Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III yesterday received a report from the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) that a total of P974,532,618.86 monetary package, which benefitted 19,614 workers, were settled using the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) from January to May 2016.

 

“In terms of monetary benefits, the total benefits facilitated by the DOLE Regional Offices and Attached Agencies from January to May amounted to more than P974 million,” said Bello.

 

He added that the DOLE Regional Offices facilitated a monetary package amounting to P771,114,363.51, which benefited 11,699 workers, or a per capita benefit of P65,912.84.

 

DOLE Attached Agencies, on the other hand, facilitated the amount of P203,418,255.35 benefitting 7,915 workers, or a per capita benefit of P25,700.35.

 

Secretary Bello, citing the report of Executive Director Shirley M. Pascual, said that the SEnA is being implemented by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), DOLE Regional Offices, and even the Philippine Labor Offices.

 

Executive Director Pascual, in her report, said that from January to May, a total of 26,864 request for assistance (RFA) were received under the SEnA program. These include 4,742 RFA which were carried over from 2015.

 

Of the 26,864 RFA handled by the DOLE Regional Offices and Attached Agencies for the past five months, 23,293 were disposed. The combined disposition of the DOLE regional offices and attached agencies, including the NLRC, is at 87 percent while the settlement rate is at 59 percent.

 

The NCMB report also stated that during the month of May, about 2,558 requests for assistance were filed with the concerned agencies of the Department. Of these, 993, or 39 percent, of the RFA were filed at the DOLE Regional Offices; 1,546, or 61 percent, were filed at the DOLE attached agencies; and 19, or one percent, were filed at the NLRC.

 

As to speedy settlement, the DOLE Regional Offices and Attached Agencies disposed the RFA in less than 30 days, or with a range of 1 to 24 days, except DOLE Regional Office No. 2 with 49 days.

 

Of the attached agencies, OWWA settled the RFA fastest with average of five days only. Among the DOLE Regional Offices, Regional Office No. 9 settled the RFA   fastest with an average of three days.

 

Bello observed that the RFA involved underpayment of wages, non-payment of over-time pay, holiday pay and thirteenth month pay, non-coverage of social protection benefits under SSS, Philhealth, and Pag-ibig, and illegal dismissal cases.

 

The SENA, a DOLE flagship reform program on labor adjudication, prescribes 30-day mandatory conciliation–mediation services to effect fair and speedy settlement of all DOLE cases.

 

The program institutes a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation of labor-related complaints filed by workers. If these complaints are not settled within the 30-day period, the same is referred to the appropriate agency of the Department.

 

END/Celeste Maring

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