Press Releases
Over 74 Million paid to workers thru DOLE’s SEnA

Cebu City, Philippines. Despite the pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment awarded over Seventy-Four Million Pesos in 2020 to a total of 2,572 workers through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) program.

According to DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton, the monetary benefits were the accumulated amount awarded to workers who sought help through SEnA from January to December 2020.

“During the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ, the DOLE was also prohibited from conducting SEnA conferences for the safety and welfare not just of the DOLE staff but also of the customers. It was in May when we registered the least number of requests for assistance or RFAs,” said DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton.

October 2020 registered the biggest amount awarded to affected workers at Php15.2 Million. December came in next with Php14.3 Million and on the third spot is the month of November having Php13.6 Million awarded to affected workers.

In 2020, the DOLE received and handled a total 2,146 requests for assistance (RFAs), which mostly included underpayment of wages; and non-payment of holiday pay, premium pay, overtime pay, and thirteenth month pay.

Of the RFAs handled, 99.72% were disposed with an average duration time to settle of four and a half days.

The Cebu Provincial Field Office (CPFO) handled the most number of RFAs at 590 with the Tri-City Field Office (TCFO) closely coming in second with 568 RFAs. There were 440 RFAs handled by the Negros Oriental Field Office (NOFO) and 266 by the TSSD-Labor Relations and Standards (LRS). The Bohol Field Office (BFO) handled 228 RFAs, while the Siqujior Field Office (SFO) accommodated 53 RFAs.

“When Cebu City was under an enhanced community quarantine, it was challenging for the clients to lodge complaints at the DOLE. But to be able to come to the rescue of some call center agents complaining about their last pay at that time, the DOLE through its Tri-City Field Office resorted to calling both parties to a virtual conference,” said the Regional Head.

A settlement, she continued, was reached and the complainants were able to receive what’s due them from a BPO company.

Recently, the Online SEnA or e-SEnA mechanism was launched giving an aggrieved party an option to file a request for assistance online instead of personally visiting the DOLE Office.

Director Siaton urged the clients to make use of the digital platform in filing their requests for assistance. If parties involved have the facilities available, then they will also have the choice of having the conferences done online. “In that way, face-to-face transactions are limited thereby reducing the risk of exposure to the deadly virus not only for the clients but also for our staff,” she explained.

The e-SEnA Request for Assistance Form can be accessed at https://sena.dole.gov.ph/rfa_form.php. Under the mechanism, requesting parties could fill out the Form online. The same form can also be accessed at the ro7.dole.gov.ph.

Under the SEnA guidelines, an RFA has to be subject to a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation services hoping to reach a dispute settlement within the period between parties – requesting party and the party being requested upon.

Apart from the DOLE, also offering SEnA services are the DOLE’s attached agencies, namely: the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB-7); Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-7); Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA-7); National Labor Relations Commission-Regional Arbitration Branch (NLRC-RAB-7); and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA-7).

 

End//LSenarlo-Taniza

 

For more information on this report, you may contact LuchelSenarlo-Taniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer at telefax number (032) 266-27292 or you may send an email at dole_centralvisayas@yahoo.com.

 

 

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2021-01-19
SALOME O. SIATON
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