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CASE FACTS ISSUE HELD

Universal Robina Sugar Milling Corp. (URSUMCO) is engaged in the Yes. Under the system, the plantation workers or the mill employees do
sugarcane milling business. Respondents Ferdinand Acibo and 21 not work continuously for one whole year but only for the duration of
others were hired by the petitioner on various dates, in different the growing of the sugarcane or the milling season. Their seasonal work,
capacities. At the start of their engagements, they signed contracts however, does not detract from considering them in regular employment
of employment for a period of one month or for a given season. since in a litany of cases, this Court has already settled that seasonal
URSUMCO repeatedly hired them to perform the same duties and workers who are called to work from time to time and are temporarily
for every engagement required them to sign new employment laid off during the off–season are not separated from the service in said
contracts for the same duration. period, but are merely considered on leave until re–employment. Be this
Last Oct. 23, 2002, the respondents filed before the labor arbiter as it may, regular seasonal employees, like the respondents in this case,
complaints for regularization, entitlement to the benefits under should not be confused with the regular employees of the sugar mill such
the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and attorney’s fees, as the administrative or office personnel who perform their tasks for the
Universal against defendant their employer Universal Robina Sugar Milling WON CA erred entire year regardless of the season. The NLRC, therefore, gravely erred
Robina Sugar Corporation (URSUMCO) and its Business Unit General Manager when it declared the respondents regular employees of URSUMCO
Milling Corp. Rene Cabati. Previously, between February 1988 and April 1966, Doctrine: without qualification and that they were entitled to the benefits granted,
and Rene Cabati complainants were hired by URSUMCO on various dates and in To establish seasonal under the CBA, to URSUMCO’S regular employees.
different capacities – i.e. drivers, crane operators, bucket hookers, employment, the employer We find that the CA grossly misread the NLRC ruling and missed the
vs. welders, mechanics, laboratory attendants and aides, steel must prove that: implications of the respondents’ regularization. To reiterate, the
workers, laborers, carpenters and masons, among others. Initially, (1) the employee must be respondents are regular seasonal employees, as the CA itself opined
Ferdinand Acibo complainants were made to execute 1 month employment performing work or services when it declared that “private respondents who are regular workers with
contracts or for a given season. They were repeatedly rehired. that are seasonal in nature; respect to their seasonal tasks or activities and while such activities exist,
G.R. No. Thereafter, complainants filed this complaint. By way of defense, and cannot automatically be governed by the CBA between petitioner
186439, 15 defendant claimed that some were seasonal while others were (2) he had been employed URSUMCO and the authorized bargaining representative of the regular

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January 2014 project employees. for the duration of the and permanent employees.” Citing jurisprudential standards, it then
The LA dismissed the complaint for lack of merit. season. proceeded to explain that the respondents cannot be lumped with the
The NLRC reversed the LA’s ruling and declared respondents as regular employees due to the differences in the nature of their duties
regular URSUMCO employees and granted their monetary claims and the duration of their work vis–a–vis the operations of the company.
under the CBA. The NLRC was well aware of these distinctions as it acknowledged that
The CA affirmed the NLRC’s ruling finding respondents to be the respondents worked only during the milling season, yet it ignored the
regular employees of URSUMCO but deleted the grant of distinctions and declared them regular employees, a marked departure
monetary benefits under the CBA. from existing jurisprudence.
This, to us, is grave abuse of discretion, as it gave no reason for
disturbing the system of regular seasonal employment already in place in
the sugar industry and other industries with similar seasonal operations.
For upholding the NLRC’s flawed decision on the respondents’
employment status, the CA committed a reversible error of judgment.
JAIME N. Jaime Fulo died of "acute renal failure secondary to 1st degree Whether or not there exists Yes. Farm workers may be considered regular seasonal employees.
GAPAYAO burn 70% secondary electrocution" while doing repairs at the between the deceased Farm workers gen erally fall under the definition of seasonal
vs. residence and business establishment of Gapayao. Gapayao Jaime Fulo and Gapayao an employees. Court held that seasonal employees may be considered as
extended some financial assistance to Rosario Fulo, the wife of emplo yer-employee regular employees. Regular seasonal employees ar e those called to
ROSARIO FULO, the deceased and the latter executed an Affidavit of Desistance relationship that would work from time to time. The nature of their relationship with the
SOCIAL stating that she was not holding them liable for the death of her merit an award of benefits employer is such that during the off season, they are temporarily laid
SECURITY late husband. in favor of Rosario Fulo off; but reemployed during the summer season or when their services

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SYSTEM and Thereafter, private respondent filed a claim for social security under social security laws. may be needed. Th ey are in regular employment because of the nature
benefits with the Social Security System (SSS) Sorosogon Branch. of their job, and not because of the length of time they have worked.

