Php6.5M financial assistance finds way to bioethanol workers

The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office 6 through its Negros Occidental Field Office (DOLE RO 6- NOFO) facilitated the release of Php 4,286,573.25 from the Financial Benefit Fund (FBF) for 491 bioethanol plant workers in Negros Occidental.

Pursuant to Republic Act 9367 (The Biofuel Act of 2006), 80% of the levy collected from the bioethanol utilizing molasses as feedstock will be used to support the Social Amelioration Workers Program (SAWP) for the bioethanol workers.

Victorias Milling Corporation (VMC), URC La Carlota Distillery, Asian Alcohol, and Kooll Company Incorporated, released the financial benefit fund on December 28, 2022, January 6, 2023 and January 16, 2023, respectively.

The FBF released recently covers the period of Calendar Year 2022. The amount received by the workers ranges from Php5,000 to Php20,000 depending on the company’s production.

Regional Director Atty. Sixto T. Rodriguez Jr. directed the DOLE RO 6- NOFO to conduct an accurate and thorough profiling of the beneficiaries prior to the distribution to ensure that those who received the benefit are qualified under the Department Order 222-21 or the Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of the Social Amelioration and Welfare Program for Workers in the Biofuel Industry.

Apart from the FBF, a Php2,304,000 financial assistance benefiting 1,152 bioethanol plant workers was also released by DOLE RO 6- NOFO to mitigate the impact brought by Tropical Storm Odette that hit Visayas and Mindanao areas on December 16, 2021.

The torrential downpours, high gusts, floods, and storm surges affected 10 million hectares of crop area, with damaged valued Php20 billion.

To mitigate its impact a Php2,000 financial assistance was released to qualified bioethanol workers in the affected areas.

For Negros Occidental, the assistance covers the bioethanol plants of Kooll Company Inc., Universal Robina Corporation-La Carlota, San Carlos Bioenergy Corp, and Victorias Milling Corporation.

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