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ASIAN CENTER FOR CAREER AND EMPLOYMENT SYSTEM AND 1996, respondent applied with petitioner for vacation

pondent applied with petitioner for vacation leave with pay and was
SERVICES, INC. (ACCESS),VS. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS granted. While en route to the Philippines, his co-workers informed him that he has
COMMISSION AND IBNO MEDIALES been dismissed. respondent filed a complaint with the labor arbiter for illegal
dismissal. And found guilty and to pay the unexpired portion of the respondent s
G.R. NO. 131656 contract which is 1,200 multiplied by 8 months representing the unexpired portion.
OCTOBER 12, 1998 Petitioner appealed to the NLRC but the latter affirmed the decision of labor arbiter
but modified the appealed decision by deleting the order of refund of excessive
placement fee for lack of jurisdiction. Petitioner moved for reconsideration with
respect to the labor arbiters award by invoking Section 10 RA 8042 that a worker
Remedial Law; Actions; Jurisdiction; As a rule, jurisdiction is determined by the law dismissed from overseas employment without just, valid or authorized cause is
at the time of the commencement of the action; RA 8042 which took effect in July entitled to his salary for the unexpired portion of his employment contract or for
1995 applies to the case at bar. As a rule, jurisdiction is determined by the law at three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term, whichever is less that is why
the time of the commencement of the action. In the case at bar, private respondents it should be three years should be used for the unexpired portion. NLRC denied the
cause of action did not accrue on the date of his employment or on February 28, 1995. motion. Hence, this petition for certiorari.
His cause of action arose only from the time he was illegally dismissed by petitioner
from service in June 1996, after his vacation leave expired. It is thus clear that R.A. Issue:
8042 which took effect a year earlier in July 1995 applies to the case at bar.
Whether or not the monetary awards granted by the NLRC to private respondent is
Same; Judgment; Where there is a conflict between the dispositive portion or the correct?
fallo and the body of the decision, the fallo controls; Where the inevitable conclusion
from the body of the decision is so clear as to show that there was a mistake in the Held:
dispositive portion, the body of the decision will prevail. The general rule is that
where there is a conflict between the dispositive portion or the fallo and the body of The SC affirmed the decisions of NLRC with modifications regarding the basis of
the decision, the fallo controls. This rule rests on the theory that the fallo is the final amount that the petitioner will pay to the respondent for the unexpired portion of
order while the opinion in the body is merely a statement ordering nothing. employment contract. In the case at bar, petitioners illegal dismissal from service is
However, where the inevitable conclusion from the body of the decision is so clear no longer disputed. Petitioner merely impugns the monetary awards granted by the
as to show that there was a mistake in the dispositive portion, the body of the decision NLRC to private respondent. The effectivity of Section 10 RA 8042 took effect a year
will prevail. earlier from his vacation leave. Hence, it applies to the case. The respondent should
be paid by petitioner the 3 months unexpired portion of the contract.
Civil Law; Attorneys Fees; Private respondent was compelled to file an action for
illegal dismissal with the labor arbiter and hence entitled to an award of attorneys
fees. In the case at bar, petitioners bad faith in dismissing private respondent is
manifest. Respondent was made to believe that he would be temporarily leaving
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for a 30-day vacation leave with pay. However,
while on board the plane back to the Philippines, his co-employees told him that he
has been dismissed from his job as he was given only a one-way plane ticket by
petitioner. True enough, private respondent was not allowed to return to his jobsite
in Jeddah after his vacation leave. Thus, private respondent was compelled to file an
action for illegal dismissal with the labor arbiter and hence entitled to an award of
attorneys fees.

Facts:

petitioner hired respondent IBNO MEDIALES to work as a mason in Jeddah, Saudi


Arabia with a monthly salary of 1,200 Saudi Riyals (SR). The term of his contract
was two (2) years, from February 28, 1995 until February 28, 1997. On May 26,
EASTERN SHIPPING LINES V POEA subject of burial benefits as an overseas contract worker.Significantly, the office
G.R. NO. 76633 administering this fund, in the receipt it prepared for the private respondents
OCTOBER 18, 1988 signature, described the subject of the burial benefits as overseas contract worker
Vitaliano Saco. While this receipt is certainly not controlling, it does indicate, in the
light of the petitioners own previous acts, that the petitioner and the Fund to which
Labor; Overseas Employment; Appeals; Non-exhaustion of administrative remedies, it had made contributions considered Saco to be an overseas employee.