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SOCIAL
SECURITY However, upon verification and e valuation, it was discovered that The other tasks allegedly done by the deceased outside his usual farm
COMMISSION the deceased was not a registered member of the SSS. work only bolster the existence of an employer-employee relationship.
Upon Rosario's insistence that her late husband had been It only proves that even during the off season, the deceased was still in
employed by petitioner from January 1983 up to his untimely the employ of Gapayao. The most telling indicia of this relationship is
death on 4 November 1997, the SSS conducted a field the Compromise Agreement executed by Gapayao and Rosario.
investigation to clarify his status of employment. Gapayao entered into the agreement with full knowledge that he was
The findings revealed that Mr. Jaime Fulo was an employee of described as the employer of the deceased.
Jaime Gapayao as fa rm laborer from 1983 to 1997 and that Mr. Pakyaw workers are considered employees for as long as their
Jaime Fulo receives compensation on a daily basis ranging from employers exercise control over them. In this case, Gapayao wielded
P5.00 to P60.00 from 1983 to 1997. control over the deceased in th e discharge of his functions.
As per interview, Mrs. Estela Gapayao contends that Jaime Fulo is The right of an employee to be covered by the Social Security Act is
an employee of Mr. & Mrs. Jaime Gapayao on an extra basis. The premised on the existence of an employer-employee relationship.73
SSS demanded that petitioner remit the social security That having been establi shed, the Court ruled in favor of Rosario.
contributions of the deceased. Gapayao denied that the
deceased was his employee but was rather an in dependent
contractor whose tasks were not subject to his control and
supervision. Assuming arguendo that the deceased was his
employee, he was still not entitle d to be paid his SSS premiums
for the intervening period when he was not at work , as he was
an "intermittent worker who was only summoned every now and
then as the need arose." Hence, Gapayao insisted that he was
under no obligation to repo rt the former s demise to the SSS for
social security coverage.
Rosario alleges that her late husband had been in the employ of

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petitioner for 1 4 years, from 1983 to 1997. During that period,
he was made to work as a laborer in the agricultural
landholdings, a harvester in the abaca plantation, and a
repairman/utility worker in several business establishments
owned by petitioner. The considerable length of time during
which [the deceased] was given diverse tasks by Gapayao was a
clear indication of the necessity and indispensability of he r late
husband s services to Gapayao's business.
Petitioner started working for respondent on April 26, 1996. Based Regular employee. In the instant case, the appointments issued to
·on the respondent's "Personnel Action Form Appointment for Is petitioner a regular petitioner indicated that he was hired for specific projects. The Court is
Project Employment" dated April 30, 1996, petitioner was employee and not a mere convinced however that although he started as a project employee, he
designated as project employee and thus eventually became a regular employee of respondent. Under Article 280
Pasos “Clerk II (Accounting)” and was assigned to the “NAIA – II Project.” of the Labor Code, as amended, a project employee is one whose
can only be dismissed for
It was likewise stated therein on April 26, 1996 to July 25, 1996. cause? “employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the
vs. Petitioner’s employment, however, did not end on July 25, 1996 completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of
but was extended until August 4, 1998, or more than two years the engagement of the employee or where the work or services to be
Philippine later, based on the “Personnel Action Form – Doctrines: performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration
National Project Employment” dated July 7, 1998. Based on respondent’s Project employee is deemed of the season.” Thus, the principal test used to determine whether
Construction “Appointment for Project Employment” dated November 11, 1998,
Corporation regularized if services are employees are project employees is whether or not the employees were
petitioner was rehired on even date as “Accounting Clerk extended without specifying assigned to carry out a specific project or undertaking, the duration or

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(Reliever)” and assigned to the “PCSO – Q.I. Project.” It was stated duration; While for first three scope of which was specified at the time the employees were engaged

