Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 2016 > December 2016 Decisions > G.R. No. 218333, December 07, 2016 - MARINA'S CREATION ENTERPRISES AND JERRY B. ALFONSO, Petitioners, v. ROMEO V. ANCHETA, Respondent.:




G.R. No. 218333, December 07, 2016 - MARINA'S CREATION ENTERPRISES AND JERRY B. ALFONSO, Petitioners, v. ROMEO V. ANCHETA, Respondent.

PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. 218333, December 07, 2016

MARINA'S CREATION ENTERPRISES AND JERRY B. ALFONSO, Petitioners, v. ROMEO V. ANCHETA, Respondent.

D E C I S I O N

CARPIO, J.:

The Case


Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari1 assailing the  2 June 2014 Decision2 and the 4 March 2015 Resolution3 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 130120.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

The Facts


Petitioner Marina's Creation Enterprises (Marina) is engaged in the business of making shoes and bags. In January 2010, Marina hired respondent Romeo V. Ancheta (Ancheta) as a sole attacher in Marina. In March 2011, Ancheta suffered an intra-cranial hemorrhage (stroke) and was placed under home care. On 12 May 2011, Ancheta suffered a second stroke and was confined at St. Victoria Hospital in Marikina City for four days. On  26 May 2011, Ancheta filed a Sickness Notification with the Social Security  System (SSS) and was paid sickness benefits in the amount of Eight  Thousand One Hundred Pesos (P8,100). The physician who physically examined Ancheta stated that Ancheta would be fit to resume work after ninety (90) days or on 12 August 2011.4

On 13 August 2011, Ancheta reported for work. Marina, however, wanted Ancheta to submit a new medical certificate before he could resume his work in Marina. Ancheta did not comply and was not able to resume his work in Marina. On 8 November 2011, Ancheta filed a complaint with the Labor Arbiter against Marina and its registered owner Jerry B. Alfonso for illegal dismissal and non-payment of separation pay.

In his Position Paper,5 Ancheta alleged that after he recovered from his illness he reported for work in Marina but was advised by Marina to just wait for the company's call. When Ancheta went back to Marina, he was told to take more rest. Ancheta claimed that Marina had employed two new workers as his replacement. Ancheta alleged that he was not served a notice for his termination and a subsequent notice for hearing as mandated by the Labor Code. Ancheta claimed he was illegally dismissed by Marina.

In its Position Paper,6 Marina claimed that Ancheta was employed on a piece rate basis and was not terminated but instead was refused job assignments due to his failure to submit a medical clearance showing that he was fit to resume his work. Marina claimed that the medical certificate was a precautionary measure imposed by the company to avoid any incident that could happen to Ancheta who already had a pre-existing medical condition. Marina alleged that Ancheta did not present any evidence to prove that he was illegally dismissed.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

The Decision of the Labor Arbiter


In a Decision dated 25 July 2012,7 the Labor Arbiter dismissed Ancheta's complaint for illegal dismissal and non-payment of separation pay. The Labor Arbiter ruled that Ancheta failed to convincingly prove that he was illegally dismissed. The Labor Arbiter found no positive or overt act on the part of Marina that would support Ancheta's claim of illegal dismissal.
The dispositive portion of the Labor Arbiter's Decision reads:cralawlawlibrary

WHEREFORE, a decision is hereby rendered dismissing the instant complaint.

SO ORDERED.8
chanrobleslaw
The Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission


In a Decision dated 14 January 2013,9 the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) affirmed the ruling of the Labor Arbiter. The NLRC ruled that Ancheta was not able to establish the fact that he was dismissed by Marina.10 The NLRC held that Ancheta, who was the employee of Marina, had to first establish the fact of his dismissal before the burden could be shifted to Marina, the employer, to prove that his dismissal was legal.

The NLRC held that Marina's requirement of having Ancheta submit another medical certificate before he could resume work was reasonable. The NLRC ruled that Marina cannot be faulted for refusing to admit Ancheta back to work in the absence of a new medical certificate because it was in the mutual interest of Ancheta and Marina that Ancheta would be medically found capable of withstanding the rigors of work.

