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Villar: Sugar import liberalization inevitable

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Sugar import liberalization is inevitable, according to Senator Cynthia Villar.

“It is just a matter of time,” said Villar as she urged sugar industry stakeholders to be competitive.

The lawmaker held a consultation with sugar farm workers in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental province Friday.

Villar said she is eyeing the creation of the National Sugar Program after the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) failed to implement the Sugar Industry Development Act (SIDA) which initially allocated P2 billion for development programs of the sugar industry. (https://bit.ly/36a4FWa)

Under the law, programs that are meant to uplift the lives of sugar farmers and farm workers must be funded by at least P2 billion annually.

The budget was reduced to P1.5 billion in 2019 and was further slashed to P500 million in 2020 due to SRA’s failure to carry out enforce the measure.

Since SRA is more of a regulatory body, Villar stressed the need for a body that will be focused on development programs to brace the sugar industry for import liberalization.