Bitterness is the taste of the sad news that one of the country’s sugar mills is halting operations due to huge losses. The decision of the company to stop its operation was too abrupt that those affected where caught in shock. Such closure would affect not just the sugar industry but the workers who are bound to lose their jobs and the income that supports the need of their respective family. That the closure came at a time when school days are still far from closure this current semester is untimely. It will result in many families falling deeper into the economic poverty threshold.

What makes the situation bitter is the reason cited by the company for its decision to cease operations which is the huge financial losses caused by the continued sugar importation. The ill effect is the drop of sugar prices due to unfair competition caused by the cheaper imported sugar. Bringing prices of locally produced sugar below the price of imported ones would really result in loses. Without any coping mechanisms in place, sugar manufacturers will be forced to absorb such losses.

But the adverse effect of such closure would be on the workers who will be suddenly jobless. The impact would be so drastic that the family of the workers would loss the source of income for their basic needs. The prospect of finding a new job is very nil as the workers would need to learn new knowledge and skills that other companies would require.

At a time when the worker had spent their prime years on a job in line with sugar production, it would be tough to learn on a new job.

What is revolting to the public mind is the reason of the closure of that sugar mill which is reportedly the huge losses it suffered due to the continued importation of sugar. All the while, people thought that there is a regulatory agency for the sugar industry that would protect the local sugar manufacturers. With an effective regulatory agency, the production of sugar by local manufacturers should not suffer losses in its operations.

It could be recalled that the sugar supply became an issue as prices skyrocketed beyond the normal selling prices in the market. There was a reported lack of supply from local producers and the stop gap solution was sugar importation. The issue prompted a senate investigation in aid of legislation. It was discovered during the hearings that the issuance of the order to import sugar was tainted with irregularity.

Nothing clear happened out of that senate probe. People would expect an update as the issue would be brought to the headlines due to the closure of one sugar mill that was reportedly caused by the continued government policy on sugar importation. The affected workers may soon bring their grievances to the proper forum. Meanwhile, people may suffer price increase of sugar’s bitterness.
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