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Labor Case Digests

Labor Case Digests



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Published by Cattleya

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Published by: Cattleya on Aug 15, 2011
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[G.R. No. 101279. August 6, 1992.]PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF SERVICE EXPORTERS, INC. petitioner, vs. HON.RUBEN D. TORRES, as Secretary of the Department of Labor & Employment, andJOSE N. SARMIENTO, as Administrator of the PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION, respondents.
FACTSDOLE Secretary Ruben D. Torres issued Department Order No. 16 Series of 1991 temporarilysuspending the recruitment by private employment agencies of Filipino domestic helpers goingto Hong Kong. As a result of the department order DOLE, through the POEA took over thebusiness of deploying Hong Kong bound workers.The petitioner, PASEI, the largest organization of private employment and recruitment agenciesduly licensed and authorized by the POEA to engage in the business of obtaining overseasemployment for Filipino land-based workers filed a petition for prohibition to annul theaforementioned order and to prohibit implementation.ISSUES(1) whether or not respondents acted with grave abuse of discretion and/or in excess of theirrule-making authority in issuing said circulars;(2) whether or not the assailed DOLE and POEA circulars are contrary to the Constitution, areunreasonable, unfair and oppressive; and(3) whether or not the requirements of publication and filing with the Office of the National Administrative Register were not complied with.HELDFIRST, the respondents acted well within in their authority and did not commit grave abuse of discretion. This is because Article 36 (LC) clearly grants the Labor Secretary to restrict andregulate recruitment and placement activities, to wit: Art. 36. Regulatory Power.  The Secretary of Labor shall have the power to restrict and regulate the recruitment and placement activities of all agencies within the coverageof this title [Regulation of Recruitment and Placement Activities] and is herebyauthorized to issue orders and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out theobjectives and implement the provisions of this title.SECOND, the vesture of quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial powers in administrative bodies isconstitutional. It is necessitated by the growing complexities of the modern society.THIRD, the orders and circulars issued are however, invalid and unenforceable. The reason isthe lack of proper publication and filing in the Office of the National Administrative Registrar asrequired in Article 2 of the Civil Code to wit: Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of theirpublication in the Official Gazatte, unless it is otherwise provided; Article 5 of the Labor Code to wit: Art. 5. Rules and Regulations.  The Department of Labor and other government 
agencies charged with the administration and enforcement of this Code or any of itsparts shall promulgate the necessary implementing rules and regulations. Such rules andregulations shall become effective fifteen (15) days after announcement of theiradoption in newspapers of general circulation;and Sections 3(1) and 4, Chapter 2, Book VII of the Administrative Code of 1987 which provide:Sec. 3. Filing.  (1) Every agency shall file with the University of the Philippines LawCenter, three (3) certified copies of every rule adopted by it. Rules in force on the dateof effectivity of this Code which are not filed within three (3) months shall not thereafterbe the basis of any sanction against any party or persons. (Chapter 2, Book VII of the Administrative Code of 1987.)Sec. 4. Effectivity.  In addition to other rule-making requirements provided by law not inconsistent with this Book, each rule shall become effective fifteen (15) days from thedate of filing as above provided unless a different date is fixed by law, or specified in therule in cases of imminent danger to public health, safety and welfare, the existence of which must be expressed in a statement accompanying the rule. The agency shall takeappropriate measures to make emergency rules known to persons who may be affectedby them. (Chapter 2, Book VII of the Administrative Code of 1987).Prohibition granted.
FACTSCuambot was an overseas worker who was deployed to Saudi Arabia to work as a car bodybuilder in Al Waha Workshop in Unaizah City, by petitioner G & M Philippines. Before his twoyear contract was terminated Cuambot returned to the Philippines where he filed a complaint inthe NLRC against his recruitment agency, herein petitioner, for unpaid wages, withheld salaries,refund of plane ticket and repatriation bond, later amended to include illegal dismissal, claim forthe unexpired portion of his employment contract, actual, exemplary and moral damages, andattorneys fees.
Petitioner, in defense, presented copies of 7 payslips issued in favor of Cuambot. Cuambot countered that his signatures in the payslips were forged and further claims that he never got his salaries except only for the SAR100 as monthly allowance. G&M answered back by sayingthat there was great possibility that Cuambot had changed his signature while abroad so that he could file a complaint or illegal dismissal upon his return.ISSUES1.
whether or not the respondents signatures are mere forgeries2.
whether respondent executed the resignation letterHELD After examination of the evidence on record, the petition must fail.The petitioners attempts at establishing its case are not enough to convince the court of theveracity of its claims. Amongst other things, the petitioner failed to submit the original copies of the pay slips and the resignation letter to prove that they were actually penned by respondent,they failed to submit an original copy of the employment contract to prove that they hadactually given a copy of such to respondent for him to sign, and a cursory look at theresignation letter and the handwritten payslips show that they were written by one person.Indeed, the rule is that all doubts in the implementation and the interpretation of the LaborCode shall be resolved in favor of labor, in order to give effect to the policy of the State to afford protection to labor, promote full employment, ensure equal work opportunitiesregardless of sex, race or creed, and regulate the relations between workers and employers,and to assure the rights of workers to self-organization, collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just and humane conditions of work.It is a well-settled doctrine, that if doubts exist between the evidence presented by theemployer and the employee, the scales of justice must be tilted in favor of the latter. It is atime-honored rule that in controversies between a laborer and his master, doubts reasonablyarising from the evidence, or in the interpretation of agreements and writing should be resolvedin the formers favor. The policy is to extend the doctrine to a greater number of employeeswho can avail of the benefits under the law, which is in consonance with the avowed policy of the State to give maximum aid and protection of labor.Moreover, one who pleads payment has the burden of proving it. The reason for the rule is that the pertinent personnel files, payrolls, records, remittances and other similar documents which will show that overtime, differentials, service incentive leave, and other claims of workershave been paid  are not in the possession of the worker but in the custody and absolutecontrol of the employer. Thus, the burden of showing with legal certainty that the obligationhas been discharged with payment falls on the debtor, in accordance with the rule that one whopleads payment has the burden of proving it. Only when the debtor introduces evidence that the obligation has been extinguished does the burden shift to the creditor, who is then under aduty of producing evidence to show why payment does not extinguish the obligation In thiscase, petitioner was unable to present ample evidence to prove its claim that respondent hadreceived all his salaries and benefits in full.

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