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FILRO G.R. No. 104860 July 11, 1996 City Trust Banking Corp. v.

NLRC and Ruiz Second Division Justice Mendoza Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Private respondent Ruiz was the internal auditor of petitioner Citytrust Banking Corporation. She was designated manager of the Quiapo branch of the bank, but she refused the appointment on the ground that it was a demotion. As a consequence, she was suspended and, upon clearance given by the Department of Labor, she was terminated on November 8, 1974. Private respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. She was ordered reinstated as branch manager, the NLRC,urgingher to accept theposition, otherwise her refusal would beconsidered a ground for her los s of employment. Privaterespondent appealed to the Minister of Labor (now Secretary of Labor and Employment) but again she lost. Both parties thenappealed to the Office of the President, which orderedpetitioner to reinstate private respondent to her former position as internal auditor and to pay her backwages from the time her compensation was withheld up to the time of her reinstatement. Petitioner moved for a reconsideration on the ground that the position of internal auditor had been abolished (although the position of resident inspector was created in its stead), and therefore in lieu of reinstatement, it should only be made to pay private respondent's separation pay. The Office of thePresident modified its decision and ordered petitioner toreinstate private respondent to a substanti ally equivalentposition without loss of seniority rights and to grant her the benefits and privileges to which she would be entitled had she not been dismissed. Issue: Is the respondent entitled for backwages? Law: Art. 280- Security of Tenure. LCP Ruling: Backwages are for earnings which a worker has lost due to his illegal dismissal. Private respondent was illegally dismissed. The socio-economic analyst computed private respondents backwages for the provided period but he erroneously considered as backwages private respondents salary differential. The resolution of July 21, 1986 of this Court, which limited the award of backwages, referred to the backwages for the period November 8, 1974 to August 13, 1978 as component of the relief granted by law to those who are illegally dismissed. The Court at that time limited the award of: backwages, to three years without qualification and deduction to avoid delays incident,to the determination of the earnings of the laid-off employees during the pendency of the case and of deducting them from the backwages later awarded. The second component of the relief granted under then Art.280 of the Labor Code was reinstatement either to their former position or if, this was not possible, to a substantially equivalent position. Reinstatement contemplates a restoration to a position from which one has been removed or separated so that the employee concerned may resume the functions of the position he already held. The order to reinstate an employee to a former position or to a substantially equivalent position is a positive mandate of the law with which strict compliance is required. This is an affirmation that those deprived of a recognized and protected interest should be made whole so that the employer will not profit from his misdeeds. Opinion: The awarding of reinstatement have two sides, the first is the obvious one, that is reinstatement of the employee without loss of seniority or tenureship and the second is if the reinstatement is no longer feasible due strained relationship between employer and employee, then the former will pay the latter his separation pay and backwages. In the latter scenario, the reinstatement would be futile, since there is already a crack in the relationship of the two; while in the former, like in the case at bar, where the position was no longer available, instead a new position was created to replace the old one. The employee upon his reinstatement should have been promoted or given the position of the current office. This reinstatement is not conditional once given by the court or not subject for an agreement to bargain the same. In the case at bar, the employee was illegally dismissed. Hence the same is entitled for backwages and separation, however since the court finds no strained relationship between the two, the petitioner was ordered by the Court to reinstate the respondent. Since the office of the latter is no longer existent, the equivalent of that same office to the company will be his new position, thus following the provision, without loss to seniority. With regards to the backwages, she is still entitled since she was illegally dismissed.

FILRO G.R. No. 107994 August 14, 1995 PCIWU-TUCP v. NLRC First Division Justice Kapunan Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Petitioner union complaint for payment of 13th month pay in behalf of the drivers and conductors of respondent company's Visayan operation on the ground that although said drivers and conductors are compensated on a "purely commission" basis as described in their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), they are automatically entitled to the basic minimum pay mandated by law should said commission be less than their basic minimum for eight (8) hours work. In its position paper, respondent Vallacar Transit, Inc. contended that since said drivers and conductors are compensated on a purely commission basis, they are not entitled to 13th month pay pursuant to the exempting provisions enumerated in paragraph 2 of the Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of the Thirteenth Month Pay Law. It further contended that Section 2 of Article XIV of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) concluded on October 17, 1988 expressly provided that "drivers and conductors paid on a purely commission are not legally entitled to 13th month pay." Said CBA, being the law between the parties, must be respected, respondent opined. Issue: Are the said bus drivers and conductor entitled to the 13th month pay? Law: P.D. 851- 13th Month Pay Law Ruling: From the foregoing legal milieu, it is clear that every employee receiving a commission in addition to a fixed or guaranteed wage or salary is entitled to a 13th month pay. For purposes of entitling rank and file employees a 13th month pay, it is immaterial whether the employees concerned are paid a guaranteed wage plus commission or a commission with guaranteed wage inasmuch as the bottom line is that they receive a guaranteed wage. In the case at bench, while the bus drivers and conductors of respondent company are considered by the latter as being compensated on a commission basis, they are not paid purely by what they receive as commission. As admitted by respondent company, the said bus drivers and conductors are automatically entitled to the basic minimum pay mandated by law in case the commissions they earned be less than their basic minimum for eight (8) hours work. Evidently therefore, the commissions form part of the wage or salary of the bus drivers and conductors. Opinion: I agree with the decision, it must be remembered that the provision of the 13th Month Pay Law was expanded by virtue of Memorandum Order 28 issued by then President Corazon Aquino. Under the said memorandum, the rank-and-file employees are now covered by the said law hence they are entitled to receive a 13th month pay equivalent to 1/12 of their rendered service. The said memorandum was in lieu to further provide incentives to the workers or laborers. It serves as an enticement to build up the morale of workers especially by giving them an additional source of income aside from other incentives that they might receive based on their performance. The additional benefit is mandatory, the employer cannot remove this, of course the employees are subjected if they are entitled to receive or not the benefit, but as a general rule they are entitled. In the present case, the bus drivers and conductors were included by the reason that both of them are compensated by, according to the Supreme Court, their salary or wage is not purely on commission and as mandated by law, they earned less than their basic minimum of 8 hours of work.

FILRO G.R. No. 155059 Cable Co. Inc. American Wire and Cable Daily Rated Employees Union v. American Wire and April 29, 2005 Second Division Justice Chico-Nazario Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: American Wire and Cable Co., is a corporation engaged in the manufacture of wires and cables. On Feb.16, 2001, an original action was filed before the NCMB of the DOLE by the two unions (American Wire and Cable Daily Rated Employees and American Wire and Cable Monthly Rated Employees) for voluntary arbitration. They alleged that respondent company, without valid cause, suddenly and unilaterally withdrew and denied certain benefits which they have long enjoyed. These are: a. Service Award; b. 35% premium pay of an employees basic pay for the work rendered during Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, December 23, 26, 27, 28 and 29; c. Christmas Party; and d. Promotional Increase. According to the petitioner, withdrawal of the 35% premium pays for selected days was a customary practice that can no longer be withdrawn. Furthermore, it cannot be said that it is under the term bonus since it is not borne out of profit. However the respondents contends that the said benefits are not considered as customary practice, and the change for the benefit was due to the financial instability of the said company, hence there is a need for the discontinuance for the granting of the benefits. Issue: Are the herein benefits considered to be mandatory on the part of management? Law: Art. 100- Prohibition Against Elimination or Non-Diminution of Benefits. LCP Ruling: The petitioner submits that the withdrawal of the private respondent of the 35% premium pay for selected days during the Holy Week and Christmas season, the holding of the Christmas Party and its incidental benefits, and the giving of service awards violated Article 100 of the Labor Code. The grant of these benefits was a customary practice that can no longer be unilaterally withdrawn by private respondent without the tacit consent of the petitioner. The benefits in question were given by the respondent to the petitioner consistently, deliberately, and unconditionally since time immemorial. The benefits/entitlements were not given to petitioner due to an error in interpretation, or a construction of a difficult question of law, but simply, the grant has been a practice over a long period of time. As such, it canno t be withdrawn from the petitioner at respondents whim and caprice, and without the consent of the former. The benefits given by the respondent cannot be considered as a bonus as they are not founded on profit. Even assuming that it can be treated as a bonus, the grant of the same, by reason of its long and regular concession, may be regarded as part of regular compensation. The grant of these benefits was conditional based upon the financial performance of the company and that conditions/circumstances that existed before have indeed substantially changed thereby justifying the discontinuance of said grants. The companys financial performance was affected by the recent political turmoil and instability that led the entire nation to a bleeding economy. Hence, it only necessarily follows that the companys financial situation at present is already very much different from where it was three or four years ago. For a bonus to be enforceable, it must have been promised by the employer and expressly agreed upon by the parties, or it must have had a fixed amount and had been a long and regular practice on the part of the employer. The benefits/entitlements in question were never subjects of any express agreement between the parties. They were never incorporated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). As observed by the Voluntary Arbitrator, the records reveal that these benefits/entitlements have not been subjects of any express agreement between the union and the company, and have not yet been incorporated in the CBA. In fact, the petitioner has not denied having made proposals with the private respondent for the service award and the additional 35% premium pay to be made part of the CBA. Opinion: I agree, the non-diminution of benefits should not be applied in the present case. The condition that bonuses can be considered to be mandatory can be summarized into two: (1) it must be shown that the giving of the said benefits ripened into a custom on the part of the company and (2) it must be expressed in the CBA. Applying the rule for giving the benefits, there was no indication that the giving of benefits does not ripen into a customary act on the part of the company and the second condition it was not expressed or included in the CBA. For it to be enforceable it must fall within either of the two conditions and failing to fall underin cannot be considered as violation. There was no expressed agreement between the employer and the employee that he or she will be given benefits or bonuses as part of their salary or wage. If and when if the employer or company said it otherwise, then it can be said that it must be given and at the same time, the company was experiencing financial difficulties, hence the withdrawal of the said benefits is needed for the continuance of the operations and to avoid further loses on the part of the company.

