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Good Practice with a “SENA-twist”
Fri, Apr 05, 2013 (Source: DOLE IX)
Hope, indeed, springs eternal for this employer and his employee who got entangled in a legal squabble stemming from an inspection conducted by DOLE 9 through the Isabela City Field Office (DOLE-ICFO).

As an offshoot of the complaint inspection conducted at the premises of Farmbell Lower Lanote in Isabela City, Basilan Province on October 18, 2010, DOLE 9 issued an order directing the said establishment to pay the sum of SIXTY FIVE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY THREE PESOS AND 76/100 CENTAVOS (P65,383.76) in favor of one of its employees Mr. Hamid S. Sergio.

Thereafter, a protracted legal battle ensued lasting for almost two (2) years between Respondent-establishment, represented by its owner Mr. Edwin Pantaleta, and Mr. Sergio. The parties saw the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel when Dir. Sisinio Cano adopted the Single Entry Approach (SENA) Program in providing solution to the case which ended the impasse between the parties.

During the conciliation-mediation conferences, Dir. Cano patiently evaluated and courteously explained to both parties the harshness of staying adamant in their opposing claims. Eventually, Mr. Pantaleta and Mr. Sergio mutually acceded to a compromise and patched up their differences. DOLE-ICFO, on the other hand, conducted some assessment and came up with profile on spouses Hamid and Vilma Sergio geared towards a grant livelihood benefits by way of Starter Kits.

Significantly, the terms and conditions were encapsulated in 2-page document which details, among others, that Mr. Sergio releases Respondent establishment from further liabilities and, in return, Mr. Pantaleta remitted the sum of Thirty Thousand Pesos (Php30,000.00) in favor Mr. Sergio – the last half of which was received on October 5, 2012 in the presence and under the direct supervision of DOLE-ICFO.

This is a testament that de-judicialization is indeed the wave of the future as its applicability and flexibility had substantially changed the way labor disputes are handled. Ultimately, the overarching goal of de-clogging of docketed cases in the Department would become a pleasing reality.

Cyrus P. Tingcang

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