proper; General rule that decisions of the POEA should first be appealed to the
NLRC; Case at bar comes under one of the exceptions, as the questions raised are Same; Same; Award of death benefits and burial expenses under Memorandum Circular of
questions of law; Absence of objection by private respondent to petitioners direct the POEA.; Circular prescribing a standard contract by foreign and domestic shipping
resort to the Supreme Court.Ordinarily, the decisions of the POEA should first be companies deemed written into the contract with the employee and a postulate of the police
appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission, on the theory inter alia that power of the State.The award of P180,000.00 for death benefits and P12,000.00 for
the agency should be given an opportunity to correct the errors, if any, of its burial expenses was made by the POEA pursuant to its Memorandum Circular No.
subordinates. This case comes under one of the exceptions, however, as the questions 2, which became effective on February 1, 1984. This circular prescribed a standard
the petitioner is raising are essentially questions of law. Moreover, the private contract to be adopted by both foreign and domestic shipping companies in the hiring
respondent herself has not objected to the petitioners direct resort to this Court, of Filipino seamen for overseas employment. A similar contract had earlier been
observing that the usual procedure would delay the disposition of the case to her required by the National Seamen Board and had been sustained in a number of cases
prejudice. by this Court. The petitioner claims that it had never entered into such a contract
with the deceased Saco, but that is hardly a serious argument. In the first place, it
Same; Same; Overseas employment and contract worker, defined; These definitions should have done so as required by the circular, which specifically declared that all
clearly apply to the employee as he died under a contract of employment with parties to the employment of any Filipino seamen on board any ocean-going vessel
petitioner alongside petitioners vessel berthed in a foreign country.Under the are advised to adopt and use this employment contract effective 01 February 1984
1985 Rules and Regulations on Overseas Employment, overseas employment is and to desist from using any other format of employment contract effective that
defined as employment of a worker outside the Philippines, including employment date. In the second place, even if it had not done so, the provisions of the said circular
on board vessels plying international waters, covered by a valid contract. A contract are nevertheless deemed written into the contract with Saco as a postulate of the
worker is described as any person working or who has worked overseas under a police power of the State.
valid employment contract and shall include seamen or any person working
overseas or who has been employed by another which may be a local employer, Same; Same; Delegation of power; Legislative discretion as to the substantive contents of the
foreign employer, principal or partner under a valid employment contract and shall law cannot be delegated; What can be delegated is the discretion to determine how the law
include seamen. These definitions clearly apply to Vitaliano Saco for it is not may be enforced.The second challenge is more serious as it is true that legislative
disputed that he died while under a contract of employment with the petitioner and discretion as to the substantive contents of the law cannot be delegated. What can
alongside the petitioners vessel, the M/V Eastern Polaris, while berthed in a foreign be delegated is the discretion to determine how the law may be enforced, not what
country. the law shall be. The ascertainment of the latter subject is a prerogative of the
legislature. This prerogative cannot be abdicated or surrendered by the legislature
Same; Same; Same; Submission by petitioner of shipping articles to POEA and payments of to the delegate.
contributions to the Welfare Fund are tacit recognition of the nature of the employees
appointment at the time of his death.It is worth observing that the petitioner Same; Same; Same; Accepted tests to determine whether or not there is valid delegation of
performed at least two acts which constitute implied or tacit recognition of the legislative power.There are two accepted tests to determine whether or not there is
nature of Sacos employment at the time of his death in 1985. The first is its a valid delegation of legislative power, viz., the completeness test and the sufficient
submission of its shipping articles to the POEA for processing, formalization and standard test. Under the first test, the law must be complete in all its terms and
approval in the exercise of its regulatory power over overseas employment under conditions when it leaves the legislature such that when it reaches the delegate the
Executive Order No. 797. The second is its payment of the contributions mandated only thing he will have to do is enforce it. Under the sufficient standard test, there
by law and regulations to the Welfare Fund for Overseas Workers, which was must be adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to map out the boundaries of
created by P.D. No. 1694 for the purpose of providing social and welfare services to the delegates authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. Both tests are
Filipino overseas workers. intended to prevent a total transference of legislative authority to the delegate, who
is not allowed to step into the shoes of the legislature and exercise a power essentially
Same; Same; Receipt prepared by the office administering the Welfare Fund described the legislative.
