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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
 

   
November-2006 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 6266 - ESTELA ANASTACIO-BRIONES vs ATTY. ALFREDO A. ZAPANTA

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  • A.C. No. 7214 - AILEEN A. FERANCULLO vs ATTY. SANCHO M. FERANCULLO, JR.

  • A.C. No. 6266 - ESTELA ANASTACIO-BRIONES vs ATTY. ALFREDO A. ZAPANTA

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  • A.C. No. 7214 - AILEEN A. FERANCULLO vs ATTY. SANCHO M. FERANCULLO, JR.

  • Adm. Case No. 7252 - CBD 05-1434 - JOHNNY NG vs ATTY. BENJAMIN C. ALAR

  • A.C. No. 7280 - DAHLIA S. GACIAS vs ATTY. ALEXANDER BULAUITAN

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  • A.M. No. 2005-26-SC - RE: LOST CHECKS ISSUED TO THE LATE RODERICK ROY P. MELLIZA, ETC.

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  • A.M. No. P-03-1731 - PNB MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs CARMELO CACHERO

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  • G.R. No. 140833 - LACEPI T. MAGNANAO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 141480 - CARLOS B. DE GUZMAN vs TOYOTA CUBAO, INC.

  • G.R. No. 142351 - ST. MARTIN FUNERAL HOMES vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143219 - ASIAN TERMINALS, INC. vs RENATO P. VILLANUEVA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143382 - SECURITY BANK and TRUST COMPANY vs MAR TIERRA CORPORATION, ET AL.

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  • G.R. No. 148490 - 7K CORPORATION vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 148500-01 - TIMES TRANSPORTATION CO. INC. vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 148839-40 - NAGKAHIUSANG MAMUMUO SA PICOP RESOURCES, INC. - SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES FEDERATION OF LABOR (NAMAPRI - SPFL), ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148971 - ALBERTO GARONG vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 149633 - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GABRIEL S. CASAL, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 149748 - JANG LIM, ET AL vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149753 - Miguel Cosme, Jr. v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. NO. 149764 - PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION vs ENRIQUE GUTIERREZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150253 - DAVAO LIGHT AND POWER CORPORATION, INC. vs ANTONIO G. DIAZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150402 - EPARWA SECURITY AND JANITORIAL SERVICES, INC. vs LICEO DE CAGAYAN UNIVERSITY

  • G.R. No. 152258 - ROGELIO P. ANTALAN vs ANIANO DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 152984 - WILLIAM G. KWONG vs ATTY. RAMON GARGANTOS, ET AL.

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  • G.R. NO. 154565 - REMEDIOS RAMOS vs TESSIE PABAS

  • G.R. No. 154685 - METROPOLITAN BANK and TRUST COMPANY, ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155645 - PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC. vs MAYFLOR T. YLAGAN

  • G.R. No. 155574 - TIMOTEO A. GARCIA vs SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 156294 - MELVA THERESA ALVIAR GONZALES vs RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION

  • G. R. No. 156888 - PEDRO R. SANTIAGO vs SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY

  • G.R. No. 156903 - SPOUSES CARLOS and TERESITA RUSTIA vs EMERITA RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 157107 - ALPINE LENDING INVESTORS, ET AL. vs ESTRELLA CORPUZ

  • G.R. No. 157117 - COASTAL SUBIC BAY TERMINAL, INC. vs DEPARTMENT OF LABOR and EMPLOYMENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 157236-45 - ROMEO D. LONZANIDA vs SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 157906 - JOAQUINITA P. CAPILI vs SPS. DOMINADOR CARDAÑA and ROSALITA CARDAÑA,

  • G.R. No. 158676 - BPI-FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC. vs SPS. ZENAIDA DOMINGO & ABUNDIO S. DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158707 - COMMUNITY RURAL BANK OF SAN ISIDRO (N.E.), INC. vs YSAGANI V. PAEZ

  • G.R. NOS. 157294-95 - JOSEPH VICTOR G. EJERCITO vs SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158960 - LORNA FRANCES FILIPINO vs F. WALTER R. MACABUHAY

  • G.R. No. 159373 - JOSE R. MORENO, JR. vs PRIVATE MANAGEMENT OFFICE

  • G.R. No. 159991 - CARMELINO F. PANSACOLA vs COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 159734 and G.R. NO. 159745 - ROSARIO V. ASTUDILLO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 160347 - ARCADIO and MARIA LUISA CARANDANG vs HEIRS OF QUIRINO A. DE GUZMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160618 - DENNIS D. SY vs METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 160805 - SPOUSES ADIEL DE LA CENA and CARIDAD AREVALO DE LA CENA vs SPOUSES JOSE BRIONES and HERMINIA LLEDO BRIONES

  • G.R. No. 161086 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION vs COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 161136 - WILFREDO VAGILIDAD, ET AL. vs GABINO VAGILIDAD, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 161115 - DOLE PHILIPPINES, INC. vs MEDEL ESTEVA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 162037 - Heirs of Enrique Diaz v. Elinor A. Virata

  • G.R. No. 162243, G.R. No. 164516 & G.R. No. 171875 - HEHERSON ALVAREZ vs PICOP RESOURCES, INC.

