WE LAUD majority members of the Philippine Senate for rejecting plans of the country’s economic managers to liberalize sugar importation.
We agree with the Senate resolution’s contention that the planned sugar liberalization would have dire consequences on sugar workers and farmers.
Our group was formed by the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) on Nov. 8 together with other stakeholders in the sugar industry. We are composed mainly of sugar workers and small planters, which seeks to create a mass movement against sugar import liberalization.
The network also urged the Senate, specially Sen. Migs Zubiri to conduct a hearing on the planned import liberalization and invite sugar workers and small planters to said activity. The Senate should also hear the plight of the sugar workers who are one of the most lowliest paid workers in the country and small planters who seldom are provided aid by the government through subsidies unlike their counterparts in Thailand.
Earlier two resolutions in the Philippine Congress were also passed against sugar import liberalization. The first was filed by 21 legislators from sugar producing provinces on Oct. 3 under the leadership of Rep. Francisco Benitez and Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano. (By Tanggol Asukal Network)