21 August 2014

DOLE taskforce inks pact for industrial peace in CL

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- With the aim of upholding industrial peace and job preservation in Central Luzon, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office 3, in coordination with member-agencies of the newly forged Central Luzon-Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating and Monitoring Committee (CL-RICMC) recently signed a Memorandum of Commitment (MOC) at the Dole regional office in the City of San Fernando.

The CL-RICMC, which was conceived last June 2014, comprise the DOLE RO3 as lead agency, along with the regional offices of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 7th Infantry Division, Philippine National Police (PNP), and the region’s major economic and freeport zones which include the Clark Freeport Zone, Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Luisita Industrial Park in Tarlac, TECO, and Pampanga Economic Zone.

DOLE Regional Director Ana Dione reported to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz that officials representing the CL-RICMC member-agencies entered into a memorandum of commitment in order to fully and effectively implement the Dole's Administrative Order 104, Series of 2012, otherwise known as the “Operating Guidelines on Inter-Agency Coordinating and Monitoring of Labor Disputes.”

In this memorandum, the DOLE will take lead in information-gathering from tri-media or any sources on brewing labor disputes and displacement of workers due to strikes/lockouts. It shall immediately initiate pro-active assistance and provide alternative means of dispute resolution through either the Dole's Single Entry Approach (Sena), adoption of flexible work arrangements, or in the worst case, proper implementation of retrenchment procedures. Dole and its attached agencies will also provide technical assistance and developmental interventions such as alternative livelihood programs and skills development schemes to affected workers.

DOLE Assistant Regional Director Geraldine Panlilio, who is the official spokesperson of the CL-RICMC, shall handle media-related affairs and the establishment of a command center in the strike area where the CL-RICMC may convene.

Meanwhile, should labor disputes arise within the Freeport or economic zones, management of the said zones will coordinate with the DOLE, as well as its attached agencies, and shall actively participate in the above-mentioned activities as well.

The AFP and PNP on the other hand, who will be on stand-by mode as a peace-keeping team, will ensure the maintenance of peace and order, enforcement of laws, and implementation of legal orders of duly constituted authorities.

Signing the memorandum of commitment with Director Dione include NCMB National Director Reynaldo Ubaldo, NCMB Regional Director Maria Teresita Cancio, Administrative Officer Elizabeth Dizon on behalf of NLRC RO3 Regional Director Mariano Bactin, Colonel Wilfredo Villahermosa on behalf of Brigadier General Glorioso Miranda (AFP 7ID), IPSSupt Danilo Florentino on behalf of PNP Regional Director PCSupt Raul Petrasanta, Provincial Director Benhur Banigued on behalf of TESDA Regional Director Teodoro Gatchalian, POEA head Paterno Juridico, Deputy Administrator for Operations Engr. Emmanuel Pineda on behalf of AFAB Chairman Deogracias Custodio, Criselda Pascual on behalf of SBMA Labor Department Manager Severo Pastor Jr., CFZ head Evangeline Tejada, and LIP/TECO/PEZ head Primitivo PeraƱas Jr.

Dione, who personally thanked all CL-RICMC member-agencies for their support and cooperation during her welcome message, stressed the importance of partnership and convergence among government agencies in addressing the country’s perennial socio-economic issues on labor disputes and unemployment.

"We are very thankful for your support and cooperation on this important undertaking. Your presence here signals our partnership. The convergence of our programs and services are geared towards the development of coherent and evidence-based approaches to ease the adverse effects of labor disputes by exploring all means to give way to a lasting and a more peaceful resolution between management and laborers, especially in cases where there is presence of imminent or actual strikes," Dione said.

"Through our partnership and proactive information-sharing with one another, we can sustain labor and management relationship through continuous labor and employment education, mainstreaming of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and implementation of innovative approaches towards workers' empowerment," she added.

Meanwhile, NCMB Director Reynaldo Ubaldo said in his keynote message that the NCMB, under the instructions of Labor and Employment Secretary Baldoz, is targeting to institutionalize the creation of RICMC in all regions.

"We are hopeful that all DOLE regional offices, just like here in Central Luzon, would be able to establish their respective RICMC’s because the power of convergence can make a difference in addressing labor disputes and we have a pipeline of developmental interventions that would help ease and resolve industrial conflicts which are geared towards productivity and harmony within industries," Ubaldo said.

The RICMC’s objective is to take lead in job preservation, explore all remedies necessary and feasible settlement to potential or actual strike, picket or lockout, or labor dispute especially those who are considered high profile cases, and those imbued with national interest, and undertake coordinative efforts through information-sharing and data gathering. (PR, Sun Star Pampanga)