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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, November 30, 2019
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NDF hits sugar liberalization


Sugar industry liberalization will spell the death of Negrosanons, Ka Bayani Obrero, National Democratic Front-Negros spokesperson, said yesterday.

The bitter condition is an effect of trade liberalization under globalization because the Philippines is tied to a treaty in the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) where government must implement a 5-0 percent tariff on sugar, he said in a press release.

Block farming and diversification became the solution of big landlords and bureaucrat capitalists to solve the problem of the moribund sugar industry, he added.

“These are only means to worsen reconsolidation of vast lands into the control of landlords and multi-national corporations,” the NDF spokesman said.

He also alleged that billions of pesosingovernments funds to support Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) were not received because the funds were deposited in the banks and sugar centrals to be loaned to landlords for the expansion of sugarcane planting.

“Sugar liberalization and deregulation of sugar imports will exacerbate land grabbing from peasants. So will the conversion of sugarcane toother cash crops such as pineapple, banana, coffee, commercial trees, rubber tree, oil palm and real estate in the interest of foreign capitalists and multi-national corporations,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte and his economic managers pursuing the path of neoliberal economic policies do not have concrete plans in solving the crisis in Negros, he said.

“Sugar liberalization is not the solution since it does not answer food sufficiency in the Philippines. This has already been proven in the implementation of rice liberalization that destroys the productivity of farmers, the NDF spokesman said.*


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