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LABOR CASES

BOOK IV
1. GSIS v CA
FACTS:
On March 6, 1974, Abraham Cate joined the military service as a rifleman of the
Philippine Navy and was subsequently designated as Action Clerk. In 1986, he
was transferred to the Philippine Constabulary with the rank of Technical
Sergeant and was later promoted to Master Sergeant. In 1991, he was absorbed
in the PNP with the rank of SPO4. Abraham then complained of a mass on his
left cheek which gradually increased in size. Biopsy showed that he was suffering
from Osteoblastic Osteosarcoma. He was admitted at the PGH payward and
underwent Total Maxillectomy with Orbital Exentration which removed the mass
on his left cheek. In 1994, another biopsy revealed the recurrence of the ailment.
In the meantime, the origin and cause of Osteosarcoma are unknown. Abrahan
was compulsorily retired from the PNP. Abraham filed a claim for income benefits
with the GSIS but was denied on the ground that Osteosarcoma is not
considered as an occupational disease under PD 626 and there is no showing
that his duties as SPO4 had increased the risk of contracting the said ailment. In
1995, Abraham died and was survived by his wife Dorothy Cate and 2 children.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Abrahams ailment is compensable
HELD:
Yes. The present law on the compensation allows certain diseases to be
compensable if it is sufficiently proven that the risk of contracting is increased by
the working conditions. It therefore, now allows compensation subject to
requirement of proving by sufficient evidence that the risk of contracting the
ailment is increased by the working conditions. In the present case, the
requirement is impossible to comply with, given the present state of scientific
knowledge. The obligation to present such as an impossible evidence must,
therefore, be deemed void. Respondent is entitled to compensation consistent
with the social legislations intended beneficial purpose.

2. SALOME V ECC
FACTS:
Petitioner was employed as sewer by the Paul Geneve Entertainment
Corporation. She was later promoted as the officer in charge and the over-all
custodian in the Sewing Department. Sometime in 1996. Petitioner started to feel
chest pains until she filed a leave of absence from work as the chest pains
became unbearable. Medical examination results show that petitioner was
suffering from Atherosclerotic heart disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiac Arrythmia.
Upon recommendation of her doctor, petitioner resigned from her work. Petitioner
later filed a disability claim with the SSS which was denied.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Petitioners illness is compensable, as work related, and whether
there was sufficient evidence of compensability
HELD:
Yes. Under the Labor Code, for a sickness and the resulting disability to be
compensable, the said sickness must be an occupational disease listed under
Annex A of the said rules, otherwise, the claimant concerned must prove that the
risk contracting the disease is increased by the working condition. In the present
case, petitioner has shown by uncontroverted evidence that in the course of her
employment, due to work related stress, she suffered from severe chest pains
which caused her to take a rest, per physicians advice and to resign from her
employment. Cardiovascular diseases are listed as compensable occupational
diseases, hence no further proof of causal relation between the disease and
claimants work is necessary.

3. HEIRS OF DEAUNA V FIL STAR MARITIME CORPORATION


FACTS:
Respondent is a local manning agency with Capt. Millalos as its general
manager. Grandslam is among Filstars foreign principals. Grandslam owns and
manages the vessel M/V Sanko Stream (Sanko) which
Edwin boarded on August 1, 2004 for a ninemonth engagement as Chief
Engineer. As such, he was responsible for the operations and maintenance of the
entire vessel's engineering equipment. He also determined the requirements for
fuel, lube oil and other consumables necessary for a voyage, conducted
inventory of spare parts, prepared the engine room for inspection by marine and
safety authorities, and took charge of the engine room during maneuvering and
emergency situations. Prior to Edwin's deployment, he underwent the customary
Preemployment Medical Examination (PEME) and was found as "fit to work" as
was repeatedly the case in the past 30 years since his first deployment by FilStar
In 1975. In more or less 8 months from deployment, Edwin was repatriated due
to abdominal pains due to kidney stones. In 2005, Dr Mercado found out that
Edwin was suffering from Glioblastoma WHO Grade 4, a malignant and
aggressive form of brain cancer. In 2005, a complaint for disability benefits,
medical and transportation reimbursements, moral and exemplary damages were
filed before the NLRC. Edwin died in 2006 during the pendency of the
proceedings.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Heirs of Edwin is entitled to death compensation benefits
HELD:
Yes, the court ruled that the CBA provisions govern the relations of the parties to
which under said provisions, Edwins death is considered as on occurring while
he was still under the respondents employ. Article 29 of said CBA provides that
the death of a seafarer for any cause, is compensable when it occurs while he is
int he employment of the company. Article 29.4 on the other hand clarifies that
the seafarer shall be considered as in the employment of the company for so
long as the provisions of article 25 and 26 apply and provided the death is
directly attributable to sickness or injury that caused the seafarers employment
to be terminated. The symptoms of Edwins illness, as indicated in his medical
report were exhibited since October 2004 while he was still on board Sanko and
were notable even when the latter was repatriated. Thus, Edwins death on April
2006 due to GBM, he was still in the employment of the respondents

4. DEBAUDIN V SSS
FACTS:
Petitioner is a seaman by profession and joined the United Philippine Lines in
1975 and was separated from his employment in 1992 at the age of 62. During
his 18 years of service, he boarded various foreign ocean going vessels while
performing his duties and responsibilities that included cleaning chemical spill oil
on deck, slat dislodging, and spraying naptha chemical and washing dirt and
rusts inside the tank. Petitioners medical records show that his illness started in
1992 when he experiences episodes of bilateral burring of vision. Petitioner was
diagnosed with advanced glaucoma which recurred even after his separation
from service. His eye disease was finally diagnosed as chronic open angle
glaucoma. Petitioner then filed with the SSS a claim for compensation benefits
under PD 626. Claim was denied ont he ground that there is no causal
relationship between the illness and his job as a seaman.
ISSUE:
Whether the work of petitioner as a seaman contributed even in a small degree in
or had increased the risk of contracting his chronic open angle glaucoma
HELD:
No. The court ruled that petitioners disease is not listed as an occupational
disease hence, he has the burden of proving by substantial evidence, or such
relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a
conclusion, that the nature of his employment or working conditions increased
the risk of contracting the ailment or that its progression was brought about
thereby. Petitioner failed to adduce any proof of a reasonable connection
between the work as a seaman and the illness. Petitioner presented no
competent medical history, records of physicians report to objectively
substantiate the claim that such reasonable nexus exists.

5. AUSTRIA V CA
FACTS:
Petitioner Austria was employed as bag piler at Central Azucarera de Tarlac. In
1994, petitioner began to feel severe back pain. The x-ray photographs revealed
that he has osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine. Petitioner filed with the SSS a
claim for compensation benefits, which was granted. Petitioner was awarded
permanent partial disability benefits. Petitioner thereafter requested the SSS for
conversion of his permanent partial disability benefit to permanent total disability
benefit. The SSS denied the request. On appeal, the ECC affirmed the decision
of the SSS holding that petitioner has already availed of the maximum benefits to
which he is entitled on account of his osteoarthritis. The Court of Appeals
likewise dismissed petitioners claim. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioners request for conversion of his permanent partial
disability to permanent total disability must be allowed.
HELD:
Yes. The test of whether or not an employee suffers from permanent total
disability is a showing of the capacity of the employee to continue performing his
work notwithstanding the disability he incurred. Thus, if by reason of the injury or
sickness he sustained, the employee is unable to perform his customary job for
more than 120 days and he does not come within the coverage of Rule X of the
Amended Rules on Employees Compensability, then the said employee
undoubtedly suffers from permanent total disability, regardless of whether or not
he loses the use of any part of his body. Disablement does not mean an absolute
helplessness but rather incapacity to perform gainful work which is expected to
be permanent. What is necessary is that the injury must be such that he cannot
pursue his usual work and earn therefrom. In the case at bar, the duties of
petitioner require him to carry heavy loads of refined sugar and to perform other
manual work. Since his work obviously taxes so much on his back, his illness
which affects his lumbar spine renders him incapable of doing his usual work as
bag piler. Hence, his disability to perform his regular duties may be considered
total and permanent.

6. GATUS V SSS
FACTS:
Gatus worked at the Central Azucarera de Tarlac beginning on January 1, 1972.
He was a covered member of the SSS. He optionally retired from Central
Azucarera de Tarlac upon reaching 30 years of service on January 31, 2002, at
the age of 62 years.By the time of his retirement, he held the position of Tender
assigned
at
the
Distillery
Cooling
Tower.
Sometime in 1995, he was diagnosed to be suffering from Coronary Artery
Disease (CAD): Triple Vessel and Unstable Angina. His medical records showed
him
to
be
hypertensive
for
10
years
and
a
smoker.
On account of his CAD, he was given by the SSS the following EC/SSS
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits: (a) 8 monthly pensions effective
September 1, 1994 and (b) 4 monthly pensions effective January 3, 1997. He
became an
SSS retirement pensioner on February 1, 2002.
Sometime in 2003, an SSS audit revealed the need to recover the EC benefits
already paid to him on the ground that his CAD, being attributed to his chronic
smoking, was not work-related. He was notified thereof through a letter dated
July
31,
2003.
Convinced that he was entitled to the benefits, he assailed the decision but the
SSS maintained its position. The SSS also denied his motion for reconsideration.
Gatus then elevated the case to the Employers Compensation Commission,
which held that although his CAD was a cardiovascular disease listed as an
occupational disease under Annex A of the Implementing Rules on Employees
Compensation, nothing on record established the presence of the qualifying
circumstances for responsibility; that it was incumbent upon him to prove that the
nature of his previous employment and the conditions prevailing therein had
increased the risk of contracting his CAD; and that he had failed to prove this
requisite.
The Court of Appeals also agreed with the Employees Compensation
Commission despite petitioner Gatus's allegation that his ailment was caused by
his exposure to harmful fuel and smoke emissions due to the presence of
methane gas from a nearby biological waste as well as a railway terminal where
diesel-fed locomotive engines spewed black smoke. This allegation, according to
the findings, was not backed up by any scientific and factual evidence.
ISSUE:
Whether the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in affirming
the finding of the ECC that petitioners ailment is not compensable under
Presidential
Decree
No.
626,
as
amended.

HELD:
LABOR

The
LAW

petition
-

Social

is
Security

unmeritorious.
System

Benefits

As found by the Court of Appeals, petitioner failed to submit substantial evidence


that might have shown that he was entitled to the benefits he had applied for. The
Supreme Court affirmed the findings of the CA that according to Section 1, Rule
III of the Amended Rules on Employees' Compensation, a ground for
compensability is that for the sickness and the resulting disability or death be
compensable, the sickness must be the result of an occupational disease listed
under Annex "A" of the said rules with the conditions set therein satisfied.
Otherwise, proof must be shown that the risk of contracting the disease is
increased
by
the
working
conditions.
Moreover, according to the Annex "A" of the Amended Rules, for an occupational
disease and the resulting disability or death to be compensable, all of the
following
conditions
must
be
satisfied:
1.

The

employee's

work

must

involve

the

risks

described

herein;

2. The disease was contracted as a result of the employee's exposure to the


described
risks;
3. The disease was contracted within a period of exposure and under such other
factors
necessary
to
contract
it;
4. There was no notorious negligence on the part of the employee.
Cardiovascular diseases are considered as occupational when contracted under
any
of
the
following
conditions:
(a) If the heart disease was known to have been present during employment
there must be proof that an acute exacerbation clearly precipitated by the
unusual
strain
by
reason
of
the
nature
of
his
work.
(b) The strain of work that brings about an acute attack must be of sufficient
severity and must be followed within twenty-four (24) hours by the clinical signs
of
a
cardiac
insult
to
constitute
causal
relationship.
(c) If a person who was apparently asymptomatic before subjecting himself to
strain at work showed signs and symptoms of cardiac injury during the
performance of his work and such symptoms and signs persisted, it is
reasonable
to
claim
a
causal
relationship.
The petitioner failed to submit substantial evidence that might have shown that

he was entitled to the benefits he applied for. The quantum of proof needed in
this case is substantial evidence, which means such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Gatus did
not discharge the burden of proof imposed under the Labor Code to show that
his ailment was work-related. While he might have been exposed to various
smoke emissions at work for 30 years, he did not submit satisfactory evidence
proving that the exposure had contributed to the development of his disease or
had increased the risk of contracting the illness. Neither did he show that the
disease had progressed due to conditions in his job as a factory worker. In fact,
he did not present any physicians report in order to substantiate his allegation
that the working conditions had increased the risk of acquiring the cardiovascular
disease.

7. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES V MARIANO


FACTS:
Respondent Pedro Mariano had been working for LGP Printing Press for 11
years. Among the jobs he handled are: machine operator, paper cutter monotype
composer, film composer, film developer, and supervisor of the printing press.
Sometime in February 1994, Mariano abruptly ended services due to his heart
ailment (Essential Hypertension). Mariano filed a claim for employees
compensation benefit with the SSS but the later denied it on the ground that
there was no casual connection between his ailment and his job as film
developer. Said claim was forwarded by SSS to ECC and remanded it back to
SSS for additional documentary evidence. Meanwhile, Mariano consulted a
doctor and was diagnosed to be suffering from Parkinsons disease and
hypertension. SSS once again submitted Marianos case to ECC
ECC dismissed Marianos claim because the latter failed to establish casual
connection between Parkinsons disease and his working condition, and sufficient
evidence to establish that his Essential Hypertension had caused impairment of
any of his body organs, which in turn could permanently prevent him from
engaging in a gainful occupation.
On appeal, the CA reversed the decision of ECC and ruled that nature of
petitioners work at LGP resulted in his exposure to various toxic chemicals,
which is a possible cause of Parkinsons disease. As to his hypertension, the
appellate court ruled that the respondents duties as machine operator and paper
cutter involved physical pressure and restlessness, since he was required to
meet urgent deadlines for rush print orders. This in turn caused respondent to
suffer from stress and anxiety. In sum, the appellate court held that respondent
had substantially established the connection between the cause of his ailments
and the nature of his work.
Hence this petition.
OSG contends: P.D. No. 626 does not list Parkinsons Disease as an
occupational ailment, hence, it is not compensable and that the evidence on
record does not establish that the risk of contracting said ailment was increased
by the nature of respondents work.
Mariano contends: the nature of his functions at LGP clearly brought about the
onset of Parkinsons Disease. Moreover, assuming arguendo, that Parkinsons
Disease is non-compensable, his other ailment - Essential Hypertension is
covered by P.D. No. 626. He contends that the risk of contracting Essential
Hypertension was increased by his job at LGP.
ISSUE:
WON respondent be entitled for compensation benefits under PD 626?
HELD:
Yes.
As to Parkinsons disease, while it is true that it is not included in the list of
compensable diseases under the law prevailing, the CA found that Marianos

working condition largely led to the progression of the ailment because his
functions entailed constant exposure to hazardous or toxic chemicals such as
carbon disulfate, carbon monoxide, or manganese. Where it was established
that the claimants ailment occurred during and in the course of his employment,
it must be presumed that the nature of the claimants employment is the cause of
the disease.
Even assuming that Parkinsons disease is not compensable, there is no
question that Essential Hypertension is compensable illness. A doctors
certification as to the nature of the claimants disability normally deserves full
credence.
Given the nature of his assigned job and the printing business, with its tight
deadlines entailing large amounts of rush work, indeed the emotional and
physical stress of respondents work at the printing press caused, and then
exacerbated, his hypertension.
The Court applied the rules on claiming benefits liberally as to not result in the
denial of assistance to those in need and qualified therefor. Workers, whose
capabilities have been diminished, if not completely impaired, as a consequence
of their service, ought to be given benefits they deserve under the law.
Compassion for them is not a dole-out, but a right.

8. MAGSAYSAY MARITIME V LOBUSTA


MAGSAYSAY MARITIME CORPORATION and/or WASTFEL-LARSEN
MANAGEMENT A/S, Petitioners, v. OBERTO S. LOBUSTA, Respondent.
VILLARAMA, JR., J.:
FACTS:
Respondent Oberto S. Lobusta is a seaman who has worked for Magsaysay
Maritime Corporation since 1994. In March 1998, he was hired again as Able
Seaman by Magsaysay Maritime Corporation. Lobusta boarded MV "Fossanger"
on March 16, 1998. After two months, he complained of breathing difficulty and
back pain.
On May 12, 1998, while the vessel was in Singapore, Lobusta was admitted at
Gleneagles Maritime Medical Center and was diagnosed to be suffering from
severe acute bronchial asthma with secondary infection and lumbosacral muscle
strain. Dr. C K Lee certified that Lobusta was fit for discharge on May 21, 1998,
for repatriation for further treatment.
Upon repatriation, Lobusta was referred to Metropolitan Hospital. The medical
coordinator, Dr. Robert Lim, issued numerous medical reports regarding
Lobustas condition. Upon reexamination by the Orthopedic Surgeon on August
11, 1998, he opined that Lobusta needs surgery, called decompression
laminectomy, which was done on August 30, 1998.
As the parties failed to reach a settlement as to the amount to which Lobusta is
entitled, Lobusta filed on October 2, 2000, a complaint for disability/medical
benefits against petitioners before the National Labor Relations Commission
(NLRC).
The Labor Arbiter rendered a decision ordering petitioners to pay Lobusta (a)
US$2,060 as medical allowance, (b) US$20,154 as disability benefits, and (c) 5%
of the awards as attorneys fees. On appeal, the NLRC affirmed the LA decision.
Unsatisfied, Lobusta brought the case to the CA. The CA granted the petition for
certiorari of Lobusta and modified the findings of the NLRC. As aforesaid, the CA
declared that Lobusta is suffering from permanent total disability and increased
the award of disability benefits in his favor to US$60,000. Hence, this petition.
Petitioners argue that the CA erred in applying the provisions of the Labor Code
instead of the provisions of the POEA contract in determining Lobustas disability,
and in ruling that the mere lapse of 120 days entitles Lobusta to total and
permanent disability benefits. The CA allegedly erred also in holding them liable
for attorneys fees, despite the absence of legal and factual bases.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA erred in in applying the provisions of the Labor Code
instead of the provisions of the POEA contract in determining Lobustas disability,
and in ruling that the mere lapse of 120 days entitles Lobusta to total and
permanent disability benefits.
HELD:
No. CA Decision Affirmed.
Labor Law
Standard terms of the POEA Standard Employment Contract agreed upon are
intended to be read and understood in accordance with Philippine laws,
particularly, Articles 191 to 193 of the Labor Code, as amended, and the
applicable implementing rules and regulations in case of any dispute, claim or
grievance.
Petitioners are mistaken that it is only the POEA Standard Employment Contract
that must be considered in determining Lobusta's disability. In Palisoc v. Easways
Marine, Inc., we said that whether the Labor Codes provision on permanent total
disability applies to seafarers is already a settled matter.
In Palisoc, we cited the earlier case of Remigio v. National Labor Relations
Commission where we said (1) that the standard employment contract for
seafarers was formulated by the POEA pursuant to its mandate under Executive
Order No. 247 "to secure the best terms and conditions of employment of Filipino
contract workers and ensure compliance therewith," and "to promote and protect
the well-being of Filipino workers overseas"; (2) that Section 29 of the 1996
POEA Standard Employment Contract itself provides that all rights and
obligations of the parties to the contract, including the annexes thereof, shall be
governed by the laws of the Republic of the Philippines, international
conventions, treaties and covenants where the Philippines is a signatory; and (3)
that even without this provision, a contract of labor is so impressed with public
interest that the Civil Code expressly subjects it to the special laws on labor
unions, collective bargaining, strikes and lockouts, closed shop, wages, working
conditions, hours of labor and similar subjects.
Temporary total disability only becomes permanent when so declared by the
company physician within the periods he is allowed to do so, or upon the
expiration of the maximum 240-day medical treatment period without a
declaration of either fitness to work or the existence of a permanent disability.
To be sure, there is one Labor Code concept of permanent total disability, as
stated in Article 192(c)(1) of the Labor Code, as amended, and the ECC Rules.
We also note that the first paragraph of Section 20(B)(3) of the 2000 POEA
Standard Employment Contract was lifted verbatim from the first paragraph of
Section 20(B)(3) of the 1996 POEA Standard Employment Contract, to wit:

Upon sign-off from the vessel for medical treatment, the seafarer is entitled to
sickness allowance equivalent to his basic wage until he is declared fit to work or
the degree of permanent disability has been assessed by the companydesignated physician, but in no case shall this period exceed one hundred twenty
(120) days.
Applying the foregoing considerations, we agree with the CA that Lobusta
suffered permanent total disability. On this point, the NLRC ruling was not in
accord with law and jurisprudence.
Upon repatriation, Lobusta was first examined by the Pulmonologist and
Orthopedic Surgeon on May 22, 1998. The maximum 240-day (8-month)
medical-treatment period expired, but no declaration was made that Lobusta is fit
to work. Nor was there a declaration of the existence of Lobustas permanent
disability. On February 16, 1999, Lobusta was still prescribed medications for his
lumbosacral pain and was advised to return for reevaluation. May 22, 1998 to
February 16, 1999 is 264 days or 6 days short of 9 months.
In fact, the CA has found that Lobusta was not able to work again as a seaman
and that his disability is permanent "as he has been unable to work since 14 May
1998 to the present or for more than 120 days." This period is more than eight
years, counted until the CA decided the case in August 2006. On the CA ruling
that Lobustas disability is permanent since he was unable to work "for more than
120 days," we have clarified in Vergara that this "temporary total disability period
may be extended up to a maximum of 240 days."
Thus, we affirm the award to Lobusta of US$60,000 as permanent total disability
benefits, the maximum award under Section 30 and 30-A of the 1996 POEA
Standard Employment Contract. We also affirm the award of US$2,060 as
sickness allowance which is not contested and appears to have been accepted
by the parties.
DENIED.

9. Magsaysay Maritime v Bengson


FACTS:
Sometime in the year 2007, Juanito Bengson boarded the vessel M/V KN
Trader as third mate after signing a nine-month contract with Magsaysay
Maritime Corp. Having passed the requisite pre-employment medical
examination, he was certified by the company physician fit for sea duty.
While on duty on board the sailing vessel, however, Bengson suddenly
experienced numbness that rendered him incapable of doing his tasks. On
anchorage in a foreign country two days later, he was rushed to the nearest
hospital for confinement. A CT scan of his head revealed hematoma in the brain.
The manning agency had no alternative but repatriate him to Manila with the
assistance a company representative. On arrival in Manila on Oct. 21, 2007, he
was immediately brought to the Manila Doctors Hospital, where he stayed for 11
days until discharged on Nov. 1, 2007.
His hospital confinement, however, failed to restore his health. And so he applied
for permanent and total disability benefits. Unfortunately, his request fell on deaf
ears of agency officials.
Left with no choice but avail himself of the legal services of the Free Legal
Assistance for Seafarers (FLAS) headed by Atty. Pete Linsangan, he filed a case
in court for recovery of the claimed benefits.
The respondent adduced that Bengsons illness was not covered by collective
bargaining agreement (CBA); only accident-caused disabilities were covered.
HELD:
In favor of seaman Bengson. The ruling called for the grant of total and
permanent disability as stipulated in his contract with the agency and based on
standards set by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Section 20-B of the POEA standard employment contract clearly holds the
employer liable to the seafarer for illness/injuries suffered during the period of the
latters employment contract.
Bengsons illness, the SC noted, was definitely work-related. His work exposed
him to hazards that degraded his health. Due to unusual and extraordinary
physical or mental strain on the job, his disease had developed over time. It
caused his total and permanent disability. If a seafarer is rendered incapable of
going back to active sea duty as a result of a disabling injury or illness, then it
necessarily follows that he is entitled to permanent disability benefits. As this
corner has consistently pointed out, such disability is compensable at US
$60,000, or more if so stipulated in a CBA.

10. LIBANG V INDOCHINA SHIP MANAGEMENT


FACTS:
On June 27, 2002, Petitioner Pedro Libang entered into a 9-month employment
contract with herein respondent ISMI and in behalf of its foreign shipping
company, Majestic. Libang was engaged as a Cook 1 for the vessel M/V Baltimar
Orion.
While Libang was on board the vessel, he experienced numbness on the left side
of his face, difficulty in hearing from his left ear, blurred vision of his left eye and
speech problem.
Thus, on March 31, 2003, Libang obtained medical attention and was later
admitted for three days in a hospital in Dominican Republic, where he was found
to be suffering from high blood.
Libang was eventually repatriated to the Philippines wherein he underwent
treatment and was under the care of a cardiologist, neurologist and an
internist/endocrinologist. The company-designated physician, Dr. Roberto Lim
issued a medical certificate stating that Libang underwent medical/surgical
evaluation and treatment due to hypertension, diabetes mellitus type 2 and
stroke.
Dr. Lim subsequently issued under a medical certificate alleging that Libang
denied having high blood pressure during the pre-employment medical
examination but revealed that he was already high blood and was taking
medication upon his examination after his repatriation.
This prompted Libang to seek the medical assessment of one Dr. Vicaldo from
the Philippine Heart Center. Dr. Vicaldo noted in his assessment that Libangs
conditions require him to a lifetime maintenance medication for his high blood
and diabetes. He also avers that Libang is not expected to land any gainful
employment by reason of his medical condition.
ISSUE:
WON petitioner Libang is entitled to receive disability benefits despite the failure
of the company-designate physician to classify his medical condition.
HELD:
YES, Libang is entitled to received disability benefits. Sec. 20(b) of the POEA
SEC provides:
B. COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS FOR INJURY OR ILLNESS
The liabilities of the employer when the seafarer suffers work-related
injury or illness during the term of his contract are as follows:

Upon sign-off from the vessel for medical treatment, the seafarer is
entitled to sickness allowance equivalent to his basic wage until he is
declared fit to work or the degree of permanent disability has been
assessed by the company-designated physician but in no case shall this
period exceed one hundred twenty (120) days.
For this purpose, the seafarer shall submit himself to a post-employment
medical examination by a company-designated physician within three
working days upon his return except when he is physically incapacitated
to do so, in which case, a written notice to the agency within the same
period is deemed as compliance. Failure of the seafarer to comply with
the mandatory reporting requirement shall result in his forfeiture of the
right to claim the above benefits.
If a doctor appointed by the seafarer disagrees with the assessment, a
third doctor may be agreed jointly between the Employer and the seafarer.
The third doctors decision shall be final and binding on both parties.
Clearly, there was a breach by Dr. Lim of his obligation as the companydesignated physician. Although Libang repeatedly argued that Dr. Lim failed to
give an assessment of his illness, herein respondents and Dr. Lim failed to
explain and justify such failure.
As against an incomplete evaluation by Dr. Lim, the medical certificate issued by
Dr. Vicaldo included a determination of the disability grade that applied to
Libangs condition. Libang was diagnosed to have both Hypertensive
Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Mellitus with an Impediment Grade VI. He
was declared to be unfit to resume to work as a seafarer in any capacity. The
alleged severity of Libangs illness could be linked with Dr. Lims statement that
Libangs hypertension was severe and that he ha[d] been under the care of a
cardiologist, neurologist and endocrinologist. Dr. Lim had not declared Libang to
be fit to work or covered by any disability grade. It is then clear that the finding of
Dr. Vicaldo did not contradict any opposing view from Dr. Lim on disability grade
or fitness.

