By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III yesterday said lawmakers have to slow down over the proposed sugar import liberalization, which is being pushed by several economic managers.
In a private meeting with members of local media, the senator said the situation with rice tariffication is very different from the proposed sugar liberalization.
“Rice is food stuff, you cannot avoid it because it’s the staple food [of] the Filipino,” Pimentel said.
The former senate president said, even though sugar is also considered food, it is not a staple food. He added, it is not just an agricultural product but an industrial product.
“We should not blindly follow that for sugar because the situation is very different,” Pimentel added.
The incumbent senator is one of the signatories on Senate Resolution No. 1014, which opposes the proposed liberalization of the sugar industry.
The proposal was pushed by former Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
Solidarity of Workers in the Sugar Industry recently held a press conference to demonstrate against RA 11203, or the “rice tariffication law.”
The group drew a parallel between claims a liberalization on sugar imports would kill the domestic sugar industry suggesting the same outcome for the rice industry with the passage of the said law./DGB, WDJ