FILRO
G.R. No. 158846 June 3, 2004 GSIS v. Cuanang First Division Justice Ynares- Santiago Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Carmen T. Cuanang, deceased wife of respondent Marc Dennis Cuanang, was formerly employed as a teacher in the Division of City Schools, Manila. She was first appointed on October 1, 1972, as Elementary Grade Teacher. She was later promoted to Teacher I on July 1, 1989 and later on to Teacher II. Carmen Cuanang served as Teacher II until she applied for early optional retirement on November 9, 1998, after completing almost twenty six years of government service. From September 14 to September 18, 1997, Carmen Cuanang was confined at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, for Bronchial Asthma and Pneumonia, Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) and Mitral Stenosis. She filed a claim with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for sickness benefits under Presidential Decree 626, as amended. The GSIS awarded her Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits from November 14-25, 1998. Subsequently, Cuanang was also granted Permanent Partial Disability benefits equivalent to nine months. Carmen Cuanang died on May 7, 2000 at the age of 65. The immediate cause of her death was determined to be Cardio Pulmonary Arrest with Acute Myocardial Infarction as the antecedent cause, and Bronchial Asthma and Hypertension as underlying causes. Consequently, respondent filed with petitioner GSIS a claim for death benefits under PD 626, as amended. Petitioner denied the said claim in its letter of July 20, 2000. Respondent then appealed the denial of his claim to the ECC. In its December 4, 2001 decision,9 the ECC affirmed the denial by the GSIS of the respondents claim. Undeterred, respondent filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, challenging the above decision of the ECC. Hence, the Court of Appeals set aside the assailed decision of the ECC and ordered the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to pay respondents claim for death benefits under the Employees Compensation Act. Hence the appeal. Issue: Is the respondent entitled for the benefit? Law: Presidential Decree 626 Ruling: Yes. Further, we agree with the pronouncements of the Court of Appeals that there was substantial evidence to support respondents claim. Hence, the degree of proof required under PD 626 was satisfied, i.e., "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Probability and not ultimate degree of certainty is the test of proof in compensation proceedings. In the case at bar, the requisite substantial evidence came from the expert opinion of Dr. Arsenio A. Estreras Jr., a Diplomate in Internal Medicine who issued the Death Certificate. The aforequoted expert opinion deserves credence considering that we have previously held that no physician, who is aware of the far reaching and serious effects that his statement would cause on a money claim filed with a government agency, would issue a certification indiscriminately without even minding his own interests and protection. When the deceased joined the government service on October 1, 1972, she was in perfect health. It was only in 1997, while she was still in the service, that her condition started to worsen. Her fragile condition necessitated her confinement at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Medical Center from September 14, 1997 to September 18, 1997 for Bronchial Asthma and Pneumonia; Rheumatic Heart Disease and Mitral Stenosis. The first law on workmens compensation in the Philippines was Act No. 3428, otherwise known as the Workmens Compensation Act, which took effect on June 10, 1928. This Act works upon the presumption of compensability which means that if the injury or disease arose out of and in the course of employment, it is presumed that the claim for compensation falls within the provisions of the law. Simply put, the employee need not present any proof of causation. It is the employer who should prove that the illness or injury did not arise out of or in the course of employment. P.D. No. 626 further amended Title II of Book IV on the ECC and State Insurance Fund of the Labor Code of the Philippines (P.D. No. 442, as amended). This law abandoned the presumption of compensability and the theory of aggravation under the Workmens Compensation Act. For the sickness and resulting disability or death to be compensable, the claimant must prove that: (a) the sickness must be the result of an occupational disease listed under Annex "A" of the Rules on Employees Compensation, or (b) the risk of contracting the disease was increased by the claimants working conditions. Notwithstanding the abandonment of the presumption of compensability established by the old law, the present law has not ceased to be an employees compensation law or a social legislation; hence, the liberality of the law in favor of the working man and woman still prevails, and the official agency charged by law to implement the constitutional guarantee of social justice should adopt a liberal attitude in favor of the employee in deciding claims for compensability, especially in light of the compassionate policy towards labor which the 1987 Constitution vivifies and enhances. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 69305 dated November 21, 2002, which set aside the decision of the Employees Compensation Commission, is AFFIRMED. The claim of Teodosio Cuanang for compensation benefits for the death of his wife, Carmen Cuanang, is GRANTED. Opinion: I agree with the granting of the compensation benefits. The amendment of Presidential Decree 626 to the old law, that is, W orkmens Compensation act does not alienate the doctrine that labor laws shall be construed always in favor of labor. Unlike in the former law, the worker need not to prove that the cause of his ailment is work-related because it is presumed, unlike in the new law where the claimant must satisfactorily prove that indeed his ailment was work-related. This would seem an unfavorable law aimed at the workers, but it must be remembered that even if the law makes it clear that it favors labor, it is not absolute. The compensation before was always subject to abuse, thus the creation of the law for qualification.

FILRO G.R. No. 148308 September 21, 2007 Debaudin v. SSS and ECC First Division Justice Azcuna Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Petitioner is a seaman by profession. He joined the United Philippine Lines (UPL) on April 13, 1975 and was separated from his employment on May 21, 1993 at the age of 62. During his eighteen (18) years of service with UPL, while performing his duties and responsibilities that included cleaning chemical-spill-oil on deck, slat dislodging, and spraying naphtha chemical and washing dirt and rusts inside the tank. Petitioners medical record shows that his illness started in May 1993 when he experienced episodes of bilateral blurring of vision. While in Singapore then, he consulted Dr. Richard F.T. Fan, an ophthalmic surgeon, and he was diagnosed to be suffering from advanced glaucoma. His condition recurred even after his separation from service, prompting him to seek further eye consultations and treatments in the Philippines. His eye disease was finally diagnosed as chronic open angle glaucoma. On account of his ailment, petitioner filed before the SSS a claim for compensation benefits under P.D. No. 626, as amended. The application, however, was denied on the ground that there is no causal relationship between the illness and his job as a seaman. When his motion for reconsideration was also denied, petitioner elevated the case to the ECC which later on affirmed the assailed decision. An appeal from the adverse decision was filed before the CA. On August 17, 1999, however, the petition was denied. Hence the appeal. Issue: Does the injury incurred upon the petitioner can be said to be work-related? Law: Presidential Decree 626 and Jurisprudence Ruling: No. Under the Labor Code, as amended, an employee is entitled to compensation benefits if the sickness is a result of an occupational disease listed under Annex "A" of the Rules on Employees' Compensation; or in case of any other illness, if it is caused by employment, subject to proof that the risk of contracting the same is increased by the working conditionsIn the present case, petitioners chronic open angle glaucoma is not listed as an occupational disease; hence, he has the burden of proving by substantial evidence, or such relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion, that the nature of his employment or working conditions increased the risk of contracting the ailment or that its progression or aggravation was brought about thereby. Perusal of the records, however, regrettably reveals petitioners failure to adduce any proof of a reasonable connection between his work as a seaman and the chronic open angle glaucoma he had contracted. Other than positing the foregoing, petitioner presented no competent medical history, records or physicians report to objectively substantiate the claim that there is a reasonable nexus between his work and his ailment. Without saying more, his bare allegations do not ipso facto make his illness compensable. Awards of compensation cannot rest on speculations or presumptions. The claimant must present concrete evidence to prove a positive proposition. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The August 17, 1999 Decision and May 18, 2001 Resolution of the Court of Appeals are hereby AFFIRMED. Opinion: I regret that the claim of the worker was not appreciated but as the Supreme Court, the petitioner failed to prove that his injury was work-related, still I agree with the Courts decision. The new law requires that the claimant must positively prove that the injuries he sustained were workrelated. The failure to do so would mean the denial for the claim. The law also provided list of ailments compensable. If the ailment or injury does not fall within those listed, the employee has to prove in evidence that the ailment received is analogous to those mentioned. This was the safeguard instituted in the state-insurance fund [i.e GSIS and SSS] in order to provide equilibrium in the claiming of legitimate claims as opposed that will try to abuse the weakness of the former law that governed the claims for compensation benefit.

FILRO
G.R. No. 128524 April 20, 1999 GSIS v. CA and Alegre Third Division Justice Romero Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: SPO2 Florencio A. Alegre, was a police officer assigned to the Philippine National Police station in the town of Vigan, Ilocos Sur. On that fateful day of December 6, 1994, he was driving his tricycle and ferrying passengers within the vicinity of Imelda Commercial Complex when SPO4 Alejandro Tenorio, Jr., Team/Desk Officer of the Police Assistance Center located at said complex, confronted him regarding his tour of duty. SPO2 Alegre allegedly snubbed SPO4 Tenorio and even directed curse words upon the latter. A verbal tussle then ensued between the two which led to the fatal shooting of the deceased police officer. On account of her husbands death, private respondent seasonably filed a claim for death benefits with petitioner Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 626. In its decision on August 7, 1995, the GSIS, however, denied the claim on the ground that at the time of SPO2 Alegres death, he was performing a personal activity which was not work-connected. Subsequent appeal to the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) proved futile as said body, in a decision dated May 9, 1996, merely affirmed the ruling of the GSIS. Private respondent finally obtained a favorable ruling in the Court of Appeals when on February 28, 1997, the appellate court reversed the ECCs decision and ruled that SPO2 Alegres death was work connected and, therefore, compensable. Hence the appeal. Issue: Is the accident considered work-related? Law: Employees Compensation Commission on Compensability, Presidential Decree 626 and Jurisprudence Ruling: The Court held that the concept of a workplace cannot always be literally applied to a perso n in active duty status, as if he were a machine operator or a worker in an assembly line in a factory or a clerk in a particular fixed office. As applied to a peace officer, his work place is not confined to the police precinct or station but to any place where his services, as a lawman, to maintain peace and security, are required. At the time of his death, Alegre was driving a tricycle at the northeastern part of the Imelda Commercial Complex where the police assistance center is located. There can be no dispute therefore that he met his death literally in his place of work. This would lend some semblance of viability to the argument that he was not in the performance of official duty at the time. Under the pertinent guidelines of the ECC on compensability, it is provided that for the injury and the resulting disability or death to be compensable, the injury must be the result of an employment accident satisfying all of the following conditions: (1) The employee must have been injured at the place where his work requires him to be; (2) The employee must have been performing his official functions; and (3) If the injury is sustained elsewhere, the employee must have been executing an order for the employer. Obviously, the matter SPO2 Alegre was attending to at the time he met his death, that of ferrying passengers for a fee, was intrinsically private and unofficial in nature proceeding as it did from no particular directive or permission of his superior officer. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. SP No. 42003 dated February 28, 1997, is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Opinion: No. I agree the denouncement for the awarding of the claim. As clearly stated, the ferrying of the husband of the respondent does not arise from duty even if he is a policeman which is covered by the blanket of the 24-hour doctrine. This doctrine states that police officers, like soldiers should be under 24-hour duty since if there are disturbances, they are called regardless of the time of the day. Their main duty is to protect and maintain peace and stability in the community, for example that is a police officer was just standing and someone shot him dead, if it is proved that his position was not borne from personal activity, the same be compensated since it will be inferred that he is acting in the course of his employment. But in the present case, the ferrying is not in the course of employment or more specifically pointed out, not arising from his employment. It is just unfortunate that the accident occurred but it is not just and right to award him something like monetary assistance like in this case since the same was not acting in continuation of his duty. As previously held by the Supreme Court, commendable are those people that serve the community however the law cannot be bent just for them, some laws can be relaxed if it is deemed so but if there is an unequivocal proof that the accident does not arises therefrom, what the Court could only do is to apply the law as it is.

