Press Releases
DOLE releases P16M plus COVID-19 aid to sugar industry workers in Neg. Occ.

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL – The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office 6 – Negros Occidental Field Office released a total of P16,907,000.00 from May 7, 2020 to August 11, 2020, for the financial assistance to sugar industry workers affected by the preventive measures on COVID-19.

 

This project aims to provide a one-time financial assistance of P1,000.00 to sugarcane field workers who have and have not received benefits under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) Cash Bonus Program, sugar mill workers, and small sugarcane farm cultivators, including Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs).

 

The total approved budget for the said project amounting to P24,521,000.00, was allotted into two portions – 80% which is released to sugarcane field workers through planters’ associations, and 20% to sugar mill workers, as well as field workers who are not receiving the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) Cash Bonus, as identified by DOLE-registered workers’ organizations/unions in Negros Occidental.

 

Under the 80% portion of the approved budget, a total of P8,321,000.00 had already been released to 26 Planters’ Associations in Negros Occidental. While for the 20% portion of the budget, DOLE already released a total of P8,586,000.00 to Mill workers of 9 Sugar Mills, and to field workers in areas of Bacolod City, Talisay City, Silay City, E.B. Magalona, Victorias City, Manapla, Cadiz City, Sagay City, San Carlos City, Bago City, Murcia, La Carlota City, Valladolid, Pontevedra, Binalbagan, Kabankalan City, Ilog and Sipalay City, in Negros Occidental.

 

“The sugarcane field workers are considered one of the most vulnerable and highly indigent sector in our society. Adding to their vulnerabilities were the effects of preventive measures effected to combat this COVID-19 pandemic, such as the implementation of flexible work arrangements of sugar mills and delays in the harvesting of the sugarcane hence, this financial assistance could definitely provide income augmentation to them”, said Mary Agnes N. Capigon, Provincial Head of DOLE Negros Occidental Field Office.

 

Capigon also added that due to the limited budget, not all sugar industry workers in Negros Occidental were covered by the financial assistance. She also emphasized that those Mill workers who were not affected by the preventive measures on COVID-19, and field workers who already received the SAP from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), were excluded in the identification of beneficiaries, as provided in the guidelines.

 

“Gamay man gid ini tuod ikumpara sa ginahatag sang iban nga mga ahensiya, pero dako na ni nga alibyo sa amon pang adlaw-adlaw nga galastuhon sa subong nga ara kita sa tunga sang pandemya”, said Erlin Sangcap of Bago City, one of the beneficiaries identified by the Democratic Association of Labor Organization (DALO).

 

“The distribution of the financial assistance is still on going and will continue until we fully released the total allocated budget for Negros Occidental”, said Capigon.

 

The said financial aid is one of the Emergency Subsidy Programs (ESPs), particularly for the low income-earner households such as of the sugar industry workers, proposed by the Sugar Tripartite Council (STC), and approved by the DOLE, in line with the Republic Act No. 11649 or otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act”.

 

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2020-08-05
Dir. Cyril L. Ticao
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