Sugar planters buck reduction of tariff on fructose importations
- by Rommel Ynion () - May 21, 2001 - 12:00am
Sugar planters and millers are opposed to the reduction of tariff on fructose importations which, they said, could displace P6.5-billion worth of local sugarcane.

Enrique Rojas, president of the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters, said the Malacañang-issued order lowering tariffs for fructose by five percent could cause the influx of the product into the country.

"This will cause irreparable damage in the future to our local sugar production since industrial sugar users, especially beverage companies, will most likely shift to the use of fructose as a sugar substitute," Rojas pointed out.

Other groups in the sugar industry echoed the same sentiment in a letter to the agriculture department. They are the Confederation of Sugar Producers Associations; National Federation of Sugarcane Planters; United Federation of Sugarcane Planters; Panay Federation of Sugarcane Planters; Philippine Sugar Millers Association; and the Association of Integrated Millers.

Rojas added that the five-percent reduction in tariff can enable "industrial sugar users to directly import high fructose syrup from other countries, thereby shifting their sweetener needs from sugar to fructose."

He said such a development will displace at least 386,500 metric tons of local sugar cane, resulting in a P6.5-billion loss to the industry which, he added, could collapse due to the depressed prices.

Rojas underscored that under the World Trade Organization, the country’s commitment is a final bound tariff rate of 50 percent by 2004 while under Executive Order 334, only five percent by the same year.

"Other countries have higher tariff for fructose, thereby putting in place safeguards to prevent imports of fructose syrup to protect their domestic sugar production," Rojas said.

ASSOCIATION OF INTEGRATED MILLERS CONFEDERATION OF SUGAR PRODUCERS ASSOCIATIONS ENRIQUE ROJAS EXECUTIVE ORDER FRUCTOSE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF SUGARCANE PLANTERS PANAY FEDERATION OF SUGARCANE PLANTERS ROJAS SUGAR
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