The year 2020 marks the 32nd year anniversary since the National Conciliation and Mediation Board was established back in 1988.
A simple celebration was held on 6 January 2020 to commemorate the occasion which began with the celebration of the holy mass. Former colleagues and guests together with the Board’s senior officials and staff from the Central Office and nearby branches (RCMBs NCR, III, IV-A and IV-B) met at the NCMB-CO to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of NCMB. The occasion was also attended by former DOLE Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma and Undersecretary Rebecca C. Chato.
Through the years, the Board has continued to sustain its efforts towards maintaining a stable and peaceful industrial relations climate in the country despite the changing and challenging labor management scenarios brought about by contractualization.
In his message, Secretary Laguesma reminisced how the Board was then from the past, the struggles with only a meager budget to deal with an average of 10 actual strikes per day. But with his two (2) deputy administrators Atty. Buenaventura C. Magsalin and former Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz coupled with their commitment and passion to their work, they were able to confront the odds and earned prestigious awards such as the Special Presidential Award conferred by President Corazon C. Aquino in 1989, DOLE Special Award and Sikap-Gawa Award for Industrial Peace by the Bishop-Businessmen’s Conference of the Philippines in 1991.
Secretary Laguesma advised the Board to be more proactive in their mission to sustain industrial peace and achieve a balance in handling disputes. In addition, he urged the Board to be ahead of the people representing employers/ employees. “Do not try to hide incompetence by favoring workers. We have to internalize the characteristics/qualities of a good conciliator-mediator beyond what we know. All conciliator-mediators should acquire values that has no Non-sense commitment, is Competent, has Mastery of the case and is a Builder of Relationship or Bridge-Maker. Conciliator-mediators should innovate while staying true with the general guideline. Go beyond the qualities that need to be learned,” Secretary Laguesma said.
Meanwhile, former Undersecretary Chato advised the Board to be prepared to face the challenges confronting labor relations. With the increasing labor disputes with contractualization issues, it will be difficult for NCMB to resolve the issue because the Board has no jurisdiction to decide. However, she pointed out that these can be discussed also in LMC mechanism. “NCMB is the heart of social dialogue. You are inside the workplace. Also, advocate grievance as HR tool not as a step towards voluntary arbitration. Voluntary arbitration should evolve,” USEC Chato said.
In her response, Executive Director Maria Teresita D. Lacsamana Cancio expressed her gratitude to the great pillars of the NCMB for their unending support and guidance. She encouraged the NCMB senior officials and personnel to be prepared to meet and cope with the challenges. ““The tasks and the challenges before us are enormous and we could only deliver and effectively address the challenges and problems if we are prepared,” Exec. Director Cancio said. “Policy directions never change, only the strategies differ to cope with the demands of the changing times especially in the promotion of LMC and GM programs. Encourage parties to go back to negotiating table through LMC and GM,” she added.
Having reached its 32nd year, the Board’s achievement has been built on trust, pride, professionalism, competence, passion and a commitment to its mandate. NCMB is an organization with plans and ambitions for further growth, where it will keep looking at the future but not forgetting its past.