BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Monday he sees merit in the request of the Sugar Alliance of the Philippines to ban the Coca-Cola products in BacoLaodiat Festival next year.
Leonardia said he has not yet received an official letter from the sugar leaders, but he had an initial talk with them regarding the proposed ban.
Manuel Lamata, president of United Sugar Producers’ Federation of the Philippines, had earlier said they will send a letter to Mayor Leonardia calling for a ban of Coke products at the BacoLaodiat Festival.
“I find the request meritorious, considering we are talking here of the sugar industry, and the survival of the sugar industry is a matter of great concern for all of us in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, Leonardia said.
“No matter what, the sugar industry still place a vital role in our economy and the bottomline, our people will be affected of this,” he said.
The mayor said he will talk to the BacoLaodiat organizers first before making a final move.
“I still have to talk the BacoLaodiat organizers. I cannot exactly make an announcement now with due respect to the organizers, but at least now I am expressing my personal views on the matter that I am pro-sugar industry,” Leonardia said.
In October, the sponsorship and sale of Coca-Cola products were banned during the MassKara Festival from October 1 to 22.
The sugar planters and workers protested against the Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines Inc. upon knowing that it is using high fructose corn syrup in its beverages instead of the locally-produced sugar.