514 workers get P41-M in benefits via labor conciliation

By Ferdinand Patinio

February 15, 2024, 2:49 pm

MANILA – The National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) on Thursday said its preventive mediation program on labor disputes has resulted in the release of more than PHP41 million in monetary benefits to 514 workers since January.

In a statement, NCMB executive director Ma. Teresita Lacsamana-Cancio said this translates to a 43-percent settlement rate of all current conciliation cases.

Aside from the preventive mediation program, she said the NCMB has achieved gains in its major intervention programs such as voluntary arbitration, grievance system and the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) program.

She added that their voluntary arbitration program also resulted in more than PHP246 million in monetary claims for 81 workers in the country.

Lacsamana-Cancio said the SEnA program achieved an 81 percent disposition rate of the existing 664 cases and a 62 percent settlement rate, resulting in more than PHP6 million in monetary claims for 247 workers.

The SEnA is the Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) landmark dispute resolution mechanism that institutionalized a faster and simplified way of handling labor disputes before these become full-blown court battles.

The NCMB also increased its labor-management cooperation (LMC) network to 5,178 companies, while its program that put workers’ complaint mechanisms in place in every workplace has resulted in a network of thousands of grievance machinery in 5,369 companies, as of last month.

Lacsamana-Cancio said their grievance machinery network has resulted in a 99.5 percent containment of strikes or notice of strikes, as of January.

She said there were no pending strikes and work stoppages at the beginning of the year, achieving a disposition and settlement rate of 26 percent from the board’s handling of existing notices of strike as of last month.

The board’s successful dissolution of the pending notices of strike also resulted in more than PHP13 million in monetary benefits for 640 workers.

Various NCBM programs that espouse conciliation and mediation not only contribute to the overall maintenance of industrial peace but have been beneficial to both employers and workers, especially in the form of monetary claims for workers, she added.

The NCMB, an attached agency of the DOLE, oversees mediation in companies with brewing labor problems and facilitates conciliation between workers and management to effectively resolve labor disputes. (PNA)