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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
 

   
February-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 99039 February 3, 1997 - FORD PHIL., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100748 February 3, 1997 - JOSE BARITUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108547 February 3, 1997 - FELICIDAD VDA. DE CABRERA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112761-65 February 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PORFERIO M. PEPITO

  • G.R. No. 114183 February 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS BORJA

  • G.R. No. 119310 February 3, 1997 - JULIETA V. ESGUERRA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119935 February 3, 1997 - UNITED SOUTH DOCKHANDLERS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122156 February 3, 1997 - MANILA PRINCE HOTEL v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123332 February 3, 1997 - AUGUSTO GATMAYTAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118915 February 4, 1997 - CAPITOL MEDICAL CENTER-ACE-UFSW v. BIENVENIDO LAGUESMA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1110 February 6, 1997 - MELENCIO S. SY v. CARMELITA S. MONGCUPA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1203 February 6, 1997 - ERNESTO A. REYES v. NORBERTO R. ANOSA

  • G.R. No. 110668 February 6, 1997 ccc zz

    SMITH, BELL & CO., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111682 February 6, 1997 - ZENAIDA REYES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117982 February 6, 1997 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118843 February 6, 1997 - ERIKS PTE. LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118950-54 February 6, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUCRECIA GABRES

  • G.R. No. 119322 February 6, 1997 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 98252 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENE JANUARIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110391 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOLORES DE LEON

  • G.R. No. 112191 February 7, 1997 - FORTUNE MOTORS (PHILS.) CORP., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112714-15 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO SAGARAL

  • G.R. No. 117472 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEO ECHEGARAY

  • G.R. No. 119657 February 7, 1997 - UNIMASTERS CONGLOMERATION, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 119772-73 February 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NIGEL RICHARD GATWARD

  • G.R. No. 125249 February 7, 1997 - JIMMY S. DE CASTRO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1161 February 10, 1997 - JESUS N. BANDONG v. BELLA R. CHING

  • G.R. No. 108894 February 10, 1997 - TECNOGAS PHIL. MFG. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109887 February 10, 1997 - CECILIA CARLOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117702 February 10, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISPIN YPARRAGUIRRE

  • G.R. No. 124553 February 10, 1997 - ROSARIO R. TUASON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-95-1070 February 12, 1997 - MARIA APIAG, ET AL. v. ESMERALDO G. CANTERO

  • Adm. Matter No. P-87-100 February 12, 1997 - FELISA ELIC VDA. DE ABELLERA v. NEMESIO N. DALISAY

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1231 February 12, 1997 - ISAIAS P. DICDICAN v. RUSSO FERNAN, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 68166 February 12, 1997 - HEIRS OF EMILIANO NAVARRO v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104666 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BIENVENIDO OMBROG

  • G.R. No. 115129 February 12, 1997 - IGNACIO BARZAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116511 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. COLOMA TABAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118025 February 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REBECCO SATOR

  • G.R. No. 120769 February 12, 1997 - STANLEY J. FORTICH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125531 February 12, 1997 - JOVAN LAND v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126013 February 12, 1997 - HEINZRICH THEIS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107554 February 13, 1997 - CEBU INT’L. FINANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108763 February 13, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112968 February 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARSENIO LETIGIO

  • G.R. No. 114144 February 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO ABAD

  • G.R. Nos. 114711 & 115889 February 13, 1997 - GARMENTS and TEXTILE EXPORT BOARD v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122728 February 13, 1997 - CASIANO A. ANGCHANGCO v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-217 February 17, 1997 - MANUEL F. CONCEPCION v. JESUS V. AGANA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ 97-1369 February 17, 1997 - OCTAVIO DEL CALLAR v. IGNACIO L. SALVADOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 103501-03 & 103507 February 17, 1997 - LUIS A. TABUENA v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119247 February 17, 1997 - CESAR SULIT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119536 February 17, 1997 - GLORIA S. DELA CRUZ v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121017 February 17, 1997 - OLIVIA B. CAMANAG v. JESUS F. GUERRERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122165 February 17, 1997 - ALA MODE GARMENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123823 February 17, 1997 - MODESTO G. ESPAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 96249 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALIPIO QUIAMCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114396 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM ROBERT BURTON

  • G.R. No. 118140 February 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE PIANDIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121084 February 19, 1997 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. v. TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. CORP. LABOR UNION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107916 February 20, 1997 - PERCIVAL MODAY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112288 February 20, 1997 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1034 February 21, 1997 - LEWELYN S. ESTRELLER v. SOFRONIO MANATAD, JR.

