The Confederation of Sugar Producers Negros-Panay Chapter is urging planter-members to hasten the processing of documentary permits for sugar migrant workers in light of the recent memorandum from Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao.
Nicolas Ledesma Jr., Confed Negros-Panay chairman, said 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.”
Cadiao, in Memorandum Order No. 68, states the additional requirements for transporting migrant workers to the province, on top of what Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson had 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 that are in need of sugar migrant workers. About 3,000 to 6,000 workers are expected to travel to the province in a couple of weeks.
The millers’ representatives are also 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 the 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 are ready for their logistical needs during their travel and stay in Negros Occidental.
As required by Lacson, all migrant workers will be tested for Covid-19 as soon as they enter the province and will immediately be quarantined in their respective workplaces until their results are out. Those who are enrolled in PhilHealth will have their tests shouldered by the government.
Lacson has also declared a “No ID, No Entry” policy for sugar migrant workers, which was concurred by Cadiao.*