THE Save-Sugar Industry Movement (Save-Sim) will pass an omnibus resolution on Monday, February 6, against the planned importation of 450,000 metric tons of sugar.
Wennie Sancho, secretary-general of General Alliance of Workers Association and lead convenor of Save-Sim, said Friday, February 3, said their group along with the seven labor leaders in Negros Occidental earlier manifested their opposition to the plan of the government to import 450,000 tons of sugar this year.
He said the omnibus resolution will be submitted to the office of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“We urge the president to stop or to hold in abeyance the implementation of the importation of 450,000 metric tons of sugar,” he added.
Sancho noted that the importation of 450,000 metric tons of sugar will condemn to economic bankruptcy the sugar industry’s 84,000 planters and the employment and livelihood loss of its 720,000 agricultural workers, 26,000 mill workers, and some three million downstream dependents.
“Sugar importation involves a wise and prudent decision, we should know the actual and projected production and consumption figures for this year and it is necessary that the accountable officials of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) should state categorically what is the actual shortage as well as the average monthly sugar consumption of household, industrial and institutional consumers,” Sancho said.
He said they support the importation of a more conservative volume of sugar which is lesser than 450,000 metric tons and that the importation should be only for a specific volume needed for the buffer stock and should be released in a calibrated and timely manner considering the welfare of the local farmers and producers and their laborers.
He added, “we demand an explanation from the SRA as to why they had vehemently opposed the 200 metric tons of imported sugar in Sugar Order No. 3 and the 300,000 metric tons in Sugar Order No. 4 and now the SRA had considered the importation of 450,000 metric tons of refine sugar as acceptable?”
Sancho disclosed that the SRA, which is composed of government accountable officers, should provide figures on the actual shortage, and actual projection of the volume of sugar needed for the buffer stock.
February 04, 2023
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