Problema sa trabaho? I-SEnA mo!

SINGLE ENTRY APPROACH (SENA), Department of Labor and Employment, Intramuros, Manila, (Edgar G. Aquino, Gil D.G. Caragayan, Joselito V. Diego, Jay Jasper B. Javines, Vivencio E. Lagahid, Aurita L. Limpin, Reynante N. Lugtu, Angelita S. Narvaez, and Executive Director Reynaldo R. Ubaldo [team leader]) 

The Single Entry Approach (SEnA) is a reform measure institutionalized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in 2010 to effect faster, fairer and inexpensive settlement of labor issues. The system prevents them from maturing into actual labor cases that will be elevated and resolved under the formal adjudication process. According to the National Labor Relations Commission, it will take an average of 132 mandays[i] to resolve a Request for Assistance (RFA). But SEnA was able to reduce the duration of resolution into 17 mandays per RFA which translates to a savings of P269 million in personnel salaries that the government spends for arbitrations. 

SEnA is a citizen-centered system pivotal in the immediate resolution of grievances and de-clogging of labor cases. The program directs the set-up of single-entry approach desks (SEADs) in DOLE offices nationwide. The SEADs serve as entry points in speeding up the resolution of all work-related issues affecting workers and employers. The SEADs role is to facilitate conciliation and mediation between parties within 30 calendar days or less.

From its implementation in 2010 until December 2012, SeNA has received 41,657 requests for assistance and 31,592 or 76% were resolved preventing these cases from entering the arduous phase of formal adjudication or arbitration.

Meanwhile, a total of 45,868 workers were able to benefit from the system and SEnA continues to reach out to as many as possible providing assistance for all types of employee-employer workplace problems such as illegal dismissal, under compensation, non-payment of mandatory benefits, among others.

Just like in the case of Ms. Marcelina A. Temblique of San Jose, Bulacan who after 22 years of service in a private school availed of an optional retirement plan offered when the school closed. But all she got was P80,000 from the management and she felt that she was shortchanged. After exhausting all means to make her employer heed her appeal to be paid rightfully, she finally sought the assistance of a DOLE-SEnA field office. In less than three weeks, her employer paid her an additional P60,000 as part of the compromise settlement reached under the mediation.

“Nais ko pong magpasalamat sa DOLE at magsilbing testamento sa tulong na naibibigay ng SEnA at nakuha ko ang aking retirement pay. Tulad ng kanilang ibina-bandera, kung may problema ka sa trabaho, i-SEnA mo,” said the grateful, Ms. Temblique.

SENA has paved the way for upholding workers’ rights as its adoption has translated into an estimated monetary benefit of Php1.5 billion in terms of back wages and benefits granted to claimant workers. The system has also generated non-monetary benefits: faster relief to parties in settling cases, less government resources spent on the tedious process of compulsory arbitration, and re-instatement of illegally dismissed employees.

A unit of measurement based on a standard number of man-hours in a day of work.