11. INTERORIENT MARITIME ENTERPRISES V CREER


FACTS:
On April 4, 2001, InterOrient hired Victor as Galley Boy on board the vessel M/V
MYRTO owned by Calidero Shipping Company, Ltd. (Calidero) for a period of
nine months, which may be extended for three more months upon mutual
consent of the parties. Victor was required to work 48 hours a week, with a basic
monthly salary of US$235.00 and US$94.00 fixed overtime pay per month.
Prior to embarkation, Victor went through the requisite Pre-Employment Medical
Examination (PEME) and was declared fit for sea duty. On May 12, 2001, Victor
commenced his employment on board the vessel. As 2nd Cook, Victor was
tasked to get provisions from the cold storage which is kept at its coldest
temperature to maintain freshness of the food stored therein. He would do this
either immediately before or after his exposure to intense heat in the galley.
Victor alleged that when he was about to get provisions from the cold storage
sometime in November 2001, he felt a sudden pain in his chest that radiated to
his back. Since then, he experienced incessant cough, nasal congestion,
difficulty in breathing, physical weakness, chills and extreme apprehension.
According to him, this condition persisted until the expiration of his contract on
May 7, 2002.
On May 9, 2002, Victor arrived in Manila. The following day, he reported to the
office of InterOrient and informed the company about the pain he experienced
while he was on board. Victor averred that InterOrient merely advised him to
consult a doctor without giving him any doctors referral. He did, however, sign a
Receipt and Release10 where he acknowledged receipt of the full payment of his
monetary entitlements under the employment contract.
Thereafter, Victor claimed that he underwent medical examination and
medication where he shouldered all expenses. That upon the findings of three
doctors, Victor was found out to be suffering from advanced pulmonary
tuberculosis and later on was declared unfit to resume work as a seaman in any
capacity, and that his illness was considered work-aggravated.
Victor contended that during the course of his treatment, he regularly informed
InterOrient of his sickness. However, he was neither apprised of his rights to nor
paid sickness allowance amounting to US$940.00 as mandated in the Philippine
Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) 2000 Amended Standard Terms and
Conditions of Employment Contract Governing Seafarers (POEA Contract). And
as his requests for payment of the said allowance were consistently ignored, he
filed with the Labor Arbiter on August 28, 2003 a Complaint for permanent
disability benefits for pulmonary tuberculosis, medical reimbursement, sickness
allowance, compensatory, moral and exemplary damages, and attorneys fees
against InterOrient and Calidero.

In its Position Paper,16 InterOrient negated Victors claim for disability benefits
averring that the same has no factual, contractual or legal basis. It argued that
his discharge from the vessel was not occasioned by any illness or injury
sustained or contracted on board but was simply due to completion or expiration
of his contract; that he voluntarily executed a Receipt and Release document
wherein he acknowledged that he had not contracted any illness while on board;
that he was released in good and perfect health; and that there is no clear
evidence that shows his entitlement to the benefits or damages being claimed.
The Labor Arbiter held that InterOrient cannot be held liable for Victors claims
since he must have contracted his ailment after repatriation and not while aboard
the vessel, not to mention that the contract between the parties had already
expired, which was affirmed by the NLRC.
Applying Section 32-A of the POEA Contract, the CA declared Victors illness,
pulmonary tuberculosis, included in the list of occupational diseases. It found
that Victor was overworked and over-fatigued as a result of the long hours of
work required by his duties and that he was exposed to daily rapid variations in
temperature. Aside from physical strain, he was also subjected to emotional
stress brought about by the separation from his family. The CA concluded that
with his daily exposure to these factors which could weaken his immune system,
it was not impossible that he contracted tuberculosis during the course of his
employment.
ISSUE:
Whether or not InterOrient can be held accountable for Victors disease even if
the same was diagnosed 11 months after he disembarked from the vessel upon
the termination of his employment contract.
HELD:
No. It must be stressed that his repatriation was not due to any medical reasons
but because his employment contract had already expired. Other than his selfserving allegation that he experienced pain while on board, he was not able to
substantiate the same. There was no showing that he reported his injury to his
officers while on board the vessel; neither did he prove that he sought medical
attention but was refused. Likewise, other than his bare and self-serving
assertion that he informed InterOrient about his pain, he presented no evidence
or tangible proof that he indeed requested for medical attention, much more that
he was rebuffed.
On the contrary, the records show that when he reported to InterOrient
immediately after his repatriation, he signed a Receipt and Release stating that
he has not contracted or suffered any illness or injury from work and that he was
discharged in good and perfect health. Moreover, we are baffled why, if indeed
Victor needed medical services, he opted to consult several doctors other than
the company-designated physician. He offered no explanation for this.

For an illness to be compensable, Section 20(B)(6)29 of the 2000 Amended


Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Employment of Filipino Seafarers
on Board Ocean-Going Vessels (2000 Amended Standard Terms and
Conditions), deemed incorporated in the POEA Contract, requires the
concurrence of two elements: first, that the illness must be work-related; and
second, that the work-related illness must have existed during the term of the
seafarers employment contract.
Work-related illness is defined under the 2000 Amended Standard Terms and
Condition as any sickness resulting in disability or death due to an occupational
disease listed under Section 32-A of [the said] contract[,] with the conditions set
therein satisfied. There is no question that Pulmonary Tuberculosis is listed as
an occupational disease under Section 32-A. However, for the disability caused
by this occupational disease to be compensable, the POEA Contract provides
conditions that must be satisfied;
SECTION 32-A OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES
For an occupational disease and the resulting disability or death to
be compensable, all of the following conditions must be satisfied:
1. The seafarers work must involve the risks describe herein;
2. The disease was contracted as a result of the seafarers
exposure to the describe[d] risks;
3. The disease was contracted within a period of exposure and
under such other factors necessary to contract it;
4. There was no notorious negligence on the part of the seafarer.

12. DALUSONG V EAGLE CLARE SHIPPING


FACTS:
Private respondents hired petitioner as Able Seaman on board their vessel MV
Malene Ostervold with a basic salary of US$800 per month. The duration of the
contract of employment was for 2 months. Petitioner boarded the vessel on 18
November 2009. On 13 December 2009, while petitioner was drilling to attach an
overboard safety equipment on the vessel, a sudden swell caused some
movement ofthe vessel. As a result, one of the crew fell directly on petitioner,
inflicting injury on petitioners right foot. Petitioner was brought to the St. Joseph
Medical Center inHouston, Texas, where he was diagnosed with fractured ankle
and his foot was placed in cast. On 23 December 2009, petitioner was
repatriated to the Philippines for further examination and medical treatment.
Upon arrival in Manila, petitioner was referred by private respondents to the NGC
Medical Specialist Clinic, Inc. where his cast was removed after a month.
Petitioner then underwent physical therapy until April 2010. On 14 May 2010, Dr.
Nicomedes Cruz, the company-designated doctor, gave petitioner an interim
disability grading based on the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
(POEA) schedule of disability of "grade 8 that is moderate rigidity or one third
loss of motion or lifting power of the trunk."Upon further rehabilitation, petitioners
condition improved. On 27 July 2010, the company-designated doctor issued a
final disability grading under the POEA schedule of disabilityof "grade 11 complete immobility of an ankle joint in normal position." Petitioner disagreed
with the disability assessment and consulted Dr. Nicanor Escutin, a physician of
his own choice. In his Disability Report8 dated 2 October 2010, Dr. Escutin found
petitioner to be suffering from "PARTIAL PERMANENT DISABILITY." Dr. Escutin
concluded that petitioner is "unfit for seaduty in whatever capacity as seaman."
Petitioner filed with the NLRC a complaint against private respondents, claiming
disability benefits, sick wages, damages, and attorneys fees. Petitioner
maintained that he is entitled to full disability benefits of US$80,000, while private
respondents insisted that petitioner is only entitled to US$12,551 based on the
disability assessment of the company-designated doctor.
ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to full disability benefits as contrary to the
assessment of the company-designated doctor.
HELD:
Section 20(B)(3)15 of the POEA-SEC provides that "[i]f a doctor appointed by the
seafarer disagrees with the assessment [of the companydesignated doctor], a
third doctor may be agreed jointly between the Employer and the seafarer," and
"[t]he third doctors decision shall be final and binding on both parties." In this
case, there was no third doctor appointed by both parties whose decision would
be binding on the parties. Hence, it is up to the labor tribunal and the courts to

evaluate and weigh the merits of the medical reports of the company-designated
doctor and the seafarers doctor. The Labor Arbiter did not give probative value to
the medical report issued by petitioners doctor primarily because there was no
evidence of tests and examinations conducted to support his medical report. On
the other hand, the NLRC ruled that"[t]he findings of [petitioners] doctor, who
gave him Grade 1 Disability rating is more appropriate and applicable to the
injury suffered by [petitioner]." The Court of Appeals gave more credence to the
findings of the company-designated doctor, which were supported by multiple
tests and examinations on petitioner, compared to the medical report of
petitioners doctor which was not supported by adequate tests and examinations.
Petitioner argues that since his treatment lasted for more than 120 days, then his
disability is deemed total and permanent. Petitioners contention is not entirely
correct. Although Article 192(c)(1), Chapter VI, Title II, Book IV of the Labor
Code, as amended, states that a disability which lasts continuously for more than
120 days is deemed total and permanent, the law makes a qualification, thus:
1 provided for in Rule X of these Rules. (Emphasis supplied)
The provision adverted to is Section 2, Rule X of the Implementing Rules of Title
II, Book IV of the Labor Code, as amended, which states:
SECTION 2. Period of entitlement. (a) The income benefit shall be
paid beginning on the first day of such disability. If caused by an
injury or sickness it shall not be paidlonger than 120 consecutive
days except where such injury or sickness still requires medical
attendance beyond 120 days but not toexceed 240 days from onset
of disability in which case benefit for temporary total disability shall
be paid. However, the System may declare the total and permanent
status at any time after 120 days of continuous temporary total
disability as may be warranted bythe degree of actual loss or
impairment of physical or mentalfunctions as determined by the
System.
Just because the seafarer is unable to perform his job and is undergoing medical
treatment for more than 120 days does not automatically entitle the seafarer to
total and permanent disability compensation.26 In this case, petitioner's medical
treatment lasted more than 120 days but less than 240 days, after which the
company-designated doctor gave petitioner a final disability grading under the
POEA schedule of disabilities of "grade 11 - complete immobility of an ankle joint
in normal position." Thus, before the maximum 240-day medical treatment period
expired, petitioner was issued a final disability grade 11 which is merely
equivalent to a permanent partial disability, since under Section 32 of the POEASEC, only those classified under grade 1 are considered total and permanent
disability. Clearly, petitioner is only entitled to permanent partial disability
compensation, since his condition cannot be considered as permanent total
disability

13. Kua v Sacupayo


FACTS:
[Petitioners] Robert Kua, Engr. Juanito Pagcaliwagan, Caroline N. Kua, Cleofe P.
Adiao, Ma. Teresita N. Kua and Francisco Alconis are members of the Board of
Directors and the officers of Vicmar Development Corporation, a domestic
corporation, x x x. [Respondents] Gregorio G. Sacupayo and Maximiniano
Panerio were VICMAR employees since 1985 and 1995[,] respectively.
Sacupayo was a foreman while Panerio was an assistant foreman.
As required by law, Vicmar, through its officers, deducted the Social Security
System (SSS) contributions of [respondents] from their wages. It also deducted
four hundred sixty eight pesos (Php468.00) per month from the wage of
Sacupayo ashis monthly amortization for a ten thousand peso (Php10,000.00)
loan he obtained from the SSS on November 14, 2002. The deductions
wereremitted by Vicmar to the SSS at first.
Sometime in 2003 and 2004, unknown to [respondents] and despite the
continued SSS deductions from their wages, Vicmar stopped remitting the same
to the SSS. The un-remitted contributions for each [respondent] reached five
thousand seven hundred sixty pesos (Php5,760.00) each. For the amortizations,
a total of eleven thousand two hundred thirty two pesos (Php11,232.00) was
deducted from the wages of Sacupayo as full payment for his loan. Yet only four
thousand pesos (Php4,000.00) was remitted.
Meantime, on August 7, 2004 and August 9, 2004 respectively, Sacupayo and
Panerio were dismissed from employment. Both filed complaints for illegal
dismissal.
Panerio was thereafter afflicted with Chronic Persistent Asthma on September
28, 2004. But when he applied for sickness benefits before the SSS in October
2004, the same was denied for the reason that no contributions or payments
were made for twelve (12) months prior to the semester of confinement.
Sacupayo, for his part, filed another loan application before the SSS. But thiswas
also denied outright for nonpayment of a previous loan which should have been
fully paid if not for the failure of Vicmar to remit the amounts due to the SSS.
Aggrieved by the wrongful acts of Vicmar in failing to remit the amounts due to
the SSS that were deducted from their wages, [respondents] filed complaints
before the Office of the City Prosecutor in Cagayan de Oro City. Vicmar then
remitted to SSS the contributions and loan payments of [respondents] sometime
thereafter. Nevertheless, probable cause was found and three (3) separate
Informations all dated June 6, 2005 were filed against [petitioners] officers of
Vicmar for violation of Section 22 (a) in relation to Section 28 (e) of RA 8282
otherwise known as the Social Security Act of 1997. The cases were first filed
before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities but these were dismissed outright for

lack of jurisdiction.
ISSUE:
HELD:
We affirm the finding of a prima facie case of petitioners failure to remit the SSS
contributions and loan amortization of respondents for a period of approximately
two (2) years, in 2003 and 2004. In October 2004, after respondents were
successively dismissed from employment by Vicmar in August 2004, they
separately filed for SSS benefits, relating to sickness and procurement of a loan,
which were both denied outright for lack of contributions or payments twelve
months (12) prior to the semester of confinement and failure to pay a prior loan.
After respondents filed criminal complaints against petitioners, the latter then
remitted their SSS wage deductions and loan payments to the SSS.
The factual milieu obtaining herein does not denote a simple delay in payment.
Again, petitioners initially failed to remit the SSS contributions and payments of
respondents such that respondents were denied benefits under the SS Law
which they wanted to avail of. It was only under threat of criminal liability that
petitioners subsequently remitted what they had long deducted from the wages of
respondents.
SEC. 22. Remittance of Contributions. (a) The contribution imposed in the
preceding section shall be remitted to the SSS within the first ten (10) days of
each calendar month following the month for which they are applicable or within
suchtime as the Commission may prescribe. Every employer required to deduct
and to remit such contributions shall be liable for their payment and if any
contribution is not paid to the SSS as herein prescribed, he shall pay besides the
contribution a penalty thereon of three percent (3%) per month from the date the
contribution falls due until paid. If deemed expedient and advisable by the
Commission, the collection and remittance of contributions shall be made
quarterly or semi annually in advance, the contributions payable by the
employees to be advanced by their respective employers: Provided, That upon
separation of an employee, any contribution so paid in advance but not due shall
be credited or refunded to his employer.

