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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
August-1958 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-10791 August 18, 1958 - ELENA SOTTO VDA. DE MARALAG, ET AL. v. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM

    104 Phil 288

  • G.R. No. L-11945 August 18, 1958 - REYNALDO GOMEZ v. NORTH CAMARINES LUMBER COMPANY

    104 Phil 294

  • G.R. No. L-12662 August 18, 1958 - CHUA LAO, ETC., ET AL. v. CIPRIANO A. RAYMUNDO, ET AL.

    104 Phil 302

  • G.R. No. L-7047 August 21, 1958 - RAYMOND TOMASSI v. FERNANDO VILLA-ABRILLE

    104 Phil 310

  • G.R. No. L-11238 August 21, 1958 - ST. STEPHEN’S ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE

    104 Phil 314

  • G.R. No. L-11839 August 21, 1958 - MANUEL MASIGLAT v. CITY MAYOR OF PASAY CITY

    104 Phil 319

  • G.R. No. L-10303 August 22, 1958 - LUCIO JAVILLONAR v. LAND TENURE ADMINISTRATION

    104 Phil 323

  • G.R. No. L-11063 August 22, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANTIAGO BRIZ

    104 Phil 329

  • G.R. No. L-12376 August 22, 1958 - JOE’S RADIO & ELECTRICAL SUPPLY v. ALTO ELECTRONICS CORP., ET AL.

    104 Phil 333

  • G.R. No. L-12631 August 22, 1958 - RAFAEL I. AMURAO v. INDALECIO CALANGI, ET AL.

    104 Phil 347

  • G.R. No. L-11004 August 25, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PACIFICO GARDON

    104 Phil 371

  • G.R. No. L-12084 August 25, 1958 - PEDRO SAMSON, ET AL. v. NICASIO YATCO

    104 Phil 378

  • G.R. No. L-12544 August 20, 1958 - CHARLIE BROWN v. CONSTANCIO S. SUEZO

    104 Phil 388

  • G.R. No. L-12247 August 26, 1958 - BEATRIZ RAMOS VDA. BAGATUA, ET AL. v. PEDRO A. REVILLA, ET AL.

    104 Phil 392

  • G.R. No. L-7664 August 29, 1958 - AMADOR C. ONG v. METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT

    104 Phil 397

  • G.R. No. L-10222 August 29, 1958 - CIRILO DIZON, ET AL. v. ISABEL BANUES

    104 Phil 407

  • G.R. No. L-10445 August 29, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTORIANO ALFILER

    104 Phil 410

  • G.R. No. L-10525 August 29, 1958 - ALIPIO N. CASILAN, ET AL. v. SANTIAGO GANCAYCO

    104 Phil 418

  • G.R. No. L-10617 August 29, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRESCENCIO A. VERGEL

    104 Phil 425

  • G.R. No. L-10859 August 29, 1958 - FLAVIANO BAUTISTA v. AUDITOR GENERAL, ET AL.

    104 Phil 428

  • G.R. No. L-10867 August 29, 1958 - MANOLO L. MADDELA v. JUAN P. AQUINO

    104 Phil 433

  • G.R. No. L-11862 August 29, 1958 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. HERMOGENES MALLARI, ET AL.

    104 Phil 437

  • G.R. No. L-12172 August 29, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN F. FAJARDO

    104 Phil 443

  • G.R. No. L-9529 August 30, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO T. VILLANUEVA

    104 Phil 450

  • G.R. No. L-10122 August 30, 1958 - LEE E. WON v. WACK WACK GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

    104 Phil 466

  • G.R. No. L-10155 August 30, 1958 - WONG & LEE v. COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL.

    104 Phil 469

  • G.R. No. L-10665 August 30, 1958 - LORETO AGUIRRE, ET AL. v. MANUEL B. ATIENZA, ET AL.

    104 Phil 477

  • G.R. No. L-11336 August 30, 1958 - RODOLFO GANZON v. UNION C. KAYANAN

    104 Phil 483

  • G.R. No. L-11776 August 30, 1958 - RAMON GONZALES v. GO TIONG and LUZON SURETY CO.

    104 Phil 492

  • G.R. No. L-12000 August 30, 1958 - BENGUET CONSOLIDATED MINING CO. v. COTO LABOR UNION, ET AL.

    104 Phil 500

  • G.R. No. L-12034 August 30, 1958 - PATRICIO PABORES v. COMMISSIONER OF WCC

    104 Phil 505

  • G.R. No. L-12190 August 30, 1958 - FAUSTO E. GAN v. ILDEFONSO YAP

    104 Phil 509

  • G.R. No. L-12324 August 30, 1958 - TAN LIM TE v. WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION COMMISSIONER, ET AL.

