapat maibalik agad and asukal sa dating mas mababang presyo, at pangalawa, maprotektahan ang sugar farmers. Kasi, sila na nagpapagod halos pangkain lang ang kinikita, tapos may iba na nakikinabang ng husto na baka iligal pa ang ginagawa.”######