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therein that his employment shall end on February 11, 1999 and months, petitioner can be for that project. In the case at bar, petitioner worked continuously for
may be terminated for cause or in accordance with the provisions considered a project more than two years after the supposed three-month duration of his
of Article 282 of the Labor Code, as amended. However, said employee of PNCC, his project employment for the NAIA II Project. While his appointment for
employment did not actually end on February 11, 1999 but was employment thereafter, said project allowed such extension since it specifically provided that in
extended until February 19, 1999 based on the “Personnel Action when his services were case his “services are still needed beyond the validity of [the] contract,
Form-Project Employment” dated February 17, 1999. On February extended without any the Company shall extend [his] services,” there was no subsequent
23, 1999, petitioner was again hired by respondent as “Accounting specification of as to the contract or appointment that specified a particular duration for the
Clerk” and was assigned to the “SM-Project” based on the duration, made him a regular extension. His services were just extended indefinitely until “Personnel
“Appointment for Project Employment” dated February 18, 1999. employee of PNCC. And his Action Form – Project Employment” dated July 7, 1998 was issued to him
It did not specify the date when his employment will end but it was status as a regular employee which provided that his employment will end a few weeks later or on
stated therein that it will be “co-terminus with the completion of was not affected by the fact August 4, 1998. While for first three months, petitioner can be
the project.” Said employment supposedly ended on August 19, that he was assigned to considered a project employee of respondent, his employment
1999 per “Personnel Action Form – Project Employment” dated several other projects and thereafter, when his services were extended without any specification of
August 18, 1999, where it was stated, “[t]ermination of there were intervals in
as to the duration, made him a regular employee of respondent. And his
[petitioner’s] project employment due to completion of assigned between said projects since
status as a regular employee was not affected by the fact that he was
phase/stage of work or project effective at the close of office he enjoys security of tenure.
assigned to several other projects and there were intervals in between
hour[s] on 19 August 1999.” However, it appears that said said projects since he enjoys security of tenure.
employment was extended per “Appointment for Project Report of termination
employment” dated August 20, 1999 as petitioner was again required upon project
completion. In this case, Verily, failure of an employer to file termination reports after every
appointed as “Accounting Clerk” for “SM Project (Package II).” It
records clearly show that project completion proves that an employee is not a project employee. In
did not state a specific date up to when his extended employment
PNCC did not report the this case, records clearly show that respondent did not report the
will be, but it provided that it will be “co-terminus with the x x x
termination of petitioner’s termination of petitioner’s supposed project employment for the NAIA II
project.” In “Personnel Action Form – Project Employment” dated
supposed project Project to the DOLE.
October 17, 2000, it appears that such extension would eventually
end on October 19, 2000. employment for the NAIA II

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Project to the In Tomas Lao Construction v. NLRC, the Court emphasized the
Despite the termination of his employment on October 19,
DOLE. Department Order indispensability of the reportorial requirement: “Moreover, if private
2000, petitioner claims that his superior instructed him to report
No. 19, or the “Guidelines respondents were indeed employed as “project employees,” petitioners
for work the following day, intimating to him that he will again be
Governing the Employment of should have submitted a report of termination to the nearest public
employed for the succeeding SM projects. For purposes of
Workers in the Construction employment office every time their employment was terminated due to
reemployment, he then underwent a medical examination which
Industry,” requires employers completion of each construction project. The records show that they did
allegedly revealed that he had pneumonitis. Petitioner was advised
to submit a report of an not. Policy Instruction No. 20 is explicit that employers of project
by respondent’s physician to take a 14-day sick leave. On
employee’s termination to employees are exempted from the clearance requirement but not from
November 27, 2000, after serving his sick leave, petitioner claims
the nearest public the submission of termination report. We have consistently held that
that he was again referred for medical examination where it was
employment office every time failure of the employer to file termination reports after every project
revealed that he contracted Koch’s disease. He was then required
an employee’s employment is completion proves that the employees are not project employees.
to take a 60-day leave of absence. The following day, he submitted
terminated due to a Nowhere in the New Labor Code is it provided that the reportorial
his application for sick leave but respondent’s Project Personnel
completion of a project. requirement is dispensed with. The fact is that Department Order No. 19
Officer told him that he was not entitled to sick leave because he
superseding Policy Instruction No. 20 expressly provides that the report of
was not a regular employee. Petitioner still served a 60-day sick
termination is one of the indicators of project employment.”
leave and underwent another medical examination on February
16, 2001. He was then given a clean bill of health and was given a
medical clearance that he was fit to work. Finally, petitioner’s regular employment was terminated by respondent
Petitioner claims that after he presented his medical clearance due to contract expiration or project completion, which are both not
to the Project Personnel Officer on even date, he was informed among the just or authorized causes provided in the Labor Code, as
that his services were already terminated on October 19, 2000 and amended, for dismissing a regular employee. Thus, petitioner was
illegally dismissed. Article 279 of the Labor Code, as amended, provides

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he was already replaced due to expiration of his contract. This
that an illegally dismissed employee is entitled to reinstatement, full back