14. GSIS v Capacite


FACTS:
Elma Capacite (Elma) was an employee in the Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR) Eastern Samar Provincial Office, Borongan, Eastern Samar, who
successively held the following positions between the periods of November 8,
1982 to July 15, 2009: Junior Statistician, Bookkeeper, Bookkeeper II, and finally
as Accountant I.
On May 11, 2009, due to persistent cough coupled with abdominal pain, Elma
was admitted at the Bethany Hospital. The pathology examination showed that
she was suffering from Adenocarcinoma, moderately differentiated, probably
cecal origin with metastases to mesenteric lymph node and seeding of the
peritoneal surface.
On July 16, 2009, Elma died due to Respiratory Failure secondary to Metastatic
Cancer to the lungs; Bowel cancer with Hepatic and Intraperitoneal Seeding and
Ovarian cancer.
On May 13, 2009, Elmas surviving spouse, Jose, filed a claim for ECC death
benefits before the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Catbalogan
Branch Office, alleging that Elmas stressful working condition caused the cancer
that eventually led to her death.
On August 18, 2009, the GSIS denied Joses claim. The GSIS opined that Jose
had failed to present direct evidence to prove a causal connection between
Elmas illness and her work in order for the claimant to be entitled to the ECC
death benefits.
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent's disease was compensable
HELD:
No. PD 626, as amended, defines compensable sickness as any illness
definitely accepted as an occupational disease listed by the Commission, or any
illness caused by employment subject to proof by the employee that the risk of
contracting the same is increased by the working conditions. Of particular
significance in this definition is the use of the conjunction or, which indicates
alternative situations.
Based on this definition, we ruled in GSIS v. Vicencio, that for sickness and the
resulting death of an employee to be compensable, the claimant must show
either: (1) that it is a result of an occupational disease listed under Annex "A" of
the Amended Rules on Employees' Compensation with the conditions set therein
satisfied; or (2) if not so listed, that the risk of contracting the disease was
increased by the working conditions.

We also do not find that Elmas cause of death was work-connected. As we


earlier pointed out, entitlement to death benefits depends on whether the
employees disease is listed as an occupational disease or, if not so listed,
whether the risk of contracting the disease has been increased by the
employees working conditions.
We hold that the CAs application of the Vicencio ruling is misplaced. The correct
implementing rule under PD 626 or Section 1(b), Rule III of the Amended Rules
on Employees Compensation in fact provides that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Section 1. Grounds.
(b) For the sickness and the resulting disability or death to be compensable, the
sickness must be the result of an occupational disease listed under Annex A of
these Rules with the conditions set therein satisfied, otherwise, proof must be
shown that the risk of contracting the disease is increased by the working
conditions.
The rule is that the party who alleges an affirmative fact has the burden of
proving it because mere allegation of the fact is not evidence of it. Proof of direct
causal connection is not, however, indispensably required. The law merely
requires substantial evidence such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind
might accept as adequate to support a conclusion that the claimants
employment contributed, even if to a small degree, to the development of the
disease. Thus, there is no requirement that the employment be the sole factor in
the growth, development or acceleration of a claimants illness for the latter to be
entitled to the benefits provided for. However, it is important to note that adequate
proof must be presented to substantiate the claim for death benefits.

15. OSG Ship Management v Pelleza


FACTS:
Pellezar filed a complaint for permanent total disability benefits and damages
against OSG because his right hand was injured after it was struck by solid iron
pipe while he was on duty onboard the vessel M/T Delphinaon. Upon his return in
Manila, he was treated by company designated physicians who gave Pellezar a
grade 10 disability rating for loss of grasping power for large objects between
fingers and palm of one hand. Pellezar consulted a physician of his choice who
diagnosed him with loss of grasping power of fifth finger, loss of opposition
between finger and thumb and ankylosis of the 5 th finger and certified that he was
permanently unfit for any sea duty.
Petitioners contention:
They alleged that Pellazar, a member of the Associated Marine Officers and
Seamens Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) bypassed the provisions of the
CBA requiring that a seafarer with a complaint should follow the grievance
procedure onboard the vessel or, through the union upon his return home.
Further, under the POEA approved contract, the parties covered by a CBA are
required to submit their claim or dispute to a voluntary arbitrator or panel of
voluntary arbitrators. Pellazar, theyargued, failed to comply with his duty to
observe the dispute resolution provisions of the CBA.The petitioners argued that
Pellazar was not entitled to disability compensation higher than what was
provided under a Grade 10 disability rating as that was the company designated
physicians assessment ofhis disability. A Grade 10 disability is compensated
US$10,075.00 under the POEA Standard Employment Contract (POEASEC).
ISSUE:
Whether or not Pellezar was entitled for total permanent disability benefits?
HELD:
LA
LA ruled in Pellezars favor and awarded him permanent total disability benefits
of USD 75K under the parties CBA, plus $7,500.00 as attorneys fees because
he had been incapacitated to continue his employment as a seafarer.
NLRC
It ruled that Pellazar is entitled only to an award of $10,075.01 which is the
equivalent of a Grade 10 disability in accordance with the disability rating given to
him by the company designated physicians; the loss of grasping power for large
objects between the fingers and palm of a hand has been classified as Grade 10
disability under the POEASEC. The company-based physician should be given
more credit because he acquired a detailed knowledge and familiarity with
Pellazars injury which enabled him to arrive at a more accurate appraisal of
Pellazars condition as compared to Dr. Sabado who had not been privy to
Pellazars case from the very beginning.

CA
It reinstated LAs decision. It stressed that permanent total disability is not
determined by gradings but by the number of days the disability has lasted. It
explained that under Article 192 of the Labor Code, a disability shall be deemed
total and permanent if the temporary disability has lasted for more than a
continuous period of 120 days.
SC
Mere lapse of the 120 day period does not warrant payment of permanent total
disability benefits. He is entitled only to the Grade 10 disability rating certified by
Drs. De Guzman and Banaga equivalent to US$10,075.01 pursuant to the
POEASEC which provides that "in case of permanent total or partial disability of
the seafarer caused by injury or illness the seafarer shall be compensated in
accordance with the schedule of benefits enumerated in the Contract.

16. BANEZ V SSS


FACTS:
Baylon, husband of petitioner, was employed by DLSU as a laboratory technician
which exposed him to various chemicals. Baylon was diagnosed to be suffering
from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE) and eventually died f SLE with
AutoImmune Hemolytic Anemia, SLE Nephritis, SLE Vasculitis and
Thrombocytopenia Secondary to SLE. Dr. Dennis Torres (Dr. Torres), issued a
Medical Certificate stating that Baylon "who was confined and expired in Medical
Center Manila for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus may have been precipitated by
the chronic exposure to chemicals which is an occupational hazard in his
performance of being a laboratory technician. Petitioner filed a claim for death
benefits under the Employees Compensation Law before the Social Security
System (SSS). On 21 September 2007, SSS denied petitioners claim on two
grounds: 1) the cause of death, cardiac complication of SLE, is not onsidered
work related; and 2) SLE is not included in the list of occupational diseases.
Petitioner appealed SSSs denial of her claim with the ECC. On 4 April 2008, the
ECC affirmed the denial of death benefits by the SSS. In denying the claim, the
ECC delved intothe nature of SLE and found that, "SLE is caused by a genetic
tendency to mount an abnormal immune response against ones own tissues or
organs leading to their destruction or malfunction. The said disease is diagnosed
by its characteristic clinical presentation and by DNA studies.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioner was entitled of death benefits?
HELD:
CA
It dismissed the petition for review because it was filed out of time despite the 15
days extension given and affirmed the denial of her claim for death benefits by
ECC .
SC
NO. In order for the beneficiary of an employee to be entitled to death benefits
under the SSS, the cause of death of the employee must be a sickness listed as
an occupational disease by ECC; or any other illness caused by employment,
subject to proof that the risk of contracting the same is increased by the working
conditions. It is undisputed that SLE is not listed as an occupational disease
under Annex "A" of the Rules on Employees Compensation. Thus, petitioner has
to prove by substantial evidence the causal relationship between her husbands
illness and his working conditions. There is no showing that the drugs given to
Baylon had increased his risk of contracting Drug Induced Lupus and SLE.

17. ALPHA SHIP MANAGEMENT V CALO


FACTS:
Calo was hired by petitioners as Chief Cook on board a vessel. During the
employment contract, Calo was diagnosed with suspected and/or uretal calculus
and was declared unfit to work. Calo was repatriated on October 12, 2004 and
underwent treatment by the company designated physician, Dr. Cruz, until
October 14, 2005, or for a continuous period of over one year or for more than
the statutory 120day or even 240day period. During said treatment period, Dr.
Cruz did not arrive at a definite assessment of respondents fitness or disability;
thus, respondents medical condition remained unresolved. It was only on July
18, 2006 that respondent was declared fit to work by Dr. Cruz. Such declaration,
however, became irrelevant, for by then, respondent had been under medical
treatment and unable to engage in gainful employment for more than 240 days.
Petitioner contended that respondent is not entitled to disability benefits and
attorneys fees; and even granting without admitting that respondent is entitled to
disability benefits, the same should be limited to US$10,075.00 in view of the
Grade 10 disability rating given by Dr. Vicaldo, respondents personal physician.
Respondent argued that "permanent disability" is defined as the inability of a
worker to perform his job for more than 120 days, without regard to the loss of
any part of his body; thus, his inability to perform his usual work as Chief Cook
on board an oceangoing vessel for more than 120 days due to his illness makes
his disability total and permanent and entitles him to full disability benefits under
the law.
ISSUE:
Whether respondent is entitled to disability benefits under the POEA Standard
Employment Contract for Seafarers despite the fact that he was declared fit to
work.
HELD:
LA
The LA granted permanent total disability benefits amounting to USD60K to
respondent because the respondent was unable to work for more than 120 days.
NLRC
It reversed the decision of LA. The NLRC held that for purposes of claiming
disability benefits under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
(POEA) Standard Employment Contract, it is the company designated physician,
Dr. Cruz and not respondents physician Dr. Vicaldo who should make the
corresponding proclamation or finding that respondent suffered permanent total
or partial disability. Thus, Dr. Cruzs July 18, 2006 Medical Report declaring
respondent as fit to work prevails over Dr. Vicaldos July 28, 2005 Medical
Certificate declaring respondent unfit to resume work as seaman in any capacity.
CA
It reinstated the decision of LA. The CA added that the NLRC gravely erred in not
considering that respondent had already been under medical treatment and

incapacitated to work for more than 120 days, or even 240 days which is the
maximum allowable period of treatment pursuant to Rule X, Section 2 of the
Amended Rules on Employees Compensation. A temporary total disability only
becomes permanent when so declared by the company designated physician
within the period allowed, or upon expiration of the maximum 240day medical
treatment period in case of absence of a declaration of fitness or permanent
disability.
SC
Yes, Under Art. 192(c)(1) of the Labor Code and Rule X, Section 2 of the
Amended Rules on Employees Compensation, temporary total disability shall be
deemed permanent total disability when so declared by the company designated
physician within the period allowed, or upon expiration of the maximum 240day
medical treatment period in case of absence of a declaration of fitness or
permanent disability. As held in Krestel Shipping Co., Inc. v. Munar the company
designated physician is expected to arrive at a definite assessment of the
seafarers fitness to work or permanent disability within the period of 120 or 240
days. That should he fail to do so and the seafarers medical condition remains
unresolved, the seafarer shall be deemed totally or permanently disabled.

