The regional branch of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board in the Cordillera Administrative Region (NCMB-CAR) strengthened its collaboration and cooperation with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority – Baguio City Economic Zone (PEZA-BCEZ) during a luncheon meeting on September 9, 2021, at the NCMB-CAR office. This partnership is geared towards maintaining industrial peace in the economic zone.

The meeting was attended by Economic Zone Deputy Administrator Allan P. Datahan and Labor Affairs Officer Clarisse Mae F. Ramos of BCEZ and RCMB-CAR Regional Director Lourdes P. Estioco, together with three (3) Technical staff.  The point of the discussion focused on the promotion of Labor Management Cooperation (LMC) and Grievance Machinery (GM) to the locators of the processing zone.These programs are ready mechanisms that could help in the prevention and settlement of disputes in the workplace.

This consultation resulted in the identification of companies with existing cooperation  programs as well as those that do not have.  Out of the 40 locators, 26 companies or 65% don’t have LMCs and GMs yet. However, after further assessment, only eight (8) establishments were identified to be illegible for facilitation and institutionalization.

It was also noted that most of these enterprises were already provided with various enhancement activities.   “Through invitations from BCEZ leadership and in convergence with DOLE-CAR, we already conducted several mini-area wide seminars for these locators in the past years. We also had visited a number of them,” Sup. LEO Maggie Balagtey said.

Despite these efforts done, facilitation and institutionalization at BCEPZ are still partial. “Since we already reached most of the locators in some ways, our problem now is how to work with those without mechanisms. We need to strategize.  More so, that this pandemic is still on a high level and movement is limited,” Dir. Estioco added.

In response to this concern, Mr. Datahan gave his assurance for the easier entry of RCMB-CAR personnel to the zone.  The firm advised that the visiting personnel have to strictly abide by the safety protocols.

“It is for this reason that Labor Affairs Officer, Ms. Ramos, accompanied me today as she will serve as the contact person between NCMB-CAR and the BCEZ locators,” Mr. Datahan added.

The strengthening of collaboration and cooperation between NCMB-CAR and PEZA-BCEZ comes at a perfect time as this “new normal” is forcing everybody to adopt other means of achieving their goals.

Gabriel P. Bayao