By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Confederation of Sugar Producers Negros-Panay Chapter is urging their planter-members to hasten the processing of documentary permits for sugar migrant workers in light of the recent memorandum from Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao.
CONFED Negros-Panay Chairman Nicolas Ledesma, Jr. said that with barely two weeks to go, “we need to speed things up so the migrant workers will be in Negros Occidental at the start of the milling season.”
Memorandum Order No. 68 from Cadiao provides additional requirement for transporting migrant workers to the province on top of what Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson issued. As such, “if we want no delays in the start of the milling season, everyone must comply with the guidelines set by both governors,” Ledesma added.
The memo was forwarded by Sugar Regulatory Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica for compliance of all planters’ groups who are in need of sugar migrant workers. About 3,000 to 6,000 sacada are expected to travel to the province in a couple of weeks.
Millers’ representatives are asked to comply with the list of requirements by August 20 for the issuance of a provincial identification card and to give time for the issuance of a Certificate of Acceptance from Lacson.
All workers must also submit their birth certificates which will be forwarded to the Department of Labor and Employment to ensure that no minors will be included in the list of migrant workers. The memo also requires submission of Mayor’s Permit, police clearance, and a medical certificate duly signed by a government physician for the worker to be given a certificate to travel by their respective municipal employment and services office.
Ledesma also said that he is hoping that by then, all sugar farms will have their respective quarantine facilities for the migrant workers and ready for the logistical needs of migrant workers during their travel and stay in Negros Occidental.
As required by Lacson, all migrant workers will be tested as soon as they enter the province and will immediately be quarantined in their respective workplace until their results are out. Those who are enrolled in PhilHealth will have their tests shouldered by the government.
Lacson has declared a “No ID, No Entry” policy for sugar migrant workers which was concurred by Cadiao./DGB, WDJ