The dispositive portion of the Decision states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is rendered DISMISSING complainant's Appeal for lack of merit. The Decision of Labor Arbiter Romelita N. Rioflorido dated 25 July 2012 is AFFIRMED in toto.

SO ORDERED.11
chanrobleslaw
Ancheta filed a motion for reconsideration with the NLRC which was denied on 28 February 2013.12

Ancheta filed with the CA a petition for certiorari13 dated 17 May 2013.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

The Decision of the CA


In a Decision dated 2 June 2014,14 the CA reversed the decision of the NLRC. The CA ruled that Ancheta was illegally dismissed by Marina. The CA held that the fact of Ancheta's dismissal was established through Marina's own admission in its position paper that the company had refused to give Ancheta job assignments due to Ancheta's failure to submit a medical certificate.

The CA ruled that the absence of a medical certificate did not justify Marina's refusal to furnish Ancheta work assignments. The CA considered the certification by Ancheta's examining physician attached to Ancheta's SSS Sickness Notification as proof that Ancheta was fit to resume his work in Marina on 12 August 2011. The CA held that according to the Implementing Rules of the Labor Code, it was Marina and not Ancheta who had the burden of proving that Ancheta's disease could not be cured within a period of at least six months in order to justify Ancheta's dismissal. Finally, the CA ruled since Ancheta was illegally dismissed, Ancheta was entitled to backwages and separation pay from Marina.

The dispositive portion of the Decision states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision dated January 14, 2013 and Resolution dated February 28, 2013 of the NLRC in NLRC NCR Case No. 11-16716-11/NLRC LAC No. 09-002716-12 are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. Private respondents Marina's Creation and Jerry Alfonso are hereby ordered to PAY petitioner Romeo Ancheta: (1) full backwages computed from the date of his dismissal up to the finality of this decision; and (2) separation pay equivalent to one month pay for every year of service. For this purpose, let this case be REMANDED to the Labor Arbiter for the computation of backwages and separation pay in accordance with this Decision.

SO ORDERED.15
chanrobleslaw
Marina filed a motion for reconsideration16 with the CA which was denied on 4 March 2015.17

Hence, this petition by Marina.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

The Issue


The issue in this case is whether Ancheta was illegally dismissed by Marina.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

The Ruling of this Court


We deny the petition.

Article 280 of the Labor Code provides for the two types of regular employees, to wit: (1) employees who have been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer, and (2) employees who have rendered at least one year of service, whether such service is continuous or broken, with respect to the activity in which they are employed. In De Leon v. National Labor Relations Commission,18 this Court held that the test of determining the regular status of an employee is whether the employee performs work which is usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. The connection can be determined by considering the nature of the work performed and its relation to the scheme of the particular business or trade.19 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 the activity to the business.20

Applying Article 280 of the Labor Code, Ancheta was a regular employee of Marina. Ancheta, who was working in Marina as a sole attacher, was performing work that was usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of Marina which was engaged in the business of making shoes and bags. Moreover, Ancheta had been performing work as a sole attacher in Marina since January 2010 up to March 2011 when he suffered his first stroke. Thus, Ancheta had acquired regular employment status by performing work in Marina for at least one year.

