Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said DOLE Regional Offices and Attached Agencies facilitated the award of a package of monetary benefits amounting to P305, 902, 405. 67 to 11, 873 workers through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) mechanism in the first quarter of 2016.
“The commitment of the DOLE Regional Offices and attached agencies to the conciliation and mediation mode of dispute settlement led to the timely and efficient dispute settlement using the DOLE’s flagship program, the Single Entry Approach mechanism,” 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 was a success that the Congress of the Philippines legislated it into a law, R. A. 10396.
Baldoz, citing a report from Executive Director Shirley Pascual of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), said that of the total monetary benefits, P196, 744, 727.69 was facilitated by the Department’s Regional Office, benefitting 8, 111 workers, or a per capita benefit of P24, 256.52.
On the other hand, DOLE attached agencies facilitated a total of P109, 157, 777.98 monetary package for 3,762 workers, or a per capita benefit of P29, 015.89.
Executive Director Pascual also said a total of 16, 740 requests for assistance (RFA) were filed at the DOLE Regional Offices and Attached Agencies which are implementing the SEnA program. About 5,182 RFA were filed at the DOLE Regional Office and 11, 558 RFA were at the attached agencies, the bulk of which, or 6, 157 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.
Most of the RFA were for non-payment of overtime pay, minimum wage, holiday pay, and 13th month pay, illegal dismissal and non-coverage and/or non-remittance of social protection premium or contribution under SSS, Philhealth, and Pag-ibig.
Majority of the new RFA were filed in labor intensive regions, particularly at the National Capital Region which recorded 1, 628 RFA, or 36 percent of the total RFA filed at the DOLE Regional Offices. This was followed by Region 4-A, with 644 RFA, or 14 percent; Region 7, with 504, or 11 percent; and Region 3, with 312, or seven percent.
The total number of RFA filed at the OWWA and POEA in the first quarter of 2016 marked an increase of 55 and 31 percent compared to the 873 and 1, 289 RFA recorded in 2015, respectively.
According to Pascual’s report, the combined disposition rate of the DOLE Regional Offices and Attached Agencies, including those of the NLRC, from January to March 2016 is at 77 percent. The settlement rate is at 65 percent, an increase of two percent 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.
DOLE Regional Office No. 12 settled the RFA fastest, or with an average of two days only. Fifteen of the 16 DOLE Regional Offices settled the RFA within five to 25 days, or an average of 13 days. The DOLE Regional Office-NCR has the most number of request for assistance which it settled in an average of 25 days.
Attached agencies, on the other hand, settled the filed RFA within five to 24 days.
A total of 7, 215 RFA, or about 43 percent are still on process of conciliation-mediation proceedings under the SeNA program.