Quick Overview of the Differences among DOLE, NLRC, NCMB, and BLR
They cannot be blamed considering that only a few practitioners understand the scope, jurisdiction, and functions of each government office.
DOLE stands for Department of Labor and Employment. NLRC stands for National Labor Relations Commission, NCMB stands for National Conciliation and Mediation Board, and the BLR stands form Bureau of Labor Relations.
The DOLE is the national government agency mandated to formulate policies, implement programs and serve as the policy-coordinating arm of the Executive Branch in the field of labor and employment.
The BLR covers the important aspects of labor relations. It sets the environment for a healthy relationship by making both the employer and the employee aware of their rights and obligations (using LEES). It promotes collective negotiations (by advocating the right to self-organization). It provides mechanisms to fix strained relationships through adjudication.
Most of all, it fosters an environment where employers and employees can reach a compromise regarding their issues and contribute in policy-making (through the TIPC).
The mandate of BLR is keeping national registry of unions and CBAs, formulating regulatory and
developmental policies, standards, guidelines and programs promoting the right to organize, including collective bargaining and improvement of the income of workers and their organizations. Promotes workers and employers education. Adjudicates inter- and intra-union disputes, promotes bipartism and tripartism, and formulates and implements programs that strengthen trade unionism to achieve industrial peace.
The NLRC is quasi-judicial agency attached to the DOLE. It is mandated to adjudicate labor and management disputes involving both local and overseas workers through compulsory arbitration and alternative modes of dispute resolution.
In coordination with the DOLE, the NLRC implements the Labor and Employment Agenda of the Executive Branch of the government that includes streamlined procedures, removal of red tape, restoration of integrity and fairness, and a much strengthened arbitration and adjudication system.
The NCMB was created under Executive Order No. 126, reorganizing the DOLE. It formulates policies, develop plans and programs and sets standards and procedures relative to the promotion of conciliation and mediation of labor disputes through the preventive mediation, conciliation and voluntary arbitration. It facilitates labor-management cooperation through joint mechanisms for information sharing, effective communication and consultation and group-problem solving.
The DOLE has the power to conduct visitorial and inspection activities of establishments to ensure compliance with labor standards and work safety.
Thus, in layman’s understanding:
If there is a labor case, the proceeding starts with Single Entry Approach (SeNA) which is under the DOLE, and proceeds to NLRC if not settled.
If the concern is union registration and fights between unions and among union officers, members, the office to go to is the BLR.
Any dispute between the union and management is usually handled by the NCMB.
The DOLE is the umbrella department. The BLR is the bureau within it. The NLCR and the NCMB are attached agencies which means for coordination only.
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