Workers press gov’t to solve crisis in sugar industry
The National Federation of Sugar Workers – Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (NFSW-UMA) and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Negros (KMP-Negros) are now pressing the government to solve the crisis that the sugar industry is currently facing.
NFSW-UMA and KMP-Negros met earlier with Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol in Bacolod City and raised their concerns about the crisis.
This includes the threat of the importation of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and other sugar products that lowers the price of locally produced sugar.
Another is the passage of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Bill (TRAIN) that would increase taxes on sweetened beverages and fuel. This would lower the demand for sugar and increase the cost of producing sugar.
According to the groups, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol brushed these aside.
The demands of the sugar workers also include the passage of the genuine agrarian reform bill (GARB) as the previous Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in Negros Island amounted to a total failure since this did not break land monopoly from the centuries-old bondage on the land that sugar workers and farmers till.