Thursday, March 6, 2008


What is the NCMB?

We shall take off from a recall of our past discussion. Within SLU, a case may be settled through the grievance procedure as shown in these steps:

1. Filing of the letter of complaint to the UFESLU President by an employee
A letter of complaint is filed by an employee (addressed to the UFESLU President) and against SLU for interpretation of the CBA or interpretation of any of the rules and regulations in the University.
2. Clearing Meeting
The UFESLU schedules a Clearing Meeting with the SLU Administration. The Clearing Meeting is an informal meeting of the parties to determine the issues and to attempt to arrive at a settlement of the case.
3. Grievance Meeting
If the case is not settled in the Clearing Meeting, the case is elevated to the Grievance Meeting which is a more formal meeting of the parties to discuss the legal implications of the issues and to attempt to arrive at a settlement of the case.
4. UFESLU Files a case to the NCMB
If the parties fail to arrive at a settlement of the issues in the Grievance Meeting, the UFESLU will now file a case in behalf of the employee to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB).

Now, the NCMB…

The National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) is a part (attached agency) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the other agency being the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). To illustrate,

DOLE l----- NCMB

But these two agencies – NCMB and NLRC – have different issues that they handle. The issues that may be brought before the NLRC will be discussed later.

No employee can directly file a case against an employee to the NCMB. The case must FIRST pass through the Grievance Procedure outlined in the CBA before it can go to the NCMB.
As the term implies, the function of the NCMB is mediation (arbitration) and conciliation.

Conciliation is done by the Head of the NCMB. In this stage, the parties are compelled to appear before the Head of the NCMB for possible settlement. Should this fail, the case goes to mediation or arbitration.

In the arbitration stage, a voluntary arbiter (VA) is selected by mutual agreement of the parties to mediate and render a decision based on an impartial appreciation of the facts. The NCMB has a list of accredited voluntary arbitrators (AVA) where the parties can select. The AVA renders a decision similar to a judge.

If one of the parties does not accept the decision of the AVA, he/she may appeal to the Court of Appeals (CA). From the CA, appeal may be made to the Supreme Court (SC).

The NCMB is located at the Benitez Court, Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio City (in front of AMA Computer School).

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


For all those men who say, Why buy a cow when you can get milk for free. Here's an update for you: Nowadays, 80% of women are against marriage, WHY? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.
Men are like....

1. Men are like .. Laxatives .... They irritate the crap out of you.

2. Men are like.Bananas The older they get, the less firm they are.

3. Men are like Weather Nothing can be done to change them.

4. Men are like .... Blenders You need One, but you're not quite sure why.

5. Men are like ....Chocolate Bars Sweet, smooth, & they usually head right to your hips.

6. Men are like ... Commercials ..... You can't believe a word they say.

7. Men are like Department Stores Their clothes are always 1/2 off!

8. Men are like ...... Government Bonds .... They take soooooooo long to mature.

9. Men are like ..... Mascara They usually run at the first sign of emotion.

10. Men are like Popcorn .. They satisfy you, but only for a little while.

11. Men are like Snowstorms You never know when they're coming, how many inches you'll get or how long it will last.

12. Men are like Lava Lamps Fun to look at, but not very bright.

13. Men are like Parking Spots All the good ones are taken, the rest are handicapped.

Sound of Silence?

Habang ang karamihan ng mga eskwelahan at mga unibersidad sa bansa, kasama na ang sister school nating University of Saint Louis sa Cagayan at iba pang premyadong catholic universities, ay kumikilos at ipinadarama ang kanilang damdamin ukol sa isyung politikal na mainit ngayon nakakapagtataka na ang mga taga-SLU ay tahimik na nagmamasid lang sa tabi.

Ayon sa isang reliable source, dating aktibista raw ang ating presidente. Ang tanong ko lang po bakit kaya parang iniiwasan nya ang mga isyung politikal na kahit man lang pagusapan sa unibersidad ay di pinapayagan?

Maalala ko na noong kasagsagan ng panawagan ng mga taong magbitiw ang dating pangulong Estrada noong 2001 kaisa ang mga estudyante at mga guro ng SLU na lumabas sa lansangan para iparating ang kanilang saloobin ukol dito. Bakit ngayon tahimik tayo? Ano ang nagbago? Mas malala pa nga ang administrasyong Arroyo. Bakit di man lang tayo kumibo?

