The House Committee on Appropriations approved the proposed Sugarcane Industry Development bill filed by Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) yesterday.
Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6 th District) moved for the approval of the bill and was seconded by Rep. Jerry Treñas (Iloilo City), Benitez said.
Benitez said the bill had earlier been approved by the House Committee on Agriculture, and is targeted to be approved by the House Committee on Ways and Means in early May.
The bill hopefully will then be approved by the House on third reading by May or July, and be sent to the Senate for approval, he said.
Benitez also said he hopes the Sugarcane Industry Development Act will become a law by the end of the year.
The members of the House are set to go on recess today and will return on the first week of May.
Benitez said counterpart bills to his Sugarcane Act appear to be moving in the Senate, and industry stakeholders should lobby to hasten its passage in the Upper House, he said.
House Bill No. 52 is designed to strengthen the sugarcane industry by establishing a development fund, Benitez said.
Benitez said the Sugarcane Development Act, if approved, will help cushion the possible destabilization effects from the drop in tariff on imported sugar entering the country to a nominal 5 percent in 2015.
The bill aims to revitalize and strengthen the sugarcane industry through a diversification, development and financing program, he added.*CPG