Ferrer calls for sugar industry unity

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Negros Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer and South Negros sugar planters have called for unity in the sugar industry under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Sugar planters supported opposing presidential candidates in the May 9 elections.

“Hope remains high for us in the sugar industry with no less than President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. at the helm of the Department of Agriculture,” said Ferrer, who led the BBM presidential campaign in Negroes.

In turn, “it is best that the various stakeholders in the sugar industry come together and support our new DA Chairman and Secretary, especially now that (sic) the industry is beset with major issues”, added Ferrer.

The same sentiment was echoed by Roberto Cuenca, President of the Asociacion de Agricultores De La Carlota Y Pontevedra Inc. (AALCPI) who congratulated Marcos Jr. as the 17th President of the country and thanked him for giving the priority to the agriculture portfolio.

“We are so happy because Chairman Marcos has heard our call to put the Sugar Regulatory Administration under his watch and as a new DA as well, things look promising for the industry given the major issues we are facing. face,” Cuenca said.

“We still have to overcome the crisis that started with the pandemic which doubled production costs. Add to that the uninterrupted increase in fuel and fertilizers and we see no immediate respite in the near future. These can lead to the collapse of the industry unless solutions are found,” he added.

David Alba, director of the AALCPI, said unity is crucial and he called on stakeholders to rally behind the new administration.

Alba also urges the Sugar Regulatory Administration to amend Sugar Ordinance No. 3 and open importation to all stakeholders in the sugar industry, not just a select few such as industrial users.

“Any import must always be measured against the interest of the majority of consumers,” he said, adding that they also urged the SRA to “allocate privileges from that import and from its own operating budget enterprise to fertilizer subsidies for small-scale sugar cane”. Farmers.”

“At this point, we cannot afford to point fingers. We just have to be united and work alongside each other,” added Alba.*

Rachel J. Bradford