The Court of Appeals has compelled the Makati City Regional Trial Court to allow the Sugar Regulatory Administration to justify its regulation requiring sugar milling companies to allocate 5 percent of their total production for export to the United States which would result in higher prices of sugar in the local market.
In a 10-page decision, the CA’s Eight Division through Associate Justice Ramon Garcia granted the petition filed by the SRA seeking the reversal of the order issued by Makati City RTC Branch 133, which allowed Central Azucarera de Bais and Central Azucarera de San Antonio, Inc., two of the country’s top sugar producers, to present their evidence ex parte for the failure of SRA to appear during the pre-trial on the petition they filed seeking to declare as invalid SRA Sugar Order No. 1.
“Accordingly, the Regional Trial Court of Makati City Branch 133 is ordered to conduct further proceedings and trial on the merits with the participation of petitions Sugar Regulatory Administration [SRA] and to allow it to controvert herein private respondents’ motion for production and inspection of documents,” the CA ordered.
SRA issued Sugar Order No.1 issued on August 2018 provides for the allocation of sugar production for the crop year 2018-2019 and that five percent of it would go to the US market while 95 percent would go to domestic market.