FILRO
G.R. No. 173049 May 21, 2001 GSIS v. De Guzman First Division Chief Justice Puno Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Respondent Teresita S. De Guzman, 53 years old, joined the Public Attorneys Office (PAO). Respondents medical history reveals that she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in 1992, and in 1997, with hypertension. In 1999, respondent was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, type 2. During a routine visit to her nephrologist/endocrinologist, Dr. Romulo Ramos, at the University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Medical Center, respondent was referred to ophtalmologist Dr. Rizalino Jose Felarca for an eye check-up. Upon examination on June 15, 2002, it was discovered that respondent had "near mature cataract OD and an immature cataract OS." After further examination, respondent decided to undergo a cataract extraction procedure to be performed by Dr. Harvey S. Uy of the Asian Eye Institute in Makati City. In preparation for said procedure, Dr. Uy asked respondents endocrinologist, Dr. Romulo Ramos, and cardiologist, Dr. Norbert Uy, for endocrine and cardio-pulmonary clearance, respectively. After the necessary medical clearances were given, respondent's cataract was successfully extracted on August 22, 2004 at the Asian Eye Institute. On October 27, 2004, respondent filed with petitioner a claim for medical reimbursement in the amount ofP40,000.000 under the Employees' Compensation Law (P.D. No. 626, as amended). She pointed out that inasmuch as her eye developed a cataract due to decades of use and abuse from reading voluminous law books, commentaries, transcripts of stenographic notes and pleadings, she should be entitled to her claim for reimbursement. On December 14, 2004, petitioner denied respondent's claim, reasoning that cataract is associated with aging, diabetes mellitus, genetic abnormalities and trauma in the eyes, but not with decades of reading. Moreover, petitioner found no concrete and substantial proof that the illness was directly caused by respondent's performance of her daily duties. On appeal, the ECC affirmed the findings of petitioner denying respondent's claim. In its decision promulgated on June 7, 2006, the Court of Appeals reversed the ECC, reasoning that petitioner had clearly demonstrated and explained through substantial evidence how her cataract was effectively affected because of the readings she had to do in relation to her work. Hence the petition. Issue: Does the respondent satisfactorily prove that her ailment was work-related? Law: Presidential Decree 626 Ruling: Yes. As the ECC explained, the cataract compensable under the law is limited to what is known as "glass blowers cataract" common among furnace men, glass blowers, bakers, blacksmiths, foundry workers, and other workers exposed to infrared rays. However, inasmuch as respondents illness does not squarely fall within the abovementioned category, respondent is still not precluded from claiming reimbursement as she has proven the merit of her claim by showing that her risk of contracting cataracts was increased by her working conditions. We have repeatedly held that to prove compensability, the claimant must adequately show that the development of the disease is brought largely by the conditions present in the nature of the job. What the law requires is a reasonable work-connection and not a direct causal relation. It is enough that the hypothesis on which the workmen's claim is based is probable. Therefore, considering the reasonable work-connection herein proven and respondents plight as a government lawyer who has dedicated the best years of her life to public service, we deem it proper to give full effect to the humanitarian spirit of the law. IN VIEW WHEREOF, the instant petition is DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 7, 2006 is hereby AFFIRMED. No costs. Opinion: I agree with the decision. As briefly explained by the Supreme Court, though the condition of the respondent does not fall squarely on the definition contemplated by law, but since this is law is made by legislation hence the benefit for construing the law shall always be in favor of labor. The respondent clearly established that her ailment cataract was aggravated by years of visual abuse as demanded by her work as a law of the PAO. The new law, though it abolished the presumption of compensability or aggravation, their gist lives under the new law. Under the new law, the claimant must show that her ailment, injury or her heirs show that the cause of her death was work-related. If the same could prove evidently, then she is entitled for the compensation benefits. This case at bar as the Court pointed, has dedicated the best years of her life to public service it means that the ailment that was incurred was satisfactorily arises from her employment. As the decision continues, the Court aside from the fact the respondent clearly shows her eligibility for compensation, the same states that it is but proper to give full effect to the humanitarian spirit of the law.

FILRO
G.R. No. 149571 February 21, 2007 GSIS v. Fontanares Third Division Justice Austria- Martinez Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: The records of the case further reveal that [respondent] was confined at the Chinese General Hospital from January 8 to 10, 1998 due to Rheumatic Valvular Disease with AS, MR, Cardiomyopathy and PTB Minimal. His chest x-rays taken on July 11, 1998 and October 2, 1998 showed findings consistent with PTB, minimal and Cardiomegaly. On account of his ailment, respondent filed with the petitioner a claim for compensation benefits under PD 626, as amended. Finding his ailment compensable, he was awarded Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits from January 8 to 10, 1998. However, respondents claim for compensation benefits on account of his Rheumatic Heart Disease was denied on the ground that the said ailment is not work-connected. Dissatisfied with the decision, respondent requested for the elevation of his case to the ECC for review pursuant to Section 5, Rule XVIII of the Rules of PD No. 626, as amended. Respondent, first joined government service as Storekeeper I at the Archives Division of Records Management and Archives Office, Department of Education, Culture and Sports in Manila on March 16, 1987. In March 1989, he was promoted to the position of Archivist I. On December 1, 1994, he transferred to the Maritime Industry Authority as Maritime Industry Development Specialist II. On August 19, 1999, the ECC rendered herein assailed Decision affirming in toto the ruling of the petitioner. The ECC held that Rheumatic Heart Disease is not a compensable ailment under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 626, as amended; that the respondent failed to prove by substantial evidence that the risk of contracting the said ailment had been increased by his working conditions; and, that respondent failed to show any causal relation between his ailment and his working conditions. The CA held that the working conditions exposed the respondent, then Storekeeper I and Archivist II, to chemical hazard, as certified by the Secretary of Health, which lowered his body resistance; that when he transferred to the Maritime Industry Authority and assumed the position of Maritime Safety Inspector/Surveyor, he was likewise exposed to toxic fumes and gas coming from the residue of cargoes and was oftentimes made to work in 24 hour shifts; that, in view of these, the illness of respondent supervened during his employment and, therefore, the presumption arises that he acquired such ailments from his employment; that the Maritime Industry Authority failed to contest or controvert respondents claim within the proper period and, hence, it in effect admitted the compensability of the illness. Hence the petition. Issue: Is the respondent entitled for compensation? Law: Presidential Decree 626 Ruling: No. A review of the findings of facts of the CA and the agencies a quo fails to show that the respondent discharged his burden of proof, under the measure of substantial evidence, that his working conditions increased the risk of contracting Rheumatic Heart Disease. In particular, the records show no medical information establishing the etiology of Rheumatic Heart Disease that would enable this Court to evaluate whether there is causal relation between the respondents employment and his illness. There is no dispute that Rheumatic Heart Disease is not included under the P.D. No. 626, as amended, as an occupational disease. Hence, under P.D. No. 626, as amended, the employee must demonstrate through substantial evidence (1) that the risk of contracting the disease was increased by the claimants working conditions, and (2) the causal relation between the ailment and working conditions. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision of the Employees Compensation Commission dated August 19, 1999 is AFFIRMED. Opinion: I agree on the decision so far as the Supreme Court rightfully justified that in the instant case the theory or presumption of aggravation is no longer tenable. Under this old theory, in co-equal standing as the presumption of compensability; work conditions tend to aggravate or causes the body to weaken due to pressure undergone by the worker hence it is presumed that once he got injured along side with the presumption that he no longer needs proof to show that indeed it is work-related, the theory or other presumption also indicates that it is borne out of the same. The new abolishes or abandons both of the presumptions in favor of the introduction of the state insurance law, that is GSIS for the government-employed and SSS for those private-employed. Under the new law, the employee must prove that the sickness or disability or death resulted from work and that the same should be listed as to those mentioned by law in order to be compensated. This law was intended to protect the state-insurance not the employer, in fact it is the employer who is helping the employee to get the compensation out of the insurance because the employer is being relieved of the burden for the compensation. This is the reason why the law implements stricter rules so as to avoid the diminishment of the state-insurance, of course if the employee is really entitled for compensation benefits, I dont see any reason for not giving him what is due, that is, if he can positively prove as such.

FILRO
G.R. No. 179802 November 14, 2008 Magsaysay Maritime Corp,et al. v. Velasquez, et al. First Division Justice Leonardo- De Castro Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Respondent Jaime M. Velasquez was hired by petitioner Magsaysay Maritime Corporation as second cook for its foreign principal, co-petitioner ODF Jell ASA. On July 28, 2003, while on duty as second cook on board the vessel M/T Bow Favour, respondent suffered high fever and was unable to work. He took fever relieving medicine but his condition worsened. His extremities were swollen and he could not walk. He also had edema in the abdominal area. Respondent was brought to a hospital in Singapore where he was confined from August 12 to October 13, 2003. Thereafter, he was repatriated to the Philippines. In his pleadings, respondent alleged that upon his repatriation, he was not confined to St. Lukes Medical Center as he expected. He claimed that he was compelled to seek medical treatment from an independent doctor. Dr. Vicaldo further concluded that respondent was unfit to resume work as seaman in any capacity. Hence, respondent filed a claim for disability benefits, illness allowance/ reimbursement of medical expenses, damages and attorneys fees but petitioners refused to pay. Petitioners, on the other hand, maintained that upon respondents repatriation on October 13, 2003, he was immediately referred to a company designated physician for further medical care and treatment; that he was under the care of said physician for three (3) months during which he underwent extensive medications and treatment; that he was admitted and confined at St. Lukes Medical Center from October 13, 2003 to November 11, 2003; that progress reports on his recovery have been issued; that by January 5, 2004, respondent was declared as cleared to work resumption as seafarer; and that petitioners were the ones who shouldered respondents hospitalization expenses. On March 29, 2005, the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision in favor of respondent. On June 23, 2006, the NLRC rendered a decision reversing that of the Labor Arbiter and dismissed respondents complaint for lack of merit. On April 25, 2007, the CA rendered the herein challenged Decision setting aside the decision of the NLRC and reinstating that of the labor arbiter. Hence the appeal. Issue: Is it correct to follow the diagnosis of the doctor preferred by the employee as the controlling factor? Law: DOLE Department Order No. 4 and POEA Memorandum Circular No. 9 Ruling: No. The company-designated physician cleared respondent for work resumption upon finding that his infection has subsided after successful medication. We agree with the NLRC that the doctor more qualified to assess the disability grade of the respondent seaman is the doctor who regularly monitored and treated him. The company-designated physician possessed personal knowledge of the actual condition of respondent. Since the company-designated physician in this case deemed the respondent as fit to work, then such declaration should be given credence, considering the amount of time and effort the company doctor gave to monitoring and treating respondents condition. It is undisputed that the recommendation of Dr. Vicaldo was based on a single medical report which outlined the alleged findings and medical history of respondent despite the fact that Dr. Vicaldo treated or examined respondent only once. On the other hand, the company-designated physician outlined the progress of respondents successful treatment over a period of several months in several reports, as can be gleaned from the record. As between the findings of the company-designated physician (Dr. Alegre) and the physician appointed by respondent (Dr. Vicaldo), the former deserves to be given greater evidentiary weight. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 97098 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The decision of the NLRC, 2nd Division, is hereby REINSTATED. Opinion: I agree with the Supreme Court as based on their explanation regarding the consultation of a personal doctor against the company-designated doctor. The provision in the POEA Contract states that if an employee is sick, he shall be treated by the company-designated physicians unless he opted for a personal doctor of his own, and upon disagreement between the findings, a third party doctor shall be consulted and the latters decision would be controlling. As elucidated such third-party doctor was not resorted to, hence the Court ruled that the company-designated physician should be given more credence. This decision of the Supreme Court can be examined as an exception to the general rule for the third-party doctor and a separate doctrine in case there is a dispute between the two doctors. As clearly pointed, they gave more weight to the diagnosis of the company-designated physician for the reason that he treated the respondent and monitored him in his recovery as opposed to the respondents doctor who treated him only once. This is about the length of the treatment and observation employed by the two doctors. Hence following this simple rule, the first doctor shall be given more weight. This rule set forth or the doctrine that was made is an exception and is dependent on the circumstances that transpired.

