The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office in Western Visayas will release P185,183,505 to the planters’ associations under the Binalbagan-Isabela Milling Company Milling District.
DOLE 6 regional director, Cyril Ticao, said the amount is for the 3-percent cash bonus workers’ share as provided under Republic Act No. 809, or An Act to Regulate the Relations among Persons Engaged in the Sugar Industry.
The five recipients are the Binalbagan-Isabela Planters’ Association, Independent Planters of Biscom, Planters Association of Southern Negros Inc., Negros Consolidated Farmers Association, and the United Farmers Association of Negros South Inc., he said.
Ticao said they will receive the checks not later than August 21.
He said he ordered the immediate release of the cash bonus in response to the call of various planters’ associations and the need to alleviate the plight of the workers amid the economic downturn brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We guarantee that we will fully release Biscom Milling District’s labor share within next week now that all associations have submitted their payrolls. The latest submission was last August 11,” he said.
The DOLE and the planters’ associations also entered into a Trust Receipt Agreement which sets various conditions, such as the submission of previous crop year’s proof of distribution and evidence of deposits of unclaimed cash bonuses, Ticao said.
Last week, Sugar Regulatory Administration Board Member, Emilio Yulo, urged the DOLE to immediately release the production share of sugar workers under the Biscom milling district, that he estimated at about P200 million.
“We are about to start the next milling season but our workers have not received their share yet from the last milling season,” Yulo said in a press release.
He added that the share is usually given June or July to provide workers with funds in time for the school opening. Now that school opening has been delayed, it does not mean that DOLE will release the funds later than usual, Yulo said.
Yulo said the funds will help alleviate the plight of the workers especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, and spur economic activity in southern Negros, particularly in the city of Himamaylan and the towns of Binalbagan, Moises Padilla, Isabela, and Hinigaran, the press release said.
He added that, last year, “the DOLE also delayed the release of the labor’s share and I hope they have it ready this time.”*
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