  • G.R. No. 162308 - G & M PHILIPPINES, INC. vs ROMIL V. CUAMBOT

  • G.R. No. 162331 - LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING CO. vs WMC RESOURCES INT L. PTY. LTD., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 162366 - FEDERICA M. SERRANO, ET AL. vs SPOUSES ANSELMO GUTIERREZ AND CARMELITA GUTIERREZ

  • G.R. No. 163735 - GREEN ASIA CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163712 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, ET AL. vs JOSE B. TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163763 - MALAYAN REALTY, INC. vs UY HAN YONG

  • G.R. No. 164300 - SPOUSES BENJAMIN AND AGRIFINA SIM vs M.B. FINANCE CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 164321 - SKECHERS, U.S.A., INC. vs INTER PACIFIC INDUSTRIAL TRADING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164545 - LORBE REBUCAN y BALTAZAR vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 165038 - HEIRS OF EMILIO R. DOMINGO AND FELICIDAD CORNEJO, ET AL. vs THE HEIRS OF CLARITA D. MARTIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164858 - HENRY P. LANOT vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

  • G.R. No. 165724 - ZAMORA REALTY and DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165879 - MARIA B. CHING vs JOSEPH C. GOYANKO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166403 - BENZON O. ALDEMITA vs HEIRS OF MELQUIADES SILVA

  • G.R. NOS. 166143-47 and G.R. NO. 166891 - ABDUSAKUR M. TAN, ET AL. vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166496 - JOSEFA BAUTISTA FERRER vs SPS. MANUEL M. FERRER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166501 - ERNESTO B. FRANCISCO, JR. vs HON. BAYANI F. FERNANDO

  • G.R. No. 166649 - ROBERT B. CABUYOC vs INTER-ORIENT NAVIGATION SHIPMANAGEMENT, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166833 - FELIXBERTO CUBERO, ET AL. vs LAGUNA WEST MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166837 - LIGAYA S. ORBETA vs RUBEN P. ORBETA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167680 - SAMUEL PARILLA, ET AL. vs DR. PROSPERO PILAR

  • G.R. No. 167723 - CLUB FILIPINO, INC. vs ROMEO ARAULLO

  • G.R. No. 167743 - HILARIO P. SORIANO vs OMBUDSMAN SIMEON V. MARCELO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167844 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168035 - MELANIE M. MESINA, ET AL. vs GLORIA C. GARCIA

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  • G.R. No. 168694 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs SAIDAMIN MACABALANG y MALAMAMA

  • G.R. No. 169193 - SPOUSES ILUMINADA CAPITLE and CIRILO CAPITLE vs FORTUNATA ELBAMBUENA, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 169295-96 - REMINGTON INDUSTRIAL SALES CORPORATION vs ERLINDA CASTANEDA

  • G.R. No. 169341 - City of Cebu v. Vicente B. Del Rosario

  • G.R. No. 169578 - TERESITA DIO vs ST. FERDINAND MEMORIAL PARK, INC., ET AL.

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  • G.R. No. 170522 - CELSO LOPEZ OCATE vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170829 - Perla G. Patricio v. Marcelino G. Dario III, et al.

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    G.R. No. 155645 - PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC.  vs  MAYFLOR T. YLAGAN

      G.R. No. 155645 - PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC. vs MAYFLOR T. YLAGAN

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. NO. 155645 : November 24, 2006]

    PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC. (PLDT), Petitioner, v. MAYFLOR T. YLAGAN, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N

    CORONA, J.:

    This Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeks a review and reversal of the Court of Appeals (CA) decision1 and resolution2 in CA-G.R. SP No. 57535.

    The facts follow.

    In November 1992, respondent Mayflor T. Ylagan was hired as an accounting clerk in the Cost Accounting Department (CAD) of petitioner Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Inc. (PLDT). In January 1994, she was transferred to the Revenue Auditing Department. Later, on July 3, 1995, she was brought back to the CAD to perform the same accounting duties.

    Respondent claims that in May 1996, PLDT refused to renew her employment unless she signed up with an employment agency known as Corporate Executive Search, Inc. (CESI). She was allegedly constrained to sign an employment contract with the agency in order to keep her job with PLDT. But on February 5, 1997, PLDT allegedly refused to allow her to report for work since her employment contract with CESI had already expired.