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prompted petitioner on February 18, 2003 to file a complaint for
illegal dismissal with a prayer for reinstatement and back wages. wages, inclusive of allowances, and to his other benefits or their
He argued that he is deemed a regular employee of respondent monetary equivalent from the time his compensation was withheld from
due to his prolonged employment as a project employee as well as him up to the time of his actual reinstatement. The Court agrees with
the failure on the part of respondent to report his termination petitioner that there was no basis for the Labor Arbiter’s finding of
every time a project is completed. He further contended that his strained relations and order of separation pay in lieu of reinstatement.
termination without the benefit of an administrative investigation This was neither alleged nor proved. Moreover, it has long been settled
was tantamount to an illegal dismissal. Respondent countered that that the doctrine of strained relations should be strictly applied so as not
petitioner was hired as a project employee in several projects with to deprive an illegally dismissed employee of his right to reinstatement.
specific dates of engagement and termination and had full
knowledge and consent that his appointment was only for the As held in Globe-Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation v. NLRC:
duration of each project. It further contended that it had “Obviously, the principle of „strained relations‟ cannot be applied
sufficiently complied with the reportorial requirements to the indiscriminately. Otherwise, reinstatement can never be possible simply
DOLE because some hostility is invariably engendered between the parties as a
The Labor Arbiter rendered a Decision in favor of petitioner. On result of litigation. That is human nature. Besides, no strained relations
appeal of the respondent, petitioner moved to dismiss should arise from a valid and legal act of asserting one‟s right; otherwise
respondent’s appeal contending that the supersedeas bond in the an employee who shall assert his right could be easily separated from the
amount of P422,630.41 filed by the latter was insufficient service, by merely paying his separation pay on the pretext that his
considering that the Labor Arbiter’s monetary award is relationship with his employer had already become strained.” As to the
P460,292.41. He also argued that the person who verified the back wages due petitioner, there is likewise no basis in deducting
appeal, Mr. Erece, Jr., Personnel Services Department Head of therefrom back wages equivalent to six months “representing the
respondent, has no authority to file the same for and in behalf of maximum period of confinement [respondent] can require him to
respondent. undergo medical treatment.” Besides, petitioner was not dismissed on
the ground of disease but expiration of term of project employment.
Manaois case

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In May 1994, ABS-CBN signed an agreement with the Mel and Jay No. Case law has consistently held that the elements of an employee-
Management and Development Corporation (MJMDC). ABS-CBN employer relationship are selection and engagement of the employee,
was represented by its corporate officers while MJMDC was the payment of wages, the power of dismissal and the employer’s power
represented by Sonza, as President and general manager, and to control the employee on the means and methods by which the work is
Tiangco as its EVP and treasurer. Referred to in the agreement as accomplished. The last element, the so-called "control test", is the most
agent, MJMDC agreed to provide Sonza’s services exclusively to important element.
ABS-CBN as talent for radio and television. ABS-CBN agreed to pay Sonza’s services to co-host its television and radio programs are
Sonza a monthly talent fee of P310, 000 for the first year and P317, because of his peculiar talents, skills and celebrity status. Independent
JOSE SONZA
000 for the second and third year. contractors often present themselves to possess unique skills, expertise
or talent to distinguish them from ordinary employees. The specific
vs. Whether or not there was
On April 1996, Sonza wrote a letter to ABS-CBN where he selection and hiring of SONZA, because of his unique skills, talent and
employer-employee
irrevocably resigned in view of the recent events concerning his celebrity status not possessed by ordinary employees, is a circumstance
ABS-CBN relationship between the
program and career. After the said letter, Sonza filed with the indicative, but not conclusive, of an independent contractual
BROADCASTING parties.
Department of Labor and Employment a complaint alleging that relationship. All the talent fees and benefits paid to SONZA were the
CORPORATION
ABS-CBN did not pay his salaries, separation pay, service incentive result of negotiations that led to the Agreement. For violation of any
pay,13th month pay, signing bonus, travel allowance and amounts provision of the Agreement, either party may terminate their
under the Employees Stock Option Plan (ESOP). ABS-CBN relationship. Applying the control test to the present case, we find that
contended that no employee-employer relationship existed SONZA is not an employee but an independent contractor.
between the parties. However, ABS-CBN continued to remit The control test is the most important test our courts apply in
Sonza’s monthly talent fees but opened another account for the distinguishing an employee from an independent contractor. This test is

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same purpose. based on the extent of control the hirer exercises over a worker. The

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greater the supervision and control the hirer exercises, the more likely
The Labor Arbiter dismissed the complaint and found that there is the worker is deemed an employee. The converse holds true as well –
no employee-employer relationship. NLRC affirmed the decision of the less control the hirer exercises, the more likely the worker is
the Labor Arbiter. CA also affirmed the decision of NLRC. considered an independent contractor. To perform his work, SONZA only
needed his skills and talent. How SONZA delivered his lines, appeared on
television, and sounded on radio were outside ABS-CBN’s control. ABS-
CBN did not instruct SONZA how to perform his job. ABS-CBN merely
reserved the right to modify the program format and airtime schedule
"for more effective programming." ABS-CBN’s sole concern was the
quality of the shows and their standing in the ratings.
Clearly, ABS-CBN did not exercise control over the means and
methods of performance of Sonza’s work. A radio broadcast specialist
who works under minimal supervision is an independent contractor.
Sonza’s work as television and radio program host required special skills
and talent, which SONZA admittedly possesses.
Macasio filed before the LA a complaint against petitioner Ariel David confuses engagement on “pakyaw” or task basis with the lack of
L. David, doing business under the name and style “Yiels Hog employment relationship. Impliedly, David asserts that their “pakyawan”
Dealer,” for nonpayment of overtime pay, holiday pay and 13th or task basis arrangement negates the existence of employment
month pay. He also claimed payment for moral and exemplary relationship.
damages and attorney’s fees. Macasio also claimed payment for At the outset, we reject this assertion of the petitioner. Engagement
service SIL. on “pakyaw” or task basis does not characterize the relationship that
Macasio alleged before the LA that he had been working as a may exist between the parties, i.e., whether one of employment or
butcher for David since January 6, 1995. Macasio claimed that independent contractorship.
David exercised effective control and supervision over his work, To determine the existence of an employer-employee relationship,
pointing out that David: (1) set the work day, reporting time and four elements generally need to be considered, namely: (1) the selection

