SERVICES FOR THE SACADAS. The provincial government of Antique will again bring medical and social services to Antiqueño sugar migrants dubbed 'Bisita Sacada' this year. The services will be available from Nov. 15-18, says Randy Ardeno, Sacada Desk Project Development Officer 1, on Friday (November 9, 2018). (Photo by Annabel Petinglay)
SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique -- Antique’s provincial government will again bring its medical and social services to Antiqueño migrants working in the sugar fields of Negros Occidental on November 15-18.
Every year for the past two years, the provincial government visits Antique’s sugar migrants in Negros Occidental, dubbed as “Bisita Sacada,” to check on their conditions.
Antique is the only province in Western Visayas that has established a sugar migrant or sacada desk.
“We will be visiting the sugar lands or haciendas in Bacolod City, Murcia City, and in La Carlota City with Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao to bring medical and social services,” Randy Ardeno, Sacada Desk Project Development Officer 1, said in an interview Friday.
Doctors of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) and social workers of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office will render medical and social services to some 1,700 sacadas.
“The IPHO team, led by Dr. Leoncio Abiera, will conduct medical checkup and bring medicines to the sacadas,” Ardeno said.
The social workers, meanwhile, will interview sacadas for their case work and release Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations.
"The governor will also distribute food packs to the sacadas,” he said.
He said they will also distribute food packs to the sacadas as they have prepared 300 food packs with a total worth of PHP 50,000. Each pack contains coffee, sugar, noodles, and other items.
Ardeno said before heading to the haciendas, they will visit the office of Governor Alfredo Maranon Jr. on Monday and then the offices of the respective mayors of the cities of Murcia and La Carlota on the succeeding days.
The haciendas to be visited are Elsa in Bacolod City and then haciendas Barnabe, Elsa, and Cansilayan in Murcia City on November 16.
On November 17, the haciendas to be visited are Najalin, Candagut, San Miguel, Adelina Fe and Caridad, Panelcia and Alegia in La Carlota City.
“Last year, we visited the haciendas in Kabankalan and Himamaylan,” Ardeno said.
“Last year, there were still about 3,000 Antiqueño sacadas,” he added. The figure was based on the Department of Labor and Employment’s Antique provincial office registration.
He said that as a result of the yearly “Bisita Sacada,” the number of Antiqueños who venture out to Negros Occidental to work in the sugar fields declined.
Ardeno attributed this to the livelihood assistance being provided by the provincial government to the sugar migrants.
The Antique government provides goods for their sari-sari stores in the amount of PHP10,000.
“There are now 40 sacadas who were able to receive sari sari-store project since 2017,” Ardeno said.
More than 20 sacadas also received farm animals, such as horses and cattle. “The live animals are for breeding,” he said.
The sacada can use the cattle to till their rice fields in the province, or for transport, especially in the upland areas.
“Recipient sacadas really found the assistance given to them very helpful,” Ardeno said. (PNA)