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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Bacolod: SAVE-SIM warns vs ‘sugar market abuse’

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Bacolod City – The secretary general of the General Alliance of Workers Association (GAWA) is urging the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) and sugar planters to investigate any possible “sugar market abuse” in order to prevent the destabilization of the sugar industry.

Wennie Sancho, also a convenor of Save the Sugar Industry Movement (SAVE-SIM), said they (DA/SRA) should be vigilant against the issue that will affect directly and indirectly about two to three million Filipinos.

“When a group of sugar producers allegedly have the ability to maintain high prices of sugar by reducing its output or by withholding supply and offering sugar at a price which is significantly higher, they are said to be exercising sugar market abuse, ” he said.

Sancho had earlier said the SAVE-SIM will be submitting a position paper to SRA this week, to express their vehement opposition to government’s plan to import 450,000 metric tons of sugar, in order to protect the rights and welfare of the sugar workers.

Sugar planters should unite to see to it that the effects of sugar destabilization would be prevented to protect the sugar workers. They are concerned, since 60 percent of sugar in the Philippines is being supplied by Negros. The sugar industry will be destabilized if there is an oversupply of sugar, he said.

The Department of Agriculture and the SRA should give accurate data on the amount of sugar shortage expected and how much supply is needed. Sugar importation involves wise and prudent decision that would mean life or death for the stakeholders of the sugar industry, Sancho said.

There should be consultation with all the stakeholders to come up with a sugar summit where the result/decision would be submitted to the president, he said.

Sancho said if there is oversupply of imported sugar in the country, sugar prices will plummet and will drop sharply and abruptly because of a glut or excessive quantity. The sugar industry will collapse and there will be an economic catastrophe unparalleled in scope and magnitude.

“The economic and social cost would be devastating and we will experience undeserved suffering,” he said. (Chrysee Semillano via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)

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