The Philippine League of Labor Management Cooperation Practitioners, Inc. (PHILAMCOP) in partnership with the Regional Conciliation and Mediation Branches (RCMBs) of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) successfully held the Luzon Cluster Convention on Labor-Management Cooperation via Zoom platform on 26 August 2021 with the theme, “Continuing Labor-Management Partnership: Conquering and Living with COVID-19”.

The Convention was attended by more than 500 labor and management representatives coming from 292 organized and unorganized companies from NCR and Regions I to V.

NCMB Executive Director IV Maria Teresita D. Lacsamana-Cancio and PHILAMCOP President Teofilo S. Colocado, Jr. gave their opening messages highlighting the importance of intensified cooperation and partnership between the labor and management in the midst of the pandemic.

They both emphasized that this Convention aims to inspire labor and management to continue to work together in addressing the problems brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic towards the attainment of company resiliency and improved mental well-being of both workers and management.

“It is our duty to be an instrument of hope and resilience in these trying times and uncertainty,” President Colocado said.

“We all gather on this day to celebrate our very existence and to share with one another the hope that we all must have to face the coming days. We all bear witness to our persistence and valiant spirit to keep alive the legacy of gathering all LMC Practitioners to share and learn from one another the valuable lessons in improving workplace relations in the midst of the pandemic,” says Executive Director Lacsamana-Cancio.

ED Cancio paid tribute to the LMC organizations across Luzon for joining the Search for Outstanding LMC for Industrial Peace despite concerns on company viability and sustainability amid the pandemic, saying, “Indeed, cooperation and partnership are never seasonal but enduring and endless.”

Citing the strong alliance of the NCMB and the PHILAMCOP, ED Cancio said that the unwavering commitment of the NCMB and the PHILAMCOP to assist the workers and employers in this unfamiliar journey of battling the effects of a global pandemic in the workplace continues to this day and the years ahead. Such is the “true essence and meaning of both the NCMB and the PHILAMCOP – unyielding, dauntless, purposeful. And this is also exactly what we want our LMC practitioners to be – determined, persevering, unwavering”, ED Cancio concluded.

In his Keynote Message, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III commended the PHILAMCOP and the NCMB for working together to continuously promote and enhance industrial harmony in the country through the conduct of various advocacy programs among the member-companies.

“This year’s convention on Labor-Management Cooperation, which focuses on the theme, “Continuing Labor-Management Partnership: Conquering and Living with COVID-19”, is proof of the persistent efforts and undaunted spirit of PHILAMCOP and NCMB in keeping the tradition of engaging LMC practitioners into meaningful and fruitful dialogues to improve workplace practices amid the pandemic,” Secretary Bello III said.

He also extended his praise to the companies for taking care of their people and the workers, employees, and unions for respecting and understanding the conditions and circumstances of their employers.

“I hope that this will serve as an inspiration for other businesses to step up with their labor-management strategies. More creative and better solutions could be generated if labor and management would bank on their ability to harmonize LMC strategies and address pandemic-related conflicts,” says Secretary Bello III.

He emphasized that maintaining industrial harmony between the labor and employment sectors is one of the main focuses of the current administration, even more so now that we are in the midst of a health pandemic.

“With your inputs and cooperation, we hope to create and push for more policies that will benefit both key sectors and maintain industrial peace in the country,” he added.

In closing, Secretary Bello said that he looks forward to meeting everyone physically at the upcoming 13th National Convention on LMC in 2022 with the hope that the COVID-19 pandemic would be over by then, and most importantly, he look forward to a strengthened labor-management cooperation among key players in the sector despite the challenges we face today.

As part of the activity, the Awarding of the Luzon Group Regional Search Winners of the Search for Outstanding Labor-Management Cooperation and the Search for Outstanding Grievance Machinery for Industrial Peace was presented to the participants showcasing a glimpse of how these companies were able to survive during the pandemic through LMC.

Aside from the Awarding of the Regional Winners, the activity was filled with valuable sharing of information from the esteemed resource speakers from the public and private sectors who discussed the topics on DOLE Issuances related to COVID-19 pandemic and Mental Well-Being during the pandemic.

Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) Chief of the Policy and Program Development Division Mr. Nicanor V. Bon discussed the Updates on DOLE Issuances and Advisories related to COVID-19, while Ms. Cielo Marte Presas, a Life Coach, talked about Mental Well-being and Coping During COVID-19, pointing out the importance of having a healthy state of mind during these trying times.

NCMB Deputy Executive Director IV Teresita E. Audea concluded the activity with a heartfelt gratitude to the participants for joining the activity and stressed that their attendance is indeed a signal that cooperation and partnership are never seasonal.

“The theme of this Cluster Convention, “Continuing Labor-Management Partnership: Conquering and Living with COVID-19” aptly describes the important role of Labor-Management Cooperation in the workplace. It is the venue to which the Labor and Management partnership continues to mature and grow particularly in the time of COVID-19”, she added.

Finally, she further conveyed her appreciation and gratitude to the NCMB and PHILAMCOP officers and staff who are behind the success of the 2021 Luzon Cluster Convention on Labor-Management Cooperation.

END/ Pia Bianca B. Sambrano