Sugar mills announce start of milling season, signals end of 'tiempo muerto’

August 6, 2009 9:21 am 

BACOLOD CITY, Aug. 6 – Several sugar mills in Negros Occidental announced the start of milling thus cutting short the perceived "tiempo muerto" or dead season for the sugar industry in the province.

Sugar Regulatory Administrator Rafael Coscolluela agreed that the perceived long “tiempo Muerto” was somewhat a little bit bloated or exaggerated.

The annual tiempo muerto usually starts in August until the second week of September.

The provincial government even created a task force on Tiempo Muerto because of the perceived long off milling season which is expected to affect the livelihood of sugarcane farm workers.

Coscolluela said that tiempo muerto is a natural occurrence in the sugar industry and planters usually prepare for it to make sure workers will not be affected due to lack of work in the hacienda.

He added that somebody might have dramatized the long off milling season for them to tap the forfeited unclaimed sugar amelioration fund (SAF) bonus for the sugar workers.

Because of scary scenarios being drummed up, the Department of Labor and Employment allocated P16.8 million from the forfeited SAF bonus while the provincial government gave P15 million worth of NFA rice to affected sugar workers.

Coscolluela somehow expressed optimism that the fund released from DOLE and the rice purchased by the provincial government reached the intended beneficiaries. (PNA)

LAP/GMDelaCruz/vlo

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