Local News: DOLE Rescues 4 Minor Aetas Working in a Negros Occidental Sugarcane Plantation in Manapla
Four Aetas including a minor employed as “sacadas” (sugarcane workers) in an undisclosed hacienda in Manapla, Negros Occidental were rescued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recently and sent back to their province in Antique, the DOLE here reported.
The rescue was caused by a notice from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Negros Occidental on a certain group of Aeta working as sugar migratory workers in the hacienda in Barangay Purisima, Manapla.
This prompted DOLE 6 director Ponciano M. Ligutom to deploy his team of inspectors on the premises of the said hacienda. The allegation was denied by a representative of the hacienda.
During the conduct of random interview, however, the workers complained they were not paid their wages since November 21, 2011 and forced to work during rainy days and even when sick. They were also maltreated and threatened to be shot if they run away. The workers executed affidavits to this effect.
The team also found out that the hacienda employed a minor.
During the exit conference, the hacienda overseer and the workers’ representatives discussed the findings of the inspection which included violation of the on time payment of wage, hiring of minor and non-payment of wages from November 21, 2011 to February 22, 2012.
The employers’ representatives agreed to comply with the findings.
The workers, upon payment of their wages, were repatriated to Antique with the
assistance of the Municipal Social Work and Development of Manapla.*