FIREWORKS The faithful turnout for “Misa de Gallo” at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City at dawn yesterday.* ( Andy Alvarez photo )

HFCS driving down
sugar prices again

A sugar leader yesterday warned that Philippine sugar prices are dropping because softdrink firms are using more high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) imported from China over cane sugar.

Francis de la Rama, national president of the Confederation of Sugar Producers Associations, said the price of sugar is at the P1,500 per LKg level and if nothing is done, it will drop further and kill the sugarcane industry.

“We should inform our people of the effects of HFCS on their health,” he said.

“Negros, according to Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., is supposed to be GMO free. China uses GMO corn that can cause cancer, and even the US does not use HFCS, they are dumping it on Mexico,” de la Rama said. moremoremore

SRA head meets
with governor

The new head of the Sugar Regulatory Administration, Anna Rosario Paner, said she met with Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday and assured him that the SRA is here to help the sugar industry, and to open the lines of communication.

Paner and Roland Beltran, miller representative on the Sugar Board, accompanied by sugar leaders, paid a courtesy call on Marañon at the Capitol in Bacolod City.

“We want to send a strong message to the industry that we want to work with all stakeholders. We feel strongly that the local government of Negros is one ofthe major stakeholders, so we're here to relay that message to the governor,” she said. moremoremore


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The ‘madman' strategy
Being a priest



‘2016 most challenging year'

Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo said he considers 2016 as the most challenging year, with some of the trials staying longer and hounding his administration even after the elections.

He issued the statement yesterday during a yearend briefing with the media. He said working on a reenacted budget for 2016 is not that easy especially with a Sangguniang Panlalawigan that is dominated by the other camp of the political fence until the May 2016 elections and then the legal battle for the governorship, up to the creation of the Negros Island Region.

But he said he was able to weather those and accomplish many things due to the overwhelming support of the people and the stakeholders..