Gabriela on Friday, Feb. 17, restated the consequences of “too much” importation, stressing that it harms local production of agricultural goods and displaces small-scale farmers.
Gabriela Women’s Partylist Representative Arlene Brosas said the national government’s plan to import 440,000 metric tons of refined sugar will harm its local production.
“Ang hakbang na ito ay anti-magsasaka at anti-manggagawa, at hahantong sa malawakang pagkawala ng mga trabaho at kabuhayan sa gitna ng krisis sa ekonomiya. Ang malala pa rito, hindi nito makokontrol ang patuloy na pagbaba ng produksyon ng asukal sa bansa at pagtaas ng presyo ng asukal sa merkado (This is anti-farmer and anti-worker. It will eventually lead to the loss of livelihood in the middle of an economic crisis. What’s worse is this will neither control the ongoing decline of sugar production in the country nor mitigate the increasing price of sugar in the market)," Brosas added.
In a separate statement, the national alliance of women underscored how farmers – many of which are women – are “struggling to compete” with imported products.
“Many are drowning in debt because of sky-high production costs and depressed farmgate prices,” said Gabriela on Friday.
The women’s group then urged the Marcos administration to provide marginalized sectors their “much-needed” subsidy, especially for farmers who are working in local sugarcane plantations.