before it the National Seamen Board) in requiring the model contract is not unlimited
Same; Same; Same; Principle of non-delegation of powers is applicable to all the 3 major as there is a sufficient standard guiding the delegate in the exercise of the said
powers of the government, but is especially important in the case of the legislative power. authority. That standard is discoverable in the executive order itself which, in
The principle of non-delegation of powers is applicable to all the three major powers creating the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, mandated it to
of the Government but is especially important in the case of the legislative power protect the rights of overseas Filipino workers to fair and equitable employment
because of the many instances when its delegation is permitted. The occasions are practices.
rare when executive or judicial powers have to be delegated by the authorities to
which they legally pertain. In the case of the legislative power, however, such Same; Same; Same; Sufficient standards of delegation of legislative power.
occasions have become more and more frequent, if not necessary. This had led to the Parenthetically, it is recalled that this Court has accepted as sufficient standards
observation that the delegation of legislative power has become the rule and its non- public interest in People v. Rosenthal, justice and equity in Antamok Gold Fields
delegation the exception. v. CIR, public convenience and welfare in Calalang v. Williams, and simplicity,
economy and efficiency in Cervantes v. Auditor General, to mention only a few
Same; Same; Same; Reason for the frequent delegation of power by the legislature.The cases. In the United States, the sense and experience of men was accepted in Mutual
reason is the increasing complexity of the task of government and the growing Film Corp. v. Industrial Commission, and national security in Hirabayashi v.
inability of the legislature to cope directly with the myriad problems demanding its United States.
attention. The growth of society has ramified its activities and created peculiar and
sophisticated problems that the legislature cannot be expected reasonably to Same; Same; Same; Payment of death benefit pension, funeral benefit burial gratuity to
comprehend. Specialization even in legislation has become necessary. To many of the private respondent will not preclude allowance of private respondents claim against
problems attendant upon present-day undertakings, the legislature may not have the petitioner which is specifically reserved in the standard contract of employment for Filipino
competence to provide the required direct and efficacious, not to say, specific seamen.It is not denied that the private respondent has been receiving a monthly
solutions. These solutions may, however, be expected from its delegates, who are death benefit pension of P514.42 since March 1985 and that she was also paid of
supposed to be experts in the particular fields assigned to them. P1,000.00 funeral benefit by the Social Security System. In addition, as already
observed, she also received a P5,000.00 burial gratuity from the Welfare Fund for
Same; Same; Same; Reasons for delegation of legislative powers are particularly applicable Overseas Workers. These payments will not preclude allowance of the private
to administrative bodies; Delegated power to issue rules to carry out the general provisions of respondents claim against the petitioner because it is specifically reserved in the
the statute is called power of subordinate legislation.The reasons given above for the standard contract of employment for Filipino seamen under Memorandum Circular
delegation of legislative powers in general are particularly applicable to No. 2, Series of 1984.
administrative bodies. With the proliferation of specialized activities and their
attendant peculiar problems, the national legislature has found it more and more Same; Same; Same; Provisions under the standard contract of employment for Filipino
necessary to entrust to administrative agencies the authority to issue rules to carry seamen pursuant to Memorandum Circular No. 2 are manifestations of the State for the
out the general provisions of the statute. This is called the power of subordinate working class consistently with the social justice and protection of the working class provisions
legisla-tion. of the Constitution.The above provisions are manifestations of the concern of the
State for the working class, consistently with the social justice policy and the specific
Same; Same; Same; Administrative bodies implement the broad policies by promulgating their provisions in the Constitution calling for the protection of the working class and the
supplemental regulations, such as the implementing rules issued by the Department of Labor promotion of its interest.
on the new Labor Code.With this power, administrative bodies may implement the
broad policies laid down in a statute by filling in the details which the Congress Same; Same; Same; Due process, not a case of; Administrative agencies vested with two basic
may not have the opportunity or competence to provide. This is effected by their powers, quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial; Power of administrative agencies to promulgate
promulgation of what are known as supplementary regulations, such as the implementing rules and regulations and interprets and applies them, not violative of due
implementing rules issued by the Department of Labor on the new Labor Code. process as long as the cardinal rights in the Ang Tibay vs. CIR case are observed.One last
These regulations have the force and effect of law. challenge of the petitioner must be dealt with to close this case. Its argument that it
has been denied due process because the same POEA that issued Memorandum
Same; Same; Same; Memorandum Circular No. 2 which prescribes a model contract is not Circular No. 2 has also sustained and applied it is an uninformed criticism of
challenged by the employer.Memorandum Circular No. 2 is one such administrative administrative law itself. Administrative agencies are vested with two basic powers,
regulation. The model contract prescribed thereby has been applied in a significant the quasi-legislative and the quasi-judicial. The first enables them to promulgate
number of cases without challenge by the employer. The power of the POEA (and implementing rules and regulations, and the second enables them to interpret and
apply such regulations. Examples abound: the Bureau of Internal Revenue as hereunder provided shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to
adjudicates on its own revenue regulations, the Central Bank on its own circulars, govern the exercise of the adjudicatory functions of the Administration (POEA)."
