The General Alliance of Workers Association-Negros Island is urging the provincial government to include sugar in the monitoring if it will convene the Local Price Coordinating Council, and recommend immediate economic measures to arrest the high inflation rate.
GAWA Secretary-General Wennie Sancho said yesterday that the organizing of the price coordinating council is a welcome development and, hopefully, the provincial government will include representatives from the labor sector in the team.
Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer Frank Carbon confirmed to the DAILY STAR yesterday that, in principle, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. has already agreed to convene the local price coordinating council and the official letter has already been forwarded to his office.
Sancho, who was in the press conference with the sugar planters, farmers, and workers yesterday in Bacolod City, said there is a need to evaluate the worsening economic situation, particularly rising prices and inflation.
In convening the coordinating council, the provincial government should include sugar, as stakeholders fear its importation will cause the collapse of the industry in Negros Occidental, she said.
Sancho said the coordinating council should also focus on the prime industry ofNegros to ensure that farmers could seek help amid the high inflation rates in the country.
Western Visayas has a 7.4 percent inflation rate, which is higher than the national average of 6.4 percent in August.
“They should convene as soon as possible and come up with a recommendation to the city and provincial level on what measures should be taken to arrest the problem,” Sancho said.
At the press conference, sugar stakeholders expressed fear of an industry collapse if President Rodrigo Duterte approves the recommendation of the economic development cluster for the Sugar Regulatory Administration to open importation of sugar to direct users to moderate cost to consumers, and bring down the inflation rate.
Sancho also said they are appealing to the government not to let what happened in the past where there was extreme poverty because of the industry collapse to occur again.
Carbon also said that the meeting to convene the coordinating council may take place next week if the expected storm passes the province.*MLG
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