The House Committee on Agriculture plans to visit Negros Occidental to look into the concerns of the sugar industry, including sugar smuggling, Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6th District) said on Thursday, February 23.
However, the committee, which is headed by Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga (Quezon, 1st District), has not set a date for the visit, she said.
Leaders of the sugar industry in a joint statement on Wednesday, February 22, called on the House of Representatives and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to conduct full-blown investigations into the blatant “smuggling” of sugar into the country.
Alvarez said she would support an investigation into sugar smuggling if it is the sentiment of the sugar planters.
The representatives of Negros will discuss the sugar smuggling concern because it is very effective when they act collectively, she said.
Alvarez said the push for Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution is still at the committee level in the House.
“We will study it as soon as we get a committee report,” she said.
Alvarez said she is okay with the proposal of Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson for the amendment of the Constitution to allow two successive four-year terms for elected local government officials.
Local officials are currently allowed three successive three-year terms.
Three years are too short, four years will allow elected officials more solid years to deliver services to their constituents, Lacson said.*