the Securities and Exchange Commission on its own rules, as so too do the Philippine
Patent Office and the Videogram Regulatory Board and Civil Aeronautics It is true that legislative discretion as to the substantive contents of the law cannot
Administration and the Department of Natural Resources and so on ad infinitum on be delegated. What can be delegated is the discretion to determine how the law may
their respective administrative regulations. Such an arrangement has been accepted be enforced, not what the law shall be. The ascertainment of the latter subject is a
as a fact of life of modern governments and cannot be considered violative of due prerogative of the legislature. This prerogative cannot be abdicated or surrendered
process as long as the cardinal rights laid down by Justice Laurel in the landmark by the legislature to the delegate.
case of Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations are observed.
The reasons given above for the delegation of legislative powers in general are
Same; Same; Same; Doubts regarding the rights of the parties are resolved in favor of private particularly applicable to administrative bodies. With the proliferation of specialized
respondent under the principle that those with less in life should have more in law. activities and their attendant peculiar problems, the national legislature has found it
Whatever doubts may still remain regarding the rights of the parties in this case are more and more necessary to entrust to administrative agencies the authority to issue
resolved in favor of the private respondent, in line with the express mandate of the rules to carry out the general provisions of the statute. This is called the "power of
Labor Code and the principle that those with less in life should have more in law. subordinate legislation."

Same; Same; Same; When the conflicting interests of labor and capital are weighed on the With this power, administrative bodies may implement the broad policies laid down
scales of social justice, capital should be counterbalanced with sympathy and compassion the in a statute by "filling in' the details which the Congress may not have the
law must accord to labor.When the conflicting interests of labor and capital are opportunity or competence to provide. This is effected by their promulgation of what
weighed on the scales of social justice, the heavier influence of the latter must be are known as supplementary regulations, such as the implementing rules issued by
counterbalanced by the sympathy and compassion the law must accord the the Department of Labor on the new Labor Code. These regulations have the force
underprivileged worker. This is only fair if he is to be given the opportunityand and effect of law.
the rightto assert and defend his cause not as a subordinate but as a peer of
management, with which he can negotiate on even plane. Labor is not a mere There are two accepted tests to determine whether or not there is a valid delegation
employee of capital but its active and equal partner. of legislative power:
1. Completeness test - the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when
FACTS: it leaves the legislature such that when it reaches the delegate the only thing he will
have to do is enforce it.
A Chief Officer of a ship was killed in an accident in Japan. The widow filed a 2. Sufficient standard test - there must be adequate guidelines or stations in the law
complaint for charges against the Eastern Shipping Lines with POEA, based on a to map out the boundaries of the delegate's authority and prevent the delegation
Memorandum Circular No. 2, issued by the POEA which stipulated death benefits from running riot.
and burial for the family of overseas workers. ESL questioned the validity of the
memorandum circular as violative of the principle of non-delegation of legislative Both tests are intended to prevent a total transference of legislative authority to the
power. It contends that no authority had been given the POEA to promulgate the delegate, who is not allowed to step into the shoes of the legislature and exercise a
said regulation; and even with such authorization, the regulation represents an power essentially legislative.
exercise of legislative discretion which, under the principle, is not subject to
delegation. Nevertheless, POEA assumed jurisdiction and decided the case.
G.R. No. 154213 August 23, 2012
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Issuance of Memorandum Circular No. 2 is a violation of non- EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN MARITIME LTD. AND AGEMAR
delegation of powers. MANNING AGENCY, INC., Petitioners,
vs.
RULING: ESTANISLAO SURIO, FREDDIE PALGUIRAN, GRACIANO MORALES,
No. SC held that there was a valid delegation of powers. HENRY CASTILLO, ARISTOTLE ARREOLA, ALEXANDER YGOT,
The authority to issue the said regulation is clearly provided in Section 4(a) of ANRIQUE BA TTUNG, GREGORIO ALDOVINO, NARCISO FRIAS, VICTOR
Executive Order No. 797. ... "The governing Board of the Administration (POEA), FLORES, SAMUEL MARCIAL, CARLITO PALGUIRAN, DUQUE VINLUAN,
JESUS MENDEGORIN, NEIL FLORES, ROMEO MANGALIAG, JOE GARFIN modify acts and decisions of subordinate officials or units; determine priorities in the
and SALESTINO SUSA, Respondents. execution of plans and programs. Unless a different meaning is explicitly provided
in the specific law governing the relationship of particular agencies, the word
Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Prospectivity of Laws; As a rule, all laws are control shall encompass supervision and control as defined in this paragraph. xxx.
