April 20, 2020
CNN Philippines | https://bit.ly/3bBYH3T
Bukidnon (CNN Philippines, April 20) — Two big sugar companies in northern Mindanao resumed milling operations on Monday.
BUSCO Sugar Milling Co. Inc. and Crystal Sugar Co. Inc. in Bukidnon province resumed their operations after Governor Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. lifted his shutdown order on April 16.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar earlier appealed to the governor to lift his order as the "restrictive policy would only result in artificial shortage and thus price spikes."
Zubiri ordered the temporary shutdown of operations of the two milling companies on March 28, as the province implemented its strict general community quarantine due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The two milling companies play a vital role in the economy of Bukidnon, where thousand of sugar planters rely on the sugar industry.
Zubiri recently received a "show cause order" from the DILG. Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing said Zubiri's executive order temporarily stopping all operations of companies in the province hampered the activities of firms producing food such as pineapples, bananas, and rice. This was denied by the local executive.
There is one confirmed COVID-19 case in Bukidnon recorded by the Department of Health on April 10.