Executive Director IV Maria Teresita D. Lacsamana-Cancio paid tribute to the beginnings of the Board during the 33rd founding anniversary celebration of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board held on 4 January 2021.
With the pandemic taking over economic activities across the country, Cancio looked back at the Board’s roots and urged its officials and employees to remain steadfast in their resolve to help and be a lifeline to the workers and businesses during uncertain times.
“It all circles back to when the Board was created in 1988,” Former NCMB Executive Director Buenaventura C. Magsalin recalled.
The challenges that the country faced in 1988 have caused the creation of the NCMB.
Much like the concerns that the labor force is facing now, the labor department is now focusing on giving relief and providing assistance to workers displaced by the pandemic.
The Board, as a pillar of industrial peace, actively responded to the needs of the time and promoted bipartite social dialogue in the workplace for businesses to cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and help preserve employment of workers through its conciliation-mediation services and Labor Management Cooperation. The Board has migrated workspaces and services online to ensure clients of continuous service delivery. In June 2020, the Regional Branches started conducting free labor education webinars.
Former Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma commended the Board for enduring problems and concerns that the pandemic has brought in labor relations.
“The pandemic has put NCMB into a severe stress test in so far as its role in addressing the problems or concerns of the unions and that of business organization and employer,” he said.
“Fortunately for NCMB, it has survived but not without pain, not without heartaches and not without headaches,” he added.
Laguesma also underscored that while incorporating new approaches and techniques in handling labor disputes are important, he reminded the Board that traditional ways of handling labor-management disputes remain relevant.
Bello lauded the Board and its employees for its commitment to excellent service towards its clientele.
“Crisis notwithstanding, there is no reason for us to be deterred in providing efficient and effective service for the promotion of the rights and welfare of all our Filipino people,” Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello, III said.
The founding anniversary celebration was held through video conferencing application Zoom and was attended by senior officials of the DOLE, previous leadership of the NCMB, and the officials and employees of the Board.
END/ Gillian Pearl L. Guerrero