THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has the support of the Provincial Board of Negros Occidental in its fight to regulate the importation of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
The board unanimously approved Wednesday the resolution supporting the SRA and the sugar order regulating the entry of HFCS.
Fifth District Board Member Alain Gatuslao, chairman of committee on laws, rules, and ordinances, said they will forward the resolution to the SRA and will send a representative during the rally in front of the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City on March 20.
The proposed ordinance regulating the entry of HFCS in the province hurdled the first reading Wednesday.
Gatuslao said the proposed ordinance will require a certification that processed foods entering the province have no genetically modified organisms (GMO), adding that a monitoring team will test the products.
Violators will face penalties, he added.
Close to 5,000 people from all over the province are expected to join the protest of multi-sectoral groups on Monday, said former Negros Occidental vice governor Emilio Yulo III, rally spokesperson.
He said the protest will be led by the Confederation of Sugar Producers Inc., National Federation of Sugarcane Planters, and United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines.
Earlier, the court had denied the petition of Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Sugar Order No. 3 regulating the importation of HFCS.
The hearing on the petition for injunction will be held on March 20.
Wennie Sancho, lead convenor of Save-Sugar Industry Movement (Save-SIM), said that they denounce the insistence of Coca-Ccola to use HFCS despite its detrimental economic effects to the sugar industry.
“Despite the denial of their TRO, Coca-Cola seemed to be arrogant in defying the sugar industry, they are more concerned with corporate greed rather than human needs. They should adopt the principle ‘profit with honor.’”
Beverage firms reportedly use HFCS as an alternative to sugar, but its unabated importation is killing the sugar industry, stakeholders said.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 16, 2017.
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