Senatorial bet assures Negrense: I will be your voice in Senate

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Monday, January 28, 2013


UNITED Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial bet San Juan Representative Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito has assured the Negrenses that he will be the voice of the people of Negros in the Senate once he gets elected in the May 2013 polls.

Ejercito came to Bacolod with his mom San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, who hails from Silay City but has stayed in Manila for years.

Despite her long stay in Manila, Gomez still maintains her fluency in Hiligaynon and Ilonggo dialects.

Dinner with Negros Occidental officials
BACOLOD. San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez and son senatorial bet San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada met with government, business and civic leaders of the province in a dinner hosted by the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters last Saturday. (Gilbur L. Guarte)

Ejercito said he does not want Negros to suffer anew in its mono crop industry, which is sugar that currently faces a threat with the effectivity of the zero tariff on sugar under the Asean Free Trade Agreement taking effect by 2015.

He met with the sugar planters and local government leaders Saturday to consult them on the concerns of the sugar industry and also the concerns of the local governments.

"I can voice out your plight and interests in the Senate. You can be assured that in both Houses - Lower and Upper Chambers, you have someone who can be your voice in the Congress - with your Congressmen and in the Senate of which I hope I could be one of the future Senators," said Ejercito.

Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña, along with big sugar planters Tony Trebol and Mike Hinojales and representatives of large sugar groups on the province, gave Ejercito inputs about the sugar industry, as well as the hope they pinned on the Biofuels Act implementation for the locals to produce biofuels as its fall back, once the sugar industry dwindles with the imposition of the zero tariff in the years to come.

Hinojales said there is an oversupply of cheap sugar from Thailand. The country, US and the world overproduce sugar and the danger of a lower cost of sugar is always present.

The only hope now is for Negros to go into biofuels production, wherein there is a need to produce 500 million liters of E-10 (gasoline blended with 10 percent bioethanol) annually for the 10 percent blend for the country's consumption under the Biofuels Act.

But all these will be realized only when sugar centrals build their own distilleries. There is a big challenge on the financial component of building distilleries because it will also cost billions of pesos.

The Unifed, Confed and NFSP came up with a road map or plan with an offer to lower its share of 70 percent – 40 percent to 65 percent – 35 percent, as long as sugar mills will be encouraged to build distilleries, he said.

Ejercito has taken all the inputs and promised to work for the good of Negros and the country.

He was well received by third district Representative Albee Benitez, Board Member Patrick Lacson, Silay Vice Mayor Mark Golez and many local government officials, sugar leaders and supporters.

Gomez appealed to her fellow Negrenses to help her son make it to the Senate in the May 2013 election.

Gomez came to the province over the weekend as guest speaker of the Association of Nurses in Negros.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 28, 2013.

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