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Josephine* hails from Cebu but has found work as a kasambahay for a foreign professor in Laguna. A widow at 51 years old, she has a happy disposition that she would bring sunshine to every household she has served.  She would not mind getting tired at the end of the day as she finds comfort in sending her earnings to her family back in Cebu from her Php10,000.00 monthly salary. 

Her happy mood was cut short on 14 April 2021 when she had a misunderstanding with her employer as they were moving out to a new home. She brought out some items which her employer did not want to be taken out first. Employed by a foreigner who is very frank in nature, she got fired on the spot with P5,000.00 severance pay on hand. She sought solace at a friend’s house while figuring out her future without a home to call her own.     

Upon learning what happened to her, fellow kasambahays at their place urged her to seek help with DOLE Laguna. Josephine was informed that some of her fellow kasambahays were assisted by DOLE Laguna in resolving issues with their employers. It is for this reason that she decided to board a passenger jeepney and found her way to the entrance of DOLE Laguna Provincial Office on April 20, 2021.   

Inside the office, she sat in silence until the duty officer approached her. Given her happy disposition, she was easily put at ease and got into a jovial mood in a matter of minutes.   The Duty Officer gave her advice and assisted her in filing the form for Single Entry Approach (SENA). 

While filling out the form, she uttered the word “gani” several times that the duty officer got curious and asked what it meant.  She laughed and explained that the word is used to stress a point or a previous statement. Perhaps the word could help her underscore her cause. 

She wanted her issue resolved immediately as her former employer will be leaving in a matter of days. To expedite her case, the dates of conference were set on the 23rd and 27th of April 2021. The Notice of Conference was hand carried by Josephine via personal service.

The duty Officer remembered the word “gani” again when he saw Josephine and a representative of her former employer during the first conference. Coincidence or not, the representative was also a Cebuana. It was not the usual conference of a shouting match as both parties talked alternatively in tagalog and in their native dialect. 

In less than an hour, the hearing officer put down in words a settlement for the RFA with Josephine receiving a total amount of Php15,800.00 covering her 13th month pay until June 2021 and advanced payments for her social benefits. DOLE Laguna has settled her work-related issue in less than a day. Days spent thinking about her fate was even longer than the period of settlement. 

Fast settlement is no surprise to DOLE Regional Director Exequiel  Ronie. A. Guzman. He noted with pride that for the period January to March 2021, DOLE IV-A has handled 749 SENA cases with 743 settled. This resulted to the disposition rate of 99.20% delivered within five (5) days. 

On the high settlement rate, DOLE Laguna Provincial Director Guido R. Recio would always see to it that there is always a duty officer to provide assistance to workers that he remarked, “This way, we can immediately render assistance in whatever form to a worker.” 

As for Josephine, she successfully made her point about the word “gani” leaving the duty officer thinking. It might have been the way of the universe in stressing the point that helping others need not be delayed. Her constant use of the word “gani” has been her way of seizing the day and taking every opportunity that comes along her way. 


 * name withheld for confidentiality


Rudyboy R. Sinay
Senior LEO
Director's Corner

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