THE Save-Sugar Industry Movement (Save-Sim) submitted its approved resolution Tuesday, February 7, 2023, to the office of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on 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 the resolution is relevant to their urgent plea to hold in abeyance of the government to import 450,000 metric tons of refined sugar.

In his letter addressed to Marcos dated February 7, Sancho said the immediate reply of the President on the labor concern will address their apprehension on the possible oversupply in the country that threatens their means of livelihood.

The resolution, approved on February 6, was signed by Sancho; Jun Dela Cruz, national director for Organizing National Congress of Union in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines; Nelson Demegillo, president of Commercial Agro-Industrial Labor Organization (Cailo); Alex Maloloy-on, president of United Sugar Farmers Organization (USFO); Jovito Berdin, chairman of Alliance of Labor for Reform (Alarm); Benjie Dela Cruz, national secretary-general of Philippine Agricultural Commercial Industrial Workers Union (Paciwu); Allan Gozon, chairman of Democratic Alliance of Labor Organizations (Dalo); and Elmer Dela Guinzon, president of United MCI Labor Union Chapter.

"With sending of the resolution, we hope that it will wake up call for the SRA and the planters federations on the urgency and vital importance of the P450,000 sugar importation and its implication to the sugar workers in general," Sancho said.

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," he said.

He added that 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.