Press Releases

The Department of Labor and Employment Quezon Provincial Office (DOLE QPO) together with the local government unit of Atimonan, Quezon conducted a retrieval operation of illegally transported migratory sugarcane workers (Sacadas) from Barangay Sampaga in Balayan, Batangas on November 25, 2021.

The information that led to the retrieval operation stemmed from one of the sacadas who escaped from the said sugarcane plantation. Allegedly, on November 12, 2021 a certain “Kabo” recruited several residents of Barangay Caridad and Sucol in Atimonan, Quezon to work as sacada in one of the sugarcane plantations located in Purok Damyana, Brgy. Sampaga, Balayan, Batangas.

Thirty-three (33) workers arrived in the said barangay on November 14, 2021. According to the written report submitted by the escapee to DOLE Quezon, the planter did not comply to their promise to provide the workers with decent and free food. The three sacks of 25 kilos of rice provided by the planter were divided among the 33 workers to be paid by the same afterwards. Likewise, no allowance for viand was also provided, instead they use salt as partner for the rice. The accommodation was also not acceptable based on the standards set by DOLE for migratory sugarcane workers.

Several workers after experiencing the sad plight in the sugarcane plantation escaped one by one until only twelve (12) were left behind. The escapee with the help of a relative from Agoncillo, Batangas was able to go back to Atimonan, Quezon to report the incident. On November 24, 2021, a retrieval operation was organized by the DOLE Quezon and the local government of Atimonan represented by its PESO Manager Rizaldy Veranga together with the Philippine National Police Mobile Patrol Group coordinated by PMaj. Gina Formanes.

In the conference held at the Barangay Hall of Sampaga between the planter and DOLE Quezon Provincial Head Edwin T. Hernandez, the planter finally agree to let go of the illegally transported sacada to return to their hometown in Atimonan provided debt will be settled. It was also learned in the conference that another group of fifteen (15) workers also from Atimonan are due to arrive in the said barangay sometime in December 2021.

Meanwhile, Barangay Captain Marites D. Ilagan of Brgy. Sampaga committed to monitor the sugarcane plantations in their area of jurisdiction to avoid the same incident from happening again in the future.


Head, Quezon Provincial Office

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