    104 Phil 522

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. L-11945   August 18, 1958 - REYNALDO GOMEZ v. NORTH CAMARINES LUMBER COMPANY<br /><br />104 Phil 294

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. L-11945. August 18, 1958.]

    REYNALDO GOMEZ, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. NORTH CAMARINES LUMBER COMPANY, INC., Defendant-Appellee.

    C. Cabili, B. Legaspi and M. Muro for Appellant.

    Manuel V. San Jose for Appellee.


    SYLLABUS


    1. COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS; JURISDICTION; OVERTIME PAY. — With the enactment of the Industrial Peace Act, cases involving hours of employment under the Eight-Hour Labor Law specially fall within the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations. (Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions — PAFLU v. Tan, 99 Phil., 854; Reyes v. Tan, 99 Phil., 880; Cebú Port Labor Union v. States Marine Corporation, 101 Phil., 468.)

    2. ID.; ID.; SEPARATION PAY. — While Republic Act No. 1052 allows claims for separation pay, the law is silent on the matter of jurisdiction of the court that can take cognizance thereof. However, it must be remembered that Commonwealth Act No. 103, in creating the Court of Industrial Relations, vested said Tribunal with powers that were broad enough to comprehend practically all and every labor dispute, and to the extent that although Article 302 of the Code of Commerce providing for the payment of separation pay or "mesada" was considered repealed by Article 2270 of the new Civil Code. Lara v. Canlas, 94 Phil., 778), this Court declared that a month’s pay upon separation from service without just cause and without notice may also in the discretion of the Industrial Court be granted provided that said discretion is not abused (Sta. Mesa Slipways & Engineering Co., Inc. v. CIR, Et Al., 91 Phil., 764, 48 Off. Gaz., 3353), which is a clear indication that claims for separation pay are cognizable by the Industrial Court.

    3. MINIMUM WAGE LAW; DECISION OF LABOR INVESTIGATION WHEN RES JUDICATA. — For a decision of the Investigator of the Department of Labor to have a binding force, an agreement to abide by whatever conclusion he may arrived at must appear in writing and signed by the parties. This requirement is mandatory. The Investigator must be presumed to know that the conducting of an investigation and the consequential rendering of a decision therein without the parties having executed any such agreement produces no effect whatsoever and will not constitute a bar to a subsequent action involving the same claim.


    D E C I S I O N


    FELIX, J.:


    This is an appeal filed by Reynaldo Gomez from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila dismissing Civil Case No. 30103 of said Court. The facts of the case are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Reynaldo Gomez was employed from July 3, 1954, to September 29, 1955, as an oiler aboard the vessel M/V Vega, owned and operated by the North Camarines Lumber Co. Inc., with a monthly salary of P110, plus bonus of P5 and free meals valued at P36, or for a total sum of P151 a month.

    On September 30, 1955, Gomez was relieved of his employment, hence, on December 29, 1955, he filed a complaint with the Regional Office No. 1 of the Department of Labor against the North Camarines Lumber Co. Inc., for alleged unpaid overtime services, underpayment and separation pay (Exhibit 1). The claim (C-4718) was thus investigated by the aforementioned office, in which investigation, the parties appeared and presented their evidence in support of their respective stand without the aid of counsel. As in the course of said hearing, the complainant manifested his desire to confine his claim only to the question of the separation pay, the Investigator in his "Findings and Recommendations" dated April 5, 1956, dismissed the complaint for lack of merit on the ground that preponderant evidence showed that complainant’s dismissal from the employ of defendant was justified and he was not, therefore, entitled to a separation pay (Exhibit 2). The Investigator did not touch on the merits of the claim for overtime services and underpayment.

    On July 3, 1956, Reynaldo Gomez filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila an action for collection of overtime and separation pay against the North Camarines Lumber Co. Inc., which was docketed as Civil Case No. 30103. In claiming for overtime compensation, plaintiff charged that although his schedule of work was from 12:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. and again from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., he was actually made to perform additional work at an average of 5 hours daily. For this cause of action, plaintiff claimed a total of P2,199.60. It was also contended that on September 30, 1955, he was relieved of his employment without justifiable reason and without prior notice, thus he claimed for separation pay equivalent to one month salary. Plaintiff likewise prayed for attorney’s fees, costs and such other relief as might be equitable in the premises.

    In its answer to the complaint, defendant corporation denied all the material averment thereof and as affirmative defenses it averred that plaintiff’s dismissal from work was precipitated by the latter’s violations of the rules and regulations of the company and for the commission of acts of disrespect towards the passengers of the vessel, not only once but on several occasions; that plaintiff’s claim was already heard and dismissed by the Regional Office No. 1 of the Department of Labor; and that the said action was brought merely to harass said defendant. It was, therefore, prayed that the complaint be dismissed and plaintiff be ordered to pay to defendant the sum of P1,000 as damages.

