Being in a labor dispute sometimes comes with injustices and most of the time, the employees are the aggrieved party. Unjust compensation, violation of safety protocols for workers, contractualization, illegal dismissal, and non-payment or underpayment are some of the most common complaints of employees.
Good for you, you don’t need to flick through thick books of labor code and read overwhelming law books to know what you should do to file a complaint. If you are thinking of bringing the issue to Tulfo, well, you should probably withdraw that idea because he is not the face of the Philippine justice system. Do not bring the attention to media because, in the end, they will just refer you to the concerned agencies
The best thing to do is to refer the case to DOLE, an agency that regulates labor and employment issues. Here are the procedures explained simply for you from which steps and procedures are divided into two parts.
Filing Complaints and Cases
Since we are in the middle of a public health crisis, DOLE implemented an alternative way which is online filing through their online portal. Below are the steps on how to process your request.
Go to sena.dole.gov.ph. Click “SUBMIT REQUEST” and fill out the Request for Assistance Form which is divided into four parts.
- Part 1: Requesting Party (Dumudulog na Partido). The first part of the RFA is your personal details. Fill it out first and make sure to remember the information that you input because an assistance desk officer will ask for its confirmation once your complaint was reviewed. Also, make sure to input a working e-mail address because they will be sending you a confirmation.
- Part 2: Responding Party (Inirereklamong Partido). In this portion, you have to input the information about the responding party. Aside from this, there is a part wherein you have to briefly discuss the action taken at the company level and complaints at another office/agency, which are both optional.
There is also a long list of claims/issues to choose from and a required brief discussion of the issue. You will be advised to choose the nearest office where you will file your complaint. Then, the last portion is choosing the conference type whether it will be face-to-face or teleconferencing (via Zoom, FB Messenger, Google Meet, and Phone Call).
- Part 3: Declaration. In this part, a prompt will appear assuring that the information that you submitted are true. Tick the small box and click “SUBMIT.”
- Part 4: Confirmation. In this part, another prompt will appear, declaring that your RFA was successfully submitted. It will also show the reference number for your request. Make sure to keep a copy of your reference number for future transactions with DOLE.
- An e-mail will be sent to you for confirmation and you will wait for your designated assistance officer to review your request. Once reviewed, a SEnA desk officer will contact you and will ask for some personal details that you submitted.
If you want to go to their office personally, get a printed copy of RFA form and fill it out. The office might also ask you for a letter of complaint. To speed up the transaction, make sure to know all the details that are being asked in the form. But, our great advice for now is to resort to the online process for your own convenience and safety.
Procedures and Timeline
Accomplish the request form is just a baby step towards the real procedures on how to deal with the complaints. Once you are given a chance to have a conference to settle your concerns, here are the usual procedures along with the timeline.
- Once your complaint was submitted, the Administrative Complaints Committee (ACC) will evaluate if the complaint is justifiable and substantial enough within at least five (5) working days.
- After evaluating, the ACC will be given three (3) days to decide on the matter. If no, that simply means that your complaint will be dismissed.
- If yes, then they will conduct a preliminary investigation about the issue within eight (8) days from its receipt of the complaint. Then, it shall be terminated within 30 days
- From the termination date, the ACC shall submit the complete records of the case to the disciplining authority, Preliminary Investigation Record, and recommendation.
- If the complaint is considered valid enough, then it would be the time that you will file a formal charge through writing against the other party within seven (7) days from the receipt.
- Lastly, the complainant will decide if he/she wants to push a formal investigation and should have a notice whether he/she is entitled to be assisted by a counsel of his/her choice.
Although these written steps and procedures are easy to comprehend, you should still brace yourself for some stressors ahead. Filing a complaint is not easy as 123 most especially that it is under the jurisdiction of a government agency. It requires effort, patience, and sometimes money which you may find inconvenient. Also, there are times that the process lasts for months that is why you need to be patient enough to wait.
Indeed, filing a complaint at a government agency demands time but it is much better than settling to Tulfo’s action because, in the end, it would still be the agencies concerned with the issue who will be handling the complaints. Also, the whole nation does not need to know about your issues so better keep them between you and DOLE.
Today, complaining to the right agency is just one click away but make sure that you hold credibility to stand with what you believe in. It is not enough that you are just brave. You also have to be honest, firm, and reliable enough to discuss and settle matters with the other party.