Batangas sugar refinery stops operations

Jasper Emmanuel Arcalas - The Philippine Star
Batangas sugar refinery stops operations
RHI said it permanently closed the business operations of CADPI last Feb. 28 after the subsidiary incurred “serious business losses.”
Ernie Peñaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — Listed sugar and ethanol producer Roxas Holdings Inc. (RHI) yesterday said it permanently ceased the operations of its wholly owned subsidiary Central Azucarera Don Pedro Inc. (CADPI) in Batangas to slash its losses.

RHI said it permanently closed the business operations of CADPI last Feb. 28 after the subsidiary incurred “serious business losses.”

As a result, RHI said CADPI was forced to terminate all its employees pursuant to pertinent provisions of the country’s Labor Cade.

CADPI sent a notice to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regarding the termination of its employees last Feb. 28, a month before the termination takes effect on March 29, according to RHI.

“The company has been suffering from serious business losses and hence, continuing its operations is no longer viable,” CADPI OIC-Plant head Edward John De Guzman said in the notice sent to DOLE.

The shutdown of CADPI would reduce the number of refineries in the country that can produce premium grade refined sugar to just five, Sugar Regulatory Administration Administrator and CEO Pablo Luis Azcona said.

“Sad effect is the loss of employment, and secondly, the loss of refining capacity for Luzon. So now premium refined (sugar) will come from four mills in Negros and one in Bukidnon,” Azcona said.

The remaining sugar refineries capable of producing premium grade refined sugar are: Biscom Inc., Lopez Sugar Corp., Universal Robina Corp. (URC) Sonedco, Victorias Milling Co. (all in Negros Occidental) and Busco Sugar Milling Co. Inc. in Bukidnon.

Last year, CADPI decided to shut down its milling operations due to ballooning losses. It eventually sold its sugar mill in Nasugbu, Batangas to URC, which operates a sugar mill in nearby Balayan, Batangas.

CADPI earlier priced its assets for sale, including the mill machinery and equipment, at about P897.3 million.

The SRA earlier noted that the closure of CADPI had an impact on the country’s overall sugar production, especially in Luzon.

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