THE business sector in Negros Occidental hopes that President Benigno Aquino III would bare his plans about agriculture and the sugar industry during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, before the joint session of the Congress.

There are good indications insofar as the country's economy is concerned, and the development to be felt in provinces especially in Negros, the president has also to come out with his plans about the sugar industry and the agriculture as a whole, Frank Carbon, president of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) said.

“That would be good news to us here in Negros Occidental if the president gives priority to the country's agriculture and the sugar industry", Carbon said.

Businessmen and stakeholders in the sugar industry are worried about the imposition of lowest tariff rates on sugar and other goods in the coming years and that they expect the government to have concrete plans to address the problem that is feared to affect five million Filipinos who are directly and indirectly dependent on the sugar industry.

‘Expect nothing’

Meanwhile, labor sector representative Winnie Sancho said they expect nothing from the President's report on Monday.

"Just like in the past Sonas, we expect a fashion show in Congress," Sancho said citing extravagant and fashionable gowns and barons worn by the legislators and their spouses during Sona.

He said that the president's Sona is not reflective of the real situation in the country.

"The President does not even act on our wage hike petition and he failed to address labor problems such as unemployment and underemployment. Now that the prices of fuels, rice and other commodities kept on increasing, we expect the president to give the labor sector wage increase", Sancho said.

source: sunstar

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