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Negros govs ink memo on sugar migratory workers

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Governors Eugenio Jose Lacson of Negros Occidental and Roel Degamo of Negros Oriental signed a joint memorandum setting the guidelines for migratory sugarcane workers (MSWs) traveling to Negros Occidental from Oriental, and vice versa, for crop year 2020-2021 amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

There are 10,000 MSWs from neighboring provinces who come to Negros Occidental during harvest season as cane cutters, with about 3,000 from Negros Oriental, according to Sugar Regulatory Administration Board Member Emilio Yulo.

Yulo said they work on farms located in southern and central Negros Occidental. (https://bit.ly/3i2hOq4)

The milling operations in Negros Oriental usually start in December, so until then, most of them come to work at Negros Occidental farms, he added.

MSWs will be considered authorized persons outside residence (APORs) since the sugar industry is classified as an essential industry subject to provisions of the joint guidelines, and circulars of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor and Employment, and the Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, the memorandum signed Monday read.

Individual planters have to submit the list of their MSWs for the crop year to their planters associations with the following information: names of MSWs, the PhilHealth number of the MSWs if applicable, the MSWs basic personal information, their eventual place of assignment in Negros Occidental, and preferred date of entry to Negros Occidental or Oriental.

The MSWs will be subjected to swab tests at their point of entry and will be placed on mandatory quarantine at the hacienda where they will work until their test results are released, the agreement also stated.

The points of entry into the province will be Barangay Tagukon, Kabankalan City, Barangay Masulog, La Castellana, and Barangay Buluangan, San Carlos City.