The Department of Labor and Employment 6 recently rescued four Aetas, including a minor, employed as sacadas in an hacienda in Brgy. Purisima, Manapla, Negros Occidental, a press release from DOLE said.
The victims were sent back to Antique later.
With the help of the head of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in Negros Occidental, DOLE 6 Regional Director Ponciano Ligutom sent two inspectors of the DOLE Negros Occidental Field Office to conduct inspection on the hacienda due to reports that a group ofAtis were working as sugar migratory workers there, the press release said.
Manapla Municipal Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine National Police representatives also joined the operation.
The workers complained that they were not paid their wages since their employment on November 21, 2011.
They were only forced to work during rainy days and even if they were sick, the press release said.
They were also maltreated and threatened to be shot if they run away, it added.
The team also found out that the hacienda employed a minor, the DOLE press release said.
The team told the hacienda overseer, a certain Seat, and the workers representatives, to discuss the findings of the inspection which included violation of Book III, Rule VIII, Sec. 3 of the Labor Code of the Philippines on time of payment of wage, violation of RA 9231 due to hiring of minor, and non-payment of wages from November 21, 2011 to February 22.
The employers’ representatives agreed to comply with the findings, the press release said.
On February 24, the management paid the wages of the workers and they were repatriated to Antique with the assistance of the Municipal Social Work and Development Office of Manapla, it added.*