The Single Entry Approach (SEnA) is a citizen-centered system that attends to the immediate resolution of employer-employee grievances to prevent them from maturing into full-blown cases. The system cuts downtime for resolving labor disputes and puts in place Single-Entry Approach Desks (SEADS) in DOLE offices nationwide to serve as entry-points for facilitating conciliation and mediation of employees and employers in conflicts.

Background and Problem

Prior to SEnA, mechanisms and processes for resolving work-related issues and grievances had been strenuous and time-consuming, factors that extend government spending on arbitrations and clogged up case dockets in DOLE offices and attached agencies, and which compounded the issue of red tape and corruption within DOLE.

Solution and Impact

SEnA is a reform measure to the problematic labor arbitration and adjudication system of the Philippines. It streamlines procedures and removes red tape in the hope of restoring the integrity and fairness of the Philippine justice system. It imposes a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation process to settle pending labor cases and operationalizes Single-Entry Approach Desks (SEADO) in field offices and attached agencies of DOLE to serve as entry points in speeding up resolutions of issues and grievances and in preventing them from maturing into actual litigation cases. SEnA addresses labor and employment issues that fall under the administrative and quasi-judicial functions of the following DOLE offices and attached agencies. Among these are termination/ suspension of employees, unfair labor practices, OFW cases, closures, retrenchments and temporary lay-offs, occupational safety and health standards, and any other issues that arise from the employer-employee relationship. It does not cover those related to notices of strikes/ lock-outs and preventive mediation cases, issues arising from interpretation of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and Company Personnel policies, and issues involving violation of permits, licenses, and registrations such as Alien Employment Permit (AEP), Working Child Permit (and violation of Anti-Child Labor Law), professional license issued by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and accreditations from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), among others. No. of Request for Assistance Filled and Settled (2010-2018)

Year RFAs Filed No. of Settled RFAs Settlement Rate Average Days to Dispose
2010-2012 43,573 31,596 73% 18
2013 26,169 22,643 83% 19
2014 33,373 26,630 77% 14
2015 32,495 27,631 81% 15
2016 42,003 34,607 79% 15
2017 56,084 41,437 72% 15
2018 57,169 44,893 75% 11

 

Between 2010 and 2012, SEnA was able to settle 73% of the 31,596 total RFAs filed in DOLE offices and attached agencies. In 2016, DOLE reported a 79% settlement rate for the 34,607 RFAs filed. In 2017, DOLE claimed a 72% settlement rate which increased to 75% in 2018. DOLE also reported that SEAD Officers can settle and resolve a case at an average of 11 days in 2018. It is faster compared to RFAs disposal in 2010-2012 that took an average of 18 days and shorter than the 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation process.

Milestones

SEnA started in October 2010 when DOLE issued Department Order No. 107-10 (DO 107-10) which provided the guidelines on the “Single Entry Approach” or “SEnA”.

In March 2013, it has been institutionalized with the passage of Republic Act No. 10396 which amended the Labor Code and required all labor and employment issues to be subjected to mandatory conciliation-mediation.

Finally, in February 2016, the Implementing Rules and Regulations for R.A. 10396 have been issued by DOLE through Department Order No. 151-16. The IRR reiterated the requirement for the 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation for all issues arising from labor and employment, except for certain cases enumerated in the Department Order.

Photos

Single Entry Desk Officers during a case analysis workshop of a Regional Capacity Building of DOLE Region 10. (Photo Source: Philippine Information Agency)
 
Single Entry Desk Officer facilitating a mandatory conference for the settlement agreement of a worker and her former employer. (Photo Source: DOLE Region 7)
 
Technical Learning Session on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Single Entry Approach (SENA). (Photo Source: Department of Labor and Employment- Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns)
 
Process Flow of SeNA. (Photo Souce: DOLE e-Learning)