Sana ay magising na tayo. Ipakita natin hindi lang sa mga taga-Baguio at buong Pilipinas kundi lalung lalo na sa mga estudyante natin na tayo ay may malasakit sa bayan. Hindi ko naman sinasabing tayo ay magrally rin o kaya'y hingin ang pagbibitiw ng pangulong Arroyo. Kahit man lang sabihin na sinusuprtahan sya. Ang importante ay magsalita tayo.

Kailan natin babasagin ang ating katahimikan? Ika nga ng isang blog dito sa ating site: MGA LOUISIANS MANINDIGAN!

Moral thresholds

Emerging for a press conference in MalacaƱang last Monday, Mr. Romulo Neri was suddenly very voluble, apparently immensely pleased with the rationalization of himself that he has come up with, to wit, that his actions in permitting “grossly overpriced” government procurement contracts characterized by “massive kickbacks” were justified so that he could remain in government and reform it from within. Ah, that’s some load of bovine manure that you are trying to dump on the public, Mr. Neri. Shame on you.

I think that Mr. Neri – who kept signing off on patently anomalous deals because they had influential “political sponsors” – should just admit that he finds the thought of being excluded from the walkways of power so horrible that he has lost all sense of moral proportion. He should spare us, please, the diagrams and email blasts that try to paint him as a crusading knight trying to hold back the “oligarchic” forces of darkness that would unconscionably steal from the struggling poor of this country. That line collapses with the revelation of his friend and erstwhile consultant, Engineer Rodolfo Lozada Jr., that Mr. Neri asked him, as a condition for testifying, to “raise patriotic money from those ready to help him have a new source of livelihood” in a post-Arroyo government. Patriotic money? That makes Mr. Neri positively mercenary. What makes him pathetic is that, while he cannot even deny outright having said (or thought) that Mrs. Arroyo is “evil”, he still tries to curry her favor by saying weakly that he doesn’t remember having said so.

It is, actually, incredible that Mr. Neri does not seem to realize that even more problematic for us than the “oligarchs” he says he is focused on are the supposed professionals like himself who do not have the moral backbone to do what is right by the public they swore to serve and, instead, pathetically rationalize what is perniciously and wickedly wrong. That oligarchs and rent-seeking businessmen will try to obtain from government – by fair means or foul – deals profitable to them and disadvantageous to the public at large must be a given: this is what men of immoderate greed do, and such vulgar men exist in every society. But, the role of public servants like Mr. Neri is, precisely, to prevent such deals from taking place and to see to it that the public interest is protected from any would-be plunderers.

In Mr. Neri’s case, his function as economic planning chief was specifically to determine which projects would advance the public interest and which ones would not. He was supposed to be the public’s sentry at the gate, but I suspect that he quickly forgot that he was supposed to hold the gate closed against pillaging bandidos when he found that he enjoyed it more if he held the gate open so that the rampaging cowboys could pat his head as they galloped past with all the treasures they filched from a now unprotected public.

Mr. Neri’s diagram about the “oligarchs’ control of the Philippine economy and President Arroyo’s dependence on the oligarchs, the military, and local government units for her political survival” is, frankly, sophomoric and dated. What he appears to have only now discovered has been the situation in this country since its independence and this lecture has been given to numerous generations of students of history, political science, business, and economics. But that situation (if I might lecture Mr. Neri) has evolved over the years. To cite one major source of change, globalization and open borders have already diminished greatly the power of any local oligarchies where markets are generally free of artificial barriers to entry. But, artificial barriers to entry continue to be created by government bureaucrats who are actively bought and “captured” by vested interests. These captured bureaucrats are also the main gapangeros in rigging public bidding exercises for any juicy government procurement.

To cite another change, although large legitimate business enterprises continue to be an important source of campaign contributions for political candidates, the concededly much more important source today of such contributions is the undocumented cash generated by illegal activities like the jueteng, drugs, and smuggling rackets. Thus, the clear and present danger for us is not a political structure controlled by legitimate business enterprises, but one controlled by jueteng operators, drug dealers, and smugglers.

