TRANSCRIPT PORTION OF SEN. GRACE POE’S INTERVIEW

ON SUGAR IMPORT LIBERALIZATION:

Poe: I'm not there anymore. I'll tell you Manong why, not because I'm from here: The Sugarcane Industry Development Act, we just approve, maybe three to four years ago, so it's very new. The yield per hectare of Thailand, of other Latin American countries, compared to us in sugarcane is more than maybe 100 times or 50 times; we're not, because our technology is not so great. So for me before the government entertains the idea of liberalizing sugar, you must first strengthen the industry but kill it, lose it. We can not keep pace with it right now. Like this in rice, they need to commit to giving them a few billion every year to compete with our sugarcane farmers, not for sugarcane if they differentiate crops, there must also be technology that will help them. You know the hardships here, also high-fructose components smuggled for sweeteners, corn syrup, where it comes from, smuggled here so the government really needs to help it.

Source: Senate of the Philippines