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hogs to be chopped, as well as the manner by which he was to and engagement of the employee; (2) the payment of wages; (3) the
perform his work; (2) daily paid his salary of P700.00, which was power of dismissal; and (4) the power to control the employee’s conduct.
increased from P600.00 in 2007, P500.00 in 2006 and P400.00 in These elements or indicators comprise the so-called “four-fold” test of
2005; and (3) approved and disapproved his leaves. The issue revolves around the employment relationship. Macasio’s relationship with David satisfies this
David Macasio added that David owned the hogs delivered for proper application and test. A distinguishing characteristic of “pakyaw” or task basis
chopping, as well as the work tools and implements; the latter also interpretation of the labor engagement, as opposed to straight-hour wage payment, is the non-
v. rented the workplace. Macasio further claimed that David employs law provisions on holiday, SIL consideration of the time spent in working.
about twenty-five (25) butchers and delivery drivers. and 13th month pay to a The payment of an employee on task or pakyaw basis alone is
macasio worker engaged on “pakyaw” insufficient to exclude one from the coverage of Service Incentive Leave
David claimed that he started his hog dealer business in 2005 or task basis. (SIL) and holiday pay. In determining whether workers engaged on
and that he only has ten employees. He alleged that he hired “pakyaw” or task basis is entitled to holiday and Service Incentive Leave
Macasio as a butcher or chopper on “pakyaw” or task basis who is, (SIL) pay, the presence (or absence) of employer supervision as regards
therefore, not entitled to overtime pay, holiday pay and 13th the worker’s time and performance is the key.
month pay. David pointed out that Macasio: (1) usually starts his
work at 10:00 p.m. and ends at 2:00 a.m. of the following day or We agree with the CA that Macasio does not fall under the definition
earlier, depending on the volume of the delivered hogs; (2) of “field personnel.” The CA’s finding in this regard is supported by the
received the fixed amount of P700.00 per engagement, regardless established facts of this case: first, Macasio regularly performed his
of the actual number of hours that he spent chopping the duties at David’s principal place of business; second, his actual hours of
delivered hogs; and (3) was not engaged to report for work and, work could be determined with reasonable certainty; and third, David
accordingly, did not receive any fee when no hogs were delivered. supervised his time and performance of duties. Since Macasio cannot be

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considered a “field personnel,” then he is not exempted from the grant

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of holiday, SIL pay even as he was engaged on “pakyaw” or task basis.
With respect to the payment of 13th month pay however, we find
that the CA legally erred in finding that the NLRC gravely abused its
discretion in denying this benefit to Macasio. The governing law on 13th
month pay is PD No. 851.52 As with holiday and SIL pay, 13th month pay
benefits generally cover all employees; an employee must be one of
those expressly enumerated to be exempted. Section 3 of the Rules and
Regulations Implementing P.D. No. 85153 enumerates the exemptions
from the coverage of 13th month pay benefits. Under Section 3(e),
“employers of those who are paid on x x x task basis, and those who are
paid a fixed amount for performing a specific work, irrespective of the
time consumed in the performance thereof”54 are exempted.
Note that unlike the IRR of the Labor Code on holiday and SIL pay,
Section 3(e) of the Rules and Regulations Implementing PD No. 851
exempts employees “paid on task basis” without any reference to “field
personnel.” This could only mean that insofar as payment of the 13th
month pay is concerned, the law did not intend to qualify the exemption
from its coverage with the requirement that the task worker be a “field
personnel” at the same time.
Citibank and El Toro Security Agency, Inc. (hereafter El Toro) No.
entered into a contract for the latter to provide security and Article 212, paragraph l of the Labor Code provides the definition of
protective services to safeguard and protect the bank's premises. a "labor dispute". It "includes any controversy or matter concerning
Under the contract, El Toro obligated itself to provide the services terms or conditions of employment or the association or representation
of security guards to safeguard and protect the premises and of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or arranging the
property of Citibank against theft, robbery or any other unlawful terms and conditions of employment, regardless of whether the

