SENATOR Paolo Benigno Aguirre Aquino IV expressed his opposition on the proposed sugar import liberalization.
He said it will kill the local sugar industry and will lead to the loss of livelihood of thousands of sugar farmers and their families.
“Kontra tayo sa anumang polisiya na makakaapekto sa kabuhayan ng ating mga magsasaka sa industriya ng asukal. Sa halip na patayin ang industriya ng asukal, dapat nating ibigay ang tulong na kailangan ng ating mga magsasaka para umunlad,” said Aquino in a press statement.
(I am against of any policy that will affect the livelihood of our sugar farmers. Instead of killing the sugar industry, we should help the farmers flourish.)
“Kawawa naman ang ating magsasaka at kanilang mga pamilya na umaasa lang sa asukal para sa kanilang ikabubuhay,” he added.
(I pity the farmers and their families who depend only on the sugar industry as a source of income.)
The sugar industry contributes around P96 billion to the country’s gross domestic product. Around 84,000 farmers and 720,000 industry workers will be affected if the government’s plan to import sugar pushes through, the statements said.
Aquino recently requested to be a co-author of Resolution No. 1014 urging the Executive Department to stop its plan to import sugar.
Meanwhile, Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr is hopeful that the proposed sugar liberalization won't get the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Rice tariffication and sugar liberalization are two different things,” he pointed out.
He made the clarification as several observers said the two are the same by allowing imported products to come in without government restrictions.
“That’s why the leaders of the sugar industry should lobby to the President to stop the move to deregulate the sugar industry,” the governor said.
He earlier said that by allowing imported sugar to come in, it would be the death of the sugar industry. (with reports from Teresa D. Ellera)