Group to seek audience with PRRD on import liberalization

(From left) Tatak Kalamay convenors Raymond Montinola, Paulo Severino, Gerardo Locsin, Dave Alba and SRA administrator Dino Yulo express strong opposition to sugar import liberalization during a presscon Sunday. (Dolly Yasa)

By: Dolly Yasa and Glazyl Yulo Masculino

BACOLOD City – Sugar Regulatory Administration Director Dino Yulo on October 13, 2019 said that Tatak Kalamay will seek an audience with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to stop the planned import liberalization policy of the government.

Yulo, a convenor of Tatak Kalamay, an umbrella organization of sugar federations, millers, labor, farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries, held a press conference here Sunday together with other convenors and stakeholders to express their opposition against import liberalization.

“Let us not kill the industry that feed hundreds of millions of Filipinos,” Yulo said.

Yulo added that aside from writing the President, they will seek an audience with him and make a presentation of the “catastrophic” effect of import liberalization on the sugar industry.

“The sugar industry is under siege again and we in Tatak Kalamay condemn in the strongest terms what we perceive as a sell-off of the Philippine agriculture in general,” Tatak Kalamay said in a statement.

The group challenged economic managers “to get out of the confines of their air-conditioned offices and leave their economic theories behind.”

“Visit the fields and dialogue with the sugar farmers, particularly the agrarian reform beneficiaries who comprise over 85 percent of our producers, to see the plight they are in and have their faces imprinted on your minds when you decide their fates.”

“Notwithstanding what has been happening to our rice industry, the crisis we have in the livestock industry and other agricultural sector, the economic managers have once again set their eyes on our industry with their proposed liberalization of sugar importation. We strongly believe that this move is being influenced by industrial users who cannot control their corporate greed.”