Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the DOLE’s National Conciliation and Mediation Board in the National Capital Region (NCMB-NCR) has facilitated the settlement of the requests for assistance (RFA) of 26 local kasambahay and 279 overseas household service workers which resulted to the payment of their monetary claims amounting to P7,356,857 for the period of January to April 2016.
“Under R.A. 10361, a kasambahay is guaranteed of her human dignity and entitled to full respect of her human rights. Our role at the DOLE is to see to it that the Kasambahay Law is effectively implemented and the mechanism for settlement of disputes is operational. The Single Entry Approach (SEnA) is an effective mechanism for the settlement of disputes involving kasambahay,” said Baldoz.
NCMB Executive Director Shirley Pascual reported to Baldoz that SEnA Desk Officers at the DOLE Regional Offices and attached agencies responded to 60 requests for assistance (RFAs) from January to April 2016. These RFA also include 30 cases which were carried over from 2015.
In her report, Pascual said 26 of the 60 RFA filed by kasambahay at the DOLE ROs and attached agencies during the said period were disposed for a disposition rate of 43 percent. Of the 60 RFA, 16 were settled through the SEnA mechanism, with monetary benefits paid ranging from P1,000 to P50,000. The settlement rate is 27 percent.
Executive Director Pascual said that the SEnA, on top of responding to workers’ grievances, has been of assistance to kasambahay in fulfilment of RA 10361 and its implementing rules and regulations.
The NCMB Central Office received 11 RFA, while the DOLE Regional Offices handled 49 RFA. The DOLE Regional Office-NCR handled 34 RFA, followed by Region 6 with four RFA; Regions IV-A and VII with seven RFA each; Region 10 with two RFA; and Regions 3, 4-B, and 5 with one RFA each.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), meanwhile, handled 614 RFA of household service workers from overseas. Of the said RFA, 446 were disposed for a disposition rate of 73 percent.
Of the 446 RFA which were disposed, 371 were settled for a 60 percent settlement rate. There were 47 RFA withdrawn and 34 were dropped due to lack of interest. There are still 168 RFA, or 27 percent, which are undergoing conciliation and mediation.
The issues raised in the RFA filed by household service workers were alleged violation of contract, non-payment of salaries, refund of travel expenses, financial assistance, and return of personal belongings and travel documents.
Baldoz instituted the SEnA by virtue of D.O. 107-10, S. 2010 on 5 October 2010. The Single Entry Approach (SeNA) is an administrative mechanism that provides speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement of all labor issues. Under the SEnA, conciliation-mediation is done by Single Entry Approach Desk Officers (SEADOs) who are trained to fast-track settlement of all referred labor and employment cases.
She mandated the establishment of Single Entry Approach Desks (SEADS) in regional branches of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, and other DOLE offices, to ensure speedy and impartial dispute settlement through the SEnA.