    During the hearing of the case, defendant, invoking the ruling laid down by this Court in the case of Brillantes v. Castro, 99 Phil., 497; 56 Off. Gaz. (29) 4621, moved for its dismissal on the ground that as plaintiff failed to appeal from the order of the Investigator of the Department of Labor dismissing the complaint filed therein within the reglementary period, as provided by Section 7 of Republic Act No. 602, the matter was already res judicata and serves as a bar to another action involving the same parties and over the same subject matter. Plaintiff filed an opposition thereto contending that the Wage Administration Service possessed no power to render the judgment upon which the motion to dismissed was based and, even assuming that it had, the aforementioned order did not constitute res judicata with respect to the claim for overtime services. In an order dated October 27, 1956, the lower court held that following the doctrine in the Brillantes v. Castro case, the decision rendered by the Regional Office No. 1 of the Department of Labor constituted res judicata on the matter and barred a subsequent action over the same claim. Furthermore, the lower Court ruled that the aforesaid decision was final and conclusive not only with respect to the separation pay but also as to the claim for under payment and overtime compensation for the reason that a judgment is conclusive upon all matters that might have been litigated and decided in a suit. The complaint was thus dismissed without costs. As the motion for reconsideration of said order, filed by plaintiff, was denied, the case was elevated to this Court, on the allegation that the lower Court erred:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. In holding that the decision of the Regional Office of the Department of Labor is a bar to the instant action;

    2. In holding that the decision of the Regional Office of the Department of Labor is a bar to the claim for overtime pay; and

    3. In sustaining the motion to dismiss.

    There is no controversy that as a consequence of plaintiff and appellant’s complaint lodged before the Regional Office No. 1 of the Department of Labor, an investigation was conducted by said office wherein both parties appeared and adduced their respective evidence. Upon the dismissal of his complaint, however, Gomez instituted in the Court of First Instance of Manila Civil Case No. 30103 which was filed 2 months and 28 days after the aforementioned order of dismissal was issued. The question raised by the instant appeal is whether or not the order of the Regional Office No. 1 of the Department of Labor dismissing the complaint for lack of merit has the effect of res judicata upon appellant’s claims.

    Plaintiff-appellant in assailing the ruling of the lower Court maintains that the Minimum Wage Law (Rep. Act 602) contains no provision empowering the Wage Administration Service to pass upon the merit of a claim for compensation under the said Act. We really find no specific provision in the aforesaid Act to this effect. The lower Court, however, in upholding the theory of defendant relied on the doctrine laid down by this Court in the case of Brillantes v. Castro, 99 Phil., 497; 56 Off. Gaz. (29) 4621. Said case is not applicable in the instant action for whereas in the Brillantes case it appears that the parties signed a written agreement wherein they bound themselves to respect the decision of the Investigator, such a document is wanting in the case at bar. In this connection, Section 9, Article 7-B of the Code of Rules and Regulations to Implement the Minimum Wage Law prescribed the following:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 9. If no amicable agreement is arrived at between the parties on the whole or any part of the claim, the claims investigator or claims attorney shall immediately ask the parties whether they are willing to submit the case for arbitration by the Service with him or any other claims attorney or investigator acting as arbitrator, whose decision shall be binding, final and conclusive between them, the agreement to arbitrate shall be made in writing and signed by the parties before the claims investigator or claims attorney. In case of arbitration, the hearing on the claim shall not exceed one week from the initiation thereof.

    It will be noted from the foregoing that for a decision of the Investigator to have a binding force, an agreement to abide by whatever conclusion he may arrive at must appear in writing and signed by the parties. While it may be said that in the instant case the complaint was lodged before the Department of Labor by plaintiff- appellant himself and that he appeared during the hearing thereof without the aid of counsel, yet considering that said regulation is couched in mandatory language as evidenced by the consistent use of the word "shall", such requirement must be given a strict interpretation. The Investigator from the Department of Labor must be presumed to know that the conducting of an investigation and the consequential rendering of a decision therein without the parties having executed any such agreement produces no effect whatsoever and will not constitute a bar to a subsequent action involving the same claim.

    Notwithstanding this conclusion, appellant’s case must fail on a different ground. Section 16 of the Minimum Wage Law reads as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 16. Jurisdiction of the Courts. — (a) The Court of First Instance shall have jurisdiction to restrain violations of this Act; action by the Secretary or by the employees affected to recover UNDERPAYMENT may be brought is any COMPETENT Court, which shall render its decision on such cases within fifteen days from the time the case has been submitted for decision; in appropriate instances, appeal from the decisions of these courts on any action under this Act shall be in accordance with applicable law.

