SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – About 460 sugar migrants, locally known as sacadas, will receive financial assistance during the annual “Bisita Sacada”, or the visit of Antique’s provincial government officials to migrant workers in Negros Occidental, on December 7-10, a local official said Friday.
In an interview, Antique Provincial Government Sacada Desk in-charge Randy Ardeño said Antique officials, to be led by Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao, would distribute the financial assistance, along with food packs to their migrant workers to “bring them early Christmas joy.”
He said each sacada would receive PHP2,000 aid to individuals in crisis situation (AICS) from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at the Kabankalan Covered Gym, in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
Antique provincial officials will also make a courtesy call on their counterparts in Negros Occidental, and meet with planters and contractors to discuss how to further improve the conditions of sacadas.
Ardeño said this year’s Bisita Sacada was moved from November 15-18 due to the onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng that struck the province last week of October.
Now on its eighth year, the Bisita Sacada has so far resulted in several improvements in the conditions of sacadas, such as their headquarters that are already well ventilated and provided with divisions for privacy.
“Before their deployment to Negros Occidental, the sacadas (were) also enrolled by their contractors with the Social Security System (SSS) for them to be able to claim some benefits,” Ardeño said.
Before they departed from Antique in September and October, the provincial government also provided them with PHP2,000 in AICS to leave to their families.
Since the start of the harvest season from August to September, about 3,000 sacadas have already left Antique to work in Negros Occidental, Ardeño said.
“As for those around 460 sugar migrants who will converge at the Kabankalan Covered Gym, these are the ones who have not yet availed of the assistance during the previous year’s Bisita Sacada,” he said.
Also joining the team of the provincial government are its health personnel to provide free medical check-ups and vitamins.
“So far, everything is now ready for the Bisita Sacada,” Ardeño said. (PNA)