BY JUDY PARTLOW
The provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental are now deliberating on health and safety protocols for sugarcane workers who will be crossing borders on the island in time for the milling season next month.
Adrian Sedillo, Negros Oriental Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) head, said yesterday that cross-border protocols for the movement of authorized persons outside of residence (APORS) working in the sugar industry in Negros Oriental are necessary to ensure the safety of all amidst the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Provincial government teams from the twin provinces of Negros Island met briefly on Tuesday at the boundary in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental to initially discuss the protocols and other concerns of the so-called migratory sugarcane-harvesting workers or “tapaseros”, said Sedillo, who is also the executive director of the provincial Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Also included are drivers and assistants of cargo trucks that haul the harvested sugarcane, he added.
Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Board Member, Emilio Yulo, was also present in the meeting, representing the sugar planters.*PNA