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VMC stays mum on issued raised by VICMICO PAI

The VICMICO Planters’ Association, Inc. continues to face a blank wall as the management of Victorias Milling Company remains mum on three key issues raised by one of the major planters’ groups in Negros Occidental since July this year.

Aurelio Valderrama Jr., president of the 1,500-strong VICMICO PAI, in a statement issued by the planters’ group on Monday said that the mill management has yet to respond to the issue on the 0.50 percent it owed the association representing its share on sugar and molasses for week ending September 9 to December 2, 2018 that was computed at P2,073,068.

The other concerns that Valderrama’s group had asked the mill management to address were the price difference of 0.30 percent as its share on sugar and molasses for the week ending December 9, 2018 to May 19, 2019; and the whole of crop year 2019-2020 pegged at P409,103 as well their claim on storage charges and withholding tax valued at P518,063, it added.

VICMICO PAI’s said it claims summed up to a total of P3,000,234, excluding the cost of money and legal fees.

All of these are payables of the VMC to the association, on top of the yet-to-be-computed VICMICO PAI participation in the sugar mill’s utilization of the planters’ bagasse to generate electricity that could also run to millions of pesos, Valderrama said.

He explained that they are raising these issues anew because “we are duty-bound to protect our members, especially the small planters.”

Valderama claimed that VMC chose to fault the association on this instead of tackling pressing issues.

“Our concerns apparently fell on deaf ears. We pray that the VMC, which we considered as an industry partner for decades, will be transparent in its dealings with the association,” he said in a press release they issued.

Valderama maintained that planters and the association did not abandon the VMC because it need their sugarcanes.

The VICMICO PAI executive also renewed its clarification that they never actively campaigned to their planter-members to bring their sugarcanes to other mills, dismissing claims as baseless.*

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