House leaders have hailed President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s pro-farmer and agriculture stance amid his decision to reject the importation of 300,000 metric tons (MTs) of sugar into the country.
Praising the Chief Executive were Kabayan Party-list Rep. Ron Salo and Quezon 1st district Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga, who chair the House Committees on Overseas Workers Affairs and on Agriculture and Food, respectively.
"We fully support the President’s decision to exercise great prudence in the importation of sugar by ordering that an importation plan be first crafted," Salo said in a statement.
"This decision endeavours to strike a delicate balance between ensuring lower cost of sugar and protecting local producers, who are the primary players in the country’s efforts to achieve sugar self-sufficiency," he noted.
"Committee hearings pursuant to the oversight function of Congress will certainly aid in curbing unauthorized importation or smuggling of agricultural products, including sugar," the lawyer-congressman further said.
Incidentally, the House--through the Committees on Agriculture and Food and on Good Government and Public Accountability--will host government officials in a briefing Monday morning, Aug. 15, on the attempt to import 300,000 MTs of sugar, which was later found out to be unauthorized.
"Ikinagagalak ko ang pagpapahalaga ng ating Pangulong Bongbong Marcos Jr. na unahing protektahan ang ating lokal na industriya ng agrikultura bago magdesisyon ukol sa pag aangkat (I am happy with the importance shown by President Bongbong Marcos Jr. in prioritizing the security of our local agriculture industry before deciding on importation)," Enverga said in a separate statement.
"Kung may mga pagkukulang sa ating lokal na supply ay masusi niyang pina-aaral ang naaangkop na volume na magba-balance ng interes ng ating mga consumers at producers (If our local supply is lacking, he carefully studies the appropriate volume that would balance the interest of our consumers and producers)," he added.
As such, Enverga concluded that, "Tunay na may malasakit ang ating Pangulo sa ating mga magsasaka at sa sector ng agrikultura (Truly, our President has compassion for our farmers and the sector of agriculture)."
"Ito sa aking palagay ay susi at direction tungo sa ating food security (This, in my opinion, is the key and path toward our food security)," the Quezon solon further said.
Marcos is temporarily acting as the Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary. Had it pushed through, the bulk importation of sugar would have been injurious to local sugarcane farmers.