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Sen. Villar sponsors bill that will prepare sugar industry for ASEAN integration

photo by: dannilo bacolod
MANILA, Sept. 9 (PNA) -- Senator Cynthia Villar on Tuesday sponsored on the floor a Senate bill that will help the local sugar industry to be more competitive and prepared for the arrival of imported sugar beginning 2015, the start of the ASEAN Economic Community Integration.

Under Committee Report No. 74 on the Senate Bill No. 2400 or the Sugar Cane Industry Development Act of 2014, programs will be put in place that will promote and support the competitiveness of the sugar industry.

“The fear among sugar farmers is that they will not be able to compete with cheaper and government-subsidized sugar from abroad and this will directly impact on their livelihood. We need to quickly implement measures to prepare our farmers and make our local sugar competitive,” Villar said in her sponsorship.

The bill proposes to put in place productivity improvement programs to boost the production of sugar cane and sugar, and increase the incomes of sugar cane farmers as well as planters and farm workers.

Under the measure, the block farm program being implemented by the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), Department of Agriculture (DA), and