18. INC SHIP MANAGEMENT V MORALES


FACTS:
Complainant and seafarer Alexander L. Moradas filed a labor complainant
seeking to be paid his permanent disability benefits against defendants INC
Shipmanagement, Inc. and its principal, defendant Interorient Navigation, Ltd.,
and the ship captain.
Previously, complainant was employed as a wiper for the vessel MV Commander
by defendant INC Shipmanagement, Inc. for its principal, defendant Interorient
Navigation, Ltd., for a period of 10 months, with a basic monthly salary of
US$360.00, plus benefits. Sometime after, complainant claimed that while he
was disposing of the garbage in the incinerator room of the vessel, certain
chemicals splashed all over his body because of an explosion. He was sent to
the Burns Unit of the Prince of Wales Hospital on the same day wherein he was
found to have suffered deep burns. Eventually, upon his own request,
[complainant] was sent home.
On his arrival, he was admitted to the St. Lukes Medical Center. After a month of
treatment, his attending physician reported to defendants that the thermal burns
were healing well and that they were estimated to fully heal within a period of 3 to
4 months. Complainant, however, claimed that the burns rendered him
permanently incapable of working again as a seaman. When he demanded for
his full disability benefits, it was denied. Hence, he filed this labor complaint. By
way of defense, defendants claimed that complainants injuries were selfinflicted.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioner was liable for disability benefits.
HELD:
No, The complaint was dismissed. The prevailing rule under Section 20 (B) of
the 1996 POEA-SEC on compensation and benefits for injury or illness was that
an employer shall be liable for the injury or illness suffered by a seafarer during
the term of his contract. There was no need to show that such injury was workrelated except that it must be proven to have been contracted during the term of
the contract. The rule, however, is not absolute and the employer may be exempt
from liability if he can successfully prove that the cause of the seamans injury
was directly attributable to his deliberate or willful act as provided under Section
20 (D) thereof, to wit: D. No compensation shall be payable in respect of any
injury, incapacity, disability or death of the seafarer resulting from his willful or
criminal act, provided however, that the employer can prove that such injury,
incapacity, disability or death is directly attributable to seafarer. Here, defendants
successfully discharged the burden of proving by substantial evidence that
complainants injury was directly attributable to himself for the following reasons:

First, records bear out circumstances which all lead to the reasonable
conclusion that respondent was responsible for the flooding and burning
incidents.
In this case, the LA and NLRC gave credence to the corroborating testimonies of
the crewmen pointing to respondent as the person who deliberately caused the
flooding incident. In particular, [complainant] was seen alone in the vicinity of the
port side seachest which cover was found to have been intentionally removed
and thereby caused the flooding. He was also seen disappearing up to the boiler
deck just when the bilge level alarm sounded with patches of water left on the
floor plates and on the stairways. Respondent neither denied nor proffered any
explanation on the foregoing claims especially when all of his fellow engine room
staff, except him, responded to the alarm and helped pump out the water in the
engine room. As to the burning, [complainant] failed to successfully controvert
Giles claim that he saw the former go to the paint room, soak his hands in a can
full of thinner and proceed to the incinerator door where he was set ablaze. In
fact, [complainants] burnt overalls conform to the aforesaid claim as it had green
paint on the arms and body and smelled strongly of thinner, while the open paint
tin can that was found in the vicinity contained solvent which had the same green
color found on the overalls.
Second, [complainants] version that the burning was caused by an accident is
hardly supported by the evidence on record. The purported explosion in the
incinerator was belied by Gile who also claimed that there was no fire in the
incinerator room at the time respondent got burned. This was corroborated by
Bejada who testified having ordered an ordinary seaman that was burning deck
waste in the incinerator early that day to extinguish the fire with water and close
up the incinerator door because of bad weather conditions. Accordingly, an
inspection of the incinerator after the incident showed that there were unburnt
cardboard cartons found inside with no sign of explosion and the steel plates
surrounding it were cool to the touch. Further, as aptly discerned by the LA, if
there was really an incinerator explosion, then respondents injury would have
been more serious.
[Complainant] debunked Giles claim by merely asserting in his Answer and
Rejoinder before the POEA that the latter could not have been in the room at the
time he got burned as he was not the first person to rescue him and concluded
that he could not have soaked his hands in a can full of thinner considering the
extent of damage caused to his hands. This argument is riddled with serious
flaws: Gile could have been the second man in, and still personally know the
matters he has alleged. Also, that [complainant] soaked his hands in thinner is
not denied by the fact that the greatest damage was not caused to it since the
fire could have started at some part of his body considering that his overalls also
had flammable chemicals. Reason also dictates that he could have extinguished
the fire on his hands sooner than the other parts of his body. In any event, the
medical records of [complainant], particularly the report issued by the Prince of

Wales Hospital Burns Surgery, show that he suffered from deep burn area that
was distributed over his left upper limb, right hand, left flank and both thighs. To
assert that [complainants] hands should have suffered the greatest damage is
plainly argumentative and records are bereft of showing as to the exact degree of
burn suffered for each part.
To add, Bejadas statement that [complainants] burnt overalls had patches of
green paint on the arms and body and strongly smelled of thinner conforms with
Giles claim that he soaked his hands in a can of thinner before approaching the
incinerator (thinner may be found in a paint room). Such fact further fortifies
[defendants] assertion that his injury was self-inflicted as a prudent man would
not dispose of garbage in the incinerator under such condition.
And if only to placate other doubts, the CAs finding that some chemicals
splashed [on complainants] body should not automatically mean that the
splashing was caused by pure accident. It is equally reasonable to conclude that
the splashing as may be inferred from both the LAs and NLRCs findings
was a by-product of [complainants] botched sabotage attempt.
Third, [defendants] theory that [complainants] burns were self-inflicted gains
credence through the existence of motive. At this juncture, the Court finds it
important to examine the existence of motive in this case since no one actually
saw what transpired in the incinerator room. To this end, the confluence of the
circumstances antecedent to the burning should be examined in conjunction with
the existing accounts of the crew members. That said, both the LA and the NLRC
made a factual finding that prior to the burning incident, [complainant] was caught
pilfering the vessels supplies for which he was told that he was to be relieved
from his duties. This adequately supports the reasonable conclusion that
[complainant] may have harbored a grudge against the captain and the chief
steward who denied giving him the questioned items. At the very least, it was
natural for him to brood over feelings of resentment considering his impending
dismissal. These incidents shore up the theory that he was motivated to commit
an act of sabotage which, however, backfired into his own burning.

19. United Phil Lines v Sibug


FACTS:
Petitioners United Philippine Lines, Inc. and Holland America Line hired Sibug as
waste handler on board the vessel MIS Volendam. On August 5, 2005, Sibug fell
from a ladder while cleaning the silo sensor at a garbage room of the Volendam
and injured his knee. He was repatriated and had anterior cruciate ligament
(ACL) reconstruction surgery at the Manila Doctors Hospital. On January 19,
2006, he was declared fit to return to work from an orthopedic point of view.
Sibug sought reemployment, passed the pre-employment medical examination,
and was re-hired by petitioners in the same capacity for the vessel M/S Ryndam.
On board Ryndam, Sibug met another accident while driving a forklift and injured
his right hand and wrist. He was repatriated. He arrived in the Philippines on
January 15, 2007, and had surgery for his Ryndam injury. On September 7,
2007, the company-designated doctor issued a medical report that Sibug has a
permanent but incomplete disability. In an email dated September 28, 2007, the
company-designated doctor classified Sibugs disability from his Ryndam injury
as a grade 10 disability.
Sibug filed two complaints for disability benefits, illness allowance, damages and
attorneys fees against petitioners.
In her Decision dated May 14, 2008, the Labor Arbiter dismissed the Volendam
case.The National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) reversed the Labor
Arbiters Decision. On reconsideration, the NLRC issued a Decision dated May
29, 2009 which set aside its December 8, 2008 Decision and reinstated the
Labor Arbiters Decision. Later, the NLRC denied Sibugs motion for
reconsideration in its Resolution dated July 31, 2009. The CA set aside the
NLRC Decision dated May 29, 2009 and reinstated the NLRC Decision dated
December 8, 2008. The CA ruled that Sibug was unable to perform his
customary work for more than 120 days on account of his Volendam and
Ryndam injuries. Thus, he is entitled to permanent and total disability benefit for
both injuries.
ISSUES:
Whether Sibug is entitled to permanent and total disability benefits for his
Volendam and Ryndam injuries?
HELD:
After our own review of the case, we find the petition partly meritorious. We
rule that Sibug is not entitled to permanent and total disability benefit for
his Volendam injury. But he is entitled to permanent and total disability
benefit for his Ryndam injury.
Sibug is not entitled to permanent and total disability benefit for his Volendam

injury since he became already fit to work again as a seaman. He even admitted
in his position paper that he was declared fit to work. He was also declared fit for
sea service after his pre-employment medical examination when he sought
reemployment with petitioners. The medical certificate declaring Sibug fit for sea
service even bears his signature. And he was able to work again in the same
capacity as waste handler in Ryndam.
On this point, the Labor Arbiters ruling is amply supported by substantial
evidence. On the other hand, the CA erred in ruling that Sibug is entitled to
permanent and total disability benefit for the injury he suffered at the Volendam.
The facts clearly show that he is not.
As regards his Ryndam injury, we agree with the CA that Sibug is entitled to
permanent and total disability benefit amounting to US$60,000. Petitioners, the
Labor Arbiter and the NLRC erred on this point. In Millan v. Wallem Maritime
Services, Inc., we listed the following circumstances when a seaman may be
allowed to pursue an action for permanent and total disability benefits:
(a) The company-designated physician failed to issue a declaration as to his
fitness to engage in sea duty or disability even after the lapse of the 120-day
period and there is no indication that further medical treatment would address his
temporary total disability, hence, justify an extension of the period to 240 days;
(b) 240 days had lapsed without any certification issued by the companydesignated physician;
(c) The company-designated physician declared that he is fit for sea duty within
the 120-day or 240-day period, as the case may be, but his physician of choice
and the doctor chosen under Section 20-B(3) of the POEA-SEC are of a contrary
opinion;
(d) The company-designated physician acknowledged that he is partially
permanently disabled but other doctors who he consulted, on his own and jointly
with his employer, believed that his disability is not only permanent but total as
well;
(e) The company-designated physician recognized that he is totally and
permanently disabled but there is a dispute on the disability grading;
(f) The company-designated physician determined that his medical condition is
not compensable or work-related under the POEA-SEC but his doctor-of-choice
and the third doctor selected under Section 20-B(3) of the POEA-SEC found
otherwise and declared him unfit to work;
(g) The company-designated physician declared him totally and permanently
disabled but the employer refuses to pay him the corresponding benefits; and

(h) The company-designated physician declared him partially and permanently


disabled within the 120-day or 240-day period but he remains incapacitated to
perform his usual sea duties after the lapse of said periods.
Paragraph (b) applies to Sibugs case. The company-designated doctor failed to
issue a certification with a definite assessment of the degree of Sibugs disability
for his Ryndam injury within 240 days.
In this case, Sibug was repatriated and arrived in the country on January 15,
2007 after his Ryndam injury. He had surgery on his injured hand. On September
7, 2007, the company-designated doctor issued a medical report that Sibug has
a permanent but incomplete disability. But this medical report failed to state the
degree of Sibugs disability. Only in an email dated September 28, 2007, copy of
which was attached as Annex 3 of petitioners position paper, was Sibugs
disability from his Ryndam injury classified as a grade 10 disability by the
company-designated doctor. By that time, however, the 240-day extended period
when the company-designated doctor must give the definite assessment of
Sibugs disability had lapsed. From January 15, 2007 to September 28, 2007 is
256 days. Hence, Sibugs disability is already deemed permanent and total.
We render a new judgment and ORDER petitioners United Philippine Lines, Inc.
and Holland America Line jointly and severally to pay respondent Generoso E.
Sibug US$66,000 or its peso equivalent at the time of payment.
20. Magsaysay Maritime v Chin
FACTS:
Thome Ship Management Pte. Ltd., acting through its agent petitioner
Magsaysay Maritime Corporation (Magsaysay) hired respondent Oscar D. Chin,
Jr. to work for nine months as able seaman on board MV Star Siranger. Chin was
to receive a basic pay of US$515 per month. Magsaysay deployed him on July
20, 1996.
On October 22, 1996 Chin sustained injuries while working on his job aboard the
vessel. Dr. Solan of Wilmington, North Carolina, USA, examined him on
November 29, 1996 and found him to have suffered from lumbosacral strain due
to heavy lifting of pressurized machine. The doctor gave him medications and
advised him to see an orthopedist and a cardiologist. Chin was repatriated on
November 30, 1996.
On return to the Philippines, Chin underwent a surgical procedure called
laminectomy and discectomy L-4-L-5. A year after the operation, Dr. Robert D.
Lim of the Metropolitan Hospital diagnosed Chin to have a moderate rigidity of
his tract.

On August 6, 1998 Chin filed a claim for disability with Pandiman Phils., Inc.
which is the local agent of P & I Club of which Magsaysay Maritime is a member.
Pandiman offered US$30,000.00 as disability compensation which Chin
accepted on August 6, 1998. He then executed a Release and Quitclaim in favor
of Magsaysay Maritime.
On September 29, 1998 Chin filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC), claiming underpayment of disability benefits and attorneys
fees. He later amended his complaint to include claims for damages.
The Labor Arbiter dismissed Chins complaint for lack of merit. The NLRC
affirmed the dismissal on May 17, 2001. On appeal, however, the Court of
Appeals (CA) reversed the dismissal and ruled that Chin was entitled to
permanent total disability benefit of US$60,000.00. The CA remanded the case to
the Labor Arbiter for determination of the other monetary claims of Chin. This
prompted petitioner Magsaysay to come before this court on a petition for review
on certiorari. The Court denied the petition, however, in a Resolution dated
September 8, 2003. This Resolution became final and executory on February 23,
2004.
Petitioner Magsaysay paid the deficiency award of US$30,000.00 in full and final
settlement of Chins disability compensation claim. On February 26, 2007,
however, the Labor Arbiter rendered a Decision ordering it to pay Chin: a)
P19,279.75 as reimbursement for medical expenses; b) US$147,026.43 as loss
of future wages; c) P200,000.00 as moral damages; d) P75,000.00 as exemplary
damages; and e) 10% of the total award as attorneys fees.
The NLRC modified the Labor Arbiters Decision by deleting the awards of loss of
future wages and moral and exemplary damages for lack of factual and legal
bases. On appeal, the CA reversed the NLRCs Decision and ordered the
reinstatement of the Labor Arbiters Decision, hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the Labor Arbiters award of loss of future
earnings on top of his disability benefits as well as awards of moral and
exemplary damages and attorneys fees.
HELD:
Definitely, the Labor Arbiters award of loss of earning is unwarranted since Chin
had already been given disability compensation for loss of earning capacity. An
additional award for loss of earnings will result in double recovery.
LABOR LAW: permanent total disability; loss of earning capacity
In a catena of cases, the Court has consistently ruled that disability should not be
understood more on its medical significance but on the loss of earning capacity.

