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Planters group slams mill for ‘oppression’

In a statement, the Vicmico Planters Association (VPA) aired its complaint against Victorias Milling Company for acts of oppression against sugar farmers who simply want to mill their sugarcane in any mill they choose.

In a statement issued yesterday by the VPA officers and members of the Board headed by Aurelio Gerado “Bodie” Valderrama Jr., the association condemned the mill’s act of closing recently a major road going out to other mills, depriving use of the road to VPA members and other farmers who are not milling with Victorias Milling Company.

“In the guise of road repairs, Victorias Milling Company has closed the roads leading to other mills to members of our association, while the mill continues to allow non-VPA members to use the said roads. In addition, the mill refuses to accept the canes of our members, unless they mill individually, in effect encouraging and incentivizing sugar farmers to mill with Victorias Milling Company without affiliation to our association,” VPA stated.

“This imposes additional burden and trucking costs to our small farmer members, especially the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries. We condemn these oppressive acts of the mill, especially during this time of sugar supply shortage,” the group further said.

“Our members have asked us to bring these issues to the attention of Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Lacson, 3rd District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez, the Sugar Regulatory Administration and Agriculture USec. Domingo Panganiban for resolution,” VPA stated.*

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