NEGROS Occidental third district Congressman Jose Carlos "Kako" Lacson said he is against Department of Agriculture's (DA) plan of a ceiling price or Suggested Retail Price (SRP) on sugar.

"There is no planter that would agree on the ceiling price," said Lacson, adding that the government should, instead, subsidize the effect of high prices of sugar.

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He said in so many years, the sugar prices were down and this year is the only time for the planters to recover and enjoy the benefit of good prices of sugar.

"It's sad that there is immediate intervention," said Lacson. "This is the only chance of the Carp (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) beneficiaries and the small planters to cope up with their basic needs."

The planters, especially the small ones and the Carp beneficiaries, were affected of the low price of sugar.

Thus, Lacson said the small planters should be asked on the issue and the real score of the situation of the sugar industry.

He emphasized that when sugar prices were low, supermarkets still have been enjoying good prices.

The sugar planters, he said, were the ones who shouldered the losses if the sugar price is not competitive.

The congressman is also against sugar importation in all sorts, believing that importation would subsidize the foreign farmers.

"But in fairness to the government, it's natural that they should try to keep the prices low. However, there are many ways to do it like in the form of taxes. Give planters the chance. We don't know next year prices of sugar may be low," he said. (Teresa Ellera-Dulla)