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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
 

   
September-2009 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 6672 - Pedro L. Linsangan v. Atty. Nicodemes Tolentino

  • A.C. No. 5955 - John Christen S. Hegna v. Atty. Goering G.C. Paderanga

  • A.C. No. 7297 - Imdelda Bides-Ulaso v. Atty. Edita Noe-Lacsamana

  • A.C. No. 7435 - Rey C. Sarmiento, et al. v. Atty. Edelson G. Oliva

  • A.C. No. 7547 - Gregory U. chan v. NLRC Commissioner Romeo L. Go, et al.

  • A.C. No. 7910 - Wen Ming W. Chen a.k.a. Domingo Tan v. Atty. F.D. Nicolas B. Pichay

  • A.M. No. 01-1-04-SC-PHILJA - Re: Further clarifying and strengthening the organization strcture and administrative set-up of the Philippine Judicial Academy

  • A.M. No. 06-3-07-SC - Request for the approval of the revised qualification standard for the chief of MISO

  • A.M. No. 2009-04-SC - Complaint of Atty. Wilhelmina D. Geronga againts Mr. Ross C. Romero, driver, shuttle bus no. 5 for reckless driving

  • A.M. No. CTA-05-2 - Office of the Court Administrator v. Concepcion G. Espineda, etc.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-06-1623 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1635-MTJ, A.M. NO. MTJ-06-1624 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1636-MTJ, A.M. NO. MTJ-06-1625 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1630-MTJ, A.M. NO. MTJ-06-1627 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1661-MTJ, A.M. NO. P-09-2693 Formerly OCA IPI

  • A.M. No. P-05-2046 Formerly No. 05-6-159-MCTC - Office of the Court Administrator v. Clerk of Court Fe P. Ganzan, MCTC, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental

  • A.M. No. P-06-2264 Formerly OCA I.P.I Nos. 05-2136-P and 05-2137-P - Atty. Lelu P. Contreras v. Teresita O. Monge, Clerk IV, Rigional Trial Court - Office of the Clerk of Court, Iriga City

  • A.M. No. P-07-2332 Formerly OCA I.P.I No. 07-2511-P - Dr. Salome U. Jorge v. Carlos P. Diaz, Deputy Sheriff, RTC, Branch 20, Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat

  • A.M. No. P-08-2433 Formerly OCA IPI No. 07-2667-P - Judge Jenny Lind Aldecia-Delorino v. Marilyn De Castro Remigio-Versosa, Clerk III, Regional Trial Court, Branch 137, Makati City

  • A.M. No. P-08-2570 Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-2547-P - Leticia Sales v. Arnel Jose A. Rubio, Sheriff IV, RTC, OCC, Naga City

  • A.M. No. P-09-2685 OCA-IPI No. 08-2839-P - P/Supt. Rene Macaling Orbe v. Marcos U. Digandang, Process Server, Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, Cotabato City

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1650 Formerly OCA IPI No. 01-1195-RTJ - Margie Corpus Macias v. Mariano v. Mariano Joaquin S. Macias, Presiding Judge, Branh 28, Regional Trial Court, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte

  • A.M. No. RTJ-07-2089 Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 07-2659-RTJ and A.M. NO. RTJ-0921-99 Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 07-2698-RTJ- Land Bank of the Philippines v. Judge Ernesto P. Pagayatan

  • G.R. No. 132826 - Rolando Saa v. Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Commissoion on Bar Discipline, Board of Governors, Pasig City and Atty. Freddie A. Venida

  • G.R. NOS. 140743 & 140745 and G.R. NOS. 141451-52 - City Government of Tagaytay v. Hon. Eleuterio F. Guerrero, etc. et al.

  • G.R. No. 146534 - Spouses Hu Chuan Hai and Leonica Lim Hu v. Spouses Renato Unico and Maria Aurora J. Unico

  • G.R. NOS. 147026-27 - Carolina R. Javier v. Sandiganbayan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 148444 - Associated Bank (now United Overseas Bank [Phils.]) v. Spouses Rafael and Monaliza Pronstroller/Spouses Eduardo and Ma. Pilar Vaca (Intervenors)

  • G.R. No. 149588 - Francisco R. Llamas, et al. v. The Honorable Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 150664 - Vicente Dacanay, in his capacity as administrator of the Testate Estate of Tereso D. Fernandez v. Hon. Raphael Prastora Sr., etc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 151969 - Valle Verde Country Club, Inc., et al. v. Victor Africa

  • G.R. No. 152101 - Emcor, Incorporated v. Ma. Lourdes D. Sienes

  • G.R. No. 152614 - Salvador A. Fernandez v. Cristina D. Amagna

  • G.R. No. 154720 - Juan Balbuena and Teodulfo Retuya v. Leona Aparicio Sabay, et al.