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acts committed by any person or persons, disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee. "El
and assumed responsibility for losses and/or damages that may be Toro was an independent contractor. Thus, no EER existed between
incurred by Citibank due to or as a result of the negligence of El Citibank and the security guard members of the union in the security
CITIBANK
Toro or any of its assigned personnel. Citibank renewed the agency who were assigned to secure the bank's premises and property.
security contract with El Toro yearly until it expired. Then, Citibank Hence, there was no labor dispute and no right to strike against the
vs.
Integrated Guards Labor Alliance-SEGA-TUPAS/FSM (hereafter WON the case involves a bank. The dispute involved is a civil one and the jurisdiction over the
CIGLA) filed with the National Conciliation and Mediation labor dispute subject matter of the complaint lies with the regional trial court.
COURT OF
Board(NCMB) a request for preventive mediation base on Unfair
APPEALS,
labor practice; Dismissal of union officers/members; and Union
NOV. 27, 1998
busting. CIGLA converted its request for preventive mediation into
a notice of strike for failure of the parties to reach a mutually
acceptable settlement of the issues, which it followed with a
supplemental notice of strike alleging as supplemental issue the
mass dismissal of all union officers and members. Citibank
filed with the Regional Trial Court, Makati, a complaint for injuncti
on and damages. CIGLA filed with the trial court a motion to
dismiss the complaint alleging among others that the Court had no
jurisdiction, this being labor dispute
Pal vs nlrc
KAWACHI Private respondent Dominie Del Quero charged A/J Raymundo Whether or not the RTC has NO, the RTC has no jurisdiction in the instant case. Article 217(a) of the

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Pawnshop, Inc., Virgilio Kawachi and petitioner Julius Kawachi with jurisdiction in this instant Labor Code, as amended, clearly bestows upon the Labor Arbiter original

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vs illegal dismissal, non-execution of a contract of employment, action and exclusive jurisdiction over claims for damages arising from employer-
violation of the minimum wage law, and non-payment of overtime employee relations —in other words, the Labor Arbiter has jurisdiction to
DEL QUERO pay. The complaint was filed before NLRC. The complaint award not only the reliefs provided by labor laws, but also damages
essentially alleged that Virgilio Kawachi hired private respondent governed by the Civil Code.
as a clerk of the pawnshop and that on certain occasions, she Under the reasonable causal connection rule, if there is a reasonable
worked beyond the regular working hours but was not paid the causal connection between the claim asserted and the employer-
corresponding overtime pay. The complaint also narrated an employee relations, then the case is within the jurisdiction of our labor
incident on 10 August 2002, wherein petitioner Julius Kawachi courts. In the absence of such nexus, it is the regular courts that have
scolded private respondent in front of many people about the way jurisdiction.
she treated the customers of the pawnshop and afterwards It is clear that the question of the legality of the act of dismissal is
terminated private respondent’s employment without affording intimately related to the issue of the legality of the manner by which that
her due process. act of dismissal was performed. But while the Labor Code treats of the
nature of, and the remedy available as regards the first – the
On 7 November 2002, private respondent Dominie Del Quero filed employee’s separation from employment – it does not at all deal with
an action for damages against petitioners Julius Kawachi and Gayle the second – the manner of that separation – which is governed
Kawachi before the MeTC of Quezon City. The complaint for exclusively by the Civil Code. In addressing the first issue, the Labor
damages specifically sought the recovery of moral damages, Arbiter applies the Labor Code; in addressing the second, the Civil Code.
exemplary damages and attorney’s fees. And this appears to be the plain and patent intendment of the law. For
apart from the reliefs expressly set out in the Labor Code flowing from
Petitioners moved for the dismissal of the complaint in the MeTC illegal dismissal from employment, no other damages may be awarded to
on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and forum-shopping. an illegally dismissed employee other than those specified by the Civil
Petitioners argue that the NLRC has jurisdiction over the action for Code. Hence, the fact that the issue—of whether or not moral or other
damages because the alleged injury is work-related. They also damages were suffered by an employee and in the affirmative, the
contend that private respondent should not be allowed to split her amount that should properly be awarded to him in the circumstances—is
causes of action by filing the action for damages separately from determined under the provisions of the Civil Code and not the Labor

