Metro Manila – The key to a successful and effective advocacy program is keeping the technical frontline officers fully capacitated and competent. Thus, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), with its vision of becoming the center of excellence in enhancing harmonious relationships in every workplace, conducted its first face-to-face Trainers’ Training for LMC and GM implementers after two years of remote learning.

Held at Hotel Lucky Chinatown, Manila from 16-20 May 2022, the training was attended by 60 technical and administrative staff from the 16 Regional Conciliation and Mediation Branches (RCMBs) and the Central Office. The participants were expected to learn and relearn the ins and outs of the processes in the implementation of Labor-Management Cooperation (LMC), Grievance Machinery (GM) and Voluntary Arbitration (VA) programs of the Board, and the standard operating procedures (SOP) of the said programs in preparation for the Board-wide Quality Management System (QMS).

The activity commenced with a welcome message from NCMB Executive Director IV Maria Teresita D. Lacsamana-Cancio, stressing the significance of this year’s training as the topics focused intensively on the core aspects of LMC/GM and VA. She added that more than the numbers, the Board gives utmost importance to the impact of the advocacies and interventions of the Board through the RCMBs and how these translate to the maintenance of industrial peace in the country.

Following ED Cancio’s welcome remarks was PCW’s Certified National Trainer Ms. Renifer R. Francisco’s lecture on Gender Sensitivity and Use of Gender Fair Language which accentuated the use of gender-fair language in communication to avoid bias towards a particular sex or social gender. She provided tips on how to create an inclusive and gender-transformative workplace that is free from prejudices and discrimination.

As has always been the practice, the training was a venue for an all-encompassing discourse on LMC, GM and VA programs. The Central Office personnel who acted as the Resource Speakers delivered in-depth discussions on the Standard Procedures and Reporting Forms for the flagship programs (LMC, GM, VA), Essentials of Narrative Report Writing, Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution System (ADRIS), Review of LMC and GM/VA Monitoring and Evaluation, Appreciation of VA Decisions, Orders and Resolutions, and Understanding the Affirmation and Reversal of VA Decisions and Consultation/Discussion on Common Issues and Concerns in Monitoring VA Cases.

In their discussion of the Standard Procedures and Reporting Forms for LMC, GM and VA, Mses. Pia Bianca B. Sambrano and Jinky Mae I. Arquero gave emphasis on the importance of complying with the requirements of the QMS by following the step-by-step process and the interface documents enumerated in the Standard Procedures. Whereas on the subject Essentials of Narrative Report Writing, Chief LEOs Julie F. Rodriguez and Atty. Kim Marie M. Roque-Aquino tackled the structure and components of a good narrative report. The speakers likewise shared practical tips on effective narrative writing.

To measure the participants’ understanding of the topic, a writing workshop was conducted wherein their learnings were applied in identifying common errors and deficiencies in their Narrative Reports and in revising the reports accordingly. Presentation and critiquing of outputs followed.

Research and Information Division (RID) Chief Marife E. Fausto and RID Statistician Mr. Ianne R. Go provided an introduction to ADRIS centering on the basic user interface and operation of the Board’s new information system. Participants were able to have a glimpse of the case recording and management system for both conciliation-mediation and voluntary arbitration programs prior to its official launching and users’ training in the second quarter of this year.

On the review of LMC and GM/VA Monitoring and Evaluation, Ms. Joy F. Parayno and Mr. Justito L. Fadriquela III focused their discussion on the information vital to the monitoring and analysis of LMC, GM and VA data submitted by the RCMBs. In their presentations, the participants were apprised of how their reports are being encoded, monitored, evaluated, validated and generated into a Major Final Output (MFO) report. To harmonize the databases used by the RCMBs, a template was provided to establish uniformity in storing data.

Voluntary Arbitration Division Chief Atty. Kim Marie M. Roque-Aquino discussed the topic on Appreciation of VA Decisions, Orders and Resolutions, and Understanding the Affirmation and Reversal of VA Decisions. In her presentation, Atty. Aquino reminded the participants that familiarity with the reporting process and interface documents is not enough to produce accurate reports. She emphasized the importance of ensuring the correctness and uniformity of the participants’ interpretation of the data being encoded in the VA reports.

A whole day was dedicated to the Sharing of Success Stories in the Promotion of LMC and GM Programs which highlighted the best practices and strategies of RCMBs. They identified key strategies such as convergence, collaboration, smart targeting, consistent follow-up, showcasing of best practices of existing LMCs and GMs, and continuous support and value-added service.

In closing, Deputy Executive Director (DED) Teresita E. Audea commended the efforts of the RCMBs in the promotion of the Board’s core programs which were evidenced by the showcasing of each region’s success stories. She underscored the readiness of the RCMBs to adapt to the Bord-wide Quality Management System since the standard operating procedures presented during the training have long been observed in the RCMBs.
Lastly, DED Audea expressed her gratitude to the participants and further stressed the value of teamwork and coordination to achieve full ISO certification of the Board and its regional branches, hopefully by October 2022. The awarding of certificates of participation and post-test and evaluation followed to conclude the 5-day training.
Indeed, this year’s Trainers’ Training for NCMB Program Implementers was a culmination of the collective efforts and successes that the Board and its 16 regional branches have gone through amidst the challenges of the pandemic.

END/ Pia Bianca B. Sambrano and Justito L. Fadriquella III