  • G.R. No. 156164 - Sps. Leonardo and Milagros Chua v. Hon. Jacinto G. Ang, et al.

  • G.R. No. 157901 - Orix Metro Leasing and Finance Corporation v. M/V "PILAR-I" and Spouses Ernesto Dy and Lourdes Dy

  • G.R. No. 157952 - Jowett K. Golango v. Jone B. Fung

  • G.R. No. 158630 and G.R. No. 162047 - Joyce Y. Lim, represented by her attorney-in-fact Bernardo M. Nicolas

  • G.R. No. 159116 - Sps. Nestor and Felicidad Dadizon v. Hon. Court of Appeals and Sps. Dominador and Elsa Mocorro

  • G.R. No. 159710 - Carmen A. Blas v. Spouses Eduardo and Salud Galapon

  • G.R. No. 161902 - Edgar Mercado v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 162104 - R Transport Corporation v. Eduardo Pante

  • G.R. No. 163270 - Eduardo M. Tomada, Sr. v. RFM Corporation-Bakery Flour Division, et al.

  • G.R. No. 164104 - Philippine National Bank v. Gregorio B. Maraya, Jr. and Wenefrida Maraya

  • G.R. No. 164205 - Oldarico S. Trave o, et al. v. Bobongon Banana Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, et al.

  • G.R. No. 164435 - Victoria S. Jarillo v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 164549 - Philippine National Bank v. Spouses Agustin and Pilar Rocamora

  • G.R. No. 164815 - Sr. Inspector Jerry Valeroso v. Court of Appeals and People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 165141 - Peregina Mistica v. Republic of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 166516 - Emma Ver Reyes and Ramon Reyes v. The Register of Deeds of Cavite, et al.

  • G.R. No. 166857 - D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, inc. v. Freyssinet Philippines, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 167330 - Philippine Health Providers, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

  • G.R. No. 167569, G.R. No. 167570 & G.R. No. 171946 - Carlos T. Go., Sr., v. Luis T. Ramos

  • G.R. No. 167955 Formerly G.R. No. 151275 - People of the Philippines v. Armando Padilla y Nicolas

  • G.R. No. 167995 - Julita V. Imuan, et al. v. Juanito Cereno, et al.

  • G.R. No. 168151 - Regional Container Lines (RCL) of Singapore and Shipping Agency v. The Netherlands Insurance Co. (Philippines) Inc.

  • G.R. No. 168446 Formerly G.R. NOS. 144174-75 - People of the Philippines v. Ernesto Cruz, Jr. y Concepcion, et al.

  • G.R. No. 168927 - Arsenio F. Quevedo, et al. v. Benguet Electric Cooperative Incorporated, et al.

  • G.R. No. 169228 - The Alexandra Condominium Corporation v. Laguna Lake Development Authority

  • G.R. No. 169364 - People of the Philippines v. Evangeline Siton y sacil, et al.

  • G.R. No. 169641 - People of the Philippines v. Richard O. Sarcia

  • G.R. No. 169889 - Spouses Simon Yap and Milagros Guevarra v. First e-Bank, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 169919 - B.D. Long Span Builders, Inc. v. R.S. Ampeloquio Realty Development Inc.

  • G.R. No. 169940 - Univeristy of Santo Tomas v. Samahang Manggagawa ng UST (SM-UST)

  • G.R. No. 170072 - Joaquin P. Obieta v. Edward Cheok

  • G.R. No. 170342 - Allan Dizon v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 170482 - Manila Electric Company v. Aguida Vda. De Santiago

  • G.R. No. 171018 - People of the Philippines v. Elly Naelga

  • G.R. No. 171260 - Amparo Robles Cabreza v. Ceferino S. Cabreza Jr., et al.

