NEGROS Occidental-based labor group Sugar Watch Philippines (SWP) plans to declare “war” against the importation of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), its official said.
Wennie Sancho, secretary general of SWP, said they are alarmed by the alleged surreptitious move of a beverage company in lobbying to lower the taxes for beverage that shall pave the way for HFCS importation.
Sancho said the group is also frustrated on the lack of commitment on the part of the country’s economic managers to withdraw their plans for sugar import liberalization scheme.
“The labor sector particularly in the sugar industry are gearing up and flexing their muscles to declare ‘war’ on any and all forms of sugar import liberalization,” he said, adding that this is the sector’s resistance against HFCS importation.
The declaration of “war” against imported sweetener will be manifested in the Workers Solidarity Forum in Bacolod City on Friday, September 6.
The activity will gather at least 25 union presidents in Western Visayas.
To further affirm their commitment, a covenant of solidarity will be signed by four labor groups namely the National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines (Nacusip), General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa), Congress of Independent Organizations (CIO), and Philippine Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Workers Union (Paciwu).
Sancho, who is also the secretary general of Gawa, said it will officially seal the merger and consolidation of the groups into one solidified labor force to defend the workers in the struggle against sugar import liberalization and HFCS.
Sancho said that when the importation of HFCS becomes destructive for the sugar industry, it is the right of the people and workers to resist and oppose in order to create new guards for their future economic security.
“The declaration of war does not involve a clash of arms but merely to signify our strong opposition against the importation because of its disastrous effect to the sugar industry,” he added.