A conciliation-mediation conference undertaken by the Department of Labor and Employment – Legal Service upheld the labor complaint of 20 former employees of Manila Toll Expressway, System, Inc. (MATES) that eventually enabled them to receive Php 550,000.00, each, or a total of Php11,000,000.00, as settlement of their awards for separation pay, attorney’s fees and full back wages.
The conciliation-mediation conference, handled by the DOLE-Legal Service, Atty. Florence Daquioag, together with Atty. Earl Louie Masacayan and Atty. Nathaniel Barrairo, granted the benefits to the former MATES employees by virtue the 25 February 2013 Decision and 27 August 2015 Resolution issued by the DOLE.
The 20 former employees were among the 107 complainants in the case “In Re: Labor Dispute at Manila Toll Expressway, System, Inc.” docketed as OS-VA-005-2011 (SEAD-NCR-MPFO-006-06-11).
They were hired by the Manila Toll Expressway, System, Inc. (MATES), a corporation involved in the operations and maintenance of the Alabang-Calamba portion of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), as Toll Tellers operating the tollbooths along the Alabang to Calamba (ACTEX) segment sometime in December 2009.
However, after the third training agreement, on 01 June 2011, the former employees filed a complaint for regularization, illegal dismissal and money claims before the DOLE-NCR.
Conciliation-mediation conferences were conducted by the DOLE Field Office but no amicable settlement was reached. Thus, the parties agreed to submit the case for voluntary arbitration by the DOLE Secretary.
The Office of the Secretary conducted conciliation conferences to exhaust possible remedies for the amicable settlement of the dispute. Out of the 107 complainants, 87 opted to receive their separation pay but the remaining 20 chose to pursue their complaint.
On 25 February 2013, Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz issued a Decision declaring the 20 former employees to have attained regular status and directing MATES, in lieu of reinstatement, to pay them separation package as those given to the eighty-seven (87) workers and pay the attorney’s fees equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the total amount awarded. However, both parties filed their respective Motion for Reconsideration from such Decision.
On 27 August 2015, Acting Secretary Rebecca C. Chato issued a Resolution modifying the above Decision, wherein an additional award of full back wages to the former employees was granted. However, the claim for reinstatement of the former employees and MATES’ Motion for Reconsideration were denied.
Consequently, on 18 September 2015, twenty (20) former employees of MATES sent a Letter requesting DOLE to the conduct a conciliation-mediation conference to discuss the possible settlement of their awards pursuant to the 25 February 2013 Decision and 27 August 2015 Resolution issued by the DOLE.
Acting on the above request, the DOLE-Legal Service, under the Conciliation and Mediation Unit-Office of the Secretary (OSEC-CMU), issued a Notice of Conference requesting Manila Toll Expressway, System, Inc. and its former employees to appear for the scheduled conference.
The conciliation-mediation proceedings was handled by DOLE- Legal Service, Atty. Florence Daquioag, together with Atty. Earl Louie Masacayan and Atty. Nathaniel Barrairo.
In compliance with the above Notice, MATES, represented by Atty. Ruby A. Sy and Atty. Allan G. Kato and majority of the former employees, assisted by their counsel Atty. Gaston D. Taquio, appeared on 05 October 2015. The former employees submitted a computation of their backwages and their proposed settlement amount, while the representatives of MATES manifested they had to consult the Management regarding the said proposal.
During the second conference held on 15 October 2015, Atty. Sy gave MATES’ counter offer vis-à-vis the basis of the computation of the proposed amount of PhP550,000 for each employee, or a total of PhP 11,000,000.00 as a settlement of the award for separation pay, attorney’s fees and full backwages reckoned on 01 June 2011 until the finality of the Department’s Decision.
The former employees agreed with MATES’s counter offer and thus, another conference was scheduled for the signing and execution of the agreement.
On 03 November 2015, Atty. Daquioag, together with Atty. Masacayan, handled the conciliation-mediation conference wherein MATES, represented by Atty. Sy and Atty. Maida-Joy Palencia-Uytengsu and its 20 former employees, assisted by Atty. Taquio, executed an Agreement relative to the settlement of the latter’s awards granted under 25 February 2013 Decision and 27 August 2015 Resolution of the Department.
At the same time, the 20 former employees received the agreed settlement amount and their Certificate of Employment issued by MATES.
END/DOLE – LS