Press Releases
436 workers get P8-M benefits from settled disputes thru SEnA

Legazpi City – Some 436 workers in the Bicol region were able to claim their monetary benefits in the amount of P8,080,675.48 in the first quarter of 2021 through the assistance of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office V (Bicol) based on the 2021 First Quarter Report of the DOLE Technical Support and Services Division.
Ma. Zenaida A. Angara-Campita, CESO III, regional director said that it is the result of the dedication and efforts of the Single Entry Approach Desk Officers (SEADOs) that led to the settlement of 309 out of the 373 request for assistance (RFA) handled from January to March 2021 despite the challenges brought by the pandemic.
“We cannot be negated by fear and anxiety of COVID-19 because it is in these times of pandemic that our service as public servants are most needed, especially to those who have labor disputes in their workplaces and lost jobs,” she expressed.
Camarines Sur Provincial Field Office (PFO) accounts for the biggest bulk of settled cases in the first quarter with 135 settled RFAs which led to the awarding of P2,530,944.47 in monetary benefits to 167 workers. While Albay PFO has the highest monetary awards to 135 workers in the amount of P2,958,321.56.
The report also shows that Sorsogon has awarded P1,711,423.42 to 92 workers; Camarines Norte with P676,947.47 to 28 workers; Catanduanes with P104,038 to 10 workers; Masbate with P15,000 to 1 worker and TSSD with P84,000 to 3 workers.
“We were able to hit 95% disposition rate and 83% settlement rate regionwide for this quarter,” Campita stressed.
She added that the average duration to settle RFAs last only for 6 days, while the average duration to dispose RFAs was computed at 8 days.
Russell Ulysses Nieves, designated-Single Entry Approach Desk Officer (SEADO) in DOLE PFO of Sorsogon during the settlement last March 16, 2021 at the office of DOLE Sorsogon in Sorsogon City
The RFAs filed by the workers constitute complaints on delay in the release of final pay, non-payment of 13th month and separation pays, underpayment of wages, non-payment of overtime, holiday, night shift differential, non-coverage to social protection benefits such as SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG; and unauthorized cash bond deductions.
“We really tried to be of help to those aggrieved workers to claim what is due them amidst this pandemic,” said Athena Florida, DOLE Cam Sur SEADO.
The aggrieved employees who filed RFAs came from various sectors in Bicol such as security agencies, wholesale and retail trading, accommodation and food service activities, construction, and education.
Dante Apring, designated-Single Entry Approach Desk Officer (SEADO) of DOLE Masbate during the settlement last January 8, 2021 in the office of DOLE Masbate in Masbate City.
“We hope to achieve 100% settlement and disposition rate towards the end of the year. Above all, it is our mandate to promote industrial peace in workplaces and ensure full respect of labor standards and the fundamental principles and rights at work,” Campita said.
Meanwhile, Herra D. Habla, SEADO in Sorsogon said that with the online conciliation-mediation under SENA, amicable settling disputes can nonetheless be carried out without deferment amidst pandemic.
“Even during the earlier period and even at the apex of pandemic last year, fright in COVID-19 didn’t impede us from implementing this program because of the calling of the volume of labor issues mainly on separation, which was an outturn of pandemic.”
Campita added: “Let’s turn these challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity for devising strategies to deliver the services to our clients while ensuring our safety and health.”
- e-SEnA -
Through e-SEnA, parties no longer have to visit the Single-Entry Assistance Desk to file a request for assistance.
Under the guidelines, a requesting party may access the SEnA form at https://sena.dole.gov.ph.
The assigned SEnA Desk Officer shall then call the requesting party within three working days from receipt of the request for assistance for interview or validation of information. The details on the conduct of the SEnA conference shall likewise be discussed.
Afterward, the notice of conference, which indicates the date, time, and mode of the initial conference, shall be sent to the parties through the use of courier services, facsimile, electronic mail, Messenger, Viber, Google calendar, or other digital platforms.
To minimize face-to-face contact among the requesting and responding parties, the SEnA conference shall be conducted through video conferencing or through teleconferencing, whichever is applicable.
In case of non-availability of digital platforms or when either or both parties refuse video conferencing or teleconferencing, face-to-face conference may be allowed.
The number of representatives shall be limited to only two for each party. Should there be more than one employee or worker involved in the request for assistance, the number of attendees for the requesting party shall be increased to three.
Danilo Balilo, designated-Single Entry Approach Desk Officer (SEADO) of DOLE Masbate during the settlement last January 8, 2021 in the office of DOLE Masbate in Masbate City.
The conference room, with plastic barriers installed, shall also be arranged such that the SEnA Desk Officer and the clients are seated at least 1.5 meters apart from one another. The room, tables, chairs, and barriers shall be disinfected after every conference.
Participants shall also wear face masks and face shields and shall have their temperatures taken through thermal scanning.
Once settlement is reached, the SEnA Desk Officer shall draft the agreement and send copies to the parties, and secure their concurrence.
Parties may agree to meet at the company premises for the signing of the agreement, implementation of its terms, and payout of benefits. If practicable, the SEnA Desk Officer may also join and witness the signing.
If the signing of the agreement at the company premises is not possible, the same shall be done at the DOLE office at a date agreed upon by parties.
Moreover, last year 1,398 workers claimed a total of P25 million monetary benefits through settlement under SeNA.
The SEnA is DOLE’s banner program ensuring that all complaints first go through a 30-day mandatory conciliation and mediation period to exhaust possible means towards a fair settlement, before they are referred for arbitration.
Campita also explained the importance of SEnA an administrative approach to provide a speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement procedure for all issues/complaints arising from employer-employee relations to prevent them from ripening into full blown disputes.
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Approved for Regional Release:
 
MA. ZENAIDA A. ANGARA-CAMPITA, CESO III
Regional Director
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2021-04-05
Director's Corner

MA. ZENAIDA A. ANGARA-CAMPITA, CESO III

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