By Ferdinand Patinio

(Photo courtesy of DOLE Calabarzon)

MANILA – About 4,000 displaced sugarcane field workers in Calabarzon would benefit from the more than PHP79 million worth of livelihood assistance and emergency employment to be provided by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The workers are from the Central Azucarera Don Pedro, Inc. (CADPI) Sugar Mill, one of Luzon’s biggest raw sugar producers.

The company filed for permanent closure after “experiencing operational and financial challenges within the current conditions affecting the sugar industry in the Batangas area.”

In a statement Thursday, DOLE 4-A (Calabarzon) Director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla assured that the workers would be given due intervention through existing programs of the department.

“We are preparing to provide sustainable livelihood assistance after we hold a dialogue with the affected workers to optimize the use of funds,” she said. “Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma approved releasing more than PHP79 million to cover the affected workers for implementing Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged / Displaced Workers (TUPAD) and Livelihood Programs.”

Among the displaced workers, 1,252 will benefit from the TUPAD Program, amounting to PHP5.8 million worth of wages.

In preparation for its implementation, the DOLE has already oriented the displaced sugarcane workers on basic safety and health and other TUPAD implementation guidelines and procedures.

On the other hand, Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba committed to fast-track the approval of emergency employment and livelihood assistance for the affected workers. (PNA)