MERGE RESCUE. Construction worker Kirby Causing after a section of a cement wall fell on him at a construction site at Aguinaldo Street in Bacolod City, yesterday.* (Yasmin Pascual Dormido photo)

ARBs, sugar workers seek
meeting with Duterte Friday

Leaders of sugar workers organizations and agrarian reform beneficiaries associations held a unity meeting in Bacolod City yesterday to seek an audience with President Rodrigo Duterte during his visit to the province Friday to air their opposition to the proposed sugar liberalization.

This broad alliance of marginal farmers and sugar workers marks the first time that militant unions and moderate groups gathered under a single umbrella to oppose the liberalization of sugar importation and to assert their independent identity as the new and genuine face of the sugar industry.

Present at the unity meeting were Butch Lozande of the National Federation of Sugarcane Workers (NFSW), Aaron Sorbito of the ARBs Sugar Farmers Federation, Kilusang Pagbabago, Alan Gozon of the Democratic Association of Labor Organizations (DALO). moremoremore

More sympathetic DBM chief urged

We are hoping President Rodrigo Duterte appoints a new Budget secretary who is more open minded about the country’s sugar industry, Enrique Rojas, president of the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters, said yesterday.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno has been appointed Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor. Pending the appointment of a new DBM secretary, Undersecretary Janet Abuel will be the officer-in-charge.

Diokno had earned the ire of the sugar industry stakeholders for proposing the import liberalization of sugar, which they said would flood the local markers with cheap highly subsidized imported sugar to the detriment of local producers. moremoremore


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Like a kiss of death
Breaking the silence


Tourist arrivals in NegOcc up

Tourist arrivals in Negros Occidental increased by two percent in 2018, Cristine Mansinares, Provincial Supervising Tourism Operations officer, said yesterday.

She said 1,756,026 domestic and foreign tourists arrived in the province, including its capital city, Bacolod, from January to December last year, or an increase of 31,893 from the 1,724,133 tourists in 2017.

Of the visitors last year, 1,640,496 were domestic tourists and 115,530 were foreigners.