Sugarcane Bill passage pushed

Published by rudy Date posted on January 26, 2013

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Negrenses are now joining the sugar industry in pushing for the swift passage of the Sugarcane Industry Development Act, now pending in both chambers of Congress.

The sugarcane bill, authored by Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo Benitez, was approved with some amendments by the House committee on appropriations Tuesday, with amendments on the sources of funds for the development of the industry.

Benitez said the bill will be brought to the plenary for approval on second reading and, in a few days, is expected to be passed by the House on third and final reading this January.

He is also following up the passage of its counterpart bill in the Senate now pending before the committee on agriculture.

The counterpart sugarcane act bill was filed in the Senate by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who is pushing for its passage in the Upper House before Congress adjourns next week.

Among those supportive of the Sugarcane Bill and is pushing for its passage is the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

“The TUCP is supportive of the Sugarcane Bill because the party believes that the survival of the sugar industry is the survival of the livelihood of the sugar workers,” TUCP deputy general secretary Roland de la Cruz said in a press statement.

De la Cruz, the first nominee of TUCP Partylist in the May 2013 elections, said the National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines—TUCP (NACUSIP-TUCP), the largest organized labor group in the sugar industry, is also calling for Negrense congressmen to support the plan to amend the Social Amelioration Law.

“TUCP is pushing for the coverage of other alternative sugar-dependent industries such as ethanol plants under the Social Amelioration Program,” he said.

The protection and the development of the sugar industry is on the frontline of the legislative agenda of the TUCP party-list in the next Congress, said De la Cruz, also a Negrense. (Danny B. Dangcalan, FREEMAN)

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