2,200 workers get pay in labor cases

LEGAZPI CITY – Some 2,220 workers in the Bicol region have been awarded monetary claims in various labor cases amounting to P45,428,453.01 filed in 2019 through the simplified and fast resolution of labor issues from the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) program, the Bicol regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Monday, Jan. 20.

DOLE Bicol regional director Joel M. Gonzales said the monetary awards covered 1,346 cases settled by his office from January to December 2019, representing an 85 percent settlement rate.

He commended the dedicated efforts and effective handling of settlement by the SEnA desk officers (SEADOs) in the region and provincial field offices (PFO) for the high settlement rate.

“With the acquired skill in voluntary conciliation and mediation, our competent field SEADOs were able to secure the most favorable agreement to both parties,” Gonzales said.

The workers’ monetary claims were mostly on underpayment of wages, non-payment of holiday pay, premium pay, overtime pay, 13th month pay, and separation pay.

Based on records, June 2019 posted the highest amount of settlement awarded to affected workers at P12.3M. November of the same year showed over P7M was awarded in workers’ claims.

Gonzales said that in terms of accomplishments, the Camarines Sur PFO settled 510 requests for assistance (RFA), which led to the awarding of P11,247,486.33 in monetary benefits to workers, while Albay PFO has the highest monetary restitutions or awards to affected workers in the amount of P11,559,123.86.

He said that Sorsogon PFO has awarded P5,741,029.98; Camarines Norte with P14,072,540.44; Catanduanes with P1,067,047.53; Masbate with P1,028,166.53 and Technical Support Services Division of the regional office with P713,059.04.

Under SEnA, desk officers make use of conciliation-mediation through a speedy, impartial, inexpensive settlement of labor issues arising from employee-employer relations.

Complaints are subject to 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation services aiming to reach a settlement agreement within the period in consultation with the parties. (Johana VI E. Gasga/Dole)