Sugarcane bill gets nod of Appropriations committee-A A +A
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
THE Sugarcane Bill principally authored by Representative (Third District, Negros Occidental) Alfredo "Albee" Benitez was approved Tuesday with some amendments by the House Committee on Appropriations.
Benitez said that they will try to work double time to have the bill passed into law to address the problems of the sugar Industry.
The bill, otherwise known as “An Act strengthening the development of the sugar cane industry, establishing the sugar cane industry development fund, amending for the purpose presidential decree no. 1890, providing funds therefore and for other purposes,” was co-sponsored by Senator Francis Escudero at the Senate.
Proposed amendments to the Sugarcane Bill include Section 3-A, number 2 which was amended to read as, "Section2 - The inclusion of the sugarcane industry as one of the industries eligible for conversion into Special Economic Zones, provided that the establishment of Special Economic Zones for Sugarcane Industry shall be based on the guidelines as provided by Republic Act 7916 or the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995, and/or the designation and establishment of nuclear farms/Agro-Industrial Districts for Sugarcane Industry to be entitled to the existing fiscal incentives under Book VI of Executive Order No. 226 otherwise known as the Omnibus Investments Code of 2987 as well as Sections 4, 5,6 and 7 of RA 10000 (the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009), promoting, among others, block/corporate farming to achieve economies of scale;"
"The Sugar Fund shall be constituted out of the existing funds and appropriations for the agriculture and fisheries modernization such as: Agricultural Competitiveness and Enhancement Fund (ACEF) - the DA, in consultation with the COCAFM, shall allocate annually from year 2013 to 2015 or until all ACEF funds are exhausted and shall continue with any extension thereof, a portion of ACEF to fund the infrastructure support projects of the sugarcane industry, such as farm-to-mill roads and irrigation, product development, and research & development projects to include all its subsectors, namely, farm sector, sugar sector, bioethanol sector, power generation sector and farm/mill support industries sector as recipients or beneficiaries of funding support."
"General Appropriations for the Agriculture Sector - the DA shall provide allocation to the sugarcane industry and all its subsectors from its annual GAA or AFMA funds and prioritize the programs/projects of the sugarcane industry in its annual expenditure prioritization plan for ten successive fiscal years (FY 2014-FY 2023).
Incremental R-VAT (RA 9337) which forms part of the LGU-IRA - All sugar-producing local government units (LGUs) shall allocate a portion of their Incremental R-VAT-IRA for the infrastructure and R, D & E projects of the sugarcane industry to include all its subsectors mentioned in Section 4.3.a."
"The SRA shall formulate a Ten-year Sugarcane Industry Development Program (SIDP 2014-2023) that shall be reviewed and updated annually, in consultation with the major stakeholders of the sugarcane industry and its subsectors which shall serve as basis for the program / project proposals that shall be submitted to the COCAFM, the DA and the LGUs for funding as provided for in Sections 4.3a, 4.3b and 4.3c."
The proposed bill is expected to be deliberated at the plenary for approval after its passage at the committee level.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 23, 2013.