    PLDT, however, maintains that respondent was hired as a project employee assigned to the Employment Payroll System Project from the onset of her employment. The project allegedly started on September 21, 1992. It was discontinued in March 1997 when a new system was developed to replace it. PLDT asserts that respondent's project employment was covered by contracts for the period of July 3, 1995 to October 2, 1995 and October 3, 1995 to January 2, 1996. Hence, respondent was not dismissed from her work; her employment contract merely expired as of January 2, 1996. PLDT, however, did not explain why respondent had to sign up with CESI in May 1996.

    Claiming that her regular employment was terminated without cause, respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. She prayed3 for reinstatement with full backwages and all the benefits due a regular employee from the start of her employment in November 1992 until her dismissal, plus damages and attorney's fees.

    On September 30, 1998, the labor arbiter ruled in her favor.

    WHEREFORE, all the foregoing premises being considered, judgment is hereby rendered ordering [petitioner] to reinstate [respondent] to her former position or to a substantially equivalent position with all the rights, privileges and benefits due a regular employee, and to pay her backwages tentatively computed at P94,514.00 up to September 30, 1998, and to such further backwages as they accrue until final reinstatement. Further, [petitioner] is ordered to pay [respondent] her wage differentials as a regular employee from July 3, 1995 up to February 3, 1997 to be computed by the Research and Computation Unit. And finally, [petitioner] is ordered to pay [respondent] attorney's fees at the rate of ten percent (10%) of the total judgment award.

    SO ORDERED.4

    Petitioner appealed the decision to the NLRC.5 In a resolution dated July 8, 1999, the NLRC reversed and set aside the labor arbiter's decision. It held that respondent's complaint against petitioner was without merit.6 It denied respondent's motion for reconsideration.7

    The NLRC resolutions became the subject of respondent's petition for certiorari in the CA, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 57535. The CA granted the petition, setting aside the NLRC resolutions and reinstating the labor arbiter's decision.8

    Before us, PLDT essentially maintains its stand that respondent, as a project employee, was not dismissed from work but her employment ceased upon the expiration of her project employment contracts with PLDT.

    The main points of contention in this petition are: (1) the status of respondent's employment and (2) the validity of the termination of her employment.

    Generally, this Court refrains from reviewing factual matters already settled by the CA. We are, however, constrained to review respondent's employment status due to the incongruent findings of the NLRC on one hand, and the CA, on the other.

    We uphold the appellate court.

    A project employee is assigned to carry out a specific project or undertaking the duration and scope of which are specified at the time the employee is engaged in the project.9 A project is a job or undertaking which is distinct, separate and identifiable from the undertakings of the company.10 A project employee is assigned to a project which begins and ends at determined or determinable times.11

    Various indicators convince us that respondent was not a project employee but a regular employee who was illegally dismissed.

    First, respondent worked continuously for PLDT from November 1992 to July 1995 without any mention of a "project" to which she was specifically assigned. She was hired to perform accounting duties which were not shown as distinct, separate and identifiable from the usual undertakings of the company. Although essentially a telephone company, PLDT maintains its own accounting department to which respondent was assigned.

    Second, aside from its statement that respondent was hired as a project employee for the Employment Payroll System Project which began in 1992, PLDT did not provide evidence of the project employment contracts covering the period from November 1992 (when respondent was hired) to July 1995. PLDT mentioned only two contracts but these pertained to her employment period from July 1995 to January 1996.

    Third, despite the supposed expiration of respondent's project employment contract on January 2, 1996, respondent continued to work for PLDT until May 2, 1996 when respondent was required to sign up with CESI.12 Respondent worked for PLDT, under contract with CESI, until February 3, 1997. PLDT explained that it no longer allowed respondent to report for work by then since the project was already done. But the project was only completed in March 1997.

    Most important of all, based on the records, PLDT did not report the termination of respondent's supposed project employment to the Department of Labor and Employment as project employee. Department Order No. 19 (as well as the old Policy Instructions No. 20) required employers to submit a report of an employee's termination to the nearest public employment office every time his employment was terminated due to a completion of a project.13 PLDT's failure to file termination reports was an indication that the respondent was not a project employee but a regular employee.14

    The test to determine whether employment is regular or not is the reasonable connection between the particular activity performed by the employee in relation to the usual business or trade of the employer. Also, if the employee has been performing the job for at least one year, even if the performance is not continuous or merely intermittent, the law deems the repeated and continuing need for its performance as sufficient evidence of the necessity, if not indispensability of that activity to the business. Thus, we held that where the employment of project employees is extended long after the supposed project has been finished, the employees are removed from the scope of project employees and are considered regular employees.15 (emphasis ours)

    While length of time may not be the controlling test for project employment, it is crucial in determining if the employee is hired for a specific undertaking to perform functions vital, necessary and indispensable to the usual business of the company.16

    Here, respondent worked in PLDT's accounting department from November 1992 to July 1995 without any project employment contract.ςηαñrοblεš νιr υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    Her employment was continuous until she was constrained to sign up with CESI in May 1996. It was almost a year later when she was no longer allowed to report for work in PLDT due to the alleged expiration of her contract with CESI.

