Press Releases
NLRC Satellite Office soon at DOLE Siquijor to bring services closer to workers

Cebu City, Philippines. Workers in the province of Siquijor, who have work-related concerns do not have to travel anymore to Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental just to file a complaint at the office of the National Labor Relations Commission-Regional Arbitration Branch (NLRC RAB).

All they have to do, according to DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton, is just visit the DOLE Siquijor Field Office (SFO) located in Siquijor Circumferential Road, Siquijor, which will soon house the NLRC Satellite Office.

The establishment of the NLRC Satellite Office, she said, is an off shoot of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which was entered into and signed both by DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III and Chairman Gerardo C. Nograles of the National Labor Relations Commission last 30 January 2020.

“The NLRC’s creation of satellite offices did not push through on time as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But with the quarantine restrictions now slowly loosening up and the country’s vaccination program rolling out, we believe it is now safe for us to proceed with what has been planned since last year particularly here in Region-7,” said Director Siaton.

The NLRC Satellite Office offers any aggrieved party the opportunity to file a complaint before the NLRC-RAB, not at the RAB’s Dumagute City Office anymore, but this time through the assistance of a DOLE personnel, who acts as an NLRC-designated complaint officer at the NLRC Satellite Office housed at the DOLE Siquijor Field Office.

According to Executive Labor Arbiter Emiliano Tiongco, Jr. of the NLRC-Regional Arbitration Branch (NLRC-RAB VII), the province of Siquijor, unlike the other provinces in the Region, registers the least number of workers filing or pushing through with their complaints at the NLRC-RAB level.

ELA Tiongco believes one of the reasons is partly due to the geographical challenge that requires an aggrieved party to travel to the next island just to lodge a complaint before the NLRC-RAB Office in Dumaguete City.

He explained that with the establishment of their Satellite Office, parties involved do not have to spend any more for their fare, food and other expenses and further said, “After the pre-determined dates of the mandatory conciliation and mediation conferences have been communicated by the NLRC-designated complaint officer to both parties, it’s our Labor Arbitration Associate (LAA), who will be travelling from Dumaguete City to Siquijor once every week in order to conduct the mandatory conciliation and mediation conferences.”

Under the set-up, apart from providing the NLRC Satellite office space, the DOLE will assign a personnel to serve as an NLRC Complaint Officer, who will take charge of (1) Issuing a referral for compulsory arbitration in the event parties fail to reach a settlement during the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) proceedings; (2) Administering oaths, receiving and docketing complaints and transmitting duly accomplished complaint forms to the NLRC-RAB thru email; (3) Informing parties of the pre-determined dates of the mandatory conciliation and mediation conferences; (4) Ensuring that complainant/s sign/s the logbook informing him/her of the pre-determined dates of the mandatory conciliation and mediation conferences; and (5) Providing other assistance as needed or requested.

The NLRC-RAB for its part, shall deal with the complaints received through email from the Satellite Office and assign a Labor Arbitration Associate to handle the mandatory conciliation and mediation conferences.

“Our Labor Arbitration Associate will be the one to set the date for the simultaneous submission of the parties’ respective position papers, motions and other pleadings. He or she will also ensure that all documents are accounted for and orderly for case transmission to the RAB for raffling and disposition,” explained ELA Tiongco.

When all things needed now being put in place by both Offices, the NLRC Satellite Office in Siquijor is expected to be fully operational by middle or end of April 2021.

The creation of the NLRC Satellite Offices is the NLRC’s contribution and show of support to the Philippine Development Framework and the DOLE 2017-2022 Priority Agenda that seeks to improve and increase government’s delivery of services to the public.

“This development is likewise a demonstration of an inter-agency collaboration of bringing our services closer to the people. I’m happy that the NLRC considered Siquijor to be the recipient of this initiative knowing that more aggrieved workers in this province could have sought assistance for their work-related concerns only if given access to it,” said Director Siaton.

The NLRC is an attached agency of the DOLE and is one of the active members of the DOLE Regional Coordinating Committee (DOLE RCC-7), where Director Siaton sits as the Chairperson.

 

 

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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2021-03-04
SALOME O. SIATON
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