A farmers’ group is again urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to revive the Dacongcogon Sugar Mill in Brgy. Tabugon, Kabankalan City, to help eradicate the insurgency problem in southern Negros Occidental.
The Dacongcogon Farmers Producers Cooperative, in an open letter signed by their chairperson Rolando Parpa, said that the revival of the sugar mill will help improve the living conditions of the people and will address insurgency.
“Reviving the masses based Dacongcogon mill as a social justice project would erase that perception of government indifference,” Parpa said, adding “It would preserve and/or restore the trust and confidence of the masses in government”.
The letter cited that under the Marcos administration, from July 1, 2022 to Aug. 26 this year, 81 individuals were left dead in Negros due to killings and rebel-military encounters.
For people from the hinterlands of Southern Negros, among the reasons why insurgency continues, is our system of governance which is not sensitive to, nor has respect for the advocacy and cause of the masses, it said.
The revival of the sugarmill has been pushed since 2011, where about 8,000 sugarcane farmers and farmworkers solicited assistance from the national government but were ignored.
The letter added that they have followed it up with petitions signed by 10,000 farmers and barangay and town resolutions submitted to the Malacañang in Jan. 19, 2022 to urge the president to act on it.
“Their situation has become a perceived example of government indifference towards the cause of the poor and reason why some people join the rebels that seek to overthrow the government”, Parpa said.
The letter added that reviving the mill facility will improve the local economy and ameliorate the farmers suffering from poverty which is the root of insurgency, and help produce more sugar for the country’s domestic consumption instead of the present reliance on importation.*