Sugar workers in Negros assured of SAP benefits

Posted by watchmen
March 9, 2024
Posted in News


The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, assured the implementation of social and economic benefits for sugar industry workers during an orientation on the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) on Thursday, March 7.

With the creation of a District Tripartite Council (DTC) in the southern part of the province, sugar workers are seen to benefit from SAP, which outlines several programs taken from the social amelioration lien collected from a sugar mill, Sandra Delfin, DOLE-Negros Oriental SAP focal person, told the Philippine News Agency.

The DOLE-Negros Oriental Field Office spearheaded the orientation and consultation in Bayawan City, in preparation for the creation of a DTC in the HDJ Agri-Venture Sugar Milling District, Delfin said.

Eduardo Orendain Jr., Senior Labor Employment Officer, who gave the SAP orientation, stressed the need for its full mandate implementation to come up with programs and policies to protect sugar workers.

Delfin said the creation of a DTC for every sugar mill district is mandated under Republic Act 6982, otherwise known as An Act Strengthening the Social Amelioration Program in the Sugar Industry, Providing the Mechanisms for its Implementation and for other Purposes.

“All voices from the labor and management sectors and government will also be heard in the tripartite council,” she said.

The proposed creation of a new DTC came after a new ownership of a company that runs two sugar mills in Bayawan City, the HDJ Agri-Venture, Inc. or HDJ-Tolong, Delfin said.

The company was previously owned by United Robina Corporation-Tolong, which also had its own DTC.

Operations by the new ownership started sometime in the 2018-2019 crop year for the Bugay mill and in 2020-2021 crop year for the Tolong mill.

However, the collections during the past years from these sugar mills were not yet enough to come up with programs and to require a new DTC creation, Delfin explained.

Participants in the orientation/consultation were from the management sector (HDJ Tolong and Bugay), labor sector (field and mill workers of HDJ Tolong and Bugay), sugarcane planters, farmers’ groups/cooperatives, and other stakeholders such as the Department of Agrarian Reform, Municipal Agriculture Office, and Public Employment Service Office, among others.

Delfin said that orientation outputs and the DOLE’s recommendation will be submitted to the Sugar Tripartite Council, the national advisory group on the SAP implementation, to decide on the proposed creation of the DTC in south Negros Oriental. (PNA)


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