AS SURE as taxes and deaths will come, so problems in the sugar industry will definitely come, too. But I never entertain any doubts that it may not survive in the absence of import tariff. With the able leaderships of the NFSP and other sugar federations, together with the Philippine Sugar Millers association (PSMA), we can hurdle the problems in 2015.

Our very able and trustworthy SRA administrator Gina Martin, together with our President who is best on curbing corruption, will be the coup de Grace that will help us hurdle this seemingly great problem. Just plenty of sweat and help from above thru prayers, and we will still be planting sugar till kingdom come.

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Why am I so confident in my views? In my first few years as a planter, I was peddling my 1,000 piculs of sugar (1265 1kg) for P8. No takers. Grudgingly I sold it for P7, receiving P7,000. At that time, the sugar quota administration (SQA) was teeming with two-legged rodents. So the planters would have to adjust. And adjust they did and survived the many series of difficulties that came. But Fidel Castro became naughty and our sugar prices went up beyond P20.

When I hear of friends complaining of so many problems, I tell them: “Ang problema upod sa ginhawa.” Don’t die solving them because the moment you solve one, a hundred are waiting to replace it. Just live one day at a time and with God’s help, they will be solved in their own time. No problem is greater that your God who loves you.

Other countries selling cheap sugar now won’t be selling it cheap later because their cost of production will also zooms sky high. And who knows the Hawaiian sugar industry may no longer be around, and the U.S. will need a lot of sugar from us.

It’s still high noon for our industry. But let’s take good care of our workers who work the fields.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 03, 2012.

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