Permanent total disability means disablement of an employee to earn wages in


the same kind of work, or work of similar nature that he was trained for or
accustomed to perform, or any kind of work which a person of his mentality and
attainment could do. Disability, therefore, is not synonymous with sickness or
illness. What is compensated is ones incapacity to work resulting in the
impairment of his earning capacity.
Moreover, the award for loss of earning lacks basis since the Philippine Overseas
Employment Agency (POEA) Standard Contract of Employment (POEA SCE),
the governing law between the parties, does not provide for such a grant. What
Section 20, paragraph (G) of the POEA SCE provides is that payment for injury,
illness, incapacity, disability, or death of the seafarer covers all claims arising
from or in relation with or in the course of the seafarers employment, including
but not limited to damages arising from the contract, tort, fault or negligence
under the laws of the Philippines or any other country. The permanent disability
compensation of US$60,000 clearly amounts to reasonable compensation for the
injuries and loss of earning capacity of the seafarer.
In awarding damages for loss of earning capacity, the Labor Arbiter relies on the
rulings in Villa Rey Transit v. Court of Appeals and Baliwag Transit, Inc. v. Court
of Appeals. But these cases involve essentially claims for damages arising from
quasi-delict. The present case, on the other hand, involves a claim for disability
benefits under Chins contract of employment and the governing POEA set
standards of recovery. The long-standing rule is that loss of earning is
recoverable if the action is based on the quasi-delict provision of Article 2206 of
the Civil Code.
21. Sunga v Virgen Shipping Corp.
FACTS:
On July 14 2006, Virjen Shipping Corporation (Virjen), acting in behalf of its
foreign principal, Nissho Odyssey Ship Management Pte. Ltd., entered into a
contract of employment with Sunga. Under the contract, Sunga would be working
as a fitter on board the ocean-going vessel MT Sunway for nine (9) months on a
monthly salary of US$ 566.00.2
As a registered member of the Associated Marine Officers and Seamens union
of the Philippines (AMOSUP), Sungas employment was covered by the IBF
JUS/AMOSUP-IMMAJ Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) executed
between Virjen and Nissho Odyssey, All Japan Seamens Union and AMOSUP.3
Prior to Sungas deployment, or before August 11, 2006, he underwent a preemployment medical examination that found him fit for work. But, sometime in
2007, while already on board the MT Sunway vessel, Sunga started to
experience an on-and-off right flank pain, making it difficult for him to work. The

pain became more intense as the days progressed, thereby prompting him to
request for repatriation. The request was granted on April 25, 2007.4
On April 27, 2007, Sunga reported to Virjens company-designated physician, Dr.
Nicomedes G. Cruz (Dr. Cruz), for medical examination. The doctor instructed
him to undergo Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of his lumbosacral spine.
The MRIs results merited the medical advice that Sunga undergo physical
therapy for a period of four (4) months under the supervision of Dr. Cruz. Despite
the therapy, Sunga still experienced episodes of moderate to severe pain on his
right lower extremity and back. He also manifested limited trunk mobility and was
unable to undertake lifting activities.5
On September 7, 2007, Dr. Cruz issued a medical certificate recommending a
Grade 8 disability (Moderate rigidity or 2/3 loss of motion or lifting power of the
trunk) based on the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
Standard Employment Contract for Seafarers. Dr. Cruz also issued another
medical certificate recommending a disability grading of 25% (Back pains with
considerable reduction of mobility) in accordance with the parties CBA.6
On the strength of these two certificates, Virjen immediately offered Sunga the
amount of US$ 16,795.00, in accordance with the POEA Standard Employment
Contract for Seafarers, as full settlement for the latters disability benefits.
However, Sunga rejected the offer; he demanded instead that his disability
benefits be based on the disability grading of 25%, pursuant to the provisions of
the parties CBA.7
Virjen denied Sungas demand. Hence, on October 23, 2007, Sunga filed a
complaint before the NLRC against Virjen for disability benefits as stated in the
parties CBA (not under the POEA Standard Employment Contract for Seafarers)
in the amount of US$ 110,000.00. The complaint likewise prayed for attorneys
fees, plus moral and exemplary damages.8
In his position paper, Sunga claimed that the nature of his work involved manual
repairs, which required the lifting and carrying of heavy equipment and materials.
On January 5, 2007, while MT Sunway was docked at Singapore, he alleged that
he, together with two other oilers, was assigned to change MT Sunways globe
valves. Aside from lifting the 200-kilogram globe valve from the lower floor of the
engine room to its installing position, Sunga also has to bear its entire weight
while it was being positioned by the other oilers. Unfortunately, one of the oilers
lost his grip, causing the whole weight of the globe valve to crash on Sunga. At
that instant, he felt his back snap, causing intense pain at his lower back which
persisted for several days. Unable to even stand up just to go to the bathroom,
Sunga was forced to request for repatriation.9
Virjen replied that it had no liability to pay Sunga any disability benefits under the
CBA. Virjen claimed that the CBA requires that for permanent disability to be

compensable, the disability should be the result of an accident incurred during


the course of the seafarers employment. Virjen argued that Sunga failed to
present any proof that his disability was indeed the result of an accident. It was
simply an illness or an anatomical defect. He had also failed to mention any
details regarding the unfortunate event in his request for repatriation.10
ISSUE:
Whether or not Sungas injury was not a result of an accident?
HELD:
As found by both the NLRC and the Labor Arbiter, Sungas injury was the result
of the accidental slippage in the handling of the 200-kilogram globe valve which
triggered Sungas back pain;18 the weight of the globe valve, coupled with the
abruptness of the fall, explain why the injury was so severe as to render Sunga
immobile.19 While indeed Sunga had not explained in the request for repatriation
the proximate cause of the injury, there was enough circumstantial evidence to
substantiate the claim.
In the present case, Sunga did not incur the injury while solely performing his
regular duties; an intervening event transpired which brought upon the injury. To
repeat, the two other oilers who were supposed to help carry the weight of the
200-kilogram globe valve lost their grasp of the globe valve. As a result, Sungas
back snapped when the entire weight of the item fell upon him. The sheer weight
of the item is designed not to be carried by just one person, but as was observed,
meant to be undertaken by several men and expectedly greatly overwhelmed the
physical limits of an average person. Notably, this incident cannot be considered
as foreseeable, nor can it be reasonably anticipated. Sungas duty as a fitter
involved changing the valve, not to routinely carry a 200-kilogram globe valve
singlehandedly.1wphi1 The loss of his fellow workers group was also
unforeseen in so far as Sunga was concerned.

22. D.M. Consunji v CA


FACTS:
At around 1:30 p.m., November 2, 1990, Jose Juego, a construction worker of
D.M. Consunji, Inc., fell 14 floors from the Renaissance Tower, Pasig City to his
death. PO3 Rogelio Villanueva of the Eastern Police District investigated the
tragedy and filed a report dated November 25, 1990, stating that victim was
rushed to the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig, Metro Manila where he was
pronounced dead on arrival (DOA) by the attending physician, Dr. Errol de Yzo,
at around 2:15 p.m. of the same date. Investigation disclosed that at the given
time, date and place, while victim Jose A. Juego together with Jessie Jaluag and
Delso Destajo [were] performing their work as carpenter[s] at the elevator core of
the 14th floor of the Tower D, Renaissance Tower Building on board a platform
made of channel beam (steel) measuring 4.8 meters by 2 meters wide with
pinulid plywood flooring and cable wires attached to its four corners and hooked
at the 5 ton chain block, when suddenly, the bolt or pin which was merely
inserted to connect the chain block with the platform, got loose xxx causing the
whole platform assembly and the victim to fall down to the basement of the
elevator core, Tower D of the building under construction thereby crushing the
victim to death, save his two (2) companions who luckily jumped out for safety. It
is thus manifest that Jose A. Juego was crushed to death when the platform he
was then on board and performing work, fell. And the falling of the platform was
due to the removal or getting loose of the pin which was merely inserted to the
connecting points of the chain block and platform but without a safety lock. On
May 9, 1991, Jose Juegos widow, Maria, filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
of Pasig a complaint for damages against the deceaseds employer, D.M.
Consunji, Inc. The employer raised, among other defenses, the widows prior
availment of the benefits from the State Insurance Fund.After trial, the RTC
rendered a decision in favor of the widow Maria Juego, which is also affirmed by
the Court of Appeals. D.M. Consuji now seeks the reversal of the CA decision.
ISSUE(S):
(1)Whether or not the petitioner is negligent based on the doctrine of resipsa
loquitur;
(2) Whether or not the private respondent can still claim for damages against the
petitioner after recovering under the Workmens Compensation Act.
HELD:
(1)Yes. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is applicable to hold the petitioner
negligent. As a rule of evidence, the doctrine is peculiar to the law of negligence
which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be established without direct
proof and furnishes a substitute for specific proof of negligence. Res ipsa loquitur
is a rule of necessity and it applies where evidence is absent or not readily
available, provided the following requisites are present: (1) the accident was of a
kind which does not ordinarily occur unless someone is negligent; (2) the
instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was under the exclusive

control of the person charged with negligence; and (3) the injury suffered must
not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the
person injured. Applying in the case at bar, all the requisites for the application of
the rule of res ipsa loquitur are present. First, no worker is going to fall from the
14th floor of a building to the basement while performing work in a construction
site unless someone is negligent. Second, the construction site with all its
paraphernalia and human resources that likely caused the injury is under the
exclusive control and management of petitioner. Third, no contributory
negligence was attributed to the private respondents deceased husband. Thus a
reasonable presumption or inference of petitioners negligence arises.
Further, petitioner apparently misapprehends the procedural effect of the doctrine
for though the petitioner does not dispute the existence of the requisites for the
application of res ipsa loquitur, the petitioner argues that the presumption or
inference that it was negligent did not arise since it proved that it exercised due
care to avoid the accident which befell respondents husband. As stated earlier,
the defendants negligence is presumed or inferred when the plaintiff establishes
the requisites for the application of res ipsa loquitur. Once the plaintiff makes out
a prima facie case of all the elements, the burden then shifts to defendant to
explain. The presumption or inference may be rebutted or overcome by other
evidence and, under appropriate circumstances a disputable presumption, such
as that of due care or innocence, may outweigh the inference. It is not for the
defendant to explain or prove its defense to prevent the presumption or inference
from arising. Evidence by the defendant of say, due care, comes into play only
after the circumstances for the application of the doctrine has been established.
(2) Yes. Though the Court ruled that an injured worker has a choice of
either to recover from the employer the fixed amounts set by the
Workmens Compensation Act or to prosecute an ordinary civil action
against the tortfeasor for higher damages but he cannot pursue both
courses of action simultaneously, the Court recognized that a claimant who
had been paid under the Act could still sue under the Civil Code if it falls
under the exception. The exception is where a claimant who has already
been paid under the Workmens Compensation Act may still sue for
damages under the Civil Code on the basis of supervening facts: or
developments occurring after he opted for the first remedy. The Court ruled
that private respondents case came under the exception because private
respondent was unaware of petitioners negligence when she filed her
claim for death benefits from the State Insurance Fund. Private respondent
filed the civil complaint for damages after she received a copy of the police
investigation report and the Prosecutors Memorandum dismissing the
criminal complaint against petitioners personnel. While stating that there
was no negligence attributable to the respondents in the complaint, the
prosecutor nevertheless noted in the Memorandum that, if at all, the
case is civil in nature.

The Decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. However, the case is


REMANDED to the RTC to determine whether the award decreed in its decision
is more than that of the ECC. Should the award decreed by the trial court be
greater than that awarded by the ECC, payments already made to private
respondent pursuant to the Labor Code shall be deducted therefrom to prevent
double compensation.