  • G.R .No. 171491 - Dr. Castor C. De Jesus v. Rafel D. Guerrero III, Cesario R. Pagdilao and Fortuna B. Aquino

  • G.R. No. 171681 - Kei Marie and Bianca Angelica both surnamed Abrera, minors, represented by their parents Evelyn C. Abrera, et al. v. Hon. Romeo F. Barza, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 61, Makati City and College Assu

  • G.R. No. 171984 - Bandila Maritime Services, Inc. and/or Tokomaru Kaiun Co., Ltd. v. Rolando Dubduban

  • G.R. No. 172217 - Spouses Lydia Flores-Cruz, et al. v. Spouses Leonardo and Iluminada Goli-Cruz, et al.

  • G.R. No. 172447 & G.R. No. 179404 - Iglesia Evangelisca Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas (IEMELIF), Inc. v. Nataniel B. Juane/Nataniel B. Juane v. Iglesia Evangelisca Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas (IEMELIF), Inc.

  • G.R. No. 174116 - Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 175064 - Province of Camarines Sur, represented by Governor Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr. v. Hon. Court of Appeals and City of Naga, represented by Mayor Jesse M. Robredo

  • G.R. No. 175172 - Cresencia Achevara, Alfredo Achevara and Benigno Valdez v. Elvira Ramos, John Arnel Ramos and Kristine Camille Ramos

  • G.R. No. 175528 - PO3 Benito Sombilon, Jr. v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 175490 - Ileana Dr. Macalino v. Bank of the Philippines Islands

  • G.R. No. 176014 - Alice Vitangcol and Norberto Vitangcol v. New Vista Properties, Inc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 176040 - Casa Cebuana Incoporada, et al. v. Ireneo P. Leuterio

  • G.R. No. 176364 - Juanito R. Rimando v. Commission on Elections and Norma O. Magno

  • G.R. No. 176546 - Felicitas P. Ong v. The People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 176700 - Romero Montederamos v. Tri-Union International Corporation

  • G.R. No. 177056 - The Office of the Solicitor General v. Ayala Land Incorporated, et al.

  • G.R. No. 177066 - Joselito Musni Puno (as heir of the late Carlos Puno) v. Puno Enterprises, Inc., represented by Jesusa Puno

  • G.R. No. 177456 - Bank of the Philippine Isalands v. Domingo R. Dando

  • G.R. No. 177531 - Civil Service Commission v. Fatima A. Macud

  • G.R. No. 177705 - Kimberly-Clark Philippines, Inc. v. Nora Dimayuga, et al.

  • G.R. No. 177753 - People of the Philippines v. Benjamin Ocampo

  • G.R. No. 177836 - Edwino A. Torres (deceased), represented and substitute by Alfonso P. Torres III, et al.

  • G.R. NOS. 177857-58, G.R. NO. 178193 and G.R. NO. 180705 - Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED), Manuel V. Del Rosario, Domingo P. Espina, et al. v. Republic of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 178034, G.R. No. 178117 and G.R. NOS. 186984-85 - Andrew Jame Mcburne v. Eulalio Ganzon, et al.

  • G.R. No. 178485 - People of the Philippines v. Mariano Sapigao, Jr.

  • G.R. No. 178529 - Equitable PCI Bank, Inc (now known as Banco De Oro-EPCI, Inc.) v. Heirs of Antonio C. Tiu, et al.

  • G.R. No. 178543 - People of the Philippines v. Aristo Villanueva

  • G.R. No. 178933 - Recardo S. Silverio, Jr. v. Court of Appeals and Nelia S. Silverio-Dee

  • G.R. No. 179103 and G.R. NO. 180209 - National Power Corporation v. Premier Shipping Lines, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 179213 - People of the Philippines v. Nicolas Gutierrez y Licunan

  • G.R. No. 179313 - Makil U. Pundaodaya v. Commission on Elections, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179319 - Eugene C. Firaza v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 179475 - People of the Philippines v. Daniel Sibunga y Agtoca

  • G.R. No. 179502 - Progressive Trade & Service Enterprises v. Maria Milagrosa Antonio

  • G.R. No. 179583 - Jimmy L. Barnes a.k.a. James Barnes v. Teresita C. Reyes, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179799 - Zenaida R. Gregorio v. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179862 - Land Bank of the Philippines v. Heirs of Asuncion Anonuevo Vda. Santos, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179944 - People of the Philippines v. Antonio Ortiz, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179985 - Pdilon L. Martinez v. B&B Fish Broker and/or Norberto M. Lucinario

  • G.R. No. 180274 - Virgilio C. Crystal and Glynna F. Cystal v. Bank of the Philippines Islands

  • G.R. No. 180453 - Republic of the Philippines v. Dante C. Abril, represented by his Attorney-in-fact, Manuel C. Blaco, Jr.

