DOLE-Bicol settles P18-M labor cases in favor of workers this year

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By Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY, 17Aug2013 – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol regional office has settled within the year various labor cases in the region that won for over 1,600 displaced workers nearly P18 million in settlement compensations.

All cases were handled by the DOLE under its Single Entry Approach (SENA), a labor case settlement system established in pursuit of the goal of President Benigno Aquino III in his 22-point labor and employment agenda.

DOLE Regional Director Nathaniel Lacambra on Friday said these cases that involved a total of 1,602 workers who filed labor relations cases were either retrenched or dismissed by their employers and attended to by his office from January to July this year.

The DOLE-Bicol settled these cases either through SENA and the issuance of compliance orders to respondent employers and was able to generate a total amount of P17.94 million in favor of the complainant workers representing labor law compliance, Lacambra said.

In the issuance of compliance orders, Lacambra noted a record high of about P14 million which benefited 327 workers. Compliance orders are being issued by the DOLE to establishments which failed to correct its labor violations.

A compliance order would mean the enforcement by the DOLE for an actual payment by the establishment of the labor standards benefits due to its workers.

“Once an establishment receives a compliance order, it must immediately comply, otherwise, we will send our sheriff to sequester and freeze their assets in order to pay the workers,” Lacambra said.

DOLE-Bicol also reported that aside from the compliance order, some P4 million were awarded to 1,275 workers as form of amicable settlement wherein employers with violations offer voluntarily to pay the amount due to their workers.

“The total amount is recorded as the highest labor case compliance in the region’s history realized through the 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation approach applied by the department’s regional Single Entry Approach Desk (SEAD),” he said.

As a reform program, the 30-day conciliation-mediation approach was a product of tripartite consultation.(PNA)

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