By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
During a visit to Bacolod City yesterday, amid the proposal to liberalize sugar importation, incumbent Senator Grace Poe pushed to make the local sugar industry more competitive.
According to the senator, the country’s competitors in the industry, such as Thailand and Latin American countries, are producing yields equal to 100 percent per hectare, which she said due to the support from their respective governments.
Poe said, at present, she does not support liberalizing sugar importation, especially with the Sugar Industry Development Act still in its “infancy.”
The senator said the government should “put more to sugar farmers.”
She also echoed the sentiment of many opposing the liberalization proposal, saying, “If they push for liberalization, the local sugar industry will die.
Poe also believes the sugar industry should mechanize and form cooperatives in order increase yields.
Earlier, Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III said lawmakers have to slow down over the proposed sugar import liberalization.
The incumbent senator is one of the signatories on Senate Resolution No. 1014, which opposes the proposed liberalization of the sugar industry./DGB, WDJ