Good News Cebu City—The Requests for Assistance (RFAs) of the Branch generated a  P4.79 million benefit  to 263 workers on the first semester of 2020, announced Regional Branch Director Edmundo T. Mirasol.

According to Director Mirasol, the monetary benefit comprises the 218 requests for assistance settled from January to June  with an average of 9.82 days duration to settle.

In 2019, the board recorded a total of P11.95 million in monetary benefit for 709 workers during the first semester.

Director Mirasol said that from January to June of this year, the board received 321 requests which is 51 percent lesser compared  with those filed in the same period  in 2019.

He also revealed that the Branch received no requests for the months of April and May respectively.

The decreasing number of RFAs alongside with the monetary benefits and workers benefited can be attributed to the COVID19 pandemic which prompted LGUs in the region to declare their respective areas in a state of community quarantine, limiting the movement of people to curb the virus spread.

On one hand, Director Mirasol also believed that there will be a surge of requests once a looser quarantine will be in place as more workers prefer to avail of a fast, economical and inexpensive way of settling labor issues under the framework of SENA.

It can also be recalled that DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III issued Department Order No. 213 last May 5 which encapsulates the suspension of the filing of request for assistance under SENA  for the duration of the community quarantine.

Single Entry Approach (SENA) Program is a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation services which is speedy, impartial, inexpensive and accessible.