Press Releases

Alexander Graham Bell is known for the famous quote “If a door closes another one opens”. This holds true to the 4,000 sugarcane field workers affected by the recent closure of the Central Azucarera Don Pedro Inc. (CADPI) Sugar Mill. As a result of financial losses brought on by their sugar mill's declining productivity, CADPI, the second biggest raw sugar producer in Luzon, filed for permanent closure on January 15 of this year.

The mill stoppage also affected sugarcane planters in Batangas, who regularly mill their canes at CADPI's facilities. CADPI officials recommended Universal Robina Corporation-Sugar and Renewables Group (URC-SURE) and Pro-Green Agricorp in Balayan, Batangas, to mill the sugarcane for the planters. They formally requested the Sugar Regulatory Administration and the Department of Agriculture to facilitate the cane milling at URC and Pro- Green Agricorp.

The closure is a sad blow to the workers who have tolled for years making sure that sugar is always available to sweeten your morning coffee. The door sustaining them and their families has closed permanently. The grey clouds of gloom over them were replaced by rays of sunshine when DOLE CALABARZON Regional Director Atty. Ma. Karina B. Perida-Trayvilla assured the affected workers of DOLE's assistance and intervention stating that "We are preparing for the provision of sustainable livelihood assistance after we hold a dialogue with the affected workers to optimize the use of funds. “

Another door was thus opened for them as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will provide assistance through its flagship Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) and Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP). Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma approved the release of more than Php 79 million to cover the affected workers for the implementation of TUPAD and Livelihood Programs.

However, CADPI's affected employees deemed the permanent closure abrupt and raised issues regarding their separation pay and other benefits stipulated in their collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Since there is a preventive mediation case which was later on converted into a Notice of Strike, before the Regional Conciliation and Mediation Board (RCMB), the CADPI management committed to complying with labor laws, particularly on the payment of the separation pay of the affected employees.

In addition, DOLE CALABARZON, through its Batangas Provincial Office (DOLE-BPO), has also made job referrals for the displaced CADPI employees, of which seven (7) were successfully re-employed. At the same time, the resumes of nineteen (19) workers were forwarded to the Batangas Public Employment Service Offices (PESO) for referrals.

Meanwhile, the implementation of TUPAD for the qualified beneficiaries is ongoing. Wages amounting to Php 5,884,400 will be given to 1,252 TUPAD beneficiaries after completing the 10-day work requirement. The first batch of 373 beneficiaries was oriented last February 7, while the remaining beneficiaries will have their orientation and the first day of implementation on February 13.

With all these opportunities and assistance from DOLE CALABARZON, the affected sugar workers have found another door to sustain them. They can still taste the sweetness of sugar in their coffee while enjoying the fruits of their labor.


Labor Information Officer

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