SAVE-SIM opposes ‘sugar liberalization’

LABOR group members in Negros Occidental led by Wennie Sancho (2nd from right), secretary general of Sugar Watch Philippines, during its launching held at Gerald’s Restobar in Bacolod City on May 1, 2019. Sugar Watch Philippines is a watchdog of sugar industry. (Glazyl Masculino/DG file)

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Wennie Sancho, a labor advocate and lead convenor of the Save the Sugar Industry Movement (SAVE-SIM), said on Aug 29, 2019 that his group vehemently opposes any attempt to resurrect the sugar import liberalization scheme.

Sancho issued the statement amid reports that a major beverage company is lobbying to bring down taxes on beverages to pave the way for importation of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Sancho said they strongly protest the move to import HFCS to industrial users in lieu of domestic sugar, which is considered the lifeblood of Negros Occidental.

He said allowing the return of HFCS will lead to the demise of the sugar industry.

“Two years ago, we have sent a loud and clear message for them and we shall not hesitate to do it again if they will not heed our call to stop,” Sancho said.

He added that 714,000 sugar and mill workers, along with 800,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries and small farmers, will be adversely affected by sugar liberalization.