Voluntary arbitrators gather to retool, agree to meet target of 98% case disposition rate

November 26, 2012 11:27 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 26 — Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz congratulated on Monday the Philippine Association of Voluntary Arbitrators Inc. (PAVA) for stepping up to the challenge of helping the DOLE meet its case disposition target of 98 percent.

The agreement was one of the highlights of the two-day PAVA convention cum retooling seminar held in Manila last week. At least 117 of the country’s accredited voluntary arbitrators attended the convention cum general retooling seminar.

“Your aim of assembling all accredited voluntary arbitrators and keeping them up to date with the current labor laws and jurisprudence speaks well of your commitment to safeguard and cultivate the attainment of speedy labor justice in the country,” Baldoz said after receiving the report of Executive Director Reynaldo Ubaldo of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) on the gathering.

“Such demonstration of your commitment contributes to the improvement of labor adjudication in the country. This is in consonance with the strategies outlined in the Philippine Labor and Employment Plan 2011 to 2016, which sets a case disposition rate of 98 percent,” she added.

Voluntary arbitrators are private individuals accredited by the NCMB to hear and decide labor disputes arising out of the implementation and interpretation of collective bargaining agreements and those issues arising out of the implementation of company personnel policies. Their decisions, after these have been rendered, become final, executory, and unappealable.

Since 1988, the NCMB has accredited 967 arbitrators, of which 171 are currently active practitioners.

Director Reynaldo Ubaldo said rapid changes in the world of work and the need to update our association of voluntary arbitrators (AVAs) with recent labor relations jurisprudence are two main reasons why the NCMB conducts the retooling seminar every two years.

“Our AVAs need to update their knowledge on recent trends and developments in labor-management relations to be able to render fair and equitable judgement in the issues that they handle,” he added.

Ubaldo noted that the convention is also an occasion for the voluntary arbitrators to renew their commitment to the program, share experiences, and strengthen their bonds of friendship with fellow arbitrators from across the country.

The two-day event was devoted mostly to learning sessions facilitated by noted lawyers and labor law specialists.

In the first day of the convention cum retooling seminar, former Labor and Employment Undersecretary Atty. Josephus Jimenez spoke on the topic, "Analysis of Controversial Jurisprudence on Voluntary Arbitration." Another resource person, retired Labor Arbiter Atty. Eugenia Fernandez discussed "Effective Mediation and Negotiation Techniques."

Also on the first day, International Labor Organization labor law specialist Jajoon Coue spoke on "International Laws and Conventions"; Atty. Allan Montaño, "On Land-based Arbitration vis-à-vis Maritime Arbitration"; and Professor Ernesto Cecilia spoke on "Anger Management in Arbitration Proceedings."

During the last day, Philippine Judicial Academy Vice Chairman Justice Hector Hofilena discussed the topic, "Ethical Consideration for Arbitrators"; U.P. School of Labor and Industrial Relations Dean Jonathan Sale discussed "Department Order 18-A"; and Dr. Bach Macaraya, spoke on "Administration of Labor Justice as a Model for Alternative Dispute Resolution."

The gathering also served as venue to welcome the newly-elected officers of the Philippine Maritime Voluntary Arbitrators Association.

“Arbitrators, who are lawyers, present at the convention got an added bonus: The Supreme Court accredited the general retooling seminar as a mandatory continuing legal education provider,” Ubaldo said. (PNA)

SCS/DOLE-PR/EBP

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