June 4, 2023

Single Entry Approach (SENA) is an administrative approach to provide 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.
It was first introduced through Department Order 107-10 and later institutionalized through Republic Act 10396, which provides for a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation for issues arising from labor and employment (i.e., governed by employee-employer relations).
As a form of conciliation-mediation intervention, the main objective is to effect amicable settlement of the dispute among the differing parties wherein a neutral party, the SENA Desk Officer (Seado), assists the parties by giving advice or offering solutions and alternative ways to address the problems.
SENA institutionalizes the 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation of all labor cases implemented at the regional or provincial offices of the Department of Labor and Employment and attached agencies namely the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).
Labor dispute issues that may be settled through SENA include: 1. Termination or suspension of employment issues; claims for any sum of money, regardless of amount; intra-union and inter-union issues, after exhaustion of administrative remedies; unfair labor practices; closures, retrenchments, redundancies, temporary lay-offs; overseas Filipino workers cases; and any other claims or issues arising from employer-employee relationship (except for occupational safety and health standards, involving imminent danger situation, dangerous occurrences/or disabling injury, and/or absence of personal protective equipment) and cases falling under the administrative and quasi-judicial jurisdiction of all DOLE offices and attached agencies, including NLRC.
All issues arising from labor and employment shall be subject to the 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation except notices of strike/lockdown or preventive mediation cases with the NCMB, issues arising from the interpretation or implementation of the collective bargaining agreement and those arising from interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies which should be processed to the grievance machinery, and applications for exemption of wage orrders with the NCMB.
Also, not covered by SENA are issues involving violations of Alien Employment Permit; private employment agency authority or license; working child permit and violations of Republic Act 9231; registration under Department Order 18-A, s. 2011; professional license issued by the Professional Regulations Commission and violation of professional code of conduct; Technical Education and Skills Development Authorityaccreditations; other similar permits, licenses, or registrations issued by DOLE or its attached agencies.
Violations of POEA rules and regulations involving serious offenses and offenses penalized with cancellation of license; disciplinary actions against overseas workers/seafarers which are considered serious offenses or which carry the penalty of delisting from the POEA registry of first offense; complaints initiated by POEA; complaints against an agency whose license is revoked, cancelled, expired or otherwise delisted; and complaints categorized under the POEA rules and regulations as not subject to SENA and also issues on occupational safety and health standards involving imminent danger situation, dangerous occurences/disabling injury and absence of personal protective equipment.
Any aggrieved worker, union, group of workers, or employer may file a Request for Assistance in the regional offices where the employer principally operates. In case of a union or federation representing a local chapter, the request shall be made at the regional/provincial/district office where the union or local chapter is registered.
Settlement agreements reached through SENA are final and immediately executory. It is binding on all DOLE offices and attached agencies except when these are found contrary to law, morals, public order, and public policy.
The parties may choose to elevate the RFA to the appropriate offices of the Department or Voluntary Arbitration when no settlement is reached within the 30-day timeframe or when either party is found not complying with the stipulations of the agreement reached.
To know more of DOLE programs and services, visit www.dole.gov.ph and the DOLE hotline 1349; Action line Against Human Trafficking 1343; and for OFW concerns hotline 1348.