Davao City – The panel of Voluntary Arbitrators (VA) of Regional Conciliation and Mediation Branch 11, composed of chair Atty. Rolando Arañas and members Atty. Art Tan and Atty. Ronieto Bata, amicably settled the US$250,000 on April 30, 2015.

Mr. Sofronio Melencion is a third maritime engineer of Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd. under agent Career Philippines Shipmanagement, Inc. awarded the US$160,000 worth of permanent disability.

The request for assistance was originally filed by Mr. Melencion as Single Entry Approach (SENA) docketed as SEAD-ROXI-NCMB-RBXI-19-08-14 on August 22, 2014 with issues for non-payment of disability benefits; damages; and attorney’s fee plus legal interest.

After series of SENA conferences, the parties agreed to elevate the case to Voluntary Arbitration (VA) and appointed panel of Voluntary Arbitrators on September 9, 2014.

The case was then docketed as MVA-PAC-325-RBXI-07-02-09-2014 with the single issue of “whether or not Mr. Sofronio S. Melencion is entitled to full disability benefits under the CBA”.

During the September 30, 2014 preliminary conference, both parties were directed to submit their respective position papers within 15 days without extension. After which, they were also given 10 days to file their comments and/or reply from receipt of the position paper of the other party.

Through a Joint Motion to Dismiss, the parties mutually agree and signify to move the herein VA case, thus no further claim other than what is indicated herein shall be enforced against each other.

Meanwhile, a Release of all Rights was also signed by the parties to forever discharge the following respondents, namely: Colombia Ship Management Ltd.; Insignia Vessel Acquisition, LLC.; Hapag-Lloyd Aktiengesellscraft Shipmanagement; and Career Philippines Shipmanagement, Inc.

“With this Office guidance to continue the negotiation and communication among them, the protracted and litigious process of the case was sidestepped, thus, win-win solution was mutually formulated by the parties,” OIC Director Ma. Theresa M. Francisco said.# (Dennis M. Galorio and Nancy L. Lasquite)