Lawmaker supports moves to strengthen sugar industry-A A +A
Monday, September 17, 2012
CAGAYAN Representative Jack Enrile said smuggling of sugar should be stopped and the industry as a whole should be strengthened.
Enrile was in Bacolod City during the weekend as guest speaker of the Lions Club induction last Saturday. He also met with local leaders in a luncheon tendered for him by the National Federation of Sugar Planters headed by Enrique D. Rojas.
Governor Alfredo G. Marañon, his son Representative Thirdie Marañon, Board Members Miller Serondo, Manman Ko and Patrick Lacson, Himamaylan City Mayor Tinto Bascon, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice-Mayor Thaddy Sayson were among the numerous local officials who welcomed Enrile.
Representing the sugar industry leaders were Rojas, Unifed president Manolet Lamata and former Sugar Regulatory Administrator Bernard Trebol.
Enrile said he is also making it a point to go around the country to see for himself the real situation.
He said he wants to be updated with what is affecting the sugar industry and see how Congress and the national government can address the problems besetting the industry.
Enrile said the sugar industry should be prepared for the 2015 lowering of tariff on imported sugar which he considers as the biggest threat the industry has to confront.
"There is also a need to stop sugar smuggling," Enrile stressed, adding that under his Food Sovereignty bill, he envisions giving the Department of Agriculture the power to run after smugglers of agricultural products.
Smuggled sugar affects the industry as it drives the price of local sugar down, he pointed out.
Enrile expressed his unqualified support for the Sugarcane Industry Development Act of 3rd District Rep. Alfredo Benitez.
He said he also asked his father, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, to support the bill in the Senate to speed up its passage.
"Our main concern is to be able to uplift the living standard of our sugar workers," Enrile said.
Meanwhile, Enrile, who is among the leading senatoriables in the latest surveys, said that he is running for the Senate in 2013 and he is one of the candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
He also disclosed that UNA already has a complete slate.
So far based on their surveys, Enrile said he is among the top four senatoriables and gives credit to the high rating of his father Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
He said the high public approval rating of his father during the impeachment trial has helped him improve his chances in the 2013 election.
He also said that he is for a two-party system for the country.
Enrile is also the main author of the Kasambahay Bill. He believes that househelpers should also be given importance, as they are a big help in every household.
Under his bill, househelpers should receive P3,000 for those at the National Capital Region, P2,500 for those at the Chartered Cities and first class municipalities and P2,000 for other municipalities.
Enrile's bill also gives protection to the househelpers against possible abuse by their employers.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 17, 2012.