23. Heirs of Late Delfin Cruz v Phil Transmarine Carrier


FACTS:
Delfin Dela Cruz (DDC) was contracted as an oiler by Philippine Transmarine
(Phil Trans), a local manning agent for and in behalf of the latter's principal, Tecto
Belgium for a duration of 9 months, working 44 hours a week with a salary of
$535/mo and overtime pay for $298/mo.
After undergoing a Pre-Employment Medical Examination and was declared fit
for sea service, DDC embarked the vessel Lady Hilde on August 17, 2000. While
on board, he felt gradual chest pains and pain in his upper abdominal region. On
26 June 2001, while performing his regular duties, he was hit by a metal board
on his back. He, thereafter, requested medical attention and was given
medications and advised to be given light duties for the rest of the week. Upon
the vessels arrival at a convenient port on 16 August 2001, his contract expired
and was signed off from the vessel. He reported to respondents as required. He
also sought medical assistance but was not extended such.
DDC was diagnosed to be suffering from malignant peripheral nerve sheath
tumor. He was not employed by respondent's thereafter because he was already
incapacitated to engage in his customary work. He filed for his claim for sickness
allowance from the same manning agency but the same was not granted which
led to a complaint before the NLRC.
Respondents denied the petition arguing that the claim has been filed beyond the
one year period from the date of the termination of the contract. DDC countered
that the applicable prescription is 3 years pursuant to the POEA Standard
Employment Contract.
DDC asseverated that he is entitled to sickness allowance because of the
incident when he was hit by a metal board on his back, which required medical
attention. Furthermore, he asserted that he is entitled to said allowance because
his inability to work and perform his usual occupation lasted for more than 120
days. To which the respondents averred that the medical condition is not workrelated and therefore not compensable. And that the company-designated
physician neither issue any certification as regards the medical condition of DDC
nor conducted any post-employment medical examination.
The LA ruled in favor of DDC;opined that Delfin contracted his illness during the
period of his employment with respondents and that such illness is a
compensable occupational disease.
On appeal, the NLRC, found Delfins claims to be barred by prescription for
having been filed beyond the reglementary period of one year from the
termination of the employment contract. The NLRC also found no evidence that
would establish a causal connection between Delfins ailment and his working

conditions.
However, the CA ruled that Delfins Complaint was filed well within the
reglementary period of three years from the date the cause of action arose, as
provided for in Section 30 of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Employment of Filipino Seafarers
On-Board Ocean-Going Vessels (POEA SEC). Nonetheless, the CA sustained
the NLRCs pronouncement that petitioners are not entitled to disability
compensation as they failed to establish that Delfins illness was work-related.
ISSUE:
Whether Delfin is entitled to permanent disability benefits and sickness
allowance?
HELD:
The petition lacks merit. Petitioners are not entitled to permanent disability
benefits and sickness allowance.
Section 20 (B) of the 1996 POEA SEC reads as follows: SECTION
20. COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
x x x x B. COMPENSATION AND BENEFITSFOR INJURY OR
ILLNESS:
The liabilities of the employer when the seafarer suffers injury or
illness during the term of his contract are as follows:
1. The employer shall continue to pay the seafarer his wages during
the time he is on board the vessel;
2. If the injury or illness requires medical and/or dental treatment in a
foreign port, the employer shall be liable for the full cost of such
medical, serious dental, surgical and hospital treatment as well as
board and lodging until the seafarer is declared fit to work or to be
repatriated.
However, if after repatriation, the seafarer still requires medical
attention arising from said injury or illness, he shall be so provided at
cost to the employer until such time he is declared fit or the degree of
his disability has been established by the company-designated
physician.
3. Upon sign-off from the vessel for medical treatment, the seafarer
is entitled to sickness allowance equivalent to his basic wage until he
is declared fit to work or the degree of permanent disability has been
assessed by the company designated physician, but in no case shall
this period exceed one hundred twenty (120) days.
For this purpose, the seafarer shall submit himself to a postemployment medical examination by a company-designated
physician within three working days upon his return except when he
is physically incapacitated to do so, in which case, a written notice to
the agency within the same period is deemed as compliance. Failure

of the seafarer to comply with the mandatory reporting requirement


shall result in his forfeiture of the right to claim the above benefits.
4. Upon sign-off of the seafarer from the vessel for medical
treatment, the employer shall bear the full cost of repatriation in the
event that the seafarer is declared (1) fit for repatriation; or (2) fit to
work but the employer is unable to find employment for the seafarer
on board his former vessel or another vessel of the employer despite
earnest efforts.
5. In case of permanent total or partial disability of the seafarer
during the term of employment caused by either injury or illness, the
seafarer shall be compensated in accordance with the schedule of
benefits enumerated in Section 30 of his Contract. Computation of
his benefits arising from an illness or disease shall be governed by
the rates and the rules of compensation applicable at the time the
illness or disease was contracted. (Emphasis supplied)
The 1996 POEA SEC clearly provides that a seafarer must submit himself to a
post-employment medical examination within three days from his arrival in the
Philippines (mandatory reporting requirement) so that his claim for disability and
sickness allowance can prosper.29 The only exception to this rule is when the
seafarer is physically in capacitated to do so, but there must be a written notice
to the agency within the same period of three days for the seaman to be
considered to have complied with the requirement.
Unfortunately in this case, petitioners failed to show the steps supposedly
undertaken by Delfin to comply with the mandatory reporting requirement. To the
Courts mind, this lapse on petitioners part only demonstrates that Delfin did not
comply with what was incumbent upon him. The reasonable conclusion,
therefore, is that at the time of his repatriation, Delfin was not suffering from any
physical disability requiring immediate medical attendance. Otherwise, and even
if his request for medical assistance went unheeded, he would have submitted
himself for check-up with his personal physician. After all, the injury complained
of by Delfin was a serious one and it would seem illogical for him to just suffer in
silence and bear the pain for a considerable length of time. Moreover, while the
rule on mandatory reporting requirement is not absolute as a seafarer may show
that he was physically incapable to comply with the same by submitting a written
notice to the agency within the same three-day period, nowhere in the records
does it show that Delfin submitted any such notice. Clearly, petitioners failed to
show that Delfin complied with the mandatory reporting requirement. Thus, he is
deemed to have forfeited his right to claim disability benefits and sickness
allowance.
Even assuming that there was compliance with the mandatory reporting
requirement, other factors that strongly militate against the granting of petitioners
claims exist in this case.

The medical certificate pertains to a blow on Delfins back caused by a metal


board and for which he complained of persistent pain in the chest and upper
abdominal region. However, the injury that showed up in his chest x-ray and MRI
for which he claimed compensation pertains to a different portion of his body, i.e.,
a fracture in one of his ribs. Besides, if indeed there is truth to petitioners
assertion that Delfin continued to experience pain after he was hit by a metal
board on his back, then why did he not request for reassessment as advised or
submit himself to the mandatory reporting requirement after he was repatriated?
What is glaring instead is that against all these, petitioners only offered their bare
allegation that Delfins medical condition did not improve thereafter. Second,
while Delfin averred that he experienced on-and-off pain even prior to the June
26, 2001 incident, there exists no record thereof. On the contrary, Delfin himself
claimed that despite the pain, he "remained calm and unbothered by the same."
As a final note, it must be mentioned that the Court respects and upholds the
principle of liberality in construing the POEA-SEC in favor of the seafarer.
Nonetheless, it cannot grant claims for compensation based on mere
conjectures.

24. Bel Chem Phil Inc v Zafra


FACTS:
Zafra was hired as a wiper by Belchem, through its local manning agent UPL,
for a period of four (4) months under a duly approved contract of employment.
Records reveal that on July 17, 2009, Zafra boarded MT Chemtrans Havel and
while onboard, he sustained injuries on his left knee after hitting the floor on his
way to the ship's engine room to check for leaks; he was advised to undergo xray examination and was repattriated for further medical treatment in the
Philippiines. Upon his arrival, he immediately reported to the UPL office and was
sent to the petitioners designated physician, Dr. Lim at the Metropolitan Medical
Center, Marine Medical Services; the attending physician found him to have
probable Medial Meniscal Tear, Left knee and Anterior Cruciate Ligament
(ACL) Tear, Left Knee which required surgery;6 that on January 5, 2010, he
underwent a procedure known as Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction costing him
more than one (1) week of confinement and subsequent rehabilitation measures
for him to walk again.
On April 19, 2010, or within the 240-day treatment period, the attending doctor,
William Chuasuan, Jr. (Dr. Chuasuan, Jr.), wrote a letter to Dr. Lim stating that
the suggested disability grading of Zafras injuries was 20% of Grade 10, which
under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Standard
Employment Contract (POEA-SEC), was equivalent to US$3,590.73.
Thereafter, Zafra filed a complaint for payment of permanent total disability
benefits. He also demanded a copy of his medical records from petitioners but he
was not given one.
The LA declared Zafra entiled to disability benefits in the amount of $3,590.73.
The LA reasoned out, among others, that Zafras claim for the maximum benefit
of US$60,000.00 was unsubstantiated considering that (1) the assessment of the
company- designated physician of his injury as Grade 10 should be respected;
and (2) he failed to present the medical findings showing total and permanent
disability.
On appeal, the NLRC, reversed and set aside the findings of the LA awarded
US$60,000.00. Pointing out that, in disability compensation, what was being
compensated was not the injury per se but the incapacity to work. Considering
that more than 240 days from date of repatriation had lapsed without any
declaration of fitness to work from the company-designated physician, the NLRC
found him entitled to receive permanent total disability benefit.
The CA affirmed the decision of the NLRC. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Zafra should have been declared as partially disabled with a
Grade 10 disability and entitled to $3,590.73 only?

HELD:
No. The rulings of the NLRC and CA is hereby adopted.
Zafra contended that his entitlement to fulldisability benefits was in accord with
the following facts:1. The petitioners did not declare his fitness to work or the
existence of his permanent disability within the 240-day period.
2. The petitioners medical records of his condition have shown to have remained
the same from the time he sustained his injury until August 20, 2010.
3. He remains unemployed from the time of his repatriation and is unable to
perform the same physical activities he was able to do prior to his injury.
There is no dispute that Zafra has been suffering permanent disability because
he has remained unable to resume sea duties after the lapse of the 240-day
period. The dispute is simply whether such permanent disability is partial or total
in character. If the permanent disability is partial, then Zafra shall be entitled to
US$3,590.73 only, the amount corresponding to the assessed Grade 10 disability
pursuant to the schedule provided in the POEA- SEC. If it is total, Zafra shall
receive the maximum US$60,000.00 as compensation.
The Court has reiterated in many cases that total permanent disability means the
disablement of an employee to earn wages in the same kind of work that he was
trained for, or accustomed to perform, or any kind of work which a person of his
mentality and attainments could do. It does not mean absolute helplessness. In
disability compensation, it is not the injury which is compensated, but rather it is
the incapacity to work resulting in the impairment of one's earning capacity.
Partial disability, on the one hand, is when the employee suffers a permanent
partial loss of the use of any part of his body as a result of the injury or sickness.
In Vicente v. Employees Compensation Commission, the Court laid down
the litmus test and distinction between Permanent Total Disability and
Permanent Partial Disability, to wit:
While permanent total disability invariably results in an
employees loss of work or inability to perform his usual work,
permanent partial disability, on the other hand, occurs when an
employee loses the use of any particular anatomical part of his
body which disables him to continue with his former work. Stated
otherwise, the test of whether or not an employee suffers from
permanent total disability is a showing of the capacity of the
employee to continue performing his work notwithstanding the
disability he incurred. Thus, if by reason of the injury or sickness
he sustained, the employee is unable to perform his customary
job for more than 120 or [240] days and he does not come within
the coverage of Rule X of the Amended Rules on Employees

Compensability (which, in a more detailed manner, describes


what constitutes temporary total disability), then the said
employee undoubtedly suffers from permanent total disability
regardless of whether or not he loses the use of any part of his
body.
To the petitioners, this assessment forecloses any claim that Zafras injury is total
or one that incapacitates the employee to continue performing his work. They
treat it as the certification required under Section 20 (B)(3) of the POEA-SEC30
as it contained his degree of disability and fitness to resume sea duties.
The statement, however, is clearly devoid of any definitive declaration as to the
capacity of Zafra to return to work or at least a categorical and final degree of
disability. As pointed out by the CA, all the medical certificates found in the record
merely recited his medical history and, worse, it made no mention as to whether
the seafarer was even capable of resuming work. In fact, it was merely a
suggestion coming from the attending doctor and not from the companydesignated physician, as if the letter was written while the process of evaluation
was still being completed. To stress, Section 20 (B)(3) of the POEA-SEC requires
the declaration of fit to work or the degree of permanent disability by the
company-designated physician and not by anyone else.31 Here, it was only Dr.
Chuasuan, Jr. who signed the suggested assessment, addressing the letter
solely to Dr. Lim, the company-designated physician. Taken in this context, no
assessment, definitive in character, from the company-designated physicians
end was issued to reflect whether Zafra was fit or unfit to resume duties within
the 120/240 day period, as the case may be. Thus, the Court deems him unfit to
resume work on board a sea vessel.
It makes sense then to conclude that because Zafra has been deemed unfit to
work after the expiration of the 240-day period, it would be illogical to declare him
as merely permanently, partially disabled. To reiterate, partial disability exists only
if a seafarer is found capable of resuming sea duties within the 120/240 period.
Here, there was no such finding. Thus, the petitioners claim that Zafra only
suffered a partial disability has undoubtedly no basis on record. If at all, the basis
was not strong enough to merit its affirmation by the NLRC and the CA.
Verily, there is no question that Zafra has remained in a state of disability that has
become permanent and total considering that no certification, compliant with the
POEA-SEC and the Labor Code, was issued within the 120/240-day period.

