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Philippine leader threatens to fire officials in sugar mess – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2022-08-11 12:45:00 –

MANILA >> Philippine president announces decision to import sugar amid sugar shortages without his approval, threatening to fire farm workers if investigation finds they have done improperly did, his spokesman said Thursday.

This is the toughest punitive action newly elected President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. can take against officials over apparent improprieties early in his six-year term. and took over on June 30 after taking over difficult issues.

Spokeswoman Trixie Cruz-Angeles said a resolution authorizing the importation of 300,000 tonnes of sugar by the Sugar Regulatory Commission, headed by Marcos Jr., was posted on the website of the Department of Agriculture’s Sugar Regulatory Agency on Wednesday.

Marcos Jr. temporarily assumed command of the Department of Agriculture due to the looming food crisis and soaring commodity prices partly due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Cruz-Angeles also said the president had never approved a resolution on sugar imports and was unaware of it. The document was removed from the website by Thursday.

“This resolution is illegal,” she said at a press conference. “An investigation is underway to determine whether conduct could be found that would cause the President to lose trust and confidence in officials, or whether there was malice or negligence.”

“If such a discovery were made, the only decision left would be how many heads would turn,” she said.

Authorities dealing with sugar shortages and soaring prices, largely caused by the devastation of sugarcane fields, mills and refineries by a powerful December typhoon, have taken additional measures to mitigate the crisis and prevent the country from running out. You have chosen to secure your sugar imports. supplies.

But Marcos Jr. rejected the offer, and Cruz Angeles said the decision to import sugar would protect consumers from rising prices and ensure “it doesn’t destroy the local industry.” He added that consideration must be given to finding a balance between

Harvest season is just around the corner, she said.

Marcos Jr. has also been hit hard by the pandemic-hit economy, the lingering coronavirus threat, deep poverty, decades of Muslim and communist insurgency, law and order issues, and the recent elections. It has inherited an intensifying political divide.



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