    PLDT asserts that even if respondent rendered continuous service for a year or so, she could not be deemed a regular employee because the services performed were not necessary or desirable to the usual trade or business of the company. On this, we agree with the CA:

    It is absurd to argue that services rendered by the [respondent] as an accounting clerk to the accounting and auditing department of PLDT in relation to its PEPS project (computerization of employees['] payroll system) is not necessary or desirable to the company's business. There won't be any business without any workforce xxx. Employees render their services for a certain payment or compensation. Thus, [respondent's] job pertaining to effective payroll system is part and parcel [of] the usual business of PLDT.ςηαñrοblεš νιr υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    Further, [the CA] is reminded of the jurisprudence that "the character of employment is determined not by stipulations in the contract, but by the nature of the work performed and that "an employee is regular because of the nature of the work and the length of service, not because of the mode or even the reason for hiring them."17 Thus, the scheme of PLDT in adopting the "Project Employment Agreement" where the [respondent] was made to sign and the design of referring [respondent] to an employment agency undoubtedly bolster its intention of stripping from [respondent] the privileges earned by the status of her [regular] employment.18 (citations omitted)

    Even assuming that respondent was hired as a project employee from the onset, we have ruled that "once such an employee has been: (1) continuously, as opposed to intermittently, re-hired by the same employer for the same tasks or nature of tasks and (2) these tasks are vital, necessary and indispensable to the usual business or trade of the employer, then the employee must be deemed a regular employee."19

    From the foregoing, the duration (of at least one year) and necessity of respondent's employment have been established. She was therefore a regular employee of PLDT. As such, respondent was entitled to all the privileges and benefits attached to that status.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. The decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 57535 are AFFIRMED.

    Costs against petitioner.

    SO ORDERED.

    Endnotes:


    1 Penned by Associate Justice B.A. Adefuin-De La Cruz (retired) and concurred in by Associate Justices Wenceslao I. Agnir, Jr. (retired) and Regalado E. Maambong of the Eleventh Division of the Court of Appeals; Annex "A," rollo, pp. 10-16.

    2 Penned by Associate Justice B.A. Adefuin-De La Cruz (retired) and concurred in by Associate Justices Wenceslao I. Agnir, Jr. (retired) and Regalado E. Maambong of the Special Former Eleventh Division of the Court of Appeals; Annex "B," id., pp. 18-19.

    3 In the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) on April 24, 1997. The case was docketed as NLRC-NCR Case No. 00-04-03038-97.

    4 Penned by Labor Arbiter Donato G. Quinto, Jr.; rollo, pp. 124-130.

    5 Docketed as NLRC CA No. 017599-99. NLRC refers to the National Labor Relations Commission.

    6 Penned by Commissioner Alberto R. Quimpo and concurred in by Presiding Commissioner Rogelio I. Rayala and Commissioner Vicente S.E. Veloso of the First Division of the NLRC; rollo, pp. 132-140.

    7 Id., pp. 142-143.

    8 Id., p. 16.

    9 Integrated Contractor and Plumbing Works, Inc. v. NLRC and Glen Solon, G.R. No. 152427, 9 August 2005, 466 SCRA 265, 271.

    10 Id.

    11 Id.

    12 According to the cash salary voucher, "final pay up" to respondent was made on May 2, 1996. Rollo, p. 100.

    13 Id., pp. 273-274.

    14 Id., p. 271. See also Filipinas Pre-Fabricated Building Systems (Filsystems), Inc. v. Puente, G.R. No. 153832, 18 March 2005, 453 SCRA 820, 827-828; Grandspan Development Corporation v. Bernardo, G.R. No. 141464, 21 September 2005, 470 SCRA 461, 470.

    15 Id., p. 273. See also Labor Code of the Philippines, Sec. 280.

    16 Id. See also Filipinas Pre-Fabricated Building Systems (Filsystems), Inc. v. Puente, supra note 14, at 828.

    17 Citing Bernardo v. NLRC, G.R. No. 122917, 12 July 1999, 310 SCRA 186, 205.

    18 Rollo, pp. 15-16.

    19 Integrated Contractor and Plumbing Works, Inc. v. NLRC and Glen Solon, supra note 9, at 272 citing Maraguinot, Jr. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 120969, 22 January 1998, 284 SCRA 539, 561.

    G.R. No. 155645 - PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC.  vs  MAYFLOR T. YLAGAN


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