Operations of Coca-Cola Philippines bottling plants in Tagbilaran City, Bohol and in Pavia, Iloilo were suspended on Friday due to the shortage in sugar, according to announcements posted at their premises.
In signs outside the plants, Coca-Cola announced that they are suspending operations due to lack of supply for bottler’s grade sugar, ABS-CBN reported.
“This Coca Cola plant has suspended bottling operations due to the lack of supply of bottlers grade sugar as a result of the ongoing sugar crisis,” the company said in an announcement outside its Iloilo plant.
Other bottling plants in the country have also suspended operations.
Soda makers Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. and RC Cola maker ARC Refreshments Corp earlier said the industry is facing a shortage of premium refined sugar.
Premium refined sugar is a key ingredient in making soda and other sweetened beverages.
There is a gap of more than 154,000 metric tons (MT) in local sugar supply, the Department of Agriculture said in a statement Thursday.
It will be partly remedied after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., as concurrent Agriculture Secretary, authorized the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to import 150,000 MT of sugar under its Sugar Import Program.
DA-SRA also issued Sugar Order No. 2 or the Sugar Import Program for Crop Year 2022–2023 that aims to stabilize domestic sugar supply and prices at reasonable levels.
The program covers a maximum volume of 150,000 metric tons (MT) of refined sugar, wherein 75,000 MT will be allocated to industrial users and the other 75,000 MT to consumers.
“The intention is that the imported sugar shall be open and available for consumption by all industrial users and consumers,” the Order states.