Amidst the busy schedule, Director Gil G. Caragayan and technical staff Cesar D. Cacayuran conducted an interactive discussion of grievances and grievance mechanisms as applied to farm workers on October 7, 2015 held at Palipyas, Villaviciosa, Abra.

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Executive Director, Ms. Maria Rosario R. Lopez of Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc. invited the NCMB CAR branch to assist them in implementing a project entitled “Support Line for Tobacco Farm Workers” where Philip Morris Corporation conducts its businesses.

The project holds series of focus group discussions for farm workers to determine and document the current conditions and concerns of the farm workers of Ilocos Region, Abra, Occidental Mindoro and Misamis Oriental.

”The expected output of this focus group discussion is the selection of farm worker representatives who will serve as the contact persons in the community,“ Ms. Esther C. Liberato, Program Manager of JVOFI relayed.   Ms. Liberato added that the grievance training of the elected farm worker representatives will be coordinated with NCMB branches.

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With farmers who barely finished high school as participants, Mr. Cacayuran translated his Grievance Machinery lecture to the Iloco dialect to reach out to the farmers’ level of understanding.

“Any grievance or disputes are better resolved by the parties first before filing cases to appropriate agencies,” Mr. Cacayuran encouraged the farm workers.

JVOFI Staff educated the farm workers on the basic labor rights of the farm workers and child labor policies in the farm.

“The NCMB is more than willing to partner with government or non- government organizations who endeavor to train farm workers to resolve disputes and to set up grievance structure applicable to the localities,“ Dir. Caragayan said in his opening message. Cresencia M. Pawingi,LIO-CAR