Migrant sugar workers warned vs. illegal recruiters

ON THEIR WAY TO WORK. The third batch of sugar migrant workers from Antique show their identification cards issued by the Sacada Desk. Antique provincial government Sacada Desk in-charge Randy Ardeño said on Friday (Sept. 10, 2021) that three batches of sacadas had already left for Negros Occidental since Sept. 2. (Photo courtesy of Sacada Desk Antique)

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The Antique provincial government has warned sugar migrant workers, or sacadas, against two illegal recruiters from outside the province.

Antique provincial government Sacada Desk in-charge Randy Ardeño, said in an interview Friday they received reports of two illegal recruiters who are recruiting sacadas through their local contacts.

“We have received information that there are two illegal recruiters who have not coordinated with the Antique provincial government Sacada Desk, but are on the process of recruiting the sugar migrants,” he said.

The recruiters are targeting sacadas living in the mountainous area of Hamtic town promising that the sacadas will no longer have to undergo the tedious process of registration to work in Negros Occidental.

Sugar migrant workers who intend to work in Negros Occidental must register with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), register with the Safe, Swift and Smart Passage (S-PaSS) travel management system, and secure an identification card from the Sacada Desk.

Contractors also must enroll the sacada with the Social Security System (SSS) as added requirement of the Antique provincial government to make sure that they are covered with insurance.

Antique Provincial Planning and Development Officer Juliana Cepe, who supervises the Sacada Desk, said that mayors and barangay chairpersons have been cautioned already about the illegal recruiters.

Meanwhile, Ardeño said three batches of sacadas already left for Negros Occidental.

“The third batch composed of 124 sacada just left for NegOcc this morning, Sept. 10,” he said.

The first batch of 35 left on Sept. 2 while the second batch composed of 21 left on Sept. 9.

He said upon arrival at the Bacolod Port the sacadas immediately underwent the swab test conducted by the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) of Negros Occidental and thereafter transported to their quarters in the haciendas until such time that they receive their negative swab test result. (PNA)