prospective in application unless the contrary is expressly provided or unless the law
is procedural or curative in naturePetitioners position that Republic Act No. 8042
should not be applied retroactively to the review of the POEAs decision dismissing FACTS:
their complaint against respondents has no support in jurisprudence. Although, as a
rule, all laws are prospective in application unless the contrary is expressly provided, Respondents were former crewmembers of MT Seadance, a vessel owned
or unless the law is procedural or curative in nature, there is no serious question by petitioner Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Ltd., and manned and
about the retroactive applicability of Republic Act No. 8042 to the appeal of the operated by petitioner Agemar Manning Agency, Inc.
POEAs decision on petitioners disciplinary action against respondents. In a way,
Republic Act No. 8042 was a procedural law due to its providing or omitting While on board the vessel, the respondents had experienced delays in
guidelines on appeal. payment of their wages and in the remittance of their allotments and they
were not paid for extra work or extra overtime; they also complained of
Same; Same; Appeals; A statute that eliminates the right to appeal and considers the inadequate equipment and poor working conditions
judgment rendered final and unappealable only destroys the right to appeal, but not When the vessel came to dock in Switzerland, authorities from the
the right to prosecute an appeal that has been perfected prior to its passage, for, at International Transport Federation (ITF) boarded and found out that
that stage, the right to appeal has already vested and cannot be impaired. Republic indeed the respondents were receiving less than the prevailing wage rates
Act No. 8042 applies to petitioners complaint by virtue of the case being then still negotiations followed between ITF and the vessel owner which resulted
pending or undetermined at the time of the laws passage, there being no vested in payment of differentials to the respondents and their subsequent
rights in rules of procedure. They could not validly insist that the reckoning period repatriation to the Philippines
to ascertain which law or rule should apply was the time when the disciplinary
complaint was originally filed in the POEA in 1993. Moreover, Republic Act No. A few days after, however, Eastern Mediterranean filed at the POEA a
8042 and its implementing rules and regulations were already in effect when complaint for disciplinary action against the newly-repatriated
petitioners took their appeal. A statute that eliminates the right to appeal and respondents based on breach of discipline and for the reimbursement of
considers the judgment rendered final and unappealable only destroys the right to wage increases
appeal, but not the right to prosecute an appeal that has been perfected prior to its
passage, for, at that stage, the right to appeal has already vested and cannot be During pendency of the action, R.A. 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas
impaired. Filipinos Act of 1995) took effect on July 15, 1995, vesting with the Labor
Arbiter original and exclusive jurisdiction over money claims arising out
Same; Same; Same; When Republic Act No. 8042 withheld the appellate jurisdiction of employer-employee relationships involving overseas Filipino workers
of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in respect of cases decided by (jurisdiction was formerly exercised by POEA)
the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the appellate
jurisdiction was vested in the Secretary of Labor in accordance with his power of POEA dismissed the complaint appeal made with NLRC, which also
supervision and control.When Republic Act No. 8042 withheld the appellate dismissed, saying they had no jurisdiction petitioners filed pet. For
jurisdiction of the NLRC in respect of cases decided by the POEA, the appellate certiorari and mandamus with SC which referred the same to CA CA
jurisdiction was vested in the Secretary of Labor in accordance with his power of dismissed ruling that jurisdiction lay with POEA, to the exclusion of
supervision and control under Section 38(1), Chapter 7, Title II, Book III of the NLRC
Revised Administrative Code of 1987, to wit: Section 38. Definition of
Administrative Relationship.Unless otherwise expressly stated in the Code or in ISSUE: WON the NLRC has jurisdiction to review on appeal cases decided by the
other laws defining the special relationships of particular agencies, administrative POEA on matters pertaining to disciplinary actions
relationships shall be categorized and defined as follows: Supervision and
HELD/RATIO:
Control.Supervision and control shall include authority to act directly whenever a
specific function is entrusted by law or regulation to a subordinate; direct the
performance of duty; restrain the commission of acts; review, approve, reverse or
Perusal of the POEA rules and the IRR of R.A. 8042 show that NLRC has moment they have chosen an applicant they are deemed to have subjected him to the
no jurisdiction to review disciplinary cases decided by the POEA; the required pre-qualification standards.