  • G.R. No. 180478-79 - The Heritage Hotel of Manila v. National Labor Relations Commission, Rufino C. Ra on II, and Ismael C. Villa

  • G.R. No. 180508 - People of the Philippines v. Antonio v. Antonio Ramos y Viray

  • G.R. No. 180693 - Bonifacio Dolera y Tejada v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 180863 - Angelita Valdez v. Republic of the Philippines

  • G.R. NOS. 180880-81 and G.R. NOS. 180896-97 - Keppel Cebu Shipyard, Inc. v. Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation

  • G.R. No. 180888 - Rolando Placido and Edgardo Caragay v. National Labor Relations Commission and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Incorporated

  • G.R. No. 180992 - Elmer Diamante y Sioson, et al. v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 181081 - People of the Philippines v. Roldan Arcosiba alias "Entoy"

  • G.R. No. 181300 - Malayan Insurance Co., Inc. v. Jardine Davies Transport Services, Inc. and Asian Terminals, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 181303 - Carmen Danao Malana, et al. v. Benigno Tappa, et al.

  • G.R. No. 181503 - Bio Quest Marketing Inc. and/or Jose L. Co v. Edmund Rey

  • G.R. No. 181613 - Rosalinda A. Penera v. Commission on Elections and Edgar T. Andanar

  • G.R. No. 181629 - People of the Philippines v. Elizardo Cabiles alias "SARDO"

  • G.R. NOS. 181999 & G.R. No. 182001-04 and G.R. NOS. 182020-24 - Ofelia Caunan v. People of the Philippines, et al.

  • G.R. No. 182185 - Joaquin Ga, Jr., et al. v. Spouses Antonio Tabungan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 182320 - Tacloban Far East Marketing Corporation, et al. v. The Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183088 - People of the Philippines v. Donato Capco y Sabadlab

  • G.R. No. 183141 - Edgardo H. Catindig v. People of the Philippines, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183142 - Rosita A. Montanez v. Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD), et al.

  • G.R. No. 183387 - Simeon M. Valdez v. Financiera Manila Inc.

  • G.R. No. 183457 - People of the Philippines v. Roel Arbalate, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183546 - Wilson A. Go v. Harry A. Go

  • G.R. No. 183646 - Great Southern Maritime Services Corp., et al. v. Leonila Surigao, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183656 - Gilbert Zalameda v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 183802 - Alexander Tam Wong v. Catherine Factor-Koyoma

  • G.R. No. 183965 - Joanie Surposa Uy v. Jose Ngo Chua

  • G.R. No. 184037 - Antonio Lopez y Dela Cruz v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 184225 - Spouses Rogelio F. Lopez and Teotima G. Lopez v. Samuel R. Espinosa and Angelita S. Espinosa

  • G.R. No. 184252 - China Banking Corporation v. Sps. Wenceslao & Marcelina Martir

  • G.R. No. 184268 - Ernesto Batalla v. Commission on Elections and teodoro Bataller

  • G.R. No. 184285 - Rodolfo "Rudy" Canlas, et al. v. Iluminada Tubil

  • G.R. No. 184735 - Miriam B. Elleccion vda. De Lecciones v. National Labor Relations Commission, et al.

  • G.R. No. 184958 - People of the Philippines v. Anthony C. Domingo and Gerry Domingo

  • G.R. No. 185001 - Ronnie H. Lumayna, et al. v. Commission on Audit

  • G.R. No. 185203 - People of the Philippines v. Domingo Araojo

  • G.R. No. 186138 - People of the Philippines v. Loreto Daria y Cruz

  • G.R. No. 186497 - People of the Philippines v. Hasanaddin Guira y Bansil

  • G.R. No. 187043 - People of the Philippines v. Lorenzo Oliva y Rosela

  • G.R. No. 187156 - People of the Philippines v. Melody Gutierrez y Lauriada

  • G.R. No. 187503 - People of the Philippines v. Tecson Lim y Chua and Maximo Flores y Viterbo

  • G.R. No. 188456 - Harry L. Roque, et al. v. Commission on Election, et al.

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    G.R. No. 177705 - Kimberly-Clark Philippines, Inc. v. Nora Dimayuga, et al.