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the labor case. Code, obviously was not meant to create a cause of action independent
of that for illegal dismissal and thus place the matter beyond the Labor
The RTC held that private respondent’s action for damages was Arbiter’s jurisdiction.
based on the alleged tortious acts committed by her employers In the instant case, the allegations in private respondent’s complaint
and did not seek any relief under the Labor Code. for damages show that her injury was the offshoot of petitioners’
immediate harsh reaction as her administrative superiors to the
supposedly sloppy manner by which she had discharged her duties.
Petitioners’ reaction culminated in private respondent’s dismissal from
work in the very same incident. The incident on 10 August 2002 alleged
in the complaint for damages was similarly narrated in private
respondent’s Affidavit-Complaint supporting her action for illegal
dismissal before the NLRC. Clearly, the alleged injury is directly related to
the employer-employee relations of the parties.
Where the employer-employee relationship is merely incidental and
the cause of action proceeds from a different source of obligation, the
Court has not hesitated to uphold the jurisdiction of the regular
courts.
In the instant case, the NLRC has jurisdiction over private
respondent’s complaint for illegal dismissal and damages arising
therefrom. She cannot be allowed to file a separate or independent civil

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action for damages where the alleged injury has a reasonable connection
to her termination from employment. Consequently, the action for

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damages filed before the MeTC must be dismissed. Petition is granted.
Florence Cabansag went to Singapore as a tourist. While she was 1. Labor arbiters have original and exclusive jurisdiction over claims
there, she looked for a job and eventually applied with the arising from employer-employee relations including termination disputes
Singapore Branch of the Philippine National Bank. PNB is a private involving all workers, including OFWs. Here, Cabansag applied for and
banking corporation organized and existing under Philippine laws. secured an OEC from the POEA through the Philippine Embassy. The OEC
She was eventually employed and was issued an employment pass. authorized her working status in a foreign country and entitled her to all
In her job offer, it was stated, among others, that she was to be benefits and processes under our statutes. Although she may been a
put on probation for 3 months and termination of her employment direct hire at the commencement of her employment, she became an
may be made by either party after 1 day notice while on OFW who was covered by Philippine labor laws and policies upon
probation, and 1 month notice or 1 month pay in lieu of notice certification by the POEA. When she was illegally terminated, she already
upon confirmation. She accepted the terms and was issued an OEC possessed the POEA employment certificate.
1. W/N the arbitration
by the POEA. She was commended for her good work. However, 2. A migrant worker “refers to a person who is to be engaged, is
branch of the NLRC has
she was informed by Ruben Tobias, the bank president, that she engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a state of
jurisdiction
PNB would have to resign in line with some cost cutting and which he or she is not a legal resident; to be used interchangeably with
2. W/N the arbitration of
realignment measures of the company. She refused but was overseas Filipino worker.” Here, Cabansag was a Filipino, not a legal
the NLRC in the NCR is the
vs. informed by Tobias that if she does not resign, he will terminate resident of Singapore, and employed by petitioner in its branch office in
proper venue
her instead. Singapore. She is clearly an OFW/migrant worker. Thus, she has the
3. W/N Cabansag was
Cabansag option where to file her Complaint for illegal dismissal. She can either file
illegally dismissed
at the Regional Arbitration Branch where she resides or the RAB where
the employer is situated. Thus, in filing her Complaint before the RAB
office in Quezon City, she has made a valid choice of proper venue.
3. The appellate court was correct in holding that respondent was
already a regular employee at the time of her dismissal, because her
three-month probationary period of employment had already

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ended. This ruling is in accordance with Article 281 of the Labor Code:
“An employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period shall
be considered a regular employee.” Indeed, petitioner recognized
respondent as such at the time it dismissed her, by giving her one
month’s salary in lieu of a one-month notice, consistent with provision
No. 6 of her employment Contract.
In May 1988, Marcelo Santos was an overseas worker in Oman. In No. The NLRC is a very inconvenient forum for the following reasons:
June 1988, he was recruited by Palace Hotel in Beijing, China. Due 1. The only link that the Philippines has in this case is the fact that
to higher pay and benefits, Santos agreed to the hotel’s job offer Santos is a Filipino;
MANILA HOTEL and so he started working there in November 1988. The 2. However, the Palace Hotel and MHIL are foreign corporations – MHC
employment contract between him and Palace Hotel was however cannot be held liable because it merely owns 50% of MHIL, it has no
vs. without the intervention of the Philippine Overseas Employment direct business in the affairs of the Palace Hotel. The veil of corporate
Administration (POEA). In August 1989, Palace fiction can’t be pierced because it was not shown that MHC is directly
NLRC Hotel notified Santos that he will be laid off due to business managing the affairs of MHIL. Hence, they are separate entities.
Whether or not the NLRC has
reverses. In September 1989, he was officially terminated. 3. Santos’ contract with the Palace Hotel was not entered into in the
jurisdiction over the case.
In February 1990, Santos filed a complaint for illegal dismissal Philippines;
against Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC) and Manila Hotel 4. Santos’ contract was entered into without the intervention of the
WRONG International, Ltd. (MHIL). The Palace Hotel was impleaded but no POEA (had POEA intervened, NLRC still does not have jurisdiction
summons were served upon it. MHC is a government owned and because it will be the POEA which will hear the case);
CASE!!!!! controlled corporation. It owns 50% of MHIL, a foreign corporation 5. MHIL and the Palace Hotel are not doing business in the Philippines;