In its petition, Marina argues that the company's action of requiring Ancheta to undergo a medica1 examination and to submit a medical certificate was a valid exercise of management prerogative. Marina's contention is not correct. Article 279 of the Labor Code provides: "In cases of regular employment, the employer shall not terminate the services of an employee except for a just cause or when authorized by this title. x x x." Since Ancheta was a regular employee of Marina, Ancheta's employment can only be terminated by Marina based on just or authorized causes provided in the Labor Code. In its position paper, Marina admitted that the company had refused to give Ancheta work assignments until Ancheta submitted a new medical certificate. It is Marina's position that Ancheta's employment would not continue if Ancheta would not submit a new medical certificate. Marina's action in refusing to accept Ancheta notwithstanding the medical certificate attached to Ancheta's SSS Sickness Notification stating that Ancheta was physically fit to resume his work in Marina on 12 August 2011 amounts to an illegal dismissal of Ancheta. Book VI, Rule I, Section 8 of the Implementing Rules of the Labor Code provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Section 8. Disease as a ground for dismissal. - Where the employee suffers from a disease and his continued employment is prohibited by law or prejudicial to his health or to the health of his co-employees, the employer shall not terminate his employment unless there is a certification by a competent public health authority that the disease is of such nature or at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of six (6) months even with proper medical treatment. If the disease or ailment can be cured within the period, the employer shall not terminate the employee but shall ask the employee to take a leave. The employer shall reinstate the employee to his former position immediately upon the restoration of his normal health. (Emphasis supplied)
chanrobleslaw
The Implementing Rules of the Labor Code impose upon the employer the duty not to terminate an employee until there is a certification by a competent public health authority that the employee's disease is of such nature or at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of six months even with proper medical treatment. In this case, Marina terminated Ancheta from employment without seeking a prior certification from a competent public health authority that Ancheta's disease is of such nature or at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of six months even with proper medical treatment. Hence, Ancheta was illegally dismissed by Marina.

Finally, the CA did not err in awarding Ancheta full backwages and separation pay. In Reyes v. R.P. Guardians Security Agency, Inc.,21 this Court held that an employee who was unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges, and to his full backwages, inclusive of allowances and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld up to the time of actual reinstatement. If reinstatement is not possible, the award of separation pay is proper.22 Notably, backwages and separation pay are separate and distinct reliefs available to Ancheta who was illegally dismissed by Marina.

WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the 2 June 2014 Decision and the 4 March 2015 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 130120.

SO ORDERED.ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

Brion, Del Castillo, Mendoza, and Leonen, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:


1Rollo, pp. 12-37. Under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Court.

2 Id. at 40-52. Penned by Associate Justice Magdangal M. De Leon, with Associate Justices Stephen C. Cruz and Eduardo B. Peralta, Jr. concurring.

3 Id. at 53-54.

4 Id. at 131.

5 Id. at 109-111.

6 Id. at 104-108.

7 Id. at 97-100. Penned by Labor Arbiter Romelita N. Rioflorido.

8 Id. at 100.

9 Id. at 89-93. Penned by Commissioner Dolores M. Peralta-Beley, with Presiding Commissioner Leonardo L. Leonida and Commissioner Mercedes R. Posada-Lacap concurring.

10 Id. at 92.

11 Id. at 93.

12 Id. at 94-96.

13 Id. at 147-160. Under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

14 Id. at 40-52.

15 Id. at 51

16 Id. at 55-71.

17 Id. at 53-54.

18 257 Phil. 626 (1989).

19 Id.

20 Id.

21 708 Phil. 598 (2013).

22 Id.



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  • G.R. No. 211731, December 07, 2016 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES CONCHITA MALAPASCUA-MALIJAN AND LAZARO MALIJAN, Respondents.; G.R. No. 211818, December 7, 2016 - CONCHITA MALAPASCUA-MALIJAN AND HEIRS OF LAZARO MALIJAN, Petitioners, v. NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 192948, December 07, 2016 - B.F. CORPORATION AND HONORIO PINEDA, Petitioners, v. FORM-EZE SYSTEMS, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 196403, December 07, 2016 - ARSENIO TABASONDRA, FERNANDO TABASONDRA, CORNELIO TABASONDRA, JR., MIRASOL TABASONDRA-MARIANO, FAUSTA TABASONDRA-TAPACIO, GUILLERMO TABASONDRA, MYRASOL TABASONDRA-ROMERO, AND MARLENE TABASONDRA-MANIQUIL, Petitioners, v. SPOUSES CONRADO CONSTANTINO AND TARCILA TABASONDRA-CONSTANTINO,* PACITA ARELLANO-TABASONDRA AND HEIRS OF SEBASTIAN TABASONDRA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 216914, December 06, 2016 - SUBIDO PAGENTE CERTEZA MENDOZA AND BINAY LAW OFFICES, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. ANDRES B. REYES, JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF APPEALS, AND THE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COUNCIL, REPRESENTED BY ITS MEMBERS, HON. AMANDO M. TETANGCO, JR., GOVERNOR OF THE BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS, HON. TERESITA J. HERBOSA, CHAIRPERSON OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, AND HON. EMMANUEL F. DOOC, INSURANCE COMMISSIONER OF THE INSURANCE COMMISSION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 218333, December 07, 2016 - MARINA'S CREATION ENTERPRISES AND JERRY B. ALFONSO, Petitioners, v. ROMEO V. ANCHETA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 218014, December 07, 2016 - EDDIE CORTEL Y CARNA AND YELLOW BUS LINE, INC., Petitioners, v. CECILE GEPAYA-LIM, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 210656, December 07, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROSARIO BAYOT MAHINAY, Accused-Appellant.

  • GR. NOS. 206310-11 (OMB-0-01-0211 and OMB-0-01 0291; Sandiganbayan Special Division-Criminal Case No. 26558), December 07, 2016 - JAIME DICHAVES, Petitioner, v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN AND THE SPECIAL DIVISION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 210617, December 07, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ORLANDO FERNANDEZ Y ABARQUIZ, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 197146, December 06, 2016 - HON. MICHAEL L. RAMA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS MAYOR OF CEBU CITY, METROPOLITAN CEBU WATER DISTRICT (MCWD), REPRESENTED BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER, ARMANDO PAREDES; THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF MCWD, REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIR, ELIGIO A. PACANA; JOEL MARI S. YU, IN HIS CAPACITY AS MEMBER OF THE MCWD BOARD; AND THE HONORABLE TOMAS R. OSMEŅA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SOUTH DISTRICT, CEBU CITY, Petitioners, v. HON. GILBERT P. MOISES, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 18, CEBU CITY; AND HON. GWENDOLYN F. GARCIA, IN HER CAPACITY AS GOVERNOR OF THE PROVINCE OF CEBU, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 207132, December 06, 2016 - ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL CLINICS FOR OVERSEAS WORKERS, INC., (AMCOW), REPRESENTED HEREIN BY ITS PRESIDENT, DR. ROLANDO VILLOTE, Petitioner, v. GCC APPROVED MEDICAL CENTERS ASSOCIATION, INC. AND CHRISTIAN CANGCO, Respondents.; G.R. No. 207205 - HON. ENRIQUE T. ONA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, Petitioner, v. GCC APPROVED MEDICAL CENTERS ASSOCIATION, INC. AND CHRISTIAN E. CANGCO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 219638, December 07, 2016 - MARCELINO REPUELA AND CIPRIANO REPUELA, SUBSTITUTED BY CARMELA REPUELA, MERLINDA R. VILLARUEL, WILLIAM REPUELA, ROSITA P. REPUELA, CRISTINA R. RAMOS, ORLANDO REPUELA, JUNNE REPUELA, AND OSCAR REPUELA, Petitioners, v. ESTATE OF THE SPOUSES OTILLO LARAWAN AND JULIANA BACUS, REPRESENTED BY NANCY LARAWAN MANCAO, GALILEO LARAWAN AND SOCRATES LARAWAN, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 201917, December 01, 2016 - ZENAIDA P. MAAMO AND JULIET O. SILOR, Petitioners, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

  • A.C. No. 10757, December 05, 2016 - LOUISITO N. CHUA, Complainant, v. ATTY. OSCAR A. PASCUA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 191856, December 07, 2016 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE (BIR), Petitioner, v. GMCC UNITED DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, JOSE C. GO, AND XU XIAN CHUN, Respondents.

