NEGROS Occidental Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez said the Visayan Bloc in the House of Representatives will come out with an official stand against the proposed sugar liberalization.
Benitez, the leader of the bloc, said he already got the assurance of former special assistant to the president Christopher Lawrence Go that the proposal would be studied well and that he will support whatever is good for the greater number.
"The Visayan Bloc will come out with an official statement. We are reviewing now our draft letter. In a nutshell, what we are saying is that the balancing act between the sugarcane farmers and the consumers, we need to have balance. We believe that the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) is the proper entity to create that balance," Benitez said.
He said measures should be made to protect the sugarcane farmers as well as food security "because we cannot allow that all our commodities would be dependent on imports. We need to have homegrown [products] so that when the time comes, we will have food security."
He said he is waiting for the official statement endorsed by the whole the Visayan Bloc regarding the matter and that the letter is now being circulated among members by Deputy Speaker Mercedes Alvarez.
"Of course, we will stop the liberalization. What is the purpose of liberalization, that is to make sugar affordable to our consumer market that can be met with the SRA being the gatekeeper of the balancing act between the farmers and the consumers. We are pushing for it and hopefully it will be considered," Benitez said.