8
(Hong Kong). MHIL manages the affair of the Palace Hotel. The their agents/officers are not residents of the Philippines;
labor arbiter who handled the case ruled in favor of Santos. The Due to the foregoing, the NLRC cannot possibly determine all the

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National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) affirmed the labor relevant facts pertaining to the case. It is not competent to determine
arbiter. the facts because the acts complained of happened outside our
jurisdiction. It cannot determine which law is applicable. And in case a
judgment is rendered, it cannot be enforced against the Palace Hotel (in
the first place, it was not served any summons).
The Supreme Court emphasized that under the rule of forum non
conveniens, a Philippine court or agency may assume jurisdiction over
the case if it chooses to do so provided:
(1) that the Philippine court is one to which the parties may conveniently
resort to;
(2) that the Philippine court is in a position to make an intelligent
decision as to the law and the facts; and
(3) that the Philippine court has or is likely to have power to enforce its
decision.
None of the above conditions are apparent in the case at bar.
Austria vs nlrc
Locsin was elected chairman of Nissan. He was also appointed 1. The procedure followed by respondents was wrong. Instead of filing
evp/treasurer reporting everyday, receiving salary and being a motion to dismiss, they should have filed a position paper stating
deducted SSS contribution, withholding tax, etc., just as other therein their ground for dismissal. Also, their filing of petition for
employees. During a board meeting of Nissan, he was not 1. Whether or not it was certiorari at c.a. on the denial of their motion to dismiss was wrong. The
ARSENIO Z. appointed to any of these positions. He filed a case for illegal proper for respondents to file order of the labor arbiter is interlocutory and therefore inappealable to
LOCSIN dismissal, reinstatement, damages and attorney’s fees at NLRC. motion to dismiss and when CA. They should have filed an appeal with the commission, not CA. per
Respondents, instead of filing position paper filed a motion to denied to elevate the matter nlrc rules. But SC. said they would have to disregard this procedural
vs. dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The labor arbiter denied the motion to the CA? lapse. For to do so would result to injustice. Why? Because if they follow

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to dismiss and ruled that he has jurisdiction over thecase. strictly the rules, then they have to disregard the c.a. decision for lack of
NISSAN CAR Respondents filed petition for certiorari at CA. The later granted 2. Whether or not abc who is jurisdiction and thus the ruling of the labor arbiter would be upheld
LEASE PHILS. the petition and reversed the ruling of the labor arbiter on the chairman and evp/treasurer is which is a wrong ruling.
INC. AND LUIS ground that Locsin was a corporate officer and thus NLRC has no a corporate officer?
BANSON jurisdiction. Locsin filed petition for review at SC. LOCSIN who was elected chairman and evp/treasurer is a corporate
Doctrines: 1. Re technical rule must be set aside for the sake of officer because the position of evp/treasurer is provided for in the by-
justice; 2. A person holding the position of chairman and laws of NISSAN. He was elected by the board of NISSAN to such position
evp/treasurer is a corporate officer and thus not under the according to the by-laws of said corporation. Therefore, NLRC has no
jurisdiction of NLRC. jurisdiction over his case.
Respondent Annalisa Cortes was hired as of the Rural Bank of The SC held that Labor Arbiter has jurisdiction over respondent’s
Coron. Later, she married a member of the family which ran the complaint.
corporation. Respondent later on became the Financial Assistant,
Rural Bank of Personnel Officer and Corporate Secretary of The Rural Bank of While, indeed, respondent was the Corporate Secretary of the Rural Bank
Coron Coron and some other sensitive positions in the sister companies of Coron, she was also its Financial Assistant and the Personnel Officer of
of the Bank. the two other petitioner corporations.
vs. On examination of the financial books of the corporations by Whether or not the NLRC had
petitioner Sandra Garcia Escat, she found out that respondent jurisdiction over the case. Mainland Construction Co., Inc. v. Movilla instructs that a corporation
Annalisa Cortes was involved in several anomalies, drawing petitioners to can engage its corporate officers to perform services under a
terminate respondent’s services on November 23, 1998 in circumstance which would make them employees.
petitioner corporations.

9
Respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and non- The Labor Arbiter has thus jurisdiction over respondent’s complaint.

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payment of salaries and other benefits with the NLRC.
Petitioners moved for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground Petition is denied.
of lack of jurisdiction, contending that the case was an intra-
corporate controversy involving the removal of a corporate officer,
respondent being the Corporate Secretary of the Rural Bank of
Coron, Inc., hence, cognizable by the SEC pursuant to PD 902-A.
PBS vs labor sec.

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