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The government provides P18.5 million to increase sugar production in Central Visayas.
An official announced on Thursday that a budget of PHP18.5 million has been set aside to support livelihood and training programs for sugar workers in Central Visayas in an effort to protect the sector in the face of technological and human resource problems.
Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma’s office successfully defended the proposed budget during a discussion of the Sugar Tripartite Council (STC), according to Lilia A. Estillore, officer-in-charge of the Department of Labor and Employment in Central Visayas (DOLE-7).
Estillore stated that the budget will pay for the development of a facility that will give sugar workers, planters, and their dependents the chance to advance their technical knowledge and assist the millers in obtaining the necessary human resources to support the sugar business in Region 7.
According to Estillore, “the center will give the sugar workers and their dependents, as well as the planters, a location where they could conduct 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 the field and mills, the millers, and the planters.”
In spite of the financial, technological, and human resource crises, she claimed that the technical and livelihood training will protect the sugar sector.
In comparison to 2011, when the training center was first suggested, “augmentation of income through livelihood aid and training during off seasons is more significant today,” she continued.
Initially, Dumaguete City was selected as the location for the construction of the sugar workers’ training and livelihood center (SWLC).
However, according to Estillore, the idea went through a number of changes before DOLE finally decided to build the center in Barangay San Isidro, Tanjay City in Negros Oriental, after the local government unit embraced the initiative and gave a 1,000 square meter lot for the purpose.
Estillore recalled that the Negros Oriental District Tripartite Council had suggested building the facility with money from Central Azucarera de Bais and URC-SURE Universal Robina Sugar Milling Corporation that had not yet been dispersed or claimed.
The planned center, according to Estillore, was approved by the national government, saving the money from cash incentives of both Central and URC from being used for the initiative to improve the technical abilities of sugar workers.
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