Iloilo City. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Iloilo Field Office recently released a total of Seventeen Million Five Hundred Thousand (17.5M) Cash Bonus Fund (CBF) to twenty-one (21) sugar planter associations in the Provinces of Iloilo and Capiz.
Said amount will be distributed to 51,653 sugar workers in Panay based on the Special Amelioration Bonus payrolls submitted by these sugar planter associations. The cash bonus is a productivity-based bonus based on the number of days a worker rendered services in the sugar mill or sugar farm. It is given directly to all mill and plantation employees/workers except managerial employees.
Mr. Joselito G. Dela Banda, Head of DOLE Iloilo said that the distribution of the CBF is DOLE’s way of assisting the sugar workers with the aim to augment their income and to improve their well-being. Dela Banda also said that these sugar workers will definitely benefit from the cash bonus, not only as compensation for their hard work but to also help sustain the basic needs of their families.
The Cash Bonus Fund was collected from three (3) Sugar Mills located in Panay, namely the Central Azucarera de San Antonio (CASA) and Universal Robina Corporation (URC), both located in Passi City, Iloilo and Capiz Sugar Central in the province of Capiz.
The distribution of the aforementioned fund is in accordance with the implementation of Republic Act No. 6982 or the Sugar Amelioration Act of 1991 which cemented the provision of additional monetary and welfare benefits to sugar workers. The law stipulates that a lien of P5.00 per picul of sugar shall be imposed on the gross production of sugar, provided that there shall be an automatic additional lien of P1.00 for every two (2) years for the succeeding ten (10) years from the effectivity of the Act. Said law also imposed that 80% of the lien, including any and all incomes or interests derived therefrom, should be distributed as cash bonus to each worker in the sugar farm or mill.
The provision of this benefit was further strengthened through Department Order 114-11 with the recommendation of the National Tripartite Council (NTC) in the Sugar Industry and various Sugar District Tripartite Councils (DTCs) throughout the Philippines. Currently, the sugar lien under said Act is P10.00 per picul.
To date, around 88% of the Cash Bonus Fund was already released to the individual planters in Panay under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the Department of Labor and Employment.