  • G.R. No. 73399 February 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON ABEDES

  • G.R. No. 117394 February 21, 1997 - HINATUAN MINING CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. SDC-97-2-P February 24, 1997 - SOPHIA ALAWI v. ASHARY M. ALAUYA

  • G.R. No. 110427 February 24, 1997 - CARMEN CAÑIZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1195 February 26, 1997 - ROMEO NAZARENO, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. ALMARIO

  • G.R. No. 94237 February 26, 1997 - BUILDING CARE CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105294 February 26, 1997 - PACITA DAVID-CHAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107671 February 26, 1997 - REMMAN ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109849 February 26, 1997 - MAXIMINO FUENTES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110098 February 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BUENAFE AZUGUE

  • G.R. No. 111538 February 26, 1997 - PARAÑAQUE KINGS ENTERPRISES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116033 February 26, 1997 - ALFREDO L. AZARCON v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123404 February 26, 1997 - AURELIO SUMALPONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1368 February 27, 1997 - ERNESTO RIEGO, ET AL. v. EMILIO LEACHON, JR.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 117394  February 21, 1997 - HINATUAN MINING CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 117394. February 21, 1997.]

    HINATUAN MINING CORPORATION AND/OR THE MANAGER, Petitioners, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and MARGOT BATISTER, Respondents.

    Andres Moralda Hernandez Law Offices, for Petitioners.

    Paulino T . Chua for Private Respondent.


    SYLLABUS


    1. LABOR LAW AND SOCIAL LEGISLATION; LABOR CODE; TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT; SEPARATION PAY; WHEN MAY BE AWARDED. — Separation pay may be awarded only in cases when the termination of employment is due to (a) installation of labor saving devices, (b) redundancy, (c) retrenchment; (d) closing or cessation of business operations, (e) disease of an employee and his continued employment is prejudicial to himself or his co-employees, or (f) when an employee is illegally dismissed but reinstatement is no longer feasible. (Section 4 (b), Rule I, Book VI, Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code)

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; WHEN MAY BE GRANTED TO VOLUNTARILY RESIGNING EMPLOYEE; CASE AT BAR. — It is well to note that there is no provision in the Labor Code which grants separation pay to voluntarily resigning employees. In fact, the rule is that an employee who voluntarily resigns from employment is not entitled to separation pay, except when it is stipulated in the employment contract or CBA, or it is sanctioned by established employer practice or policy. In the case at bar, it has been shown beyond doubt that there is an established employer practice of awarding separation pay to resigning employees.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; COMPUTATION THEREOF. — However, as to the actual amount of separation pay, we find that the NLRC erred in computing the same at the rate of one (1) month pay for every year of service. Private respondent does not dispute that the separation pay granted to previously resigned employees Marcial Lor and Rosario Alcantara amounted only to one-half () month pay per year of service. Hence, following the same precedent, the computation of private respondent’s separation pay should be reduced to one-half () month pay for every year of service.


    D E C I S I O N


    PUNO, J.:


    This case stemmed from a complaint filed by private respondent MARGOT BATISTER for separation pay with prayer for moral and exemplary damages, against her employer, petitioner HINATUAN MINING CORPORATION.

    The records show that private respondent was employed by petitioner on July 20, 1981. She rose from the ranks to become the company’s chief chemist. Her duty was to examine and analyze the nickel content of ores in petitioner’s mine site in Hinatuan, Talavera, Surigao del Norte, before they are shipped to Japan.

    In November and December, 1991, petitioner sent private respondent on a training grant to Japan to enhance her skills. Her training cost P175,000.00. After the training, private respondent returned to the Philippines and resumed working for Petitioner.

    On January 25, 1993, a year after her training, private respondent tendered her resignation effective February 15, 1993. As reason therefor, she declared that "the need to be with my family always compel me to take this action." 1

    Petitioner reminded private respondent that she had to stay with the company for three (3) more years in exchange for the expenses it incurred for her training in Japan. Private respondent was unmoved. She proceeded with her resignation and asked for separation pay. Petitioner denied her request and instead offered to give her financial assistance in the amount of P20,000.00.

    Private respondent thus filed a complaint with the labor arbiter claiming separation pay and damages against petitioner. She alleged that pursuant to the existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in the company, she could have availed of the optional retirement plan considering her eleven and a half (11) years of continuous service, but she chose to resign since she would get a higher compensation in the form of separation pay. She cited the cases of her former co-employees, Marcial P. Lor and Rizalino Alcantara, who were both given separation pay by petitioner despite their voluntary resignation.

    Petitioner opposed private respondent’s claim for separation benefits on the grounds that: (1) the provisions regarding retirement or separation benefits under the CBA do not apply to managerial officers and non-union members like private respondent; (2) private respondent is not entitled to separation pay for she voluntarily resigned from service; (3) she did not comply with the 30-day advance notice when she tendered her resignation on January 25, 1993, and; (4) petitioner spent P175,000.00 for her training in Japan and as per the company’s policy, private respondent, as beneficiary of a training grant, should work with the company for at least four (4) years.