G.R. No. L-37896 July 22, 1981 Facts:

Luzon Stevedoring Corp. v. WCC and Hayson

First Division Justice Guerrero Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Pantaleon Hayson was employed by the respondent Luzon Stevedoring Corporation as a Gang Boss or capataz. That the nature of the business of the respondent is stevedoring and lightering. On February 16, 1970 at about 9:00 o'clock in the evening, he was on duty as such capataz on board the M/V President Aguinaldo. While the deceased and his co- workers were waiting for the cargoes and telling stories to pass the time, the 3rd Officer of the M/V President Aguinaldo approached them. Since there was a party on board the boat at that time and since it was a cold night, the deceased asked for something to drink from the 3rd Officer. So, the 3rd Officer left them for a while and when he returned the latter gave them a half-filled bottle of pocket-size Tanduay Rhum. The group then took turns in drinking from the said bottle with the deceased taking the first drink. After his co- workers drank from the supposed bottle of Tanduay Rhum they found out that the contents of the said bottle was rot liquor but oil of winter green, About an hour after that the late Pantaleon Hayson complained of stomach pain and he was immediately brought to the San Pedro Hospital where he died on February 17, 1970 at around 4:40 A.M. due to poisoning according to the findings of the attending physician, Dr. Alex Panuncialman and which was confirmed by the autopsy performed by Dr. Juan M. Abear, Jr., Medico Legal Officer, City of Health Office, Davao City. From the facts as established, the Referee ruled that the death of Pantaleon Hayson arose out of and in the course of his employment as capataz, and ordered Luzon Stevedoring Corporation to pay. Respondent, now petitioner filed on March 9, 1971 a motion for reconsideration of the Referee's decision raising as sole ground the allegation that Pantaleon Hayson was notoriously negligent, hence, his death is not compensable under Section 4 of Act 3428, as amended. Referee Martinez, in a resolution dated March 26, 1971, denied the motion for reconsideration. The entire record of the case was thus elevated to the Workmen's Compensation Commission for review. Accordingly, the WCC held that the deceased could not have been notoriously negligent because he was unaware of the probable consequences of his act. Hence the appeal. Issue: Can the death of the respondent be compensated? Law: Workmen's Compensation Act Ruling: Yes. Indeed, acts reasonably necessary to health and comfort of an employee while at work, such as satisfaction of his thirst, hunger, or other physical demands. For protecting himself from excessive cold, are incidental to the employment and injuries sustained in the performance of such acts are compensable as arising out of and in the course of the employment. When an employee dies in line of duty, or when actually at work as in this case, his death is presumed to be service connected and is compensable and that when doubts on the cause and/or aggravating factors of illness of the claimant arise, they must be resolved in favor of the claimant and his heirs, the affirmance of the respondent Commission's judgment is clearly inevitable and justifiable. WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision under review is hereby AFFIRMED. No costs. Opinion: I agree with the decision with respect to the concept of Notorious Negligence on the part of the Supreme Courts decision even if this case is old. Being still governed by the old law, the presumption of compensability and theory of aggravation is still in force. But let us focus on the real merit of the case that is the idea of notorious negligence. According to the facts of the case the deceased not an alcoholic nor does he know that what he is drinking is poison and still deliberately acted to drink the same. There was no indication of notorious negligence that is deliberately incurring to oneself injury by way of being grossly negligent. It is purely accidental and the drinking of the alcohol was due to the working condition at the time. It was cold and they needed something to warm them in order to avoid freezing. Co -workers even testified that the deceased was only asked to drink, of course out of respect to fellow workers the same drank the rum but as it turned out it was poison. The pertinent facts cannot lie that there was no gross negligence on the part of the respondent, hence the compensation benefit must be given.

G.R. No. 115858 June 28, 1996

ECC v. CA and Alvaran

Third Division Justice Panganiban Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: The deceased was a member of the Mandaluyong Police Station, assigned at the Pasig Provincial Jail as 2nd Shift Jailer with tour of duty from 7:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. On November 19, 1988, at around 11:50 in the evening, the deceased was in front (sic) of the Office of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Mandaluyong Police Station and was talking with another policeman, PFC. Ruben Cruz, when another policeman, Pat. Cesar Arcilla, who had just arrived, immediately got off the car holding his service firearm and approached the deceased and without saying any word, he fired three successive shots at the surprised police sergeant which sent him slumped to the ground. The deceased, however, although critically wounded, drew his side firearm and fired back, twice hitting fatally Pat. Cesar Arcilla, who was still advancing towards him and uttering "ano, ano." Both fell, fatally wounded, and were rushed to the Mandaluyong Medical Center, but Sgt. Alvaran was pronounced dead upon arrival. Pat. Cesar Arcilla, died in the same hospital, the day after. It was learned that the same, stemmed from a family feud, wherein Sgt. Alvaran's son, stabbed the patrolman's nephew, a day before (November 18, 1988). Such quarrel was aggravated when the latter fired shots on (sic) the air and uttered defamatory words before the relatives of the former. The presence of Sgt. Alvaran at the Mandaluyong Police Station, that night of November 19, 1988, (when he was supposed to be in the Pasig Provincial Jail, as 2nd Shift Jailer), was to accompany his son who was to be interviewed at the same and to shed light with regards (sic) that stabbing incident which he got involved (in) a day before. The appellant subsequent (sic) filed a claim for compensation benefits under PD 626, as amended. GSIS denied the claim stating that at the time of the incident he was accompanying his son as a father not in connection with his duty. On July 31, 1991, petitioner Commission affirmed the holding of the GSIS that the death of private respondent's husband is not compensable under P.D. 626, as amended. On appeal, respondent Court reversed petitioner Commission via its assailed Decision. Hence the appeal. Issue: Is the incident that led to the death of Sgt. Alvaran can be considered as work-related? Law: Presidential Decree 626 and Jurisprudence Ruling: Members of the national police, like P/Sgt. Alvaran, are by the nature of their functions technically on duty 24 hours a day. Except when they are on vacation leave, policemen are subject to call at any time and may be asked by their superiors or by any distressed citizen to assist in maintaining the peace and security of the community. By analogy and for purposes of granting compensation under P.D. No. 626, as amended, policemen should be treated in the same manner as soldiers. While it is true that, "geographically" speaking, P/Sgt. Alvaran was not actually at his assigned post at the Pasig Provincial Jail when he was attacked and killed, it could not also be denied that in bringing his son -- as a suspect in a case -- to the police station for questioning to shed light on a stabbing incident, he was not merely acting as father but as a peace officer. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision is again AFFIRMED. No Costs. Opinion: Yes. I absolutely agree with the explanation of the Supreme Court. It cannot be argued that the herein deceased was not acting in the course of his duty. The bringing of his son to the police station for interrogation what spearheaded not just by being a father to his son but co-equally important is that he is acting as a police officer bringing an accused to the police station for questioning. It is therefore conclusive that Sgt. Alvaran is performing his duty as police officer even if the fact showed that he was not at the station at the time of the incident. Clearly, the compensation must be awarded since the incident can be qualified an a furtherance or continuation of his duty.

G.R. No. 136200 June 8, 2000

Valeriano v. ECCS and GSIS

Third Division Justice Panganiban Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Celerino S. Valeriano was employed as a fire truck driver assigned at the San Juan Fire Station. Sometime on the evening of July 3, 1985, petitioner was standing along Santolan Road, Quezon City, when he met a friend by the name of Alexander Agawin. They decided to proceed to Bonanza Restaurant in EDSA, Quezon City, for dinner. On their way home at around 9:30 PM, the owner-type jeepney they were riding in figured in a head-on collision with another vehicle at the intersection of N. Domingo and Broadway streets in Quezon City. Due to the strong impact of the collision, petitioner was thrown out of the vehicle and was severely injured. As a result of the mishap, petitioner was brought to several hospitals for treatment. On September 16, 1985, he filed a claim for income benefits under PD 626, with the Government Security Insurance Service. His claim for benefits was opposed on the ground that the injuries he sustained did not directly arise or result from the nature of his work. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the denial by the System but the same was turned down on the ground that the condition for compensability had not been satisfied. Petitioner then interposed an appeal to the Employees' Compensation Commission (ECC for short). In a decision dated April 1, 1993, the ECC ruled against herein appellant. The Court of Appeals agreed with the finding of the Employees' Compensation Commission that petitioner's injuries and disability were not compensable, emphasizing that they were not work-connected. Hence the appeal. Issue: Are the injuries sustained can be considered arising from work? Law: Jurisprudence and Presidential Decree No. 626 Ruling: No. Disability benefits are granted an employee who sustains an injury or contracts a sickness resulting in temporary total, permanent total, or permanent partial, disability. For the injury and the resulting disability to be compensable, they must have necessarily resulted from an accident arising out of and in the course of employment. Thus, for injury to be compensable, the standard of "work connection" must be substantially satisfied. The injury and the resulting disability sustained by reason of employment are compensable regardless of the place where the injured occurred, if it can be proven that at the time of the injury, the employee was acting within the purview of his or her employment and performing an act reasonably necessary or incidental thereto. Petitioner Valeriano was not able to demonstrate solidly how his job as a firetruck driver was related to the injuries he had suffered. That he sustained the injuries after pursuing a purely personal and social function having dinner with some friends is clear from the records of the case. His injuries were not acquired at his work place; nor were they sustained while he was performing an act within the scope of his employment or in pursuit of an order of his superior. Thus, we agree with the conclusion reached by the appellate court that his injuries and consequent disability were not work-connected and thus not compensable. We recognize the importance and laud the efforts of firemen in our society. Indeed, the nature of their job requires them to be always on alert, like soldiers and police officers, and to respond to fire alarms which may occur anytime of the day. Be that as it may, the circumstances in the present case do not call for the application of Hinoguin and Nitura. We cannot find any reasonable connection between his injuries and his work as a firetruck driver. WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as to costs. Opinion: I agree with the same disposition as opined by the Supreme Court with special mention to the last discussion about the 24-hour doctrine. It is said that an employee who got injured or got involved in an accident in furtherance of his duty shall be compensated. This is the general rule since the empl oyees action was spearheaded by his duty to which he must act upon the same. But in the present case, as contemplated, the petitioner acted outside of the contemplations instituted by law and by jurisprudence. His accident was borne from personal activity; that is, going out for a dinner with his friend. Clearly one cannot say that this accident resulted from within his work. His contention that he, being a firetruck driver, the 24-hour doctrine should have applied, but as the Supreme Court stated that, this doctrine shall be applied to policemen, soldiers, firefighters and the likes if the accident resulted from, that is, arising from or in the course of employment. But clearly such doctrine is not applicable. The petitioner fails to proved that his accident resulted therefrom.