      G.R. No. 177705 - Kimberly-Clark Philippines, Inc. v. Nora Dimayuga, et al.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. NO. 177705 : September 18, 2009]

    KIMBERLY-CLARK PHILIPPINES, INC. Petitioner, v. NORA DIMAYUGA, ROSEMARIE C. GLORIA, and MARICAR C. DE GUIA, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N

    CARPIO MORALES, J.:

    Respondents were employees of Kimberly-Clark Philippines, Inc. (petitioner). Nora Dimayuga (Nora) was Cost Accounting Supervisor, Rosemarie Gloria (Rosemarie) was Business Analyst, and Maricar de Guia (Maricar) was General Accounting Manager.

    On September 19, 2002, Nora tendered her resignation effective October 21, 2002.1

    On October 7, 2002, Rosemarie tendered her resignation, also effective October 21, 2002.2

    As petitioner had been experiencing a downward trend in its sales, it created a tax-free early retirement package for its employees as a cost-cutting and streamlining measure. Twenty-four of its employees availed of the offer that was made available from November 10-30, 2002.3

    Despite their resignation before the early retirement package was offered, Nora and Rosemarie pleaded with petitioner that they be retroactively extended the benefits thereunder, to which petitioner acceded.4 Hence, Nora received a total of P1,025,113.73 while Rosemarie received a total of P1,006,493.94, in consideration of which they executed release and quitclaim deeds dated January 17, 20035 and January 16, 2003,6 respectively.

    On November 4, 2002, Maricar tendered her resignation effective December 1, 2002,7 citing career advancement as the reason therefor. As at the time of her resignation the early retirement package was still effective, she received a total of P523,540.13 for which she signed a release and quitclaim.8

    On November 28, 2002, petitioner announced that in lieu of the merit increase which it did not give that year, it would provide economic assistance, to be released the following day, to all monthly-paid employees on regular status as of November 16, 2002.

    Still later or on January 16, 2003, petitioner announced that it would the grant a lump sum retirement pay in the amount of P200,000, in addition to the early retirement package benefit, to those who signed up for early retirement and who would sign up until January 22, 2003.9

    On May 23, 2003, respondents filed a Complaint,10 docketed as NLRC Case No. RAB-IV 5-17522-03-L, before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) Regional Arbitration Branch No. IV against petitioner and its Finance Manager Fernando B. Gomez (Gomez) whom respondents alleged to be "responsible for the withholding of [their] additional retirement benefits,"11 claiming entitlement to the P200,000 lump sum retirement pay. Respondents Nora and Rosemarie additionally claimed entitlement to the economic assistance.

    By Decision of August 31, 2004, Labor Arbiter Generoso V. Santos dismissed the claims of Nora and Rosemarie, holding that they were not entitled to the P200,000 lump sum retirement pay, they having ceased to be employees of petitioner at the time it was offered or made effective on January 16, 2003. He, however, granted Maricar's claim for the same pay, holding that she was entitled to it because at the time she resigned from the company effective December 1, 2002, such pay was already offered. Besides, the Labor Arbiter ruled, Maricar had a vested right to it as she was given a formal notice of her entitlement to it by petitioner, through its Human Resources Director.

    On appeal by both parties,12 the NLRC, by Decision13 of November 22, 2005, modified the Labor Arbiters Decision by ordering petitioner to pay Nora P200,000 additional bonus and P2,880 economic assistance, and to pay Rosemarie P200,000 additional bonus and P2,656 economic assistance. It affirmed Maricar's entitlement to the lump sum retirement pay.

    Applying the ruling in Businessday Information Systems and Services, Inc. v. NLRC (Businessday),14 the NLRC ratiocinated that petitioner's refusal to give Nora and Rosemarie the lump sum retirement pay was an act of discrimination, more so because a certain Oscar Diokno, another employee who presumably resigned also prior to January 16, 2003, was given said benefit.

    As to the award of economic assistance, the NLRC held that Nora and Rosemarie were also entitled to it as the same was given in lieu of the annual performance-based salary increase that was not given in 2002 and, therefore, already earned by them when they resigned. Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration15 having been denied,16 it filed a Petition for Certiorari17 before the Court of Appeals.

    By Decision18 of January 19, 2007, the appellate court affirmed the NLRC Decision. It held that, contrary to petitioner's assertion that the early retirement package was extended to respondents out of generosity, the offer/grant thereof, as well as their inclusion in the termination report submitted to the Department of Labor and Employment, made them "full retirees," hence, they must be given the other benefits extended to petitioner's other employees, following the ruling in Businessday.

