Group praises congressman for investigation into alleged sugar price manipulation

Cornelio: If farmers are forced out, a government bailout will be demanded

December 11, 2017
By Paulo Loreto Lim

The Negros Farmworkers and Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Producers Federation (NeFARB) praised Negros Occidental third district Rep. Alfredo Benitez after he filed a resolution last week calling for an investigation into the ongoing decline in “mill gate” sugar prices.

In a statement by the organization, NeFARB Chair Sandrico Cornelio speculated, if the investigation reveals misdeeds in the pricing of sugar, it would be a benefit to local laborers.
“This [would] be a whopping relief for the 60,000 small and medium sugarcane planters,” he asserted.

Cornelio added, if prices continue in the same downward decline, planters will be forced out of the industry.

“We will demand for a government bailout,” he added.

Through the resolution, the congressman cited 2017-2018 crop year data claiming “mill gate prices continued to decline, starting September 2017, dropping by 26 percent to P1,190 per 50-kilogram bag as of November 5.”

“Mill gate” price, sometimes referred to as a “factory gate” price, refers to the actual cost of a product, comprised of elements including labor and energy costs, but free of any markup./PLL, WDJ