The labor department has settled a P72.9 million worth of monetary benefits to around 2,000 workers through its mandatory mediation scheme called the Single Entry Approach (SEnA).

In a report, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) said a total of 1,228 request for assistance (RFAs) out of 1,972 filed RFAs were settled under SEnA, which resulted to the P72,934,378 monetary gains to 1,804 workers from January to April 2018.

NCMB said the 1,228 RFAs represent a 59 percent settlement rate, of which 1,167 requests or 95 percent was settled within the process cycle time of 30 days.

SEnA is an administrative approach to provide a speedy, impartial, inexpensive and accessible settlement procedure for all issues/complaints arising from employer-employee relations to prevent them from ripening into full blown disputes.

Under this approach, all labor and employment disputes undergo a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation process to effect settlement among the contending parties.

Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III reiterated the effectiveness of SEnA in resolving labor disputes between labor and management to prevent them from turning into full-blown labor disputes.

“The amicable settlement of the labor disputes through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) has helped in maintaining harmony at workplaces and this mechanism must be sustained to ensure stable and just climate of industrial relations,” Bello said.

Aside from SEnA, the labor department has also enhanced the operation of Labor Management Cooperations (LMCs) in companies that resulted to immediate settlement of labor disputes between workers and management.

Based on the same NCMB report, 3,064 out of 3,144 or 97.5 percent of companies with Labor Management Cooperation were not involved in Actual Strike/Lockouts, Notices of Strike/Lockout, and Preventive Mediation or Voluntary Arbitration cases in the month of April.

END/Abegail De Vega

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