Philippine Standard Time:

True to its mandate of promoting bipartism and tripartism in the country, the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR), as part of its 59th anniversary celebration, conducted the first Luzon-wide Labor Dialogue for the year last January 18, 2016 at the Bayview Park Hotel, Manila.

A total of sixty-six (66) participants attended the Labor Dialogue: forty-three (43) from the labor sector and twenty-three (23) from DOLE concerned offices.

No less than DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Undersecretary Rebecca Chato, OIC-Executive Director Shirley Pascual of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), and BLR Director Benjo Santos Benavidez joined the discussion to listen and address the issues and concerns raised by the labor sector. Deputy-Executive Director Tess Cancio of NCMB facilitated the dialogue where several issues and concerns have been brought to the attention of the Department which include, among others: streamlining of the process of registration and filing of CBA, dissemination of updated issuances affecting labor, observance of the Process Cycle Time, implementation of D.O. 18-A, update on the preparations that are being taken for the implementation of the K to 12 program, ratification of ILO Convention 151 or Labour Relations (Public Service) Convention, contractualization in the public sector, availment of Workers’ Organization Development Program (WODP) grant and other issues affecting local labor unions.

Sec. Baldoz highlighted the importance of regularly conducting the dialogue saying, “May mandato kaming gumawa ng mga regulasyon at batas [para] sa benepisyo ng mga mamumuhunan at manggagawa kaya kahit mapahaba ang proseso ng paggawa nito, mahalaga na makonsulta ang lahat dahil para ito sa inyong kapakanan”.

Likewise, she abated fears that such mechanism will end together with her term as the Secretary of Labor saying that reforms have been institutionalized through legislation. Hence, the same will be carried out by the succeeding administrations. Moreover, she declared the third Monday of each quarter as the schedule of the succeeding labor dialogues in Luzon.

For the part of the labor sector, they lauded such initiative of the Department to create a forum where they can ventilate their concerns and be addressed immediately by the concerned office, considering that Regional Directors of DOLE and NCMB are present in the discussion.

END/ John Christopher P. Lapiz