G.R. No. 166863 July 20, 2011

GSIS v. Angel

Second Division Justice Perez Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: The late Sgt. Angel started his military training on 1 July 1974. On 7 October 1977, he was admitted into active service. He was later promoted to the rank of Corporal in December 1982 and to the rank of Sergeant in July 1986. He was in active service until his death on 3 March 1998. On 3 March 1998, Sgt. Angel was "fetched/invited" from his post by a certain Capt. Fabie M. Lamerez (Capt. Lamerez) of the Intelligence Service Group of the Philippine Army to shed light on his alleged involvement in a "pilferage/gunrunning" case being investigated by the Philippine Army. On or about 2 p.m. of the same day, he was placed inside a detention cell to await further investigation. The following day, the lifeless body of Sgt. Angel was found hanging inside his cell with an electric cord tied around his neck. According to the Autopsy Report conducted by the Crime Laboratory of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the cause of death was asphyxia by strangulation. Respondent, the wife of the late Sgt. Angel, filed a complaint before the PNP Criminal Investigation Command, alleging that her husband was murdered and named the "elements of Intelligence Service Group" led by Capt. Lamerez as suspects. On 8 April 1998, upon investigation, the Office of the Provost Marshal reported that Sgt. Angel died under suspicious circumstance while in line of duty. The case was referred to a Judge Advocate General, to determine whether or not Sgt. Angel died while in line of duty. On 3 December 1999, Judge Advocate General Honorio Capulong in his report recommended that Sgt. Angel be declared to have died in line of duty. By reason thereof, respondent, as widow of Sgt. Angel, filed a claim for death benefits with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) under Presidential Decree No. 626, as amended. On 29 September 1999, the GSIS denied the respondents claim on the ground that Sgt. Angels death did not arise out of and in the course of employment. A motion for reconsideration was filed but the same was denied by the GSIS. On appeal before the ECC, the ECC in its Decision dated 13 April 2000 likewise denied the claim for want of merit. Upon appeal, On 31 May 2004, the Court of Appeals reversed the ECC ruling. Hence this petition. Issue: Is the death of Sgt. Angel can be considered as an accident or accidental? Law: Presidential Decree 626 Ruling: No. GSIS contends that the death of Sgt. Angel did not arise out of in the course of employment. It is important to note, however, that the requirement that the injury must arise out of and in the course of employment proceeds from the limiting premise that the injury must be the result of an accident. In substance, the courts are practically agreed that the words "accident" and "accidental" mean that which happens by chance or fortuitously, without intention or design, and which is unexpected, unusual, and unforeseen. The definition that has usually been adopted by the courts is that an accident is an event that takes place without ones foresight or expectation an event that proceeds from an unknown cause, or is an unusual effect of a known case, and therefore not expected. Significantly, an accident excludes that which happens with intention or design, with ones foresight or expectation or that which under the circumstances is expected by the person to whom it happens. The factual foundation of respondents claim is that on the day following Sgt. Angels detention for investigation of his alleged involvement in a pilferage/gunrunning case, his lifeless body was found hanging inside his cell with an electric cord tied around his neck. The autopsy report stated that the cause of death as asphyxia by strangulation. With the law upon the facts, we conclude that the death of Sgt. Angel did not result from an accident which is compensable under Presidential Decree No. 626. Clearly the deceased was not performing his official duties at the time of the incident. On the contrary, he was being investigated regarding his alleged involvement on a pilferage/gunrunning case when he was found dead in his cell, an activity which is foreign and unrelated to his employment as a soldier. Thus, the protective mantle of the law cannot be extended to him as the documents appear bereft of any showing to justify causal connection between his death and his employment. WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is GRANTED. Accordingly, the Decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby REVERSED. The Decision dated 13 April 2000 of the Employees Compensation Commission is REINSTATED. Opinion: I agree with the decision on the ground that the untimely death of Sgt. Angel was not an accident arising or in continuance of his employment. It was clearly established that in the facts, it was revealed that he was under investigation when the killing was made. As opined by the Supreme Court, as he was investigated in an anomaly case, he is not furthering his duty; hence regrettably, the awarding of the benefits cannot be sustained. The law, even if it is out of legislation, the doctrine of always in favor of labor cannot be applied. As the Supreme Court stated, This Court sympathizes with the sad predicament of respondent, the widow of Sgt. Angel. Such, however has already been considered in fixing the equilibrium between obligation and right in employees compensation cases. It can no longer tilt the balance in respondents favor. In service justice, it should always be reasonable so as not to unbalance the equilibrium between justice as fairness.

G.R. No. 179868 January 21, 2010

Quitoriano v. Jebsens Maritime Inc.

First Division Justice Carpio-Morales Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Rizaldy Quitoriano was an officer aboard the vessel of the respondent. While he was on duty, he complained for dizziness and severe headache and his body was weakening. He was sent to a hospital where he was diagnosed to have hypertension arterial or mild stroke. In 2001, due to his health not improving, he was repatriated back to the Philippines to seek further medical attention. Quitoriano was diagnosed by the companys physician; he was diagnosed with hypertension and transient ischemic attack. On November 2001, the said doctor declared him fit to work, but the petitioner sought for another opinion. By way of another diagnosis, it was found that he was suffering from different diseases and even found cerebral infraction. With the result of his second opinion, petitioner then asks for disability compensation from herein respondent. He filed before the National Labor Relations Commission a complaint for the recovery for disability compensation. In the decision rendered by the Labor Arbiter, it dismissed the complaint. Quitoriano then appealed to the NLRC, which upheld the arbiters decision and providing reinstatement of his job. He then appealed to the Court of Appeals which also affirmed the earlier decisions. Hence this appeal. Issue: Is the petitioners condition tantamount to permanent total disability and entitle him for compensation? Law: Section 2, Rule VII of the Implementing Rules of Book V of the Labor Code Ruling: Yes it is. As elucidated by the Supreme Court: In accordance with the avowed policy of the State to give maximum aid and full protection to labor, the Court has applied the Labor Code concept of permanent total disability to Filipino seafarers, it holding that the notion of disability is intimately related to the workers capacity to earn, what is compensated being not his injury or illness but his inability to work resulting in the impairment of his earning capacity; hence, disability should be understood less on its medical significance but more on the loss of earning capacity. x x x the test of whether or not an employee suffers from permanent total disability is a showing of the capacity of the employee to continue performing his work notwithstanding the disability he incurred. Thus, if by reason of the injury or sickness he sustained, the employee is unable to perform his customary job for more than 120 days and he does not come within the coverage of Rule X of the Amended Rules on Employees Compensability (which, in more detailed manner, describes what constitutes temporary total disability), then the said employee undoubtedly suffers from permanent total disability regardless of whether or not he loses the use of any part of his body. A total disability does not require that the employee be absolutely disabled or totally paralyzed. What is necessary that the injury must be such that the employee cannot pursue his usual work and earn therefrom (Austria v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 146636, Aug. 12, 2002, 387 SCRA 216, 221). On the other hand, a total disability is considered permanent if it lasts continuously for more than 120 days. Thus, in the very recent case of Crystal Shipping, Inc. v. Natividad (G.R. No. 134028, December 17, 1999, 321 SCRA 268, 270-271), we held: Permanent disability is inability of a worker to perform his job for more than 120 days, regardless of whether or not he loses the use of any part of his body. x x x. Total disability, on the other hand, means the disablement of an employee to earn wages in the same kind of workof similar nature that he was trained for, or accustomed to perform, or any kind of work which a person of his mentality and attainments could do. It does not mean absolute helplessness. In disability compensation, it is not the injury which is compensated, but rather it is the incapacity to work resulting in the impairment of ones earning capacit y. Applying the standards reflected in the immediately quoted ruling of the Court vis--vis the fact that it was only on November 16, 2001 that the "fit to work" certification was issued by Dr. Cruz or more than five months from the time petitioner was medically repatriated on May 30, 2001, petitioners disability is considered permanent and total. WHEREFORE, the March 8, 2007 Decision and September 14, 2007 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 93332 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Respondents are held jointly and severally liable to pay petitioner 1) permanent total disability benefits of US$80,000.00 at its peso equivalent at the time of actual payment; and 2) attorneys fees of ten percent (10%) of the total monetary award at its peso equivalent at the time of actual payment. Opinion: I agree with the gist of the explanation of the Court. It was clearly pointed out that the word disability does not equate to the loss of any body parts. It was interpreted to mean that disability pertains to the persons ability to earn regardless of his physicality. We must remember that the Constitution expressly states that it will protect the general welfare of its laborers. This was concretized in the present case where the laborer was suffering not because of physical inabilities but specifically due to internal disability. The inability of the herein petitioner to work for almost five months is already indicative that his injury or ailment is beyond his capacity to go back and work. Under the law, if the person, due to his inability to work, lasted for 120 days, he can be pronounce to have permanent disability regardless whether there was a body part that was lost or severed. It is a well settled rule that if the law is clear and unambiguous it shall be applied as it is and if there are disputes in labor laws, it shall always be resolved in favor of labor. Here it is evident, the rules on implementing the law on disability showed that it clearly favored the herein petitioner.

G.R. No. 187200 May 5, 2010

Golden Ace Builders v. Talde

First Division Justice Carpio-Morales Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Jose Talde was a carpenter working at herein petitioner. Sometime in 1999, according to the company, due to the unavailability of construction projects the same stopped giving work to Talde, which prompted him to file a complaint for illegal dismissal. On January 10, 2001, the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision in favor of the herein respondent and ordered his reinstatement and awards were given. The petitioner appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission, and during the pendency of the appeal, the respondent was asked to report back to work. In May 2001, respondent in his manifestation claimed that there were threats to his life and family due to the feud between him and the company, and he opted for the payment of his separation pay. The NLRC rendered its decision favoring the decision of the arbiter, the petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals, but the same was dismissed. Their motion for reconsideration was likewise denied. Hence the appeal. Issue: Is Talde entitled for the separation pay? Law: Article 279 Security of Tenure. Labor Code of the Philippines, Jurisprudence: strained relationship doctrine Ruling: Yes he is entitled. According to the Supreme Court: Under the doctrine of strained relations, the payment of separation pay is considered an acceptable alternative to reinstatement when the latter option is no longer desirable or viable. On one hand, such payment liberates the employee from what could be a highly oppressive work environment. On the other hand, it releases the employer from the grossly unpalatable obligation of maintaining in its employ a worker it could no longer trust. In the present case, the Labor Arbiter found that actual animosity existed between petitioner Azul and respondent as a result of the filing of the illegal dismissal case. Such finding, especially when affirmed by the appellate court as in the case at bar, is binding upon the Court, consistent with the prevailing rules that this Court will not try facts anew and that findings of facts of quasijudicialbodies are accorded great respect, even finality. Clearly then, respondent is entitled to backwages and separation pay as his reinstatement has been rendered impossible due to strained relations. As correctly held by the appellate court, the backwages due respondent must be computed from the time he was unjustly dismissed until his actual reinstatement, from February 1999 until June 30, 2005 when his reinstatement was rendered impossible without fault on his part. WHEREFORE, the Court of Appeals Decision dated September 10, 2008 and its Resolution dated March 12, 2009 in C.A. G.R. SP No. 961082 are AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the amount of separation pay due respondent is, in light of the discussion in the immediately foregoing paragraph, computed at P85,800.00. Opinion: I agree on the decision of the Supreme Court to award the separation pay to Talde. The reinstatement is no longer feasible due to the fact that there is already bad blood between the company and the employee. Of course, if we cannot reconcile both or conciliation is no longer an option, alternative measures must be made. This is where the strained doctrine comes in to play with regard to Article 279 of the Labor Code. According to the jurisprudence set by the Supreme Court, once there is a strained relationship that is existent between the parties, it is favorable to provide separation pay and backwages to avoid further escalation of the conflict. It is only rational to separate the two, in the first place, the harmony between them is no longer feasible and hence clashing would be the result. In as much as the courts would like to reinstate the respondent, it cannot as aforementioned. It would even be beneficial for the both of them to part ways.

