GOOD NEWS

National Conciliation and Mediation Board

Regional Branch No. 5

05 April 2021

Webinar on Safe Spaces Act enhances LMC and GM programs of companies

Legazpi City – A webinar that tackled Republic Act No. 11313 otherwise known as the Safe Spaces Act, also dubbed as the Bawal Bastos Act was facilitated by the Branch on 23 March 2021 via Zoom App.

The activity was joined by 85 participants composed of 64 from companies with programs on Labor and Management Cooperation (LMC) and Grievance Machinery (GM), 10 from establishments without LMC yet, one (1) labor organization representative, and 10 officers and staff of the Regional Branch 5 of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board. 

Supervising LEO Josephine Amaranto gave an overview of the activity, thanking the participants for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend the seminar.  She emphasized that the activity was conducted in celebration of Women’s Month.  It intends to address existing gaps and issues on equality and safety of both women and men in private and public spaces.  She stressed that the activity is intended to enhance the LMC and GM mechanisms in their respective workplaces.  She underscored the expectations of learning the difference between sexual harassment under RA 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 and RA 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act.  She said that by the end of the webinar, the participants will be able to know who can file a complaint and who has responsibility to protect anyone including the implementing rules and regulations of the Act.

In his opening remarks, Regional Branch Director Reynaldo Foncardas highlighted the importance of RA 11313 especially for every woman to know their rights.  He likewise underscored the relevance of the seminar to a harmonious workplace relationship considering the significance of the topic.  He also thanked the social partners’ cooperation in the activities of the Branch.

Before the start of the lecture proper, a 16-minute pre-recorded audio-video and voice-over presentation of NCMB programs and services was shown as an added promotion regarding the Board’s mandate and activities.

The main speaker on the topic regarding RA 11313 was Atty. Norly Palima Reyes, Associate Dean of the Bicol University College of Law, Legazpi City.  He is also the University’s Chief Administrative Officer.  He finished his Master of Laws at the University of South Wales in United Kingdom while he completed his Master of Public Administration at Bicol University College of Business Economics and Management.  He graduated cum laude in his Bachelor of Laws degree at Bicol College, College of Law and also cum laude in his Bachelor of Arts major in Political Science at Bicol University College of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

Atty. Reyes’ work experiences include as Bicol University’s Board Secretary, Legal Counsel and Consultant, Associate, part-time as well as affiliate professional lecturer, and legal/para-legal researcher.  He can also claim legal right to seven (7) copyrighted works.  He has attended several trainings and seminars to national/regional and local as well as international levels.  He received several baccalaureate accolades along with professional awards.

Before starting his lecture, Atty. Reyes expressed his gratitude to the Branch especially to Director Foncardas for inviting him as the speaker on a virtual forum.  He likewise expressed that Bicol University particularly the College of Law is very much willing to partner with NCMB on how it can provide better services in terms of seminars and trainings particularly on enhancing or improving labor and management relations considering that they have already established their Legal Clinic.

He also mentioned as a word of encouragement to the participants, that NCMB plays a very crucial role in the maintenance of labor and management relations so he advised to avail of the services of the Board especially in sustaining industrial peace.

 He then discussed The Salient Points of the Act.  His methodology is to discuss the definition of terms or the major topics first then cites examples for each of the situation, or plays a video relating to the topic on hand.  Sometimes, he inserts anecdotes and comic stories interspersed between topics that made his lecture interesting and retention of information is high for the listeners.

Atty. Reyes encouraged the company representatives to set-up their Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) to address the issues regarding sexual harassment.  This was also emphasized during the closing remarks wherein they can set-up their CODI as a sub-committee of their LMC or under the Grievance Machinery committee.

At the end of the session, the participants gave an overall excellent rating to the Resource Person including the contents of the presentation materials, the length of the seminar, methodology, as well as the usefulness of the topic. – fin.

Prepared by:

EFLEDA A. HOURANI                                           

Senior LEO/LIO-designate                                    

APPROVED:           

REYNALDO S. FONCARDAS

Regional Branch Director