Thus is government our real problem. Government functionaries, like the disappointing Mr. Neri, allow themselves to be captured by politicos and their cronies and used as instruments for furthering private interests. This makes them dangerous enemies of the people because they pretend to be looking out for our interests while helping thieves pick our pockets. The problem of our government is that even career government bureaucrats who do not now participate in such thievery keep silent and thus passively allow such goings-on. Since career bureaucrats cannot be fired from their civil service jobs anyway – they can only be put in the “freezer”, their powers clipped – when they refuse to cooperate and blow the whistle on irregularities, it would seem that the lure of power today trumps any moral imperatives. This is such a tragedy.

Moral thresholds are, I think, at the heart of the issue regarding the level of corruption in our society in general and the amount of plunder going on in the Arroyo government in particular. The moral threshold of Mr. Lozada was crossed by the sheer garapalan of the National Broadband deal. Mr. Neri, by obviously enjoying his TV-filmed walk with Mrs. Arroyo and her Cabinet, is telling us that his line is nowhere near being crossed. He has selected a side and it is certainly not the side of the Filipino public.

The great political economist Adam Smith wrote, referring to those in government, that “Such people, as they themselves produce nothing, are all maintained by the produce of other men’s labour.” I wonder if Mr. Neri understands the meaning of this and comprehends the harm his misplaced moral threshold is doing us all.

Galing ng Filipino

In a New York sidewalk, a Filipino is
enjoying a hearty breakfast "
coffee, croissants, toast, butter,
jam, etc.

When an American, chewing gum, sits
next to him and starts an unwanted
conversa tion..

Americ an: You Filipinos eat the whole

Filipino : Of course!

Ameri can: ( Blowing bubbles with his
gum) We don't. In the States we
only eat what's inside. The crust we
collect in a container, recycle,
rebake them into croissants and sell
them to the Philippines .

American: Do ya eat jam with bread?

Filipi no : Of course!

Ameri can: (Chuckling and crackling his
gum between his teeth) We
don't. In the States, we eat fruit at
breakfast, put all the peels,
seeds and leftovers into containers,
recyc le them into jam and sell it
to the Philippines .

Filipino : Do you have sex in America ?

American: Of course, we do!

Filipino : What do you do with the

American: We throw them,
of course!

Filip ino : We don't. In the
Philippines , we put them into
containers,recycle them, melt them down into
chewing gums and sell it to
America .



This article hopes to answer as simply as possible the questions: “What would you do…

(1) if there is a case filed against you by SLU, or
(2) if a co-employee files a case against you, or
(3) if you want to file a case against SLU or
(4) if you want to file a case against a co-employee.

Under labor law, these are the possible places (venue) where a case between an employer and an employee case can be heard.

1. The Grievance Procedure under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
2. The Regional Office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
3. The National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC)
4. The National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB)

The agencies above have different jurisdictions. Meaning, a case cannot be filed with one agency if the case is not part of its power to decide. We shall then discuss the jurisdiction of the above-mentioned agencies.

I. The Grievance Procedure in the CBA

Simply put, the Grievance Procedure in the CBA is a remedy where the case must first be tried to be solved within the University before it goes to another agency outside of the University. This means that the grievance is more of an internal settlement of a case.

Not all cases can be put to the grievance procedure. It is only when the issue INVOLVES (1) the INTERPRETATION of the CBA; (2) the interpretation of school regulations and policies that the case can be put under the grievance. For example, if an employee believes that the evaluation tool is subjective, this may be brought before the grievance. Also, if the employee has questions on an interpretation of a provision of the faculty manual or non-teaching manual, this may be brought before the grievance.

How is the grievance procedure done? The grievance starts when an employee files a letter of complaint addressed to the President of the UFESLU. The UFESLU President then schedules a CLEARING MEETING where the representatives of the SLU Management and the UFESLU meet. The Clearing meeting, as the first step, is quite informal since its aim is to arrive at a possible settlement. The SLU Administration is usually represented by the three vice-presidents and the Personnel Officer. The UFESLU is represented by the President and the Secretary-General. The complainants may appear in this meeting.

If the case is not settled in the Clearing Meeting, the case goes to the GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE MEETING which is a formal meeting of the parties. The SLU Administration is represented by the SLU Legal Officer. The UFESLU is represented by the President and the UFESLU legal counsel. The parties will also still aim to settle the issue at this stage.

If the issue is not solved in favor of the employee in the Grievance Committee Meeting, the case goes out of the University and the UFESLU will now file a case (in behalf of the employee) to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB).

(Next issue, what is the NCMB?)