Migrant workers banned from returning to Negros Occidental without coordination with prov’l gov’t
BACOLOD CITY –– Stranded sacadas or migrant sugar workers from other parts of the country are prohibited from returning to Negros Occidental without coordination with the provincial government to ensure they undergo coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests.
Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian, chief of the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division, said the Philippine Coast Guard was instructed not to allow migratory workers to board vessels for Negros Occidental without the requirements.
“There are 1,808 migratory workers from Antique who recently arrived in Negros Occidental for the harvest season. Eight of them were found to be COVID-19-positive,” he said.
Majority of the sacadas work as cane cutters in Negros Occidental, which is the top producer of sugarcane in the country.
The workers need to be swabbed for COVID-19 tests upon arrival in Negros Occidental. They also have to be quarantined in farm quarters until their test results are out.
Caelian said about 3,000 more migratory workers are expected to arrive in the province.
He called on the contractors responsible for bringing the migratory workers to Negros Occidental to follow the health protocols of the province to prevent the spread of COVID -19.
Caelian said since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 23,164 persons have entered the province, of which 6,359 are overseas Filipino workers, 15,651 are locally stranded individuals, and 1,808 migratory workers.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.