BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The suspension of excise tax on fuel may also bring down the soaring prices of fertilizers, which is now in the hands of the national government, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday said.
Sugar producers are now up in arms against the skyrocketing prices of fertilizers, which increased to more than P2,000 compared to P850 per sack in October last year.
Lacson said that the national government is aware of the increase in prices of fuel and fertilizers, noting also that many presidential candidates have already came up with suggestions on what to do.
“It’s really in the hands now of the national government if they can suspend with the excise tax on fuel. Somehow this might also be able to bring it down (the prices),“ he added.
Sugar producers warned of a “disaster” in agricultural productivity, following more than 100 percent increase in the price of fertilizers, which may also affect at the government’s food security program.
The National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NFSP) also called on the Department of Agriculture to request the Department of Trade and Industry to impose a price cap on fertilizer prices.
Raymond Montinola, president of the Confederation of Sugar Producers Association Inc. (Confed), also said that while the price of Urea fertilizers and related farming costs continue to skyrocket to unprecedented levels, sugar prices remain the same.
The Department of Finance earlier said that the suspension of excise taxes on petroleum would result in as much as P131.4 billion in revenue losses for 2022, potentially hampering the country’s budget for recovery.
Lacson said hopes that the national leaders will address concerns over sharp rise on the price of fertilizers.
It’s really now up to the national government if they can do anything about it, Lacson said, stressing that many sugar federations already made an appeal to act on soaring prices of fertilizers.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri called the Department of Agriculture (DA) to act on farmers’ complaints about constantly rising prices of fertilizer products which leaves them with little to no income.
Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority Executive Director Wilfredo Roldan has cited global demand as the primary reason for rising fertilizer prices.
To alleviate high prices, the senator, in a statement, suggested that the DA work towards turning the fertilizer industry a local one, so that prices would not go high due to other fees related to importation.*