CEBU CITY – Fourteen maintenance workers who availed of the single-entry approach (SEnA) in settling their labor disputes have received nearly PHP2 million in monetary award.
The amount was paid as a form of restitution for the underpayment of wages and the non-payment of the 13th-month pay of the workers of an adventure park here.
Lilia Estillore, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional director, said in a news release Saturday that a writ of execution ordered the employer’s depositary bank to release the amount to the workers.
The concern of the workers was first lodged as a request for assistance under the SEnA, an administrative approach to provide a speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement procedure of all labor issues or conflicts to prevent a full-blown dispute or labor cases.
“Since there was no settlement reached between the parties involved, it escalated into a case. We’ve noticed that the concerned company failed to address the issues raised and rectify the violations identified during the conduct of mandatory conferences and hearings,” Estillore said.
The failure to follow labor laws prompted the DOLE to issue a compliance order, which later ripened into the issuance of a notice of finality and a writ of execution on Oct. 17, 2022, according to Estillore.
Ronald Perales, 42, received more than PHP150,000.
“Nalipay kaayo ko kay nadawat na gyud nako ang para akoa ug bunga sa akong pagtrabaho (I’m so happy because I already received what’s due to me and the fruits of my work),” said Perales, a native of Carmen town.
Perales said he will spend the money for the repair of his dilapidated roof and to settle his debts.
He said he worked for 17 years at the adventure park but they were underpaid and the company refused to give them benefits, like the law-mandated 13th-month pay.
“Nisulay mi ug hangyo sa management apan gi-ingnan mi nga wala mi madawat ug nga pwede rasad mi mo-adto sa DOLE. So, mao to, nisuway gyud mi ug dangop sa (We tried talking it out with the management but we were told that there is nothing that we could get from them and that we could go to DOLE if we wanted. So, we gave it a try and asked help from the) Department of Labor,” he said.
DOLE-7 released PHP1,995,407 to the 14 workers as full satisfaction of their claims in November last year
Perales received the biggest amount at PHP153,006, another got PHP151,606 and the rest between PHP138,000 and PHP41,000.
How it works
As a form of conciliation-mediation intervention, the main objective of SeNA is to effect amicable settlement among the differing parties wherein a neutral party, the SEnA Desk Officer, assists by giving advice or offering solutions and alternatives.
Any aggrieved worker, union, group of workers, or employer may file a request for assistance in the regional offices where the employer principally operates.
In case of a union or federation representing a local chapter, the request shall be made at the regional/provincial/district office where the union or local chapter is registered.
SEnA sets the period for 30 calendar days of conciliation-mediation.
Settlement agreements reached are final and immediately executory and binding in all DOLE offices and attached agencies, except when found to be contrary to law, morals, public order, and public policy. (John Rey Saavedra/PNA)