matter of inclusion and deletion of overseas contract workers in the POEA
Blacklist/Watchlist is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the POEA to the Same; Illness; It is not required that the employment be the sole factor in the growth,
exclusion of NLRC development or acceleration of the illness to entitle the claimant to the benefits
provided therefor.But even assuming that the ailment of Faustino Inductivo was
Although the passage of the new law transferred jurisdiction over money contracted prior to his employment on board MT Rowan, this is not a drawback
claims from POEA to the Labor Arbiter, POEA retained jurisdiction over to the compensability of the disease. It is not required that the employment be the
disciplinary/administrative cases involving overseas workers sole factor in the growth, development or acceleration of the illness to entitle the
claimant to the benefits provided therefor. It is enough that the employment had
Petitioners should have appealed the adverse decision of the POEA to the contributed, even in a small degree, to the development of the disease and in bringing
Secretary of Labor instead of to the NLRC. Consequently, the CA, being about his death.
correct on its conclusions, committed no error in upholding the NLRC
[When Republic Act No. 8042 withheld the appellate jurisdiction of the Same; Same; Seamen; It cannot be denied that there was at least a reasonable
NLRC in respect of cases decided by the POEA, the appellate jurisdiction connection between the job of a seaman and his lung infection, which eventually
was vested in the Secretary of Labor in accordance with his power of developed into septicemia and ultimately caused his deathas a utilityman on board
supervision and control under Section 38(1), Chapter 7, Title II, Book III the vessel, he was exposed to harsh sea weather, chemical irritants, dusts, etc., all of
of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987] which invariably contributed to his illness.It is indeed safe to presume that, at the
very least, the nature of Faustino Inductivos employment had contributed to the
aggravation of his illnessif indeed it was pre-existing at the time of his
Wallem Maritime Services, Inc. vs. National Labor Relations Commission employmentand therefore it is but just that he be duly compensated for it. It
(NLRC), and Inductivo cannot be denied that there was at least a reasonable connection between his job and
318 SCRA 623, GR No. 130772, November 19, 1999 his lung infection, which eventually developed into septicemia and ultimately caused
his death. As a utilityman on board the vessel, he was exposed to harsh sea weather,
Labor Law; Evidence; Medical opinions of an employers doctors which are palpably chemical irritants, dusts, etc., all of which invariably contributed to his illness.
self-serving and biased in favor of the employer cannot prevail over the entries in
the Death Certificate and Autopsy Report.There was never any categorical or Same; Same; Same; Every workingman brings with him to his employment certain
conclusive finding that Faustino Inductivo was afflicted with cancer. Petitioners infirmities, and while the employer is not the insurer of the health of the employees,
extensive discussion in support of their cancer theory is nothing more than mere he takes them as he finds them and assumes the risk of liability.Neither is it
speculations cloaked in medical gibberish. Moreover, we agree with private necessary, in order to recover compensation, that the employee must have been in
respondent that opinions of petitioners doctors to this effect should not be given perfect condition or health at the time he contracted the disease. Every workingman
evidentiary weight as they are palpably self-serving and biased in favor of petitioners, brings with him to his employment certain infirmities, and while the employer is not
and certainly could not be considered independent. These medical opinions cannot the insurer of the health of the employees, he takes them as he finds them and
prevail over the entries in the Death Certificate and Autopsy Report. assumes the risk of liability. If the disease is the proximate cause of the employees
Same; Medical Examinations; The moment an employer has chosen an applicant, it death for which compensation is sought, the previous physical condition of the
is deemed to have subjected him to the required pre-qualification standards.Before employee is unimportant and recovery may be had therefor independent of any pre-
Faustino Inductivo was made to sign the employment contract with petitioners he existing disease.
