A Sugar Baron that supported the Presidential candidacy of former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas in the last elections warned Pepsi Cola Philippines. Manuel Lamata, President of the United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines said that they will launch a Boycott against Pepsi Cola for its use of HFCS or fructose sugar.
“We will attack Pepsi, they are not innocent! They (PEPSI) are idiots! Their product contains HFCS. If they do not sit and talk with the Sugar Alliance, we will launch a boycott and protest against their products”, threatened Lamata.
In a separate meeting in Malacanang Palace, Lamata shouted at several government officials claiming that the government is not protecting the sugar monopoly by allowing the entry of fructose sugar which is being used as an alternative sweetener for powdered coffee, powdered juice and softdrinks by multinational beverage companies like Pepsi.
In response, Secretary Pinol called the Negros Sugar Baron and his associates “spoiled brats” for how he acted during the meeting, and for accusing him of accepting bribes from beverage manufacturers which he denied. Lamata and his group gave the DA Secretary the moniker “Money Pinol”.
Pinol had held in abeyance the issuance of Sugar Order No. 3 which was released by the Sugar Regulatory Administration which is under the Department of Agriculture.
Because of the protection of the sugar cartel in the Philippines, sugar remains in the “protected list “ of Philippine products which hampers ASEAN Economic Integration. All members of ASEAN under the pact will engage in free trade across its borders and sugar is hampering its implementation.
Secretary Pinol stated that there is a need for change and modernization in how the sugar business is conducted in the Philippines. Philippine remains one of the highest priced in the world market. Former SRA head Rafael “Lito” Cosculluela said: “We need to accept the reality that Philippine sugar is highly priced. And if additional taxes are imposed on those who use it, the prices of products will increase resulting in less buyers and even lesser demand for the Sugar industry.
The Senate is now hearing the proposed excise tax on sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) which is seen to increase the cost of basic goods for blue collar and poor Filipinos who are the patrons of instant coffee, softdrinks and powdered juice drinks.
This news was verified: