Baldoz says conciliation-mediation is best approach to resolve work-related disputes Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday once again emphasized that conciliation and mediation is the best approach in settling work-related disputes, saying that long and tedious litigation is not the Asian way of maintaining workplace harmony. “Dispute in the workplace is inevitable. If not settled, it matures into a case that can be very costly for both the complainant and respondent, and takes long time to settle. Conciliation-mediation is an effective strategy in resolving conflicts between workers, or between labor and management, and the best way to maintain harmony in the workplace,” she said. Baldoz made the statement after she received a report from DOLE Regional Office No. 6 Director Ponciano Ligutom Jr. that the regional office, in partnership with the Boracay Industry Tripartite Council (BITC), has trained last month 33 labor and management representatives to become skilled and qualified conciliators-mediators. “The training was part of our effort to maintain industrial peace in the Western Visayas region and to build the capacity of DOLE intermediaries and partners,” reported Ligutom. Part of the training was to teach the participants to handle disputes at an early stage. “We taught them how to win the trust of conflicting parties and informed them that conciliators-mediators must be available or accessible any time. We taught them the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitude in handling and resolving disputes in the workplace,” Ligutom further said. DOLE Region 13 Director Johnson C. Cañete and Regional Conciliation and Mediation Board Regional Office No. 6 Director Hacelfeo Cuares served as resource speakers in the training. Cañete, a former deputy executive director of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, discussed conciliation and mediation techniques. A personal style survey started the training. This topic was about understanding oneself and knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses. Other topics were on conflict management style, or the strategies used in conflict resolution; conciliation and mediation; steps in the conciliation process; skills and attributes present in an effective conciliator-mediator; role of key players; conflicts appreciation, concepts and dynamics; dispute resolution, approaches and mechanics; negotiation role play; and, finally, mutual interest negotiation. At the end of the training, the participants shared their learning experiences. “We were very lucky to have participated in this training. It prepared us on how to handle misunderstanding and how to manage conflict in our workplaces. The knowledge and skills we acquired are very useful,” said one participant, Jergil L. Suarez of the Boracay Alliance Group for Aqua Sports Services and a member of the Boracay ITC. In his message during the training, Director Ligutom outlined the conceptual framework that summarizes the entire training. He challenged the participants to help one another in order to attain industrial peace in the region. “To maintain industrial peace is what we aim for, but we need each other. So let us help one another to achieve this goal,” Ligutom said. END Amalia N. Judicpa, LCO-designate

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