was required to undergo, as a matter of procedure, medical examinations and was
declared fit to work by no less than petitioners doctors. Petitioners cannot now be Same; Seamen; Post-Employment Medical Examination; The requirement that a
heard to claim that at the time Faustino Inductivo was employed by them he was seaman subject himself to post-employment medical examination within three (3)
afflicted with a serious disease, and that the medical examination conducted on the days from his return to the Philippines, as required by the Philippine Overseas
deceased seaman was not exploratory in nature such that his disease was not detected Employment Administration (POEA) standard employment contract, is not absolute
in the first instance. Being the employer, petitioners had all the opportunity to pre- and admits of an exception, i.e., when the seaman is physically incapacitated from
qualify, screen and choose their applicants and determine whether they were complying with the requirement.Faustino Inductivo did not subject himself to
medically, psychologically and mentally fit for the job upon employment. The post-employment medical examination within three (3) days from his return to the
Philippines, as required by the above provision of the POEA standard employment
contract. But such requirement is not absolute and admits of an exception, i.e., when because he was not sick at the time he was "offsigned" from the vessel; he was
the seaman is physically incapacitated from complying with the requirement. Indeed, "offsigned" from the vessel on "mutual consent" and not on medical grounds; and
for a man who was terminally ill and in need of urgent medical attention one could since he failed to advise or notify petitioners in writing within seventy-two hours of
not reasonably expect that he would immediately resort to and avail of the required his alleged sickness, his right to claim sickness benefits was deemed forfeited.
medical examination, assuming that he was still capable of submitting himself to Respondent Elizabeth filed a compliant against petitioners for the payment of
such examination at that time. It is quite understandable that his immediate desire sickness and insurance benefits, which was amended to include death benefits after
was to be with his family in Nueva Ecija whom he knew would take care of him. Faustino died. The Labor Arbiter ordered petitioners to pay the complainant, for
Surely, under the circumstances, we cannot deny him, or his surviving heirs after his herself and in her capacity as guardian of her two minor children. On appeal, the
death, the right to claim benefits under the law. NLRC sustained the Labor Arbiter, and the motion for reconsideration was likewise
denied.
Same; Same; Same; The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
standard employment contract is designed primarily for the protection and benefit ISSUE:
of Filipino seamen in the pursuit of their employment on board ocean-going
vesselsits provisions must, therefore, be construed and applied fairly, reasonably Whether or not the respondent is entitled to death benefits
and liberally in favor or for the benefit of the seamen and their dependents.It is
relevant to state that the POEA standard employment contract is designed primarily COURT RULING:
for the protection and benefit of Filipino seamen in the pursuit of their employment
on board oceangoing vessels. Its provisions must, therefore, be construed and applied The Supreme Court dismissed the petition, giving credence to the finding of the
fairly, reasonably and liberally in favor or for the benefit of the seamen and their NLRC that the illness was contracted during the Faustino's employment on board
dependents. Only then can its beneficent provisions be fully carried into effect. MT Rowan.

Same; Same; Death Benefits; The manning agent is jointly and severally liable with The POEA standard employment contract is designed primarily for the protection
its principal for the claims of the heirs for death benefits.Petitioner WALLEM and benefit of Filipino seamen in the pursuit of their employment on board ocean-
SERVICES as manning agent is jointly and severally liable with its principal, going vessels. Its provisions must, therefore, be construed and applied fairly,
WALLEM MANAGEMENT, for the claims of the heirs of Faustino Inductivo in reasonably and liberally in favor or for the benefit of the seamen and their
accordance with Sec. 1, Rule II of the POEA Rules and Regulations. dependents.

FACTS: Medical opinions of an employers doctor which are palpably self-serving and biased
in favor of the employer cannot prevail over the entries in the Death Certificate and
Petitioner employed private respondents husband, Faustino Inductivo, as utilityman Autopsy Report.
for MT Rowan, for a period of ten months. Faustino underwent pre-employment
medical examination and his employer's doctors found him physically fit for work, It is not required that the employment be the sole factor in the growth, development
so he boarded the vessel on May 13, 1993, Barely two months before the expiration or acceleration of the illness to entitle the claimant to the benefits provided therefore.
of his employment contract, or on January 1994, he was discharged from the vessel, It is enough that the employment had contributed, even in a small degree, to the
under a "mutual consent, on completion of 8 months and 5 days." On January 19, development of the disease and in bringing about his death.
1994, Faustino was hospitalized after complaining of occasional coughing and chest
pains. After a series of transfers from one hospital to another, Faustino was brought
to the Makati Medical Center where the doctor found that his disease was already in
its advanced stage. Faustino succumbed to his illness on April 23, 1994 and the CHAVEZ VS. BONTO-PEREZ, RAYALA, ET AL.
autopsy report showed as cause of death disseminated intravascular coagulations, G.R. NO. 109808
septecalmia, pulmonary congestion and multiple intestinal obstruction secondary to MARCH 1, 1995
multiple adhesions. PUNO, J.

Before Faustino death, or sometime in February 1994, respondent Elizabeth Labor Law; Court holds that the managerial commission agreement executed by
Inductivo went to petitioners to claim the balance of her husbands leave wages. petitioner to authorize her Japanese employer to deduct Two Hundred Fifty U.S.