    It is clear from the foregoing that the Court of First Instance has jurisdiction only over controversies involving violations of the Minimum Wage Law. The instant action, however, was for the collection of overtime compensation under the Eight-Hour Labor Law (Com. Act 444) and for separation pay, and that actions of this nature shall be brought before a court of competent jurisdiction. In this respect, it has been held by this Court that with the enactment of the Industrial Peace Act (Republic Act 875), cases involving hours of employment under the Eight-Hour Labor Law specifically fall within the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations (Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions — PAFLU v. Tan, 99 Phil., 854; 52 Off. Gaz. [13] 5836, Reyes v. Tan, 99 Phil., 880; 52 Off. Gaz. [14] 6187; Cebú Port Labor Union v. States Marine Corporation, 101 Phil., 468).

    It is to be noted in this connection that the case at bar involves 2 points or causes of action: (1) the claim relative to overtime pay which, as ruled in the preceding jurisprudence, comes within the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations; and (2) the claim for separation pay allowed by Republic Act No. 1052, as amended by Republic Act No. 1787. With respect to the latter point, the law creating such right (Republic Act 1052 which was approved on June 12, 1954), does not shed light on the matter of the jurisdiction of the court or commission that can take cognizance thereof. It must be remembered, however, that Commonwealth Act No. 103, in creating the Court of Industrial Relations, vested said Tribunal with powers that were broad enough to comprehend practically all and every labor dispute; labor-management conflicts of almost any kind and character, and to the extent that although Article 302 of the Code of Commerce providing for the payment of separation pay or "mesada" was considered repealed by Article 2270 of the new Civil Code (Lara v. Del Rosario, 94 Phil., 778; 50 Off. Gaz. [5] 1975), this Court still declared that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . Regardless of the strict applicability of Art. 302 (of the Code of Commerce), the Court of Industrial Relations by reason of its general jurisdiction and authority to decide labor disputes, the amount of salary or wages to be paid laborers and employees, to determine their living conditions, has been deciding not only the minimum that the employer shown pay its employees but also granting them even sick and vacation leave with pay without any express Legal provision. A month’s pay upon separation from service without just cause and without notice may also in the discretion of the Industrial Court be granted provided that said discretion is not abused (Sta. Mesa Slipways & Engineering Co., Inc., v. CIR, et al, 48 Official Gazette 3353),

    which is a clear indication that claims for separation pay are cognizable by the Industrial Court. Again, in the case of G.P.T.C. Employees Union v. Court of Industrial Relations and Gonzalo Puyat Timber Concessions, 102 Phil., 538, we affirmed the decision of the Court of Industrial Relations which took cognizance of and passed upon the matter of separation pay, one of the demands presented in said case by the labor union.

    It may be argued, however, that pursuant to the ruling laid down by this Court in the cases of Philippine Association of Free Labor Union v. Tan, supra, Reyes v. Tan, supra, as affirmed in several subsequent decisions, the enactment of the Industrial Peace Act curtailed the powers of the Court of Industrial Relations to take cognizance of controversies to the following: (1) when the labor dispute affects an industry which is indispensable to the national interest and is so certified by the President to the Industrial Court (Section 10, Republic Act 875); (2) when the controversy refers to minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Law (Republic Act 875); (3) when it involves hours of employment under the Eight-Hour Labor Law (Commonwealth Act 444); and (4) when it involves an unfair labor practice (Section 5-a, Republic Act 875). But considering that in this case, plaintiff appellant’s main claim is for the collection of overtime compensation, which comes within the jurisdiction of the Industrial Court, We see no reason for dividing the 2 causes of action involved herein and for holding that one falls within the jurisdiction of one court and the remaining cause of action of another court. Anyway, We believe that it is more in consonance with the ends of justice that both causes of action be cognizable and heard by only one court: the Court of Industrial Relations. The complaint herein having been filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila, same must be dismissed and the matter submitted to the Court of Industrial Relations.

    Wherefore, the order appealed from has to be affirmed and this case dismissed for the reasons abovementioned. Without pronouncement as to costs. It is so ordered.

    Bengzon, Bautista Angelo and Concepcion, JJ., concur.

    Paras, C.J., Montemayor and Endencia, JJ., concur in the result.

    Reyes, J.B.L., J., concurs but reserves his vote on the separation pay issue.

    G.R. No. L-11945   August 18, 1958 - REYNALDO GOMEZ v. NORTH CAMARINES LUMBER COMPANY<br /><br />104 Phil 294


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