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48. OWWA v.

Chavez AUTHOR: Gojar

G.R. No. 169802, June 8, 2007 Sorry mahaba. This is all about OWWA & propriety of the writh
Topic: Foreign Activities of preliminary injunction issued by RTC.


OWWA is a government agency tasked primarily to protect the interest and promote the welfare of overseas Filipino
workers (OFWs).
Any employee who questions the validity of his transfer should appeal to the CSC. Even then, administrative remedies must
be exhausted before resort to the regular courts can be had.
Injunction will not lie where the acts sought to be enjoined have already been accomplished or consummateda writ of
preliminary injunction will not issue if the act sought to be enjoined is a fait accompli.
A Welfare & Training Fund for Overseas Workers in DOLE was created by a Letter of Instructions (LOI), to provide social & welfare
services to OFW, insurance coverage, social work, legal & placement assistance, cultural & remittances services, etc. Then, P.D. 1964
formalized the operations of a Welfare Fund (WELFUND). Subsequently, E0 No. 126 was passed reorganizing the Ministry of Labor
& Employment and renamed the WELFUND as the OWWA. Since there was still no formal OWWA structure, the OWWA Board of
Trustees passed Resolution No. 001 depicting the organizational structure & staffing pattern of the OWWA to stablize the internal
organization and promote careerism among the EEs & for more efficient and effective delivery of programs and services to member-
OFWs. DBM approved the said resolution. Advisory No. 1 announced that a Placement Committee will be created to evaluate and
recommend placement of all regular/permanent incumbents of OWWA in the new organizational chart and staffing pattern. Sec of
DOLE issued Admin Order No. 171 creating a Placement Committee to evaluate qualifications of employees, and to recommend
their appropriate placement in the new organizational chart, functional statements and staffing pattern of the OWWA.
Respondents then filed a complaint to annul that organizational structure of the OWWA w/ prayer for the issuance of a Writ of
Preliminary Injunction against OWWA & its Board of Trustees. They argued that the the resulting decrease in the number of
employees due to Organizational Structure will result in the constructive dismissal of at least 110 employees. Meanwhile, the
deployment of the regular central office personnel to the regional offices will displace the said employees, as well as their families.
They basically challenged that validity of the new organizational structure of OWWA, arguing that it is void.
RTC granted the injunction by respondents and ruled that if there is a need to reorganize the structure of the OWWA, there
should be an amendatory law. And Resolution no 1 was not a formal structure and only disrupts the existing organization
& disturbs & displaces a # of regular EEs, consultants, casual & contractual EEs. RTC also defended its jurisdiction stating
that the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is applicable only where the administrative agency exercises its quasi-judicial or
administrative function; but, where what is challenged is the constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by the
administrative agency in the performance of its quasi-legislative functions, regular courts have jurisdiction over the matter.
CA: Affirmed RTC. It was proper for RTC to restrain, for the meantime, the implementation of OWWAs reorganization to
prevent injury until after the main case is heard and decided. The anxiety of being dismissed or displaced is not premature,
speculative and purely anticipatory, but based on real fear which shows a threatened or direct injury, it appearing that the
reorganization of the OWWA is already slowly being put into motion.

OWWA argued: (1) OWWA already implemented the new organizational structure as the advertisement, recruitment, and
placement of OWWA employees have been accomplished; none of the respondents in this case have been dismissed; the act
sought to be prevented has long been consummated, hence, the remedy of injunction should no longer be entertained. (2) its
reorganization doesnt require an amendatory law since there was no previous OWWA structure in the 1st place. (3) Respondents
didnt claim they were the consultants, casual/contractual workers who would allegedly be displaced. (4) An EE may be reassigned
from one organizational unit to another in the same agency, provided that such reassignment shall not involve a reduction in rank,
status or salary.
Respondents insist: that the organization structure was done hastily and without adequate study and its creation of organizational
structure of the OWWA would require a presidential fiat or a legislative enactment.

[Supreme Court limited the matter regarding the propriety of the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction by the RTC and not
the merits of the case itself since it is still pending before the RTC]


RTC committed GADELEJ. A preliminary injunctions objective is to preserve the status quo until the trial court hears fully the
merits of the case. In this case, RTC didnt maintain such when it issued the injunction. What RTC did was to preserve the state of
affairs before the issuance of Resolution No. 001 (which approved the structure of the OWWA). RTC forgot that what is imperative
in preliminary injunction cases is that the writ can not be effectuated to establish new relations between the parties. It didnt
maintain the status quo but restored the landscape before the implementation of OWWAs reorganization. In thus issuing the writ
of preliminary injunction, the substantive issues of the main case were resolved by the trial court. RTC similarly prejudged the
validity of the issuances released by the OWWA Board of Trustees, as well as the other governmental bodies (i.e., DBM, DOLE),
which approved the organizational structure and staffing pattern of the OWWA (apply the presumption of regularity of the
government issuances)

Also, a mere blanket allegation that they are all officers and employees of the OWWA without a showing of how they stand to be
directly injured by the implementation of its questioned organizational structure does not suffice to prove a right in esse. There
was no showing that they are the employees who are in grave danger of being displaced. Injunction is not a remedy to protect or
enforce contingent, abstract, or future rights; it will not issue to protect a right not in esse and which may never arise, or to
restrain an action which did not give rise to a cause of action.

Again, as to the question of the validity of the OWWA reorganization remains the subject in the main case pending before the trial
court. Its annulment cant be raised in this petition.

Assuming the respondents stand to be in danger of being transferred due to the reorganisation: the law provides that any EE who
questions the validity of his transfer should appeal to the CSC. And admin remedies should be exhausted before resorting to
regular courts.

FINALLY, the acts sought to be prohibited had been accomplished. And injunction will not lie here the acts sought to be enjoined
have already been accomplished/consummated. In here, reorganization already started upon approval by the Board of Trustrees of
its Resolution No. 1 and DBM, OWWA Administrator and DOLE issued a series of issuances approving the he organizational structure
and staffing pattern of the agency. Hence, the act sought to be enjoined is a fait accompli.