Petitioners said, however, that her husband was not entitled to sickness benefits Dollars from her monthly basic salary is void because it is against our existing laws,
morals and public policy.Firstly, we hold that the managerial commission
agreement executed by petitioner to authorize her Japanese employer to deduct Two Facts:
Hundred Fifty U.S. Dollars (US$250.00) from her monthly basic salary is void
because it is against our existing laws, morals and public policy. It cannot supersede Chavez is a dancer who was contracted by Centrum Placement & Promotions
the standard employment contract of December 1, 1988 approved by the POEA with Corporation to perform in Japan for 6 months. The contract was for $1.5k a month,
the following stipulation appended thereto: It is understood that the terms and which was approved by POEA. After the approval of said contract, Chavez entered
conditions stated in this Employment Contract are in conformance with the Standard into a side contract reducing her salary with her Japanese employer through her local
Employment Contract for Entertainers prescribed by the POEA under manager-agency (Jaz Talents Promotion). The salary was reduced to $500 and $750
Memorandum Circular No. 2, Series of 1986. Any alterations or changes made in any was to go to Jaz Talents. In February 1991 (two years after the expiration of her
part of this contract without prior approval by the POEA shall be null and void; contract), Chavez sued Centrum Placement and Jaz Talents for underpayment of
(Emphasis supplied.) wages before the POEA.

Same; The basic salary of One Thousand Five Hundred U.S. Dollars guaranteed to The POEA ruled against her. POEA stated that the side agreement entered into by
petitioner under the parties standard employment contract is in accordance with the Chavez with her Japanese employer superseded the Standard Employment Contract;
minimum employment standards with respect to wages set by the POEA.Clearly, that POEA had no knowledge of such side agreement being entered into; that Chavez
the basic salary of One Thousand Five Hundred U.S. Dollars (US$1,500.00) is barred by laches for sleeping on her right for two years.
guaranteed to petitioner under the parties standard employment contract is in
accordance with the minimum employment standards with respect to wages set by ISSUE: Whether or not Chavez is entitled to relief.
the POEA. Thus, the side agreement which reduced petitioners basic wage to Seven
Hundred Fifty U.S. Dollars (US$750.00) is null and void for violating the POEAs HELD: Yes. The SC ruled that the managerial commission agreement executed by
minimum employment standards, and for not having been approved by the POEA. Chavez to authorize her Japanese Employer to deduct her salary is void because it is
Indeed, this side agreement is a scheme all too frequently resorted to by against our existing laws, morals and public policy. It cannot supersede the standard
unscrupulous employers against our helpless overseas workers who are compelled employment contract approved by the POEA with the following stipulation
to agree to satisfy their basic economic needs. appended thereto:

Civil Law; Laches; Definition of Laches.Laches has been defined as the failure or It is understood that the terms and conditions stated in this Employment Contract
neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time to do that which, by are in conformance with the Standard Employment Contract for Entertainers
exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier, thus giving rise to prescribed by the POEA under Memorandum Circular No. 2, Series of 1986. Any
a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned or declined to alterations or changes made in any part of this contract without prior approval by
assert it. It is not concerned with mere lapse of time; the fact of delay, standing alone, the POEA shall be null and void;
is insufficient to constitute laches.
The side agreement which reduced Chavezs basic wage is null and void for violating
Same; Same; There is no absolute rule as to what constitutes laches.The doctrine the POEAs minimum employment standards, and for not having been approved by
of laches is based upon grounds of public policy which requires, for the peace of the POEA. Here, both Centrum Placement and Jaz Talents are solidarily liable.
society, the discouragement of stale claims, and is principally a question of the Laches does not apply in the case at bar. In this case, Chavez filed her claim well
inequity or unfairness of permitting a right or claim to be enforced or asserted. There within the three-year prescriptive period for the filing of money claims set forth in
is no absolute rule as to what constitutes laches; each case is to be determined Article 291 of the Labor Code. For this reason, laches is not applicable.
according to its particular circumstances. The question of laches is addressed to the
sound discretion of the court, and since it is an equitable doctrine, its application is
controlled by equitable considerations. It cannot be worked to defeat justice or to
perpetrate fraud and injustice.

Same; Same; Court holds that the doctrine of laches is inapplicable to petitioner.
In the case at bench, petitioner filed her claim well within the three-year prescriptive
period for the filing of money claims set forth in Article 291 of the Labor Code. For
this reason, we hold the doctrine of laches inapplicable to petitioner.