Labor Inspectors focus on sacadas rights, welfare in haciendas

A region-wide capacity building for labor Inspectors on the conduct of inspection at haciendas was organized by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Western Visayas Regional Director Atty.  Sixto T. Rodriguez Jr.  to ensure the promotion of the rights and welfare of the sacadas or migratory sugarcane workers.

“The welfare of the sacadas from the Island of Panay and Negros Occidental is at the forefront of this undertaking,” Rodriguez said.

“They are the marginalized sector who are usually underserved and hard to reach workers. It is our responsibility as inspectors to safeguard their rights and protect their welfare.”

Atty. Rodriguez highlighted the need of protecting the workers to maximize the gains of the sacadas in every planting cycle in the haciendas.

The two-day activity was packed with lectures on issuances of labor laws for the agricultural workers, labor practices and the orientation on payment schemes of works which is peculiar to the haciendas.

Among the topics discussed in the conference were the payment system for “pakyaw” jobs, the one-third carabao share, provision of appropriate dwelling places for the “sacadas” and the latest issuances for the workers in the agriculture sector.

Capping the activity were the conduct of inspection visits to the dwelling facilities and interviews with the sugarcane workers in the different haciendas in Negros Occidental.

“The capacity building is an enriching activity. It enhances our knowledge on the system at the haciendas and also raised our awareness to the real situation of the sacadas. It motivates the inspectors to perform their jobs effectively,” said Assistant Labor Inspector Camela Pranciliso.

The enrichment activity is aimed at intensifying the inspection program and at raising the labor standards for the workers in the sugarcane fields of Western Visayas.