Metro Manila – In an effort to strengthen the collaboration and cooperation between the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), the NCMB conducted a two-day training with PEZA frontliners on Conciliation/Mediation Techniques (both Basic and Advanced) last 9-10 February 2021 and 15-16 February 2021, respectively, via Zoom. The activities aim to maintain industrial harmony within the economic zones in the country.

The training was attended by PEZA front liners, such as Economic Zone Administrators (EZAs), Deputy EZAs, Economic Zone Managers (EZMs), and Industrial Relations Officers, to name a few. The PEZA front liners are the ones who usually first take cognizance of the labor issues/complaints at the zone level. Thus, it is essential to equip the afore-mentioned participants with the necessary knowledge and skills in handling labor issues/complaints, as well as develop and/or enhance their skills in conciliation-mediation.

The first training held on 9-10 February 2021 tackled various topics such as Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) framework, Conciliation-Mediation processes and techniques, and Single-Entry Approach (SEnA) procedures, with Executive Director Maria Teresita D. Lacsamana-Cancio, Deputy Executive Director Teresita E. Audea, and Director Atty. Ronda D. Malimban as resource speakers. On top of the training, a mock conciliation-mediation was held on the second day to further assess their learnings and guide the participants thoroughly.

“Collaboration is a big step towards ensuring effective service to companies and workers who have both endured trials and difficulties of all kinds due to COVID-19 pandemic. The global pandemic has caused untold sufferings to our workers and employers, thus they deserve all the excellent service at all times. It is imperative that we all put our acts together to serve them better”, Executive Director Cancio said during the opening session. She added that if the Board could preserve jobs and help improve terms of employment, then the Board would have done a great achievement for its clientele.

On the other hand, the second training held on 15-16 February 2021 explored topics on Enhancing communication skills and techniques on conciliation-mediation, and Writing Minutes and Agreements – all conducted together with corresponding training exercises and mock demonstration as well. The second training was spearheaded by Deputy Executive Directors Teresita E. Audea and Maria Cristina O. Mangaliman.

On both occasions, the Director General of PEZA, BGen Charito B. Plaza, gave a message to the participants of the training. In her message, she emphasized that, “the collaborative efforts of NCMB and PEZA to conduct training on conciliation and mediation is an opportune time to fortify one’s knowledge and learn new techniques in conciliation-mediation processes, as well as conflict management and ADR. The workshop will serve as a great stepping stone in enabling the participants with the necessary knowledge to maintain a workplace conducive to economic efficiency and increased productivity”.

Deputy Executive Director Audea shared that collaboration with economic zones was further reinforced when the Board and PEZA agreed to conduct training for PEZA officers. “We have learned so much from the challenging labor disputes filed with PEZA. Now that we have trained you, you will now experience what we have gone through. You should learn to analyze and use conciliation and mediation tools when communicating with our clients” DED Audea said during the closing ceremony.

The successful run of the training gave the Board the opportunity to share the wonder and efficacy of conciliation-mediation with people who share the same aspiration of ensuring settlement of disputes between workers and management in a most cordial way. This is in line with the Board’s advocacy on ADR and the maintenance of stable labor-management relations.