MERGE Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Sam Verzosa (3rd, 4th and 5th from left), with representatives of Dennis Uy, William Belo and Joey Concepcion, accept their Man of the Year trophies from The Manila Times president and CEO Dante “Klink” Ang II (left), and Tag Media Group chief executive officer Andrew Troy Nicolas (right).*


Rice imports halted
to aid local farmers
It’s temporary, senator says
BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

President Rodrigo Duterte has temporarily halted rice importation during the local palay harvest season to protect the livelihood of the Filipino farmers from the entry of the imported staple, Senator Cynthia Villar said yesterday.

Villar, who was guest speaker at the 14th Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival at the provincial Capitol grounds in Bacolod City, assured Negrense rice farmers that government is also releasing assistance to help them become competitive, following the liberalization of the rice industry.

The president on Tuesday directed Agriculture Secretary William Dar to suspend rice importations to shield the livelihood of Filipino farmers. moremoremore


Villar optimistic for
sugar, blames SRA
BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

Senator Cynthia Villar yesterday denied that the sugar industry will only be given temporary reprieve before import liberalization is imposed on it, stressing that no final decision has been made yet.

She does not believe the sugar industry will suffer the same fate as the rice industry, Villar said.

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson last week urged sugar industry stakeholders to remain vigilant, as the Senate resolution urging the executive department to halt its planned liberalization of the sugar industry may only be temporary reprieve. moremoremore

 

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Negros Occ honors organic farmers
BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA

The provincial government of Negros Occidental recognized the local farmers in the province for their efforts in sustaining organic agriculture.

Leading the awarding ceremony at the opening rites of the 14th Negros Island Organic Farmers’ Festival yesterday at the Provincial Capitol grounds in Bacolod City were Senator Cynthia Villar and Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.

Named as best organic rice producer was Chato Genton of Pontevedra against finalist Wennie Abarillo of Bago City.