THE Southern Negros Development Corporation (Sonedco) Planters Association is the oldest and longest-running sugarcane planters association. It is based in Kabankalan City.
It was formed in 1971 by Alfredo Montelibano Jr., former governor of Negros Occidental and former mayor of Bacolod City, when his family still owned Sonedco.
I am a member of the Board of Directors since 2004, when I replaced my late father, former Ilog mayor Romeo Vargas, when he went to the US for a bypass operation.
Last Friday, we had the Annual General Assembly. With nearly 1,000 sugarcane planter members, SONEPA is indeed growing stronger. We also held the election of Board of Directors.
Elected were businessman Zosimo Dianongco, a former Kabankalan councilor; Harry Chua, the nephew of former Cauayan Mayor Ricardo Chua; former councilor Iliana Zayco Adad; businesswoman Jasmin Nava Gequillana, Kabankalan Councilor Ramon Cordova, businesswoman Gertrudes Tronco, Kabankalan Councilor Jeffrey Tubola, former Kabankalan councilor Manuel Ramos, former Toboso councilor William Ballesteros, Noceco director Raymundo Tongson and me.
The office is managed by Consolacion Gemoto.
During the general assembly, the concerns of the planters’ members on the onset of the milling season were discussed with a representative from Sonedco. It is nice to hear that the price of sugar is quite good.
Prior to the general assembly, we went to Cebu City for a tour in time for the Philsutech Convention. We dropped by the Holy Simala Church where we heard the Holy Mass and before we went home, we paid homage to miraculous Sto. Nino de Cebu at the Sto. Nino Basilica.
I am happy that I have been a part of the sugar industry for the last 10 years.