Negros’ sugar industry worth saving — Pimentel

BACOLOD CITY, June 19 (PNA) — As promised, re-elected Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III reiterated that he will do everything in his position to help the sugar industry of Negros Occidental survive beyond 2015.

Pimentel assured Negrenses of his support during his visit here Tuesday night for the commemoration of Bacolod’s charter day anniversary.

“The sugar industry is worth saving. It should not be sacrificed at the altar of international trade,” declared Pimentel.

“We should give all industries, especially that of the sugar, the chance to survive,” he added.

He will also urge the national government to exhaust all legal remedies to ensure that all Filipino farmers will be able to compete in a level playing field.

In response, National Federation of Sugarcane Planters, Inc (NFSP) president Enrique D. Rojas thanked Pimentel for his support for the sugar industry.

Rojas expressed optimism that, with the senator’s support in the Senate, the sugar industry will have a brighter future.

Meanwhile, Pimentel also took the opportunity to thank Negrenses of their support during the recently-concluded May 13 national and local elections.

“Salamat sa inyo bulig (for my victory in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental),” said Pimentel, adding that he will support all measures for the welfare of the industry.

He also lauded Negros Occidental (3rd District) Rep. Albee Benitez as the champion of the sugar industry in the Lower House.

Benitez expressed happiness that his pet bill for the sugar industry has found a supporter in the Senate.

“I am glad that we have a champion for the sugar industry in the Senate,” said Benitez.

Moreover, outgoing city mayor now congressman-elect Evelio Leonardia of the lone district of Bacolod vowed that he will always be part of the congressional team who will work for the well-being of the sugar industry.

On his part, Vice Governor-elect Eugenio “Bong” Lacson said Pimentel’s assurance is a “very positive development for the cause of the sugarcane industry.”

“We certainly need a voice in the Senate, and Sen. Koko, although new to the industry, is the right person to represent us,” he said. (PNA)


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