G.R. 182430 December 4, 2009

Abante v. KJGS Fleet Management Manila, et al. First Division Justice Carpio- Morales Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Leopoldo Abante is an employee of KJGS Fleet as able-bodied seaman. While he was on duty, he accidentally slipped and hurt his back. He was checked in a hospital which advised him to work but on a restricted work basis. On August 18, 2000, he was treated by the company physician and went to medical procedures. The medical expenses were shouldered by the company. After series of therapy he was then pronounced fit to resume his work, however he refuse to sign the certificate of fitness to work. He opted for a second opinion which diagnosed him to have a failed back syndrome. This prompted him to file before the National Labor Relations Commission a complaint for disability compensation. On July 24, 2003, the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision dismissing the complaint. The petitioner appealed to the NLRC, due to conflicting medical results, Abantes condition was referred to a third doctor. The Court of Appeals rendered a decision holding the decision of the Labor Arbiter. Hence the appeal. Issue: Is Leopoldo Abante qualified to have disability compensation? Law: Section 20 (B) (3) of the POEA Standard Employment Contract of 2000 Ruling: Yes he is. As provided by the Supreme Court: Clearly, the above provision does not preclude the seafarer from getting a second opinion as to his condition for purposes of claiming disability benefits In the present case, it is undisputed that petitioner immediately consulted with a physician of his choice after initially having been seen and operated on by a company-designated physician. It was after he got a second opinion and a finding that he is unfit for further work as a seaman that he filed the claim for disability benefits. As to whether petitioner can claim disability benefits, the Court rules in the affirmative. Permanent disability refers to the inability of a worker to perform his job for more than 120 days, regardless of whether he loses the use of any part of his body. What determines petitioners entitlement to permanent disability benefits is his inability to work for more than 120 days. In the case at bar, it was only on February 20, 2001 that the Certificate of Fitness for Work was issued by Dr. Lim, more than 6 months from the time he was initially evaluated by the doctor on July 24, 2000 and after he underwent operation on August 18, 2000. Respecting the claim for moral and exemplary damages, the same cannot be granted, there being no concrete showing of bad faith or malice on the part of KJGS. The records show that it shouldered all the expenses incurred in petitioners surgery and subsequent rehabilitation. And it regularly inquired from Dr. Lim about petitioners condition. WHEREFORE, the decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals dated December 10, 2007, and April 1, 2008,respectively, are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Respondents are held jointly and severally liable to pay petitioner the following: a) permanent total disability benefits of US$60,000.00 at its peso equivalent at the time of actual payment; and b) attorney's fees of ten percent (10%) of the total monetary award at its peso equivalent at the time of actual payment. Opinion: The case at bar can be considered to be as a common incident in our present time. Many of our fellow kababayans test their luck by working abroad or thru vessel. Of course we cannot prevent an incident or accident to happen no matter how diligent we can be, what we can do is to ask for compensation especially if this happened during working period. The inability to work due to the injuries sustained can be detrimental to the laborer not only to him personally but also to his family left in the country. Thus the government provided laws that will redress these kind of incidents, like in the present case, he was not able to work for more than two months, hence he was qualified for a disability compensation. It was never his intention to abandon his work he just merely refused to sign the certificate of fit to work and opted for a second opinion. I think that every worker has the right to second opinion, not just what the company doctor said, just to remove any form of suspicion and to be sure. The awarding of permanent total disability was proper, Abante was not able to work due to the disorder and at the same time, a second doctor made a re-check of his condition. After careful analysis of his condition, it is right and just to give him the compensation, after all, this inability, he will carry it for the rest of his life.

G.R. No. 151893 October 20, 2005

Jacang v. ECC and SSS

First Division Justice Quisimbing Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Dionisio was hired as a janitor of Contemporary Services, Inc., from January 23, 1983 to January 20, 1985. His employer certified that he was then physically fit. On January 23, 1985, he was reassigned as a factory worker. In 1985, Dionisio was diagnosed and found ill of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). Sometime in 1987, his ailment worsened and he was brought to the Lung Center of the Philippines where he was found, in the words of the medical staff, to have developed a "colicky lumbar region radiating to the penumbilical area with spasms of vomiting due to renal colic-urolitiasis". On February 10, 1990, Dionisio resigned from his job due to his ailment. Dionisio was thereafter confined at the National Kidney Institute from March 22, 1990 to April 4, 1990 and from April 15, 1990 until his death on May 24, 1990. Issue: Is the death of Jacang compensable under P.D. No. 626? Law: Presidential Decree 626 Ruling: Yes. PTB, under the law, is compensable. Section 1 (b), Rule III, of the Rules Implementing Presidential Decree No. 626, as amended, states that for the sickness and the resulting disability or death to be compensable, the same must be an "occupational disease" included in the list provided (Annex "A"), with the conditions set therein satisfied; otherwise, the claimant must show proof that the risk of contracting it is increased by the working conditions. "Takayasus Disease" is not listed as an occupational disease. But it is scientifically linked to PTB, a listed occupational disease. While claimant must adduce substantial evidence that the risk of contracting the illness is increased by the working conditions to which an employee is exposed to, we cannot close our eyes to any reasonable work-related connection of the workers ailment and his employment. Any doubt on this matter has to be interpreted in favor of the employee, considering that P.D. No. 626 is a social legislation. In this case, enough substantial evidence has been shown to convince us that the surviving spouse of the deceased worker is entitled to compensation under said P.D. No. 626, because the records show his ailment and death have been associated with PTB, a listed compensable disease. WHEREFORE, the assailed Court of Appeals Decision dated June 26, 2001 and its Resolution dated December 11, 2001 denying the motion for reconsideration are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Public respondent SSS is ORDERED to pay petitioner her claim for compensation due to the death of her husband, DIONISIO B. JACANG. Opinion: I agree in the awarding of death benefits to the family left. The main argument here is that, the disease that the worker contracted, though not listed as of the occupational disease that was listed is related to another disease that is listed as occupational disease. It can be said therefore that the ailment that was incurred by the deceased is compensable under the law. It cannot be said that just because the disease was not listed as compensable it does not mean that in deed it cannot be compensated but what the law provides is that death is incurred in the performance or during the performance of a workers duty and that the cause of death is listed as one to be compensable.

G.R. No. 159577 May 3, 2006

Pearanda v. Baganga Plywood Corp., Chua

First Division Chief Justice Panganiban Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Petitioner Charlito Pearanda alleges that he was employed by respondent as foreman/ boiler head/ shift engineer. His services were terminated without the benefit of due process and just cause. He was not paid his overtime pay, premium pay for working during holidays and rest days, night shift differentials and further claims for payment of damages and attorneys fees. According to the respondent, they allege that the complainants separation from service was done pursuant to Art. 283 of the Labor Code, as the company were on temporary closure due to repair and general maintenance and it applied clearance with DOLE to shut down and dismiss the employees. Petitioner was not terminated from employment much less illegally. He opted to severe employment when he insisted payment of his separation benefits. Furthermore, being a managerial employee he is not entitled to overtime pay and if ever he rendered services beyond the normal hours of work, there was no office order/or authorization for him to do so. The labor arbiter ruled that there was no illegal dismissal and that petitioners co mplaint was premature because he was still employed by BPC. The temporary closure of BPCs plant did not terminate his employment. Issue: Is the petitioner entitled to receive overtime and premium pays? Law: Article 82. LCP Ruling: No. as explained by the Court: Article 82 of the Labor Code exempts managerial employees from the coverage of labor standards. Labor standards provide the working conditions of employees, including entitlement to overtime pay and premium pay for working on rest days. Under this provision, managerial employees are "those whose primary duty consists of the management of the establishment in which they are employed or of a department or subdivision." The Court disagrees with the NLRCs finding that petitioner was a managerial employee. However, petitioner was a member of the managerial staff, which also takes him out of the coverage of labor standards. Like managerial employees, officers and members of the managerial staff are not entitled to the provisions of law on labor standards. His duties and responsibilities conform to the definition of a member of a managerial staff under the Implementing Rules. Petitioner supervised the engineering section of the steam plant boiler. His work involved overseeing the operation of the machines and the performance of the workers in the engineering section. This work necessarily required the use of discretion and independent judgment to ensure the proper functioning of the steam plant boiler. As supervisor, petitioner is deemed a member of the managerial staff. On the basis of the foregoing, the Court finds no justification to award overtime pay and premium pay for rest days to petitioner. WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. Costs against petitioner. Opinion: It must be followed that managerial positions that are categorized under Art. 82 are not entitled to receive premium payment, what is paid is under Art. 212. Accordingly, the managerial position mentioned in Art. 82 are more of management basis as compared to the in-depth role and prerogatives that was given in Art.212. Like in the present case, he merely oversees the machines and performance of the machines, more of managerial that handles the management staff of the company rather than hands on managers as prescribe in the other definition of managerial position under 212.

G.R. No. 125586 February 2, 2000

Vinoya v. NLRC

First Division Justice Kapunan Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Petitioner Vinoya was hired by RFC as sales representative. He avers that he was transferred by RFC to PMCI, an agency which provides RFC with additional contractual workers. In PMCI, he was reassigned to RFC as sales representative and then later informed by the personnel manager of RFC that his services were terminated. RFC maintains that no employer-employee relationship existed between petitioner and itself. Petitioner filed complaint for illegal dismissal. RFC alleges that PMCI is an independent contractor as the latter is a highly capitalized venture. Issue: Is the petitioner illegally dismissed? Law: Jurisprudence under Art. 106- Contracting and Sub-Contracting. LCP Ruling: Yes. PMCI was a labor-only contractor. Although the Neri doctrine stated that it was enough that a contractor had substantial capital to show it was an independent contractor, the case of Fuji Xerox clarified the doctrine stating that an independent business must undertake the performance of the contract according to its own manner and method free from the control of the principal. In this case, PMCI did not even have substantial capitalization as only a small amount of its authorized capital stock was actually paid-in. Also, PMCI did not carry on an independent business or undertake the performance of its contract according to its own manner and method. Furthermore, PMCI was not engaged to perform a specific and special job or service, which is one of the strong indicators that is an independent contractor. Lastly, in labor-only contracting, the employees supplied by the contractor perform activities, which are directly related to the main business of its principal. It is clear that in this case, the work of petitioner as sales representative was directly related to the business of RFC. Since due to petitioners length of service, he attained the status of regular employee thus cannot be terminated without just or valid cause. RFC failed to prove that his dismissal was for cause and that he was afforded procedural due process. Petitioner is thus entitled to reinstatement plus full backwages from his dismissal up to actual reinstatement. Opinion: A agree that the same should be reinstated. In the formation of labor-only contracting, the contractor evades burdens so that it can profit more by providing merely pure man-power service, thus maximizing profit without regards to the workers. The control test, which is the most essential of the four-fold test, set by the Supreme Court in determining whether an employee is regular or not is not absolute. It is just a factor that may give rise to as such but not conclusive. It must be remembered that labor-only, though provides only workers, are considered part thereof hence the workers are entitled to full backwages like in this case since the function that was being performed was beneficial to the continuance of business or trade. This was clearly brought up by the Supreme Court and will be quoted as an elaborative explanation. Lastly, in labor-only contracting, the employees recruited, supplied or placed by the contractor perform activities which are directly related to the main business of its principal. In this case, the work of petitioner as sales representative is directly related to the business of RFC. Being in the business of food manufacturing and sales, it is necessary for RFC to hire a sales representative like petitioner to take charge of booking its sales orders and collecting payments for such. Thus, the work of petitioner as sales representative in RFC can only be categorized as clearly related to, and in the pursuit of the latters business. Logically, when petitioner was assigned by PMCI to RFC, PMCI acted merely as a labor-only contractor. This abovequoted taken from the decision rendered by Justice Kapuan shows that, though the petitioner was under labor-only contracting, he is still entitled to receive benefits since his line of work is beneficial to the usual trade of business.

G.R. No. 184977 December 7, 2009

Coca-Cola Phl. Inc. v. Dela Cruz, et al.

