The sugar industry has gained the support of senators in their bid for government to rethink the liberalization of the sector.
Bernardino Yulo, board member of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) representing sugar producers, said Senate Resolution 213 will stop the government’s proposed liberalization of the sugar industry.
The resolution filed on Monday and signed by all senators, urged all appropriate Senate Committees to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, into the impending liberalization of the sugar industry to safeguard the welfare of 84,000 sugar farmers and 720,000 industry workers in 20 provinces of the country.
“…The overwhelming support of our senators will hopefully allay fears of our stakeholders that the proposed liberalization of the sugar industry as announced by the economic managers will not only be suspended for six months to a year, but will never happen for as long as we have senators who continue to champion the plight of sugar producers and workers, including the millions of others who are dependent on this industry,” Yulo said in a statement.
The resolution said the proposed liberalization of the sugar industry will contradict President Duterte’s thrust towards food security apart from severely affecting the agriculture sector.
The resolution also emphasized the importance of SRA’s function to continue the regulation of sugar supply as its mandate.
The lawmakers also cited that the Sugar Industry Development Act which was enacted into law last 2015 to promote the competitiveness of local sugar industry is not yet fully realized, making any plans to liberalize the industry as irrelevant and untimely.