The VICMICO Planters’ Association Inc. yesterday said the Victorias Milling Company still owes them P3 million, representing the share on sugar and molasses.
In a statement issued by the 1,500-strong VICMICO PAI, its president Aurelio Valderrama Jr., said the management has yet to respond to the issue, adding that the unpaid share was from Sept. 9 to Dec. 2, 2018, Dec. 9, 2018 to May 19, 2019, and for the whole crop year 2019-2020.
Valderrama also said the amount excludes the cost of money and legal fees.
All of these are payables of the VMC to the association, on top of the yet-to-be-computed VICMICO PAI participation in the sugar mill’s utilization of the planters’ bagasse to generate electricity that could also run to millions of pesos, Valderrama said.
He justified raising anew the issues, saying “we are duty-bound to protect our members, especially the small planters.”
Instead of tackling the pressing issues, Valderrama claimed that VMC chose to find fault with the association.
But he said they are still praying that VMC, which they considered an industry partner for decades, will be transparent in its dealings with VICMICO PAI, whose membership is comprised of 86 percent of agrarian reform beneficiaries or small farmers.
VICMICO PAI also raised issues on transparency, poor milling efficiency, and burdensome business policies, among others.
Valderrama reiterated that they never actively campaign for their planter-members to bring sugarcanes to other mills.
“Such claims by the VMC are baseless,” he pointed out.
“The truth is, our members, on their own, and sugar planters from other associations, have been bringing canes to other mills because of VMC’s poor milling efficiencies and onerous policies,” Valderrama claimed. –GB