By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III will be leaving a
legacy as he signs the Collective Negotiation Agreement with the
employees’ union Sandigan ng mga Empleyadong Nagkakaisa sa Adhikain ng
Demokratikong Organisasyon (S.E.N.A.D.O.) Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
Sotto said the 4th CNA that he signed with the employees’ union will
be a “milestone” in his career as a senator and a Senate President
before leaving the Senate next year.
Sotto will be graduating this 18th Congress after serving the
institution from 1992 to 2004, and 2010 up to present.
“It gives me pride and pleasure to have signed the 2021 Collective
Negotiation Agreement. I shall consider this as a milestone in my
career as a senator and as a Senate President. For after all, how many
among us are given this opportunity to ink an agreement uplifting the
lives of the employees in the Senate,” Sotto said.
Also present during the signing were Senate Secretary Myra Marie
Villarica, Deputy Secretary for Administration and Finance Services
Arnel Bañas and S.E.N.A.D.O. President Rosella Eugenio.
The CNA signing was the culmination of 12 days of negotiation, in a
span of three months, between the management panel led by Bañas, and
the union panel led by Elena Valentus.
Other members of the management
panel were Senate Legal Counsel Valentina Cruz, Administration and
Financial Services Executive Director Renato Chua, Deputy Secretary
for Legislation Edwin Bellen and Atty. Carisa Barcarse from the Office
of the Senate President.
Members of the union panel, aside from Eugenio and Valentus were
former union president Dakila Millamena, Geralice Perlawan and Nueva
In a resolution, the S.E.N.A.D.O. board said the new and
improved CNA “responds to the needs, health, and safety of the
employees amid the pandemic.”
The resolution recognizes the union and the Senate as
partners in the effective delivery of public services.
“The board deems it right to thank His Honor for his goodwill and
effort to uphold Senate employees’ rights and advance our welfare
through this CNA,” the union said.
Sotto, for his part, said the signing of the CNA is a “clear
manifestation that we, in the Senate, recognize the rights and
privileges of the rank-and-file employees which are held sacrosanct by
no less than our Constitution and echoed in our laws.”
“This also demonstrates our strong commitments to promote and protect
the economic welfare of our employees,” he said, adding that this has
been the commitment of the Senate leadership as shown by the signing
of policy orders increasing the benefits of the employees.
“Finally, please remember that the Senate is the beacon of democracy
and hope in the Philippines. Thus I implore you, as public servants,
to protect its mandate under the Constitution. Let us continue to do
our part and, in the process, make a better Philippines,” the Senate
chief ended. (ai/mtvn)