Three sugar mills in Negros Occidental have vowed to reopen their mill operations before the official milling season in response to the call of Negros Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer to allay fears of a rumored sugar shortage in the country.

David Alba, general manager of the Asociacion de Agricultores de La Carlota y Pontevedra (AALCPI), said Victorias Milling Company (VMC), Universal Robina Corp. (URC) La Carlota and Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Company (Biscom) are all willing to reopen and mill early once raw sugar is available.

Alba said AALCPI along with other industry stakeholders are helping Ferrer to reach out to the various mills in the province.

“VMC President Minnie Chua gave her assurance that they are willing to start milling when they already have the raw sugar supply,” he said.

Mill operations are expected to resume by August, or a month earlier than the official opening of the milling season which is usually in September, Alba also said.

URC La Carlota also said they are “amenable with the Vice Governor’s recommendation.” while Joe Chan of Biscom said that they will start milling in September.

“Biscom will also refine once critical mass is reached," it said.

The sugar leader said they are expecting more mills to answer the call of Ferrer and “we believe that when everyone is on board and will unite in providing solutions to any problem, we can surpass this.” (PR)