Second Division Justice Brion Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Respondents filed in July 2000 two separate complaints for regularization with money claims against Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc.,. The complaints were consolidated and subsequently amended to implead Peerless Integrated Service, Inc. as a party-respondent. In defense, the petitioner contended that it entered into contracts of services with Peerless and Excellent Partners Cooperative, Inc. In reply, the respondents countered that they worked under the control and supervision of the companys supervisors who prepared their work schedules and assignments. Peerless and Excellent, too, did not have sufficient capital or investment to provide services to the petitioner. The respondents thus argued that the petitioners contracts of services with Peerless and Excellent are in the nature of labor -only contracts prohibited by law. Labor Arbiter Joel S. Lustria dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction On October 31, 2007, the NLRC denied the appeal and affirmed the labor arbiters ruling, The CA found no proof in the records showing the required capitalization and tools; thus, the CA concluded that Peerless and Excellent were engaged in labor-only contracting. Hence the petition. Issue: Is there an existent labor-only contracting? Law: Jurisprudence under Art. 106- Contractor Sub-Contractor. LCP Ruling: Yes. As opined by the Court: This trilateral relationship under a legitimate job contracting is different from the relationship in a labor-only contracting situation because in the latter, the contractor simply becomes an agent of the principal; either directly or through the agent, the principal then controls the results as well as the means and manner of achieving the desired results. In other words, the party who would have been the principal in a legitimate job contracting relationship and who has no direct relationship with the contractor's employees, simply becomes the employer in the labor-only contracting situation with direct supervision and control over the contracted employees. As Azucena astutely observed: in labor-contracting, there is really no contracting and no contractor; there is only the employers representative who gathers and suppl ies people for the employer; labor-contracting is therefore a misnomer. Thus, this issue is rendered academic by our conclusion that labor-only contracting exists. The CA noted that both the Peerless and the Excellent contracts show that their obligation was solely to provide the company with the services of contractual employees and nothing more. These contracted services were for the handling and delivery of the companys products and allied services. Following D.O. 18 02 and the contracts that spoke purely of the supply of labor, the CA concluded that Peerless and Excellent were labor-only contractors unless they could prove that they had the required capitalization and the right of control over their contracted workers. still another way of putting it is that the contractors were not independently selling and distributing company products, using their own equipment, means and methods of selling and distribution; they only supplied the manpower that helped the company in the handing of products for sale and distribution. In the context of D.O. 18-02, the contracting for sale and distribution as an independent and self-contained operation is a legitimate contract, but the pure supply of manpower with the task of assisting in sales and distribution controlled by a principal falls within prohibited labor-only contracting. They are therefore labor-only contractors. WHEREFORE, premises considered, we hereby DENY the petition and accordingly AFFIRM the challenged decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 102988. Costs against the petitioner. Opinion: I agree with the Court, following their elucidating words, there is a big difference between a trilateral relationship between principal, contractor and employees as opposed to labor-only contracting. In the former as the name suggest, there is unilateralism in the three branches. All of them are somehow co-equal in terms if their scope, each sharing with the other while maintaining the identity of the same. Unlike in the latter, it only appears that there is a trilateral relationship but scrutinize it, it will reveal de facto there are only two relationship that exists, that is from the principal and the employees only since the contractor only farms-out the workers. This farming-out of workers is what the law prohibits for it tends to exploit the workers. The labor-only contracting has two elements: (a) the contractor or subcontractor does not have substantial capital or investment to actually perform the job, work, or service under its own account and responsibility (b) the employees recruited, supplied, or placed by such contractor or subcontractor perform activities which are directly related to the main business of the principal. If we are to analyze the element, the situation at bar false squarely in to it, does the Supreme Court is correct in saying that labor-only contracting exists.

G.R. No. 186091 December 15, 2010

Babas, et al. v. Lorenzo Shipping Corp.

Second Division Justice Nachura Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Lorenzo Shipping Corporation (LSC) is a duly organized domestic corporation engaged in the shipping industry. LSC entered into a General Equipment Maintenance Repair and Management Services Agreement (Agreement) with Best Manpower Services, Inc. (BMSI). Under the Agreement, BMSI undertook to provide maintenance and repair services to LSCs container vans, heavy equipment, trailer chassis, and generator sets. BMSI further undertook to provide checkers to inspect all containers received for loading to and/or unloading from its vessels. Simultaneous with the execution of the Agreement, LSC leased its equipment, tools, and tractors to BMSI. The period of lease was coterminous with the Agreement. BMSI then hired petitioners on various dates to work at LSC as checkers, welders, utility men, clerks, forklift operators, motor pool and machine shop workers, technicians, trailer drivers, and mechanics. In September 2003, petitioners filed with the Labor Arbiter (LA) a complaint for regularization against LSC and BMSI. On October 1, 2003, LSC terminated the Agreement, effective October 31, 2003. Consequently, petitioners lost their employment. BMSI asserted that it is an independent contractor. It averred that it was willing to regularize petitioners; however, some of them lacked the requisite qualifications for the job. LSC averred that petitioners were employees of BMSI and were assigned to LSC by virtue of the Agreement. BMSI is an independent job contractor with substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, and machinery necessary in the conduct of its business. The Agreement between LSC and BMSI constituted legitimate job contracting. Thus, petitioners were employees of BMSI and not of LSC. The Labor Arbiter dismissed petitioners complaint on the ground that petitioners were employees of BMSI. It was BMSI which hired petitioners, paid their wages, and exercised control over them. The NLRC reversed the Labor Arbiter Issue: Is the respondent engaged in labor-only contracting? Law: Jurisprudence under Art. 106- Contractor Sub-Contractor. LCP Ruling: Yes. In De Los Santos v. NLRC, the character of the business, i.e., whether as labor-only contractor or as job contractor, should be measured in terms of, and determined by, the criteria set by statute. The parties cannot dictate by the mere expedience of a unilateral declaration in a contract the character of their business. The Court has observed that: First, petitioners worked at LSCs premises, and nowhere else. Other than the provisions of the Agreement, there was no showing that it was BMSI which established petitioners working procedure and methods, which supervised petitioners in their work, or which evaluated the same. There was absolute lack of evidence that BMSI exercised control over them or their work. Second, LSC was unable to present proof that BMSI had substantial capital. There was no proof pertaining to the contractors capitalization, nor to its investment in tools, equipment, or implem ents actually used in the performance or completion of the job, work, or service that it was contracted to render. What is clear was that the equipment used by BMSI were owned by, and merely rented from, LSC. Third, petitioners performed activities which were directly related to the main business of LSC. The work of petitioners as checkers, welders, utility men, drivers, and mechanics could only be characterized as part of, or at least clearly related to, and in the pursuit of, LSCs business. Lastly, BMSI had no other client except for LSC, and neither BMSI nor LSC refuted this finding, thereby bolstering the NLRC finding that BMSI is a labor-only contractor. The CA erred in considering BMSIs Certificate of Registration as sufficient proof that it is an independent contractor. Jurisprudence states that a Certificate of Registration issued by the Department of Labor and Employment is not conclusive evidence of such status. The fact of registration simply prevents the legal presumption of being a mere labor-only contractor from arising. Opinion: I agree with the Courts decision, it must be reiterated that a labor-only contracting is when a contractor merely recruits, supplies, or places workers to perform a job, work, or service for a principal. And that the workers are doing their part that is necessary in the furtherance of trade. It must be raised that there are two elements for which the contractor can be said to only perform as labor-only contracting: (a) the contractor or subcontractor does not have substantial capital or investment to actually perform the job, work, or service under its own account and responsibility (b) the employees recruited, supplied, or placed by such contractor or subcontractor perform activities which are directly related to the main business of the principal. As elucidated in the case, the companys assertion that it is not a labor-only contracting party must be in accordance with the law not just based on practice. At the same time, the posting of bond or sufficient capital is likewise important. This serves as a guarantee if ever the contractor will not pay the employees, the latter can proceed to the principal and demand for the same. Another is investment of tools, equipments and machineries. This is necessary for it will determine how well-equipped the contractor is, aside from that fact that the same was able to post a surety.

G.R. No. 169704 November 17, 2010

Teng, et al. v. Pahagac, et al.

Third Division Justice Brion Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Albert Teng Fish Trading is engaged in deep sea fishing and, for this purpose, owns boats (basnig), equipment, and other fishing paraphernalia. As owner of the business, Teng claims that he customarily enters into joint venture agreements with master fishermen (maestros) who are skilled and are experts in deep sea fishing; they take charge of the management of each fishing venture, including the hiring of the members of its complement. He avers that the maestros hired the respondent workers as checkers to determine the volume of the fish caught in every fishing voyage. On February 20, 2003, the respondent workers filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. The VA rendered a decision in Tengs favor and declared that no employer-employee relationship existed between Teng and the respondent workers. The respondent workers received the VAs decision on June 12, 2003.[11] They filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied On July 21, 2003, the respondent-workers elevated the case to the CA. In its decision of September 21, 2004, the CA reversed the VAs decision after finding sufficient evidence showing the existence of employeremployee relationship. Hence the petition. Issue: Is there an employer-employee relationship that existed between them? Law: Jurisprudence under Art. 106- Contractor Sub-Contractor and Art. 280 Regular and Casual Employent . LCP Ruling: As opined by the Supreme Court: We agree with the CAs finding that sufficient evidence exists indicating the existence of an employer-employee relationship between Teng and the respondent workers. While Teng alleged that it was the maestros who hired the respondent workers, it was his company that issued to the respondent workers identification cards (IDs) bearing their names as employees and Tengs signature as the employer. Generally, in a business establishment, IDs are issued to identify the holder as a bona fide employee of the issuing entity. More importantly, the element of control which we have ruled in a number of cases to be a strong indicator of the existence of an employer-employee relationship is present in this case. Teng not only owned the tools and equipment, he directed how the respondent workers were to perform their job as checkers; they, in fact, acted as Tengs eyes and ears in every fishing expedition. Teng cannot hide behind his argument that the respondent workers were hired by the maestros. To consider the respondent workers as employees of the maestros would mean that Teng committed impermissible labor-only contracting. As a policy, the Labor Code prohibits labor-only contracting In the present case, the maestros did not have any substantial capital or investment. Teng admitted that he solely provided the capital and equipment, while the maestros supplied the workers. The power of control over the respondent workers was lodged not with the maestros but with Teng. As checkers, the respondent workers main tasks were to count and classify the fish caught and report them to Teng. They performed tasks that were necessary and desirable in Tengs fishing business. Taken together, these incidents confirm the existence of a labor-only contracting which is prohibited in our jurisdiction, as it is considered to be the employers attempt to evade obligations afforded by law to employees. Accordingly, we hold that employer-employee ties exist between Teng and the respondent workers. A finding that themaestros are labor-only contractors is equivalent to a finding that an employer-employee relationship exists between Teng and the respondent workers. As regular employees, the respondent workers are entitled to all the benefits and rights appurtenant to regular employment. WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition and AFFIRM the September 21, 2004 decision and the September 1, 2005resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 78783. Costs against the petitioners. Opinion: I agree with the decision of the Court. It must be raised that if there exists and employer-employee relationship, labor-only contracting can also exist. This was illustrated in the present case. The herein respondents are considered to be regular employees based on the four-fold test: power to hire, payment of wages, power to discipline and power to dismiss. In the present case, it was show that there exist the most essential element in the four-fold test, that the power to control. Teng has the overall control over the respondents because, the mestros are considered to be labor-only contracting in partnership with Teng. Teng will be the principal, the maestros will be the contractor and the respondents are the employees, we could see here that Teng cannot be considered as labor-only since he has the necessary capital or the investment of equipments as to the tool, machineries or other things that are needed in the furtherance of the business or trade. Accordingly, if Tengs claim that he is only practicing labor-only contracting, he would still be liable. It must be reiterated that the law prohibits labor-only contracting because it tends to give the contractor leeway to accept jobs at the expense of the workers. There are no necessary bonds that will ensure the wages or if there are future claims of the employees. The law does not accept this kind of practice for the law protects it workers especially against those that will take advantage of it for personal gain or profit.

