Overt 2T workers get monetary aid from DOLE-7 amid pandemic

CEBU CITY, Jan. 28 (PIA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 7 has awarded over P74-M to 2,572 workers through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) program amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 

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

“During the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), for the safety and welfare of everyone, DOLE-7 was prohibited to conduct SEnA. It was on the month of May that we registered the least number of requests for assistance (RFA),” added Siaton.

According to Luchel Senarlo-Taniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer of DOLE-7, their office has awarded P15.2-M, the biggest amount in October 2020, to affected workers.

December came next with P14.3-M and third was the month of November 2020 in the amount of P13.6-M.

Also in 2020, DOLE-7 has received and handled a total of 2,146 RFAs which were mostly underpayment of wages, non-payment of holiday pay, premium pay, overtime pay and 13th month pay, Taniza said.

She added that of the RFAs handled, 99.72 percent were disposed with the average duration time to settle was four and a half days.

The Cebu Provincial Field Office (CPFO) handled the most number of RFAs at 590, followed by the Tri-City Field Office (TCFO) 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 ECQ, it was challenging for the clients to lodge complaints at DOLE-7. To come to the rescue of some call center agents complaining about their last pay, DOLE=7 through its Tri-City Field Office resorted to calling both parties to a virtual conference,” said Siaton. 

A settlement was reached and the complainants were able to receive what is due them from a BPO company.

Recently, the e-SEnA mechanism was launched to give an aggrieved party an option to file RFA online instead of going to DOLE-7 office.

Siaton urged clients to make use of the digital platforms in filing RFA.

“In that way, face-to-face transactions are limited thereby, reducing the risks of exposure to the deadly virus,” Siaton said.

The e-SEnA RFA forms can be accessed at https://sena.dole.gov.ph/rfa_form.php.

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

Apart from DOLE-7, SEnA services are also available by DOLE’s attached agencies: the National Conciliation and Mediation Board; Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board; Philippine Overseas Employment Administration; National Labor Relations Commission-Regional Arbitration Branch; and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Taniza said. (jsme/PIA7/DOLE-7)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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