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3 sugar mills reopen early

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Three sugar mills in Negros Occidental have responded to the call of Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer to restart mill operations before the official milling season to allay fears of a rumored sugar shortage in the country.

David Alba, general manager of the Asociacion de Agricultores de La Carlota y Pontevedra (AALCPI), disclosed that the Victorias Milling Company (VMC), Universal Robina Corp. (URC) La Carlota and the Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Company (BISCOM) are all willing to reopen and mill early once raw sugar is available.

Alba said AALCPI along with other industry stakeholders are helping Ferrer to reach out to the various mills in the province

“VMC President Minnie Chua gave her assurance that “they are willing to refine when they have the raw sugar supply,” and will resume operations by August, or a month earlier than the official opening of the milling season which is usually on September, Alba said.

URC La Carlota also said they are “amenable with the Vice Governor’s recommendation,” while Joe Chan of BISCOM said that while they will start milling on September, “BISCOM will also refine once critical mass is reached.”

In a statement, Alba said they are expecting more mills to answer the call of Ferrer and “we believe that when everyone is on board and will unite in providing solutions to any problem, we can surpass this.”*

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