    The appellate court added that since respondents resigned from their respective positions barely a month before the effectivity of the early retirement package, the general principles of fair play and justice dictate that petitioner extend to them the same benefits in consideration of their long years of service.

    The appellant court, noting that Nora and Rosemarie received commendable ratings, upheld their entitlement to the economic assistance as their resignation before the grant of such benefit took effect did not detract from the fact that it was in substitution of the traditional merit increase extended by petitioner to its employees with commendable or outstanding ratings which it failed to give in 2002.

    Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration19 having been denied,20 it filed the present petition, insisting that Nora and Rosemarie are no longer entitled to the economic assistance and lump sum pay considering that they were already retired and have in fact executed quitclaims and waivers.

    And petitioner questions the application to the present case by the appellate court of the doctrine laid down in Businessday.

    The petition is impressed with merit.

    It is settled that entitlement of employees to retirement benefits must specifically be granted under existing laws, a collective bargaining agreement or employment contract, or an established employer policy.21 No law or collective bargaining agreement or other applicable contract, or an established company policy was existing during respondents' employment entitling them to the P200,000 lump-sum retirement pay. Petitioner was not thus obliged to grant them such pay.

    Respondents nevertheless argue that since other employees who resigned before the announcement of the grant of the lump sum retirement pay received the same, they (respondents) should also receive it,22 citing the pronouncement in Businessday that:

    x x x The law requires an employer to extend equal treatment to its employees. It may not, in the guise of exercising management prerogatives, grant greater benefits to some and less to others. Management prerogatives are not absolute prerogatives but are subject to legal limits, collective bargaining agreements, or general principles of fair play and justice.23 (Underscoring supplied)cralawlibrary

    Respondents' reliance on Businessday is misplaced. The factual milieu in Businessday is markedly different from that of the present case. That case involved the retrenched employees' separation pay to which they are entitled under Article 283 of the Labor Code. In the present case, Nora and Rosemarie resigned prior to petitioner's offer of the lump sum retirement pay as an incentive to those employees who would voluntarily avail of its early retirement scheme as a cost-cutting and streamlining measure. That respondents resigned, and not retrenched, is clear from their respective letters to petitioner. And nowhere in the letters is there any allegation that they resigned in view of the company's downward trend in sales which necessitated downsizing or streamlining.

    The appellate court's finding that petitioner's inclusion of Nora and Rosemarie in the termination report submitted to the DOLE and its grant to them of the early retirement benefits made them "full retirees" to thus entitle them to the same benefits offered to those who would voluntarily resign after November 16, 2003 does not lie.

    Petitioner's claim that it allowed Nora and Rosemarie to avail of the early retirement package despite their previous separation from the company out of pure generosity is well-taken in light of Nora's letter of September 15, 2002 asking if she could avail of the early retirement package as "it would certainly be of great assistance to us financially." It is thus absurd to fault petitioner for acceding to such a request out of compassion by directing it to pay additional benefits to resigned employees who are not entitled thereto.ςηαñrοblεš νιr†υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    Petitioner's decision to extend the benefit to some former employees who had already resigned before the offer of the lump sum pay incentive was thus an act of generosity which it is not obliged to extend to respondents. Apropos is this Court's ruling in Businessday:

    With regard to the private respondents' claim for the mid-year bonus, it is settled doctrine that the grant of a bonus is a prerogative, not an obligation, of the employer. The matter of giving a bonus over and above the worker's lawful salaries and allowances is entirely dependent on the financial capability of the employer to give it. The fact that the company's business was no longer profitable (it was in fact moribund) plus the fact that the private respondents did not work up to the middle of the year (they were discharged in May 1998) were valid reasons for not granting them a mid-year bonus. Requiring the company to pay a mid-year bonus to them also would in effect penalize the company for its generosity to those workers who remained with the company "till the end" of its days.24 (Citations omitted) (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)cralawlibrary

    Neither are Nora and Rosemarie entitled to the economic assistance which petitioner awarded to "all monthly employees who are under regular status as of November 16, 2002," they having resigned earlier or on October 21, 2002.

