Single entry approach (SEnA) is an administrative procedure involving a mandatory 30-day conciliation-mediation to ensure a speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement for all labor and employment issues. RA 10396 amended the Labor Code of the Philippines to require conciliation-mediation; while the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Department Order No. 107- 10 in October 2010, which provides the process guidelines.
The process is in line with the Constitution and the original Labor Code as a voluntary mode of settling disputes, which is usually arrived at after a complaint is filed with DOLE or a National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) regional arbitration branch. Upon filing of the complaint, the agency has 30 days to settle the dispute amicably, which is subject to a 15-day extension provided both parties agree.
Arbitration can also be terminated prior to the 30-day period if both parties settle.
However, if a settlement is not reached after conciliation-mediation, a SEnA desk officer, who serves as hearing officer, elevates the matter to the labor arbiter level. The labor arbiter then issues a summons for additional conciliation proceedings.
If a settlement is still not reached, the labor arbiter orders position papers from all parties.
According to the SEnA Desk Office, SEnA accumulated over P20 million in benefits last year, which benefitted a total 1,505 workers.
Special thanks to Karen Maribojoc for providing the data./WDJ