DOLE intensifies voluntary arbitration to resolve disputes

February 23, 2011 11:58 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 23 — To prevent labor rows from escalating into full-blown strikes and work stoppages, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has intensified voluntary arbitration (VA) as a mechanism to expeditiously and efficiently dispose all pending labor cases through its existing corps of accredited voluntary arbitrators (AVAs).

"Voluntary arbitration supplements our strategy to clear dockets of labor cases. Voluntary arbitration as a means of settling disputes avoids lengthy and expensive litigations that cause delays in the dispensation of labor justice," DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said as she emphasized the effectiveness of voluntary arbitration (VA) as an alternative dispute settlement mechanism.

In a report to Secretary Baldoz, National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) Executive Director Reynaldo Ubaldo highlighted the settlement of three VA cases received on 30 September last year involving Philippine Transmarine Carrier, Inc., Alcos Global Corporation, and Union Motors Corporation.

"The settled cases of Philippine Transmarine Carrier, Inc., resulted in the awarding of P2,966,201.48 (US$ 67,892.00) to Weleugene Lobaton covering his disability compensation under the POEA contract and/or collective bargaining agreement (CBA), illness allowance, and attorney’s fees," Ubaldo said.

Ubaldo added that the cases involving Alcos Global and Union Motors Corporation resulted in the settlement of labor-management disputes and the resumption of operation of both companies.

Aside from the settlement of recently received cases, Ubaldo also said that labor cases enrolled under Phases 2 and 3 of the Project: Speedy and Expeditious Delivery of Labor Cases (SpeED) were already submitted for VA decision.

Under Project SpeED 2, Ubaldo reported the resolution of the case against Crossworld Marine Services last 10 January, granting P6,007,375.00 (US$ 137,500.00) to Ernie Carnaje as payment for his medical expenses and disability benefits.

Rosalito Polizon of United Philippine Lines, Inc. also benefitted from an award of P4,715,864.30 (US$ 100,487.20) to cover his full disability benefits and attorney’s fees as a result of the resolution of the case he filed against his former company.

"We are still in the process of expediting the settlement of nine pending VA cases which have already been submitted for decision," Ubaldo said.

Meanwhile, the resolution of dispute cases enrolled under Project SpeED 3 covering the period 01 April to 30 to September, 2010 is also being facilitated by voluntary arbitrators.

On top of the list are the cases involving Thai Airways International Public Co. Ltd., and Immanuel Lutheran School. Ubaldo reported that the settlement of the latter's case has already been effected, resulting in a back wage amount of P67,000 benefitting Magno Catli, president of Immanuel Lutheran school faculty and staff union.

Alongside with DOLE's thrust in institutionalizing fast-working and efficient labor arbitration and adjudication system, the labor chief strongly expressed the DOLE's commitment to settle labor-management disputes and the resumption of operation of both companies.

Aside from the settlement of recently received cases, Ubaldo also said that labor cases enrolled under Phases 2 and 3 of the Project: Speedy and Expeditious Delivery of Labor Cases (SpeED) were already submitted for VA decision. (PNA)

DCT/PR/rsm

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