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Daanbantayan may ban planting of sugarcane

Upset by the damage allegedly done to the town, Daanbantayan Vice Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot proposed to stop the planting of sugarcane in the agricultural lands of the municipality by private owners and the Bogo-Medellin Sugar Milling Company, Inc.

Loot said when she was still mayor of the town several complaints reached her about ashes and dust left from burned sugarcane after harvest time.

Aside from that, Loot said that heavy load trucks hauling cut sugarcane allegedly destroy barangay roads, including the roads asphalted by the provincial government.

Complainants also said over Bantay Radio that sugarcane trucks track mud onto the asphalted roads, and when it rains the mud makes the roads slippery.

Residents of Tabogon town also said sometimes sugarcane is not properly loaded onto trucks and their sharp points hit pedestrians during transport.

Loot said the town is not getting any profits from the sugar industry except the usual real property taxes paid by the landowner.

Most of the sugarcane planters are just renting the land from the owners who pay the real property taxes every year.

Loot said that while a lot of people depend on sugarcane as their source of livelihood, she cannot disregard the welfare of other people.

As presiding officer of the municipal council, she said that an ordinance to stop the planting of sugarcane in the agricultural lands of the municipality will soon be created.

While she is also open to negotiations with sugarcane planters, she said this may be best done after the ordinance is passed.  Gregg M. Rubio/BRP

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