Press Releases
DOLE 6 Initiates Signing of Pledge of Commitment to help Sacadas in Antique

“Who will take care of them if not us?”

 

This was the challenge Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao of the Province of Antique has thrown to everyone, particularly among the Antiqueños, during the signing last February 15, 2017 of the Pledge of Commitment to help the Migratory Sugar Workers (MSWs) or sacadas in that province. 

 

The signing was one of the highlights of the One-day Orientation for barangay officials and representatives from the local government units, non-government organizations and other national government agencies on Employees Compensation Program and Occupational Safety and Health Standards.

 

This activity is in response to the lack of information on work-related contingency benefits and the required standards for safe and healthy workplace among MSWs or sacadas.

 

Being the largest “sacada” sending province in Western Visayas, the Province of Antique commits to intensify its efforts to help the MSWs. 

 

Majority, if not all, of sacadas are not well-educated and they would simply settle for less like working in the sugarcane plantations.  Inevitably, some have become victims of illegal recruitment, unjust work practices and exposed to unsafe working environment.

 

To address this time immemorial predicament of MSWs, the DOLE, along with the other stakeholders, initiated the signing of the Pledge of Commitment to manifest their genuine support and cooperation to promote the welfare of MSWs or sacadas in the Province of Antique as well as to protect them from further exploitations and unjust work practices. 

 

The stakeholders unanimously pledged to support government’s programs and services that uphold the well-being of sacadas and the benefits due them as seasonal regular workers.

 

Cadiao, who recognizes the important role of the sacadas in sugarcane plantations particularly in Negros Occidental, led the signing of the Pledge of Commitment. 

 

Hindi sasarap ang asukal sa Negros kung walang Antiquenos,” she said - jokingly.

 

Recruitment of MSWs starts as early as May.  Prior to their transport to other places, milling supervisors are required to secure an Authority to Transport from the DOLE.  So far, in 2016, 81 milling supervisors were issued Authority to Transport by DOLE. 

 

Thousands of MSWs from different municipalities in the Province of Antique are working in various sugarcane plantations in Negros Occidental.  The DOLE has recorded in 2016 a total of 2,158 MSWs recruited and sent to work on the islands’ big haciendas. Their number is allegedly four times higher; however, they lack documentation.

 

To ensure that MSWs or sacadas are fit to work, of legal age and not child laborers, they are required to submit medical and birth certificates. 

 

Prior to their deployment, MSWs are required to attend an Orientation on Pre-Employment so that they would know their rights and responsibilities as workers, and they would be provided with some inputs on how to manage their earnings so that when their work at the sugarcane plantation ends they still have money to take home.

 

 

DOLE OIC-Regional Director Salome O. Siaton was hopeful that this collaborative efforts is not merely be a “band aid” solution - not just temporary and short-lived, but sustainable and continuing.  

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2017-02-27
Dir. Ca┼łete
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