G.R. No. L-80680 January 26, 1989

Tabas v. California Manufacturing Co. Inc.

Second Division Justice Sarmiento Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Petitioners filed a petition in the NLRC for reinstatement and payment of various benefits against California Manufacturing Company. The respondent company then denied the existence of an employer-employee relationship between the company and the petitioners. Pursuant to a manpower supply agreement, it appears that the petitioners prior their involvement with California Manufacturing Company were employees of Livi Manpower service, an independent contractor, which assigned them to work as promotional merchandisers. The agreement provides that: California has no control or supervisions whatsoever over [Livi's] workers with respect to how they accomplish their work or perform [Californias] obligation It was further expressly stipulated that the assignment of workers to California shall be on a seasonal and contractual basis; that [c]ost of living allowance and the 10 legal holidays will be charged directly to [California] at cost ; and that [p]ayroll for the preceding [sic] week [shall] be delivered by [Livi] at [California's] premises. Issue: Is the principal liable? Law: Jurisprudence under Art. 106- Contractor Sub Contractor. LCP Ruling: Yes. The existence of an employer-employee relation cannot be made the subject of an agreement. Based on Article 106, labor-only contractor is considered merely as an agent of the employer, and the liability must be shouldered by either one or shared by both. There is no doubt that in the case at bar, Livi performs manpower services, meaning to say, it contracts out labor in favor of clients. We hold that it is one notwithstanding its vehement claims to the contrary, and notwithstanding the provision of the contract that it is an independent contractor. The nature of ones business is not determined by self -serving appellations one attaches thereto but by the tests provided by statute and prevailing case law. The bare fact that Livi maintains a separate line of business does not extinguish the equal fact that it has provided California with workers to pursue the latters own business. In this connection, we do not agree that the petitioners had been made to perform activities which are not directly related to the general business of manufacturing, Californias purported principal operation activity. Livi, as a placement agency, had simply supplied California with the manpower necessary to carry out its (Californias) merchandising activities, using its (Californias) premises and equipment. Opinion: In the discussion of the legal effects of the labor-only contracting, if the same was existent, the law establishes and employer-employee relationship out from that agreement. It is now a relationship between the principal employer and the employees of the contractor. The contractor therefore is only included as a part of the agreement and if there are problems or there is a problem that will arise, both of them will be solidarily liable from the claims of the workers. There is therefore a presumption that the existence of labor-only contracting, there also exists an employer-employee relationship. For without the existence of the same, there can be no labor-only contractor. We must remember that there is this tripartite relationship with regard to the entering to a contract; that is the principal, the contractor and the employee. In the case of labor only contractor, they dont have the necessary capital required by law and at the same time, they have no investment in terms of machineries, equipments and other tools that are needed in the nature of the business. In the present case, it was not shown that indeed the same was or is qualified to bear that place. Now that there exists a claim, the workers or employees have the right to demand not just to the contractor but also to the principal because the law as it was elucidated, there is the dissolution of the tripartite relationship and what remained is the direct relationship between employees and principals in terms claims.

G.R. No. 179807 July 31, 2009

Gallego v. Bayer Phil. Inc., et al.

Second Division Justice Carpio-Morales Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Petitioner Ramy Gallego was contracted by Bayer Philippines Inc. (BAYER) as crop protection technician. When Gallegos employment came to a halt, BAYER reemployed Gallego through Product Image and Marketing Services, Inc. (PRODUCT IMAGE) performing the same tasks as that of a crop protection technician. After a few years, Gallego claims that he was directed to submit a resignation latter, but he refused. He was later on transferred to Luzon; moreover, his co-workers allegedly spread rumors there that he was not anymore connected with BAYER. Believing himself to be illegally dismissed, he filed with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) claiming he is entitled for reinstatement, backwages, and etc. BAYER denied that existence of an employer-employee relationship between BAYER and Gallego since Gallego was actually under the control and supervision of PRODUCT IMAGE, an independent contractor. The Labor Arbiter found BAYER, et al. guilty of illegal dismissal and ordered the reinstatement of Gallego. The NLRC reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter. Gallego then appealed to the Court of Appeals via Certiorari, which was dismissed. Hence, this petition. Issue: Does Product Image constitute labor-only contracting? Law: Jurisprudence under Art. 106- Contractor Sub Contractor. LCP Ruling: No. Permissible job contracting or subcontracting refers to an arrangement whereby a principal agrees to farm out with a contractor or subcontractor the performance of a specific job, work, or service within a definite or predetermined period, regardless of whether such job, work or, service is to be performed or completed within or outside the premises of the principal. Under this arrangement, the following conditions must be met: (a) the contractor carries on a distinct and independent business and undertakes the contract work on his account under his own responsibility according to his own manner and method, free from the control and direction of his employer or principal in all matters connected with the performance of his work except as to the results thereof; (b) the contractor has substantial capital or investment; and (c) the agreement between the principal and contractor or subcontractor assures the contractual employees entitlement to all labor and occupational safety and health standards, free exercise of the right to selforganization, security of tenure, and social welfare benefits. In the case at bar, the Court finds substantial evidence to support the finding of the NLRC that PRODUCT IMAGE is a legitimate job contractor. The DOLE certificate having been issued by a public officer, it carries with it the presumption that it was issued in the regular performance of official duty. Petitioners bare assertions fail to rebut this presumption. Further, since the DOLE is the agency primarily responsible for regulating the business of independent job contractors, the Court can presume, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that it had thoroughly evaluated the requirements submitted by PRODUCT IMAGE before issuing the Certificate of Registration. Independently of the DOLEs Certification, among the circumstances that establish the status of PRODUCT IMAGE as a legitimate job contractor are: (1) PRODUCT IMAGE had, during the period in question, a contract with BAYER for the promotion and marketing of BAYER products; (2) PRODUCT IMAGE has an independent business and provides services nationwide to big companies such as Ajinomoto Philippines and Procter and Gamble Corporation; and (3) PRODUCT IMAGEs total assets from 1998 to 2000 amounted to P405,639, P559,897, and P644,728, respectively. PRODUCT IMAGE also posted a bond in the amount of P100,000 to answer for any claim of its employees for unpaid wages and other benefits that may arise out of the implementation of its contract with BAYER. PRODUCT IMAGE cannot thus be considered a labor-only contractor. WHEREFORE, the petition is, in light of the foregoing, DENIED. Opinion: With the foregoing discussion set forth by the Supreme Court, I could only but concur. We must be mindful that in order to become a contractor there are necessary guidelines that need to be followed. According to the law, there is contracting when an employer enters into a contract with another for the performance of the formers work it must be stressed however that in order to become a legitimate contractor, there are also guidelines that must be met. If the contractor does not meet or was not able to meet the requirements, the same will be labeled as labor only contracting. There is labor only contracting when the contractor does not have substantial capital or necessary equipments, tools or machineries and merely recruits people. The law frowns on this kind of practice because it is against public policy, that is, the contractor is getting fat at the expense of the workers bacon. Another element is that the work is directly related to the main business or trade of the principal, this means that it is essential to the daily performance of trade that is necessary or beneficial thereof. By analyzing the condition in the present case, the elements of labor-only contracting is not evident. In fact Product Image did got a certificate from the Department of Labor and Employment that it is a legitimate contractor in accordance to law.

G.R. No. 123810 January 20, 1999

Consolidated Rural Bank Inc. v. NLRC

Second Division Justice Bellosillo Paolo Antoniou Trinidad

Facts: Private respondent Antonia L. Sanchez was Branch Manager of petitioners Ilagan Branch, Ilagan, Isabela, when she was terminated effective 7 August 1993 for lack of diligence, gross negligence, insubordination, and violation of existing bank policies resulting to loss. The incidents were followed; her termination arose from the following incident: Sometime in May 1992 a certain Rosalinda Rodriguez presented six (6) US Treasury Warrants (USTW) for deposit with CONSOLBANKs Ilagan Branch with a total value of $13,966.74 or P335, 201.76. As Branch Manager, private respondent referred the checks to her superiors at CONSOLBANKs Head Office in Santiago City who accepted and deposited the checks for clearing at PCI Bank, CONSOLBANKs depositary bank. The Board of Directors of CONSOLBANK, in order to determine responsibility for the loss, created a fact-finding committee to delve on facts as it (sic) happened. Furthermore, the findings of fact of the Fact-finding committee and the result of hearings and examination of documentary evidences made by the Executive Committee have shown that Mrs. Antonia L. Sanchez, Branch Manager of Ilagan Branch, has committed lack of diligence, gross negligence, insubordination and violation of existing bank policies resulting to loss. Issue: Is the respondent entitled for emoluments? Law: Jurisprudence and Art. 279. LCP Ruling: On the matter of payment of separation pay in lieu of reinstatement, we adopt public respondents factual finding that private respondent was employed by petitioner for twenty-two (22) years or from October 1971 until her termination on 7 August 1983 for failure of petitioner to prove its affirmative allegation that it was incorporated only in June 1983. With respect to the award of moral damages we ascribe no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the NLRC and the Labor Arbiter who found private respondent entitled thereto for having been made the sacrificial lamb or scapegoat of the Head Offices General Manager and Treasurer who got away with light penalties. In addition, the arbitrary manner by which petitioner dismissed private respondent, i.e., notifying her on 25 August 1993 of her dismissal which took effect some eighteen (18) days earlier or on 7 August 1993 as well as petitioners persistent failure despite repeated requests from private respondents counsel and assurances by CONSOLBANKs President himself to furnish private respondent with the Executive Committee decision made the basis of her dismissal, constitutes further justification for the award of moral damages. It is well-settled that moral damages are recoverable where the dismissal was attended by bad faith or constituted an act contrary to labor, or was done in a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public policy. Lastly, petitioner objects to the award of attorneys fees on the ground that it was not claimed by private respondent in her complaint for illegal dismissal. However, it is settled that in actions for recovery of wages or where an employee was forced to litigate and thus incur expenses to protect her rights and interests, even if not so claimed, an award of attorneys fees equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the total award is legally and morally justifiable. Opinion: The giving of different awards is justifiable. It is said that an employee, once terminated by way of illegal dismissal or was terminated acted on bad faith on the part of the employer, then the employee or party involved is entitled for awards and file for compensation and other benefits arising from the illegal dismissal or acting on bad faith. In the case at bar, the employee was terminated without giving her the chance to receive the complaint and to give her time to respondlack of due process and employer acted on bad faith. According to a provision of the labor code, an employee, if he or she is going to be terminated there must be essential requisites that are present: first, there must be just cause and second due process. The lack of either of the two would invalidate the dismissal and render it illegal. In continuance of the emoluments, the law provides that if and when and proven that the employee was illegally dismissed, the same is entitled to awards, such as separation pay, backwages, fees and other awards which the Court would deem necessary and just. In the present case, besides from the separation pays and backwages, the Supreme Court added moral damages and attorneys fees as necessary awards. The former, since she was used as an scapegoat by the employer and the latter as the law provides, 10% of the attorneys fees shall be awarded to the employee to compensate for the loss that the same will use in bringing up or defending himself in the litigation. Therefore, the emoluments will not only be based on law but also upon the discretion of the court as it may deem reasonable and just.