COTABATO CITY – The National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) will now accept labor cases emanating from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

In a memorandum order dated on August 1, 2023, Acting Chairperson Julia Cecily I. Coching-Sosito has instructed the commission’s Regional Arbitration Branches in Mindanao to receive and dispose SEnA referrals, complaints, and appeals emanating from the Bangsamoro region.

The NLRC also designated Executive Labor Arbiter Abdul-azis U. Metmug of NLRC Regional Arbitration Branch No. X in Cagayan de Oro City as focal person for BARMM labor-related concerns.

This is the outcome of the consultative meeting between the NLRC En Banc and the Ministry of Labor and Employment held on July 28, 2023 in Metro Manila to discuss the urgent need of the disposition of unsettled labor cases filed before the ministry.

During this event, Minister Muslimin G. Sema implored the NLRC to take cognizance of the pending cases while BARMM is still on transition period and yet to create a labor adjudication office in the region.

“This coordination between the Bangsamoro government and the national government has fostered its good relations,” said Minister Sema.

“We are glad that our coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment, including its attached agencies, to address issues affecting the labor sector in the Bangsamoro region was given an appropriate action,” he added.

“Such action from the NLRC will bring a greater impact on our social and economic growth as we continue to uphold our commitment to maintaining industrial peace in the region,” the Minister emphasized.

Under the MOLE’s Labor Dispute Settlement Program, labor conflicts arising from labor and employment undergo through Single Entry Approach or SEnA for a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation procedure.

An administrative approach, which provides for a speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement procedure of all labor issues or conflicts to prevent them from ripening into full-blown disputes or actual labor cases. (MOLE-ICD)