    In a Decision, dated August 10, 1993, Labor Arbiter Marissa Macaraig-Guiller dismissed the complaint and ruled that private respondent, as resigning employee, is not entitled to severance benefits. She held that there was no company policy to this effect. 2

    Private respondent appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission and invoked a 1990 NLRC decision in the case of Rizalino Alcantara v. Hinatuan Mining Corporation. 3 In said case, Alcantara occupied the position of property officer when he voluntarily resigned from petitioner company on July 30, 1988. He was thus a managerial employee and a non-union member (like private respondent) when his resignation took effect. Alcantara demanded that he be paid the same severance benefits as given to former Administrative Manager Colonel Acuba and former Resident Mine Manager Engineer Rogelio Bayutas, both of whom also voluntarily resigned from the company. When his request was denied, Alcantara filed a complaint with the labor arbiter who ruled in his favor. Alcantara was awarded severance pay after finding that there was a company practice to this effect. The NLRC affirmed this decision on appeal.

    In line with its ruling in Alcantara, public respondent NLRC reversed the labor arbiter’s decision and adjudged petitioner liable to private respondent for the payment of: (1) separation pay (of P122,748.00) equivalent to one month salary per year of service; (2) attorney’s fees equivalent to 10% of the aforesaid monetary award or P12,274.00; and (3) moral and exemplary damages in the amount of P50,000.00 and P25,000.00, respectively. 4

    Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence this petition.

    We affirm the judgment of public respondent NLRC, with modification.

    It is well to note that there is no provision in the Labor Code which grants separation pay to voluntarily resigning employees. Separation pay may be awarded only in cases when the termination of employment is due to: (a) installation of labor saving devices, (b) redundancy, (c) retrenchment, (d) closing or cessation of business operations, 5 (e) disease of an employee and his continued employment is prejudicial to himself or his co-employees, 6 or (f) when an employee is illegally dismissed but reinstatement is no longer feasible. 7 In fact, the rule is that an employee who voluntarily resigns from employment is not entitled to separation pay, 8 except when it is stipulated in the employment contract or CBA, or it is sanctioned by established employer practice or policy. 9

    In the case at bar, it has been shown beyond doubt that there is an established employer practice of awarding separation pay to resigning employees. Private respondent is similarly situated as Alcantara who was also a managerial employee of petitioner company and a non-union member when he voluntarily resigned from the service. Alcantara was awarded separation pay by the Labor Arbiter (which decision was affirmed by the NLRC) after finding that the previous resigning officers of petitioner company (namely, Administrative Officer Colonel Acuba, Asst. Mine Accountant Mr. Garrido, and Resident Mine Manager Engr. Rogelio Bayutas) were given separation pay. As correctly ruled by the NLRC, to hold that private respondent is not entitled to separation pay would unduly discriminate against her.

    Petitioner insists that private respondent’s case is different for the other resigning managerial officers cited by private respondent did not undergo training overseas immediately prior to their resignation.chanrobles

    We cannot subscribe to petitioner’s contention. The records confirm that Resident Mine Manager Engr. Bayutas was also provided a training grant in Japan but he resigned less than two (2) years after the completion of his training. Nonetheless, he was granted separation pay by petitioner company. Moreover, petitioner itself admitted that unlike its other trainees, private respondent did not sign any contract binding herself to stay with petitioner for four (4) years after undergoing the training. 10 Neither was it a company policy considering that, as discussed earlier, Engr. Bayutas, likewise a beneficiary of a training grant, was allowed to resign two (2) years after his training. Thus, we see no valid reason why private respondent’s separation pay should be withheld from her.

    However, as to the actual amount of separation pay, we find that the NLRC erred in computing the same at the rate of one (1) month pay for every year of service. Private respondent does not dispute that the separation pay granted to previously resigned employees Marcial Lor and Rosario Alcantara amounted only to one-half () month pay per year of service. Hence, following the same precedent, the computation of private respondent’s separation pay should be reduced to one-half () month pay for every year of service.

    We also hold that the award of damages to private respondent is supported by evidence. Petitioner, without just and valid cause, unduly withheld from private respondent her separation pay although it has previously granted the same to its resigning employees similarly situated as private Respondent.

    IN VIEW WHEREOF, the impugned Decision of public respondent National Labor Relations Commission is AFFIRMED, with the MODIFICATION that private respondent’s separation pay should be computed at the rate of one-half () month pay for every year of service. The records of this case are remanded to public respondent NLRC for recomputation of private respondent’s separation pay. No costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    Regalado, Romero, Mendoza and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. NLRC Decision, p. 2; Rollo, at p. 62.

    2. Rollo, pp. 61-72.

    3. Docketed as SRAB-10-11-00245-88.

    4. Decision, Penned by Commissioner Leon G. Gonzaga, Jr., and concurred in by Presiding Commissioner Musib M. Buat and Commissioner Oscar N. Abella; Rollo, pp. 73-88.

    5. Article 283, Labor Code.

    6. Article 284, Labor Code.

    7. Section 4 (b), Rule I, Book VI, Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code.

    8. CJC Trading, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 115884, July 20, 1995, 246 SCRA 724.

    9. CJC Trading Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission, supra; See also Philippine Overseas Drilling and Oil Development Corporation v. Min. of Labor, G.R. No. 55703, November 27, 1986, 146 SCRA 74.

    10. See Page 3 of Petition; Rollo, p. 4.

    G.R. No. 117394  February 21, 1997 - HINATUAN MINING CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.


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