The alternative dispute settlement mechanism of the Department of Labor and Employment has proven its effectiveness in settling labor conflicts after it benefitted many workers, particularly overseas Filipinos workers in the expeditious resolution of cases.

Called the Single Entry Approach (SEnA), it is a system that prescribes a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation service to effect a speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement procedure of all labor issues or conflicts, thus prevent them from ripening into full-blown disputes.

Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said records of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration showed that resolved OFW-related cases through SEnA had average of six days.

“The SEnA, indeed, has helped lessen if not eradicate the ‘turu-turuan’ system in filing cases, where complaining OFWs are being referred from one office to another, which in effect is detrimental to the interest of the workers,” Cacdac said.

For the past 11 months, Cacdac said OWWA handled various Requests for Assistance (RFA) of OFW cases ranging from contract violations/substitutions, non-payment of wages and overtime pay, payment of end-of-service benefits, mistreatment, poor living condition, maltreatment, and retrieval of passport and/or travel documents.

Cacdac explained that 5,067 cases were settled, while 5,273 RFAs were disposed, with 95 percent disposition rate and 91 percent settlement rate respectively.

The cases involved total monetary benefits amounting to P132,919,057.20, which were awarded by OWWA to 5,671 OFWs.

“The figures of the disposition and settlement rate in implementing SEnA are a good indication that the agency is capable to handle OFW cases,” said Cacdac, adding that it manifests the ‘trust’ and ‘confidence’ from the OFW clients.

“I always instil in the minds of the OWWA personnel that ‘urgency is always the order of the day’, that is why every case of OFW is treated with importance as with any other case,” he added.

END/OWWA Report/Tim Laderas

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