Press Release
Regional Branch No. 02
May 28, 2020


Tuguegarao City. As the world approaches the “new normal” with strict quarantine or lockdown measures imposed in almost all corners of the world due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board – Regional Conciliation and Mediation Branch (NCMB-RCMB2) is bracing for an extraordinarily challenging year.

RCMB2 is taking into account measures that are put in place in light of the public health emergency. Director Gil Caragayan stressed during a staff meeting, “While the need to report back to office is urgent, we have to be extra careful because a second wave of the COVID-19 will be costlier. Carrying out strict safety and sanitation measures will help us manage these risks.”

He added, “Our cooperation in observing the new protocols is a necessary element in shifting the office into the new normal. Being a public servant is a challenging task especially because the enemy is invisible.”

Meanwhile, the limited mobility of workers and employers from organized and unorganized establishments within and outside the region did not hinder the branch to respond, via cellphones, to their queries concerning the Department of Labor and Employment’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program, payment of holiday pay, legality of reduction of work hours, and the like.

On Thursday, May 21, the NCMB Central Office briefed the RCMB2 to utilize online services for clients needing assistance through the use of teleconferencing, online videos, live streaming and pre-taped seminars to supplement the regular activities in promoting the Board’s alternative modes of dispute settlement. In her recent memorandum, NCMB executive director Maria Teresita L. Cancio said, “These online systems will also serve as a venue of addressing workplace issues.” . “The system set by the Board will not only ensure the safety and health of our clients but more importantly, they are meant to enhance their knowledge and their productive capacity even in the absence of physically attending to them.”

Caragayan expressed that in general, the Board is concerned about the travelling of its technical employees to the workplaces of the clients vice versa the employers and workers to the branch while COVID-19 remains a threat. He added that full cooperation in observing the new protocols will eliminate risks in the NCMB branches and the respective workplaces of the clients.