  • A.M. No. SDC-14-7-P (Formerly A.M. No. 14-09-01-SC), December 06, 2016 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. ASHARY M. ALAUYA, CLERK OF COURT VI, SHARI'A DISTRICT COURT, MARAWI CITY, LANAO DEL SUR, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 185312, December 01, 2016 - NICANOR MALABANAN, AURORA MANAIG, RONNIE MALABANAN, VICTOR MALABANAN, SEVERINO MALABANAN, EUFROCINIA MALABANAN, EUFROCILA MALABANAN, REYNALDO MALABANAN, AND DONATA MALABANAN, Petitioners, v. HEIRS OF ALFREDO RESTRIVERA, REPRESENTED BY BIENVENIDO RESTRIVERA AND REMEDIOS RESTRIVERA-ESPERIDION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 218345, December 07, 2016 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. THE ESTATE OF VIRGINIA SANTOS, REPRESENTED BY PACIFICO SANTOS, Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 212014-15, December 06, 2016 - RICHARD A. CAMBE, Petitioner, v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, LEVITO D. BALIGOD, AND FIELD INVESTIGATION OFFICE, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 212427-28 - SENATOR RAMON "BONG" REVILLA, JR., Petitioner, v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, THROUGH ITS SPECIAL PANEL OF INVESTIGATORS, NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, LEVITO D. BALIGOD, AND FIELD INVESTIGATION OFFICE, OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 212694-95 - SENATOR RAMON "BONG" REVILLA, JR., Petitioner, v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, LEVITO D. BALIGOD, FIELD INVESTIGATION OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, AND THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 212794-95 - RICHARD A. CAMBE, Petitioner, v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, LEVITO D. BALIGOD, AND FIELD INVESTIGATION OFFICE, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 213477-78 - JOHN RAYMUND DE ASIS, Petitioner, v. CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS OMBUDSMAN, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND SANDIGANBAYAN, FIRST DIVISION, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 213532-33 - RONALD JOHN LIM, Petitioner, v. CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS OMBUDSMAN, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND SANDIGANBAYAN, FIRST DIVISION, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 213536-37 - JANET LIM NAPOLES, Petitioner, v. CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS OMBUDSMAN, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND SANDIGANBAYAN, FIRST DIVISION, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 218744-59 - MARIO L. RELAMPAGOS, ROSARIO SALAMIDA NUŅEZ, LALAINE NARAG PAULE, AND MARILOU DIALINO BARE, Petitioners, v. SANDIGANBAYAN, (FIRST DIVISION) AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 202280, December 07, 2016 - CARLOS A. DIMAANDAL, Petitioner, v. P02 REXY S. ILAGAN AND P02 EDENLY V. NAVARRO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 189563, December 07, 2016 - GILAT SATELLITE NETWORKS, LTD., Petitioner, v. UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK GENERAL INSURANCE CO., INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 194554, December 07, 2016 - ROMEO M. LANDICHO, Petitioners, v. WILLIAM C. LIMQUECO, Respondent.; G.R. No. 194556 - EDGAR PEŅALOSA, DARWIN P. LANDICHO, JURIS P. LANDICHO, IVY P. LANDICHO, and FELIPE PEŅALOSA, Petitioners, v. WILLIAM C. LIMQUECO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 209776, December 07, 2016 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, v. UNITED CADIZ SUGAR FARMERS ASSOCIATION MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 189220, December 07, 2016 - ALBERT WILSON, Petitioner, v. THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALBERTO ROMULO, SECRETARY OF JUSTICE RAUL GONZALES, BUREAU OF JAIL MANAGEMENT AND PENOLOGY, BOARD OF CLAIMS, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, SOLICITOR GENERAL AGNES DEVANADERA, AND BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 220546, December 07, 2016 - LUZON IRON DEVELOPMENT GROUP CORPORATION AND CONSOLIDATED IRON SANDS, LTD., Petitioners, v. BRIDESTONE MINING AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND ANACONDA MINING AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondents.