Press Releases
DOLE Sets-up Single Entry Assistance Desks in Metro Manila

As the Department of Labor and Employment pilot tests the single entry approach (SEnA) prescribing a 30-day mandatory conciliation – mediation services for a fair and speedy settlement of all DOLE cases, DOLE-NCR regional director and concurrent chairman of the Regional Coordinating Council -NCR Raymundo G. Agravante announces the setting-up of the single entry assistance desks in DOLE offices in Metro

Single Entry Approach or SEnA refers to 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.  This is pursuant to President Benigno C. Aquino III’s labor and employment agenda on providing package of reforms in the labor arbitration and adjudication system.

“In Metro Manila there are 4.9 million workers with varying concerns, thus we are setting up many assistance desks for our client’s accessibility under the six-month pilot run which started in October 26.  These are available at the National Labor Relations Commission – Regional Arbitration Branch - NCR, National Conciliation and Mediation Board – NCR, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and six field offices of DOLE-NCR located in Manila, Quezon City, Makati-Pasay, CAMANAVA, MUNTAPARLAS and PAPAMAMARISAN.  The request for assistance may be filled in the SEAD desk where employer principally operates,” said Dir. Agravante. 

Director Agravante explained that SEnA complements the existing labor dispute settlement mechanism and processes in the DOLE offices and its attached agencies to settle unresolved issues or complaints arising from employer-employee relations and encourages the use conciliation-mediation to avoid costly litigation process.  Only unresolved issues shall be referred either for voluntary arbitration to the National Conciliation Mediation Board, if both parties so agree, or compulsory arbitration to the National Relations Commission or to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration in the case of our landbased and seabased Overseas Filipino Workers who might have some issues with their recruitment agencies or foreign employers.

In a recent meeting with 65 designated SEAD desk officers in NCR, DOLE Undersecretary for Labor Relations Hans Leo Cacdac explained that this forms part of the de-judicialization of the labor dispute settlement system through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms using the mandatory conciliation-mediation of all labor cases in the DOLE and the industry-based conciliation-mediation by the Industry Tripartite Council members.

“We should keep our options open and exercise the right judgment thus we need to validate the arguments of both parties.  In the conciliation – mediation process there is no hard and fast rule, the bottom line should be that both parties agree as to how and why.  Our role is to attest what they have agreed upon.”  Usec. Cacdac advised the desk officers.

Executive Director Reynaldo Ubaldo of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) expressed willingness to provide all the necessary assistance to the regional offices especially in the conduct of conciliation-mediation training for a more effective and competent desk officers.  Director Ubaldo also provided useful inputs given his wealth of experience the field of conciliation and mediation.  The DOLE’s Human Resource Development Services (HRDS) will work with NCMB to ensure that the training requirements for conciliation-mediation are delivered.

The process flow, required forms, and some of the issues and concern that could possibly crop-up during the pilot run have been resolved during the meeting for a uniform implementation of the SEnA.

For questions or inquiry about this press release, please contact DOLE-NCR at telephone numbers 400 6242 or 338-6572, E-mail at dolencr_info@yahoo.com or visit our website at www,ncr.dole.gov.ph

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2010-10-30
RD Alex V. Avila
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