Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said that speedy settlement of labor disputes in the first two months of 2016 through Single Entry Approach (SEnA), an alternative dispute resolution mechanism of the Department, which resulted in the grant of P205,766,580.88 in settlement benefits to 7,917 workers.
“The fast settlement of the request for assistance at the DOLE Regional Offices and attached agencies shows their commitment to the conciliation and mediation mode of dispute settlement. Their efforts led to the timely and efficient dispute settlement using the DOLE’s flagship program, the Single Entry Approach mechanism and other alternative modes of dispute resolution,” said Baldoz.
SEnA is an administrative approach that provides a speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement procedure of all labor issues or conflicts to prevent them from ripening into full-blown disputes. Initiated by Baldoz in 2010 through Department Order No. 107-10, the SEnA became effective that the Congress of the Philippines institutionalized it by legislating into a law, R. A. 10396.
Baldoz, citing a report from Executive Director Atty. Shirley Pascual of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), said that of the total monetary benefits facilitated by the DOLE Regional office and attached agencies amounting to P205, 766,580.88, the amount of P150, 635,616 was facilitated by the Department’s Regional Offices. It benefitted 5,054 workers, or a per capita benefit of P27,638.38.
On the other hand, the attached agencies facilitated a total of P55,130,964.37 monetary package for 2, 413 workers, or a per capita benefit of P22,847.47
Executive Director Pascual also said a total of 13,397 request for assistance (RFA) were filed at the DOLE Regional Offices and attached agencies which are implementing the SEnA program during the said period. Of the said RFA, 3,626 were filed at the DOLE Regional Offices and 10,311 RFA were filed at the attached agencies, the bulk of which, or about 6,131 were filed at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
The attached agencies which implement the SEnA program are the NCMB, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and DOLE-Legal Service.
Majority of the new RFA were filed in labor intensive regions, particularly at the National Capital Region which recorded 1,157 RFA, or 39 percent of the total RFA filed at the DOLE Regional Offices. This was followed by Region 4-A, with 429 RFA, or 14 percent; Region 11, with 327, or 11 percent; and Region 3, with 177, or six percent.
The total number of RFA filed at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) marked an increase of 45 and 56 percent compared to the 650 and 831 RFA recorded during the same period in 2015, respectively.
According to Pascual’s report, the combined disposition rate of the DOLE Regional Offices and Attached Agencies during the same period was 66 percent, a decrease of two percent from last year’s 68 percent. The settlement rate was 56 percent which was the same rate covering the same period of the previous year.
The DOLE Offices and attached agencies also disposed the filed RFA in less than 30 days, or ranging from one to 25 days duration, except in DOLE Regional Office No. 2 with 69 days.
DOLE Regional Office No. 3 settled the RFA fastest, or with an average of one day only. Fifteen of the 16 DOLE Regional Offices settled the RFA within five to 25 days, or an average of 12 days. Attached agencies, on the other hand, settled the filed RFA within seven to 25 days.
A total of 7,436 RFA, or about 53 percent are still on process of conciliation-mediation proceedings under the SENA program.