Through SEnA, 57  kasambahay receive P438-K in money claims in 2013

Romeo Del Prado, a kasambahay who worked for his employer in Quezon City, received P12,000 in full settlement of his claim for unpaid salaries. Divina L. Ave, also a kasambahay like Del Prado, received P50,000 when her employer in Tunasan, Muntinlupa City, and she agreed to opt for a settlement of the former’s money claims. Another kasambahay, Ma. Cleofe B. Castillo, received P8,000, in settlement of her claim against her employer in Horseshoe Drive, Quezon City.

The three are among the 57 kasambahay who, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said, obtained inclusive labor justice in 2013 under the DOLE’s Single Entry Approach, or SEnA, a 30-day conciliation-mediation mechanism that has become a byword among workers and employers for its inexpensive, non-litigious, accessible, and just and fair mode of resolving labor issues.

“As more kasambahay become highly aware of their rights, they are now opting to resolve their labor issues in a non-litigious, accessible, fast, and inexpensive manner that is the SEnA, in fulfillment of the mandate of the Kasambahay Law,” Baldoz said after receiving a report of National Conciliation and Mediation Board Executive Director Reynaldo Ubaldo on kasambahay whose requests for assistance (RFA) were settled through the SEnA in 2013.

Del Prado, Ave, and Castillo, with 54 other kasambahay have filed separate RFAs against their employers for alleged illegal dismissal, and non-payment of overtime pay, service incentive leave, holiday pay, and social welfare benefits. The NCMB and DOLE regional offices, through their conciliator-mediators and Single Entry Approach Desk Officers, settled the RFA which resulted to the payment of their monetary claims amounting to P438, 669.91.

In his report, Director Ubaldo said 98 RFA were filed at the NCMB Central Office and DOLE  Regional offices in 2013. Of the 98 RFA, 57 were settled, while 22 RFA were withdrawn by the complainants. Ten RFA are still pending settlement at the DOLE-NCR and NCMB Central Office.

“A year after R.A. 10361, or the Batas Kasambahay, took effect, more kasambahay are knowing and understanding their rights and privileges. R.A. 10361 guarantees that kasambahay are provided with decent work and full respect of their human rights. The SEnA is an effective mechanism for the settlement of disputes involving kasambahay,” said Baldoz.

Section 1 of Rule XI of the IRR of R.A. 10361 states that all labor-related disputes involving kasambahay and their employers shall be filed before the DOLE Field/Provincial/Regional Office having jurisdiction over the workplace and shall go through a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation process.

Baldoz instituted the SEnA by virtue of D.O. 107-10, S. 2010 on 5 October 2010. She had mandated the establishment of Single Entry Approach Desks (SEADS) in regional branches of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, and other DOLE offices, to ensure speedy and impartial dispute settlement through the SEnA. It provides workers speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement for all labor issues or conflicts to prevent these issues or conflicts from ripening into full-blown legal disputes.

Due to its efficacy as an alternative dispute settlement system and its impact in the delivery of inclusive labor justice, the  NCMB’s SEnA Team had been chosen as the 2013 Presidential Lingkod Bayan Awardee of the Civil Service Commission.

The SEnA has already become a law, when President Benigno S. Aquino III signed on 14 March 2013 Republic Act 10396 institutionalizing  the DOLE Single Entry Approach (SEnA).


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