    Again, contrary to the appellate court's ruling that Nora and Rosemarie already earned the economic assistance, the same having been given in lieu of the performance-based annual salary increase, the Court finds that the economic assistance was a bonus over and above the employees' salaries and allowances. A perusal of the memorandum regarding the grant of economic assistance shows that it was granted in lieu of salary increase (the grant of which depends on petitioner's financial capability) and that it was not intended to be a counterpart of the Collective Bargaining Agreement grant to members of the K-CPI union. The grant of economic assistance to all monthly employees under regular status as of November 16, 2002 was thus well within petitioner's prerogatives.ςηαñrοblεš νιr†υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    Moreover, petitioner's decision to give economic assistance was arrived at more than a month after respondents' resignation and, therefore, it was a benefit not yet existing at the time of their separation.

    In any event, assuming that Nora and Rosemarie are entitled to the economic assistance, they had signed release and quitclaim deeds upon their resignation25 in which they waived x x x any or manner of action or actions, course or courses of action, suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, promises, damages (whether actual, moral, nominal, temperate, liquidated or exemplary), claims and liabilities whatsoever, in law or equity, arising out or and in connection with, but not limited to claims for salary, termination pay, vacation leave, overtime, night work, compensation for injuries or illness directly caused by my employment or either aggravated by or the results of the nature of my employment and claims for which I may or shall make, or may have for or by any reason of any matter, cause or thing whatsoever, including but not limited to my employment and to matters arising from my employment by KIMBERLY-CLARK PHILIPPINES, INC. over any period or periods in the past.26

    While quitclaims executed by employees are commonly frowned upon as being contrary to public policy and are ineffective to bar claims for the full measure of their legal rights, where the person making the waiver has done so voluntarily, with a full understanding thereof, and the consideration for the quitclaim is credible and reasonable, the transaction must be recognized as being a valid and binding undertaking.27 In the case at bar, Nora and Rosemarie are Accounting graduates. They have not alleged having been compelled to sign the quitclaims, nor that the considerations thereof (P1,024,113.73 for Nora and P682,721.24 for Rosemarie) are unconscionable.

    As for Maricar's claim to the lump sum retirement pay, the Court finds that, like Nora and Rosemarie, she is not entitled to it. Although the incentive was offered when she was still connected with petitioner, she resigned from employment, citing career advancement as the reason therefor. Indubitably, the incentive was addressed to those employees who, without prior plans of resigning, opted to terminate their employment in light of the downsizing being undertaken by petitioner. In other words, Maricar resigned from petitioner in order to find gainful employment elsewhere - a reason which has no bearing on the financial viability of petitioner.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated January 19, 2007 and April 30, 2007, respectively, are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. NLRC Case No. RAB-IV-17522-03-L is DISMISSED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Endnotes:


    * Additional member per Special Order No. 691 dated September 4, 2009.

    1 NLRC records, p. 46.

    2 Id. at 48.

    3 Id. at 34.

    4 Id. at 35, 61.

    5 Id. at 127.

    6 Id. at 128.

    7 Id. at 55.

    8 Id. at 128.

    9 Id. at 23.

    10 Id. at 1-2.

    11 Id. at 15.

    12 Id. at 95-170.

    13 Id. at 175-176. Penned by Commissioner Angelita A. Gacutan and concurred in by Presiding Commissioner Raul T. Aquino and Commissioner Victoriano R. Calaycay.

    14 G.R. No. 103575, April 5, 1993, 221 SCRA 9.

    15 NLRC records, pp. 190-199.

    16 Id. at 210-211.

    17 CA rollo, pp. 2-32.

    18 Id. at 240-251. Penned by Court of Appeals Associate Justice Renato C. Dacudao, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Hakim S. Abdulwahid and Arturo G. Tayag.

    19 Id. at 270-288.

    20 Id. at 298.

    21 Vide Article 287, Labor Code; GVM Security and Protective Agency v. NLRC, G.R. No. 102157, July 23, 1993, 224 SCRA 734, 736.

    22 Vide NLRC records, p. 18

    23 Businessday Information Systems and Services v. National Labor Relations Commission, supra note 14 at 13.

    24 Id. at 13-14.

    25 NLRC records, p. 127.

    26 Id. at 127-128.

    27 Vide Magsalin v. National Organization of Working Men, G.R. No. 148492, May 9, 2003, 403 SCRA 199, 207.

    G.R. No. 177705 - Kimberly-Clark Philippines, Inc. v. Nora Dimayuga, et al.


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