Negros farmers demand aid as 'dead season' looms

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2018 02:47 AM

Barbara Mijares, ABS-CBN News

Around 200 sugar plantation workers trooped to the Provincial Administration Center of Negros Occidental on Tuesday to ask for overdue relief goods in preparation for "tiempo muerto" or the dead season.

Rolando Rillo, chairman of National Federation of Sugar Workers, said they were promised in 2016 of relief goods that have not yet been delivered allegedly by the Social Welfare and Development Office.

Tiempo muerto, he said, is a period of hunger for farmers as it is off milling season. It starts in April and ends in September.

Rillo said they were promised of 100 packs of relief goods. The relief goods consist of 12 kilos of rice, 14 cans of sardines, 6 packs of noodles and coffee.

The farmers wanted to meet with the provincial coordinator who made the promise, but they were not allowed by security guards to enter the office.

The new provincial coordinator of SWAD, Fernando Alabado, instead met with them. The last SWAD personnel has been assigned to Iloilo.

Alabado said he will coordinate with the regional office to clarify the claims of the farmers.

He also assured the farmers he will inform them of any updates. - report from Barbara Mijares, ABS-CBN News