Department of Labor and Employment
23 December 2022
P18.5-M sugar workers hub soon to rise in Negros
Cebu City, Philippines. An 18.5-million-peso worth of Sugar Workers Training and Livelihood Center (SWLC) will soon rise in Negros Oriental.
This was after Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office No. 7 OIC-Regional Director Lilia A. Estillore successfully defended the proposed budget for the SWLC construction during the Sugar Tripartite Council (STC) deliberations chaired by Labor and Employment Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma.
The proposed Workers Training and Livelihood Center, which was initiated way back in 2011 and had also undergone a series of revisions and updates, will be constructed in a 1,0000 square meter lot in Barangay San Isidro donated by the local government unit of Tanjay City.
“We are very delighted knowing that a project this big that will benefit the workers in the District Tripartite Councils in Negros Oriental will finally be materialized after years of being just in the pipeline. We are very grateful to all DOLE key officials headed by Secretary Laguesma and the representatives of the millers, planters, and workers sectors present during the deliberations in Manila on 15 December 2022,” said Director Estillore.
Director Estillore defended why the center had to be constructed and added that “it will provide the sugar workers and their dependents as well as the planters a place where they could focus for the conduct of their orientations, seminars, and training about the programs and services of DOLE, TESDA and all other training institutions to help sugar industry workers both in field and mills, including the millers and the planters.”
The technical and livelihood training, Estillore continued, would be very much needed to preserve the sugar industry which for now is in the midst of financial, technological, and human resource crises.
“The augmentation of income through livelihood assistance and training during off seasons is more relevant today than it was in 2011 when the training center was proposed,” she added.
Earlier, the District Tripartite Councils in Negros Oriental proposed to utilize the forfeited undistributed/Unclaimed Cash Bonus Funds of Central Azucarera de Bais and URC-SURE URSUMCO Sugar Mill Districts of Negros Oriental to put up the center.
Originally planned to be put up in Dumaguete City, negotiations were then made by the DTCs and the DOLE-Negros Oriental Field Office (NOFO), together with the LGU of Tanjay City, who adopted the proposed project and donated the 1,000 square meter area.
“Finally, the Program of Works or POW and the detailed design of the approved Construction Plan at Php18, 500, 000.00 is another blessing for Region’s Sugar Industry in Negros Oriental,” Dir. Estillore happily quipped.
To date, the District Tripartite Councils in Negros Oriental comprise the Central Azucarera de Bais (CAB)- the largest producer of raw sugar in Negros Oriental; Universal Robina Sugar Milling Corporation (URSUMCO); and URC-Tolong. End//LSenarlo-Taniza