25. Cagatin v Magsaysay

NORMILITO R. CAGATIN v. MAGSAYSAY MARITIME CORPORATION and


C.S.C.S. INTERNATIONAL NV
Facts:
On March 16, 2001, respondent Magsaysay Maritime Corporation employed
petitioner Normilito R. Cagatin in behalf of its foreign principal, C.S.C.S.
International NV for the position of Cabin Steward on board the vessel Costa
Atlantica, under a contract of Employment for a period of 7 months and with a
basic salary of $298.00 per month.
On April 24, 2001, petitioner started working at the ship of Costa Atlantica.
However, on May 27, 2001 he was assigned to work at another ship, Costa
Tropicale, which was on drydock. There, he performed tasks such as cleaning
the ship and lifting objects like furniture, steel vaults and others for almost 2
months. After the ship had sailed, petitioner started performing his official duty as
Cabin Steward and during which he felt a crackle or a slip in his back or spinal
bone, which was followed by an intense pain in his lower back. He was brought
to the clinic and was given shots of a painkiller for about three days before he
resumed work.
Upon disembarkation in Italy, he underwent a medical examination and X-ray
procedure and subsequently told by the doctor that he could no longer continue
working in the vessel.
On August 1, 2001 upon return to the Philippines, petitioner immediately went the
company-designated physician Dr. Nicodemes Cruz. He underwent an MRI of
spine and the finding was he had a small central disc protrusion with annular
fissure formulation. Dr. Cruz referred the petitioner to specialists while continuing
treating the petitioner.
On January 10, 2002, upon petitioner was subjected to another test and Dr. Cruz
reported that the results of his test was normal. Dr. Cruz further reported that the
petitioner has no low back pain and range of motion of his trunk is full and has
improved tolerance to prolonged sitting, standing and walking and lifting capacity
has improved to 40kilos. But, petitioner was advised to continue physical and
occupational therapy and to return on January 18, 2002.
Petitioner returned on January 15, 2002 and Dr. Cruz executed an affidavit
declaring petitioner as fit to work.
On August 6, 2002 (almost 7 months later), petitioner went to another physician
Dr. Enrique Collantes, Jr., for another opinion. Dr. Collantes declared that
petitioner was no longer fit to work at sea and gave petitioner a disability
grading of 8 (33.59) for his injury. The finding contradicts Dr. Cruzs findings.

Petitioner filed his claim before the NLRC claiming for Disability Benefits and
damages from respondents.
LA promulgated a decision in favor of petitioner and ordered respondent to pay
his disability benefits. LA found that Dr. Cruzs recommendation that petitioner
was fit to work was without basis as petitioner was still experiencing back pain.
LA defined fit to wor as the employee being in the same condition he was in at
the time he boarded the vessel.
On appeal, NLRC reversed and set aside the decision of the LA. It held that the
power and authority to assess and declare a seafarers disability or report him as
fit to work is vested solely on the company designated-physician and such should
be accorded respect in the absence of bad faith, malice or fraud.
Petitioner filed a petition before the CA. CA affirmed the ruling of the NLRC and
noted that the report of the chosen physician of the petitioner came 7 months
after he was declared fit to work, raising the possibility that his condition has
been caused by other factors.
Hence, the petition.
Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to disability benefits as recommended by his
chosen physician, contrary to the finding that he was fit to work as earlier
reported by his his employers company-designated physician.
Held:
No. Petitioner failed to meet standard of substantial evidenc to prove his
claim.
In the case of claims for disability benefits, the onus probandi falls on the
seafarer as claimant to establish his claim with the right quantum of evidence. In
the case at bar, petitioner failed to meet the standard of substantial evidence
when he not only failed to present his own physicians report with supporting
tests and examinations which would have objectively established his supposed
permanent disability and he was also unable to substantiate his claim of bad
faith, malice and abuse or manifest partiality on the findings of the companydesignated physician. SC further held, that in cases of disability benefits claims
that in the absence of adequate tests and reasonable findings to support the
same, a doctors assessment should not be taken at face value. Diagnostic tests
and/or procedures as would adequately refute the normal results of those
administered to the petitioner by the company-designated physicians are
necessary for his claims to be sustained.

26. One Shipping Corp v Penafil

ONE SHIPPING CORP., and/or ONE SHIPPING KABUSHIKI KAISHA/JAPAN


v. IMELDA C. PENAFIEL
Facts:
Respondent is the wife of the late Ildefonso S. Pefiafiel who was hired by
petitioner, One Shipping Corp., as Second Engineer on board the vessel MV I
ACX Magnolia with a monthly basic salary of US$1,120.00 for a duration of 12
months. Ildefonso boarded the vessel on August 29, 2004 and died on July 2,
2005.
Respondent alleged that while Ildefonso was performing his task on board, the
latter felt a throbbing pain in his chest and shortening of breath, as if he was
about to fall. Thinking that the same was due to heavy workload, he took a rest.
Later on he informed his supervisor about the pain but the latter ignored him. On
May 21, 2005, Ildefonso disembarked from the vessel and returned to the
Philippines on the same day. Upon arrival Ildefonso reported to the petitioners
manning agency to ask for medical attention for his condition, instead of being
sent for post medical examination, Ildefonso was allegedly informed by the
petitioners that he was already scheduled for his next deployment. Thus,
Ildefonso was required to undergo the pre-employment medical examination at
the PMP Diagnostic Center, Inc. on July 2, 2005. However, after allegedly
completing the medical and laboratory examinations, Ildefonso collapsed and
was immediately brought to the Philippine General Hospital at 2:05 p.m. of the
same day due to myocardial infarction. As a result, respondent asserts that she
called up petitioner manning agency and told them about the incident hoping that
she would be given the necessary benefits.
Petitioners admitted that they contracted the services of the late Ildefonso,
however, they denied any liability for the claims of the respondent for Ildefonso
died on July 2, 2005 and he was no longer an employee of the petitioners as he
voluntarily terminated his employment contract with the petitioners on April 9,
2005.
The Labor Arbiter (LA) dismissed the complaint for lack of merit. On appeal, the
National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) affirmed the decision of the LA.
Respondent filed a petition before the Court of Appeals. CA granted her petition
reversing the ruling of the NLRC.
Issue:
Whether or not the death of respondents spouse was work related despite the
absence of evidence to prove the findings.
Held:
No. SC declared that in order to avail of death benefits, the death of the
employee should occur during the effectivity of the employment contract. The
death of seaman during the term of the employment makes the employer liable to
his heirs for death compensation benefits. Once it is established that the seaman
died during the effectivity of his employment contract, the employer is liable. In
the case at bar, Ildefonso died after he pre-terminated the contract of
employment. That alone would have sufficed for his heirs not to be entitled for

death compensation benefits. Furthermore, there is no evidence showing that


Ildefonso acquired his illness during the term of his employment.

27. Montero v Rickmers Marine Agency Phils

NORIEL R. MONTIERRO v. RICKMERS MARINE AGENCY PHILS., INC.


Facts:
Rickmers Marine Agency Phils., Inc on behalf of its foreign principal, Global
Management Limited, hired petitioner Noriel Montierro as Ordinary Seaman with
a basic monthly salary of USD420. Noriel was assigned to work on board the
vessel MIV CSAV Maresias.
Sometime in May 2010, while on board the vessel and going down the crane
ladder, Montierro lost his balance and twisted his legs, thus injuring his right
knee. Thereafter, on May 31, 2010, he was examined in Livorno, Spain by Dr.
Roberto Santini, who recommended surgical treatment at home and found him
unfit for duty. Thus, on June 2, 2010, Montierro was repatriated to the Philippines
for further medical treatment.
On June 4, 2010, two days after his repatriation, Montierro was examined by Dr.
Natalio G. Alegre, the company-designated physician. He underwent a magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI) scan of his right knee. The MRI showed he had
meniscal tear, posterior horn of the medical meniscus, and minimal joint fluid.
Upon recommendation of Dr. Alegre, Montierro underwent surgery on his right
knee on July 29, 2010 at St. Lukes Medical Center. On Montierros second check
up, Dr. Alegre noted that the surgical wound wound had healed, but there was
still pain and limitation of motion on his right knee on gaits and squats. The
doctor advised him to undergo rehabilitation medicine and continue physical
therapy.
On September 3, 2010, 91 st day of Montierros treatment, Dr. Alegre and
interimdisability grade of 10 for stretching leg of ligaments of a knee resulting in
instability of the joint.
Petitioner had continuous treatment, therapy and intake of oral medication. On
Januray 3, 2011 the 213th day of Montierros treatment, Dr. Alegre issued a final
assessment of disability grade of 10 based on section 32 of the POEA contract
for stretching leg of ligaments of a knee resulting in instability of the joint.
Meanwhile, on December 3, 2010, one month before Dr. Alegres issuance of the
final disability grading, petitioner filed with the labor arbiter a complaint for
recovery of permanent disability in the amount of US$89,000, US$2,100 as
sickness allowance, plus moral and exemplary damages and attorneys fees. To
support his claim for total permanent disability benefits, Montierro relied on a
Medical Certificate dated December 3, 2010 issued by his physician of choice,
Dr. Jacinto, recommending total permanent disability grading.
The Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of petitioner. It held that Montierro was entitled to
permanent total disability benefits under the POEA Standard Employment
Contract (POEA-SEC). The LA relied on the 120-day rule introduce in the 2005
case Crystal Shipping, Inc. v. Natividad, where in the court equates the inability
of the seafarer to perform work for more than 120 days permanent total disability,
which entitles a seafarer to full disability benefits. The LA awarded also the onemonth sickness allowance and the attorneys fees.
On appeal, NLRC affirmed the decision of the LA.
On August 8, 2013, the CA rendered the decision partially granting the petition. It
affirmed the one-month sickness allowance but downgraded the permanent total

disability benefits to merely Grade 10 permanent partial disability benefits.


Attorneys fees were also dropped.
Hence this case.
The CA claimed that:
1. In the downgrading of the permanent total disability to Grade 10
permanent partial disability benefits, disability could not be deemed total
and permanent under the 240-day rule established by the 2008 case
Vergara v. Hammonia Maritime Services, Inc. Vergara case extends the
period to 240 days when, within the first 120-day period (reckoned from
the 1st day of treatment), a final assessment cannot be made because the
seafarer requires further medical attention, provided a declaration has
been made to this effect. It claimed further that, in the case at bar, Dr.
Alegre issued an interimdisability grade of 10 on September 3, 2010,
which was within the 120 day-period; and
2. As jurisprudential rule, in case of conflict, it is the recommendation issued
by the company-designated physician that prevails over the
recommendation of the claimants physician of choice.
Issue:
1. Whether or not the 120-day or the 240-day rule should apply; and
2. Whether or not the opinion of the company doctor or of the personal
doctor of the seafarer should prevail.
Rulings:
1. 240-day rule applies to this case. SC citing the 2013 case of Kystrel
Shipping Co. Inc. v. Munar, where in the Court delineated the effectivity of
the Crystal and Vergara rulings. Thus, if maritime compensation complaint
was filed prior to October 6, 2008, the 120-day rule applies and if it filed
October 6, 2008 onwards, the 240 day rule applies. In the case at bar,
petitioner filed his complaint on December 3, 2010, thus the 240-day rule
applies. The extension to 240-days is further justified by the issuance of
the company doctor, Dr. Alegre of an interimdisability grade 10 on
September 3, 2010 which is within the 120-day period. CA ruling is
correct.
2. For failure of the petitioner to observe procedure, the assessment of the
company doctor should prevail. Vergara ruling also settled the question
how the conflict between two disability assessments the assessment of
the company designated physician and that of the seafarers chosen
physician. 2000 POEA-SEC provides for the procedure to be followed for
the determination of the of the liability for the work-related death, illness or
injury in the case of overseas Filipino seafarers and the procedure is as
follows:

When a seafarer sustains a work-related illness or injury while


on board the vessel, his fitness to work shall be determined by
the company-designated physician and the physician has 120days or 240 days, if validly extended, to make the assessment.
If the physician appointed by the seafarer disagrees with the
assessment of the company-designated physician, the
appointment of a third doctor may be agreed jointly between the
employer and the seafarer, whose decision shall be final and
binding.
Procedure should be strictly followed, if not availed of or
followed strictly by the seafarer, the assessment of the
company-designated physician stands.
In the case at bar, petitioner failed to observe the procedure, thus the
assessment of the company-designated physician stands.

28. Gargallo v Dohle seafront Crewing Inc

SSS Law
1. SSC v Azcote

2. SSS v Favilla

3. Mendoza v People
FACTS:
Romarico Mendoza (petitioner) was the company president of Summa Alta Tierra
Industries, Inc. (SATII). During the month of August 1998 to July 1999, the
employees contend that Mendoza failed and/or refuse to remit the SSS Premium
contributions in favor of the employees amounting to P421, 151.09. Such amount
was also the monthly premium contributions of SATII employees to SSS. After
SSS advising Mendoza to pay the amount, Mendoza proposed to settle it over a
period of 18 months, which the SSS approved. Despite the extensions granted
by SSS to Mendoza, Mendoza still failed to settle the amount. Thus, the
employees filed an information against Mendoza. Mendoza contends that during
the period of August 1998 to July 1999, SATII shut down due to the general
decline in the economy. Thus, the non-remittance was done in good faith.
Issue:
Whether or not good faith can be a defense for failure to remit the SSS Premium
Ruling:
Remittance of contribution to the SSS under Sec. 22 of the Social Security Act is
mandatory. No discretion or alternative is granted to the SSS Commission in the
enforcement of the laws mandate that the employer who fails to comply with his
legal obligation to remit the premiums to the SSS shall pay a penalty of 3% per
month. Good faith or bad faith is irrelevant since the law makes no distinction
between an employer who professes good reasons for delaying remittance of
premiums and another who deliberately disregards the legal duty imposed upon
him to make such remittance. From the moment the remittance of premiums due
is delay, the penalty immediately attaches to the delayed premium payments by
force of law. Failure to comply with the law being malum prohibitum, intent to
commit it or good faith is immaterial.

4. SSS v Signey
FACTS:
Rodolfo Signey, a SSS member, died on May 21, 2001. In his records, he
declared Yolanda as primary beneficiary and his 4 children with her as secondary
beneficiaries. Yolanda then claimed for the benefits in SSS and she revealed that
the deceased had a common-law wife named Gina Servano, with whom the
deceased had 2 minor children (Ginalyn and Rodelyn). This was indeed
confirmed because Gina likewise, claimed for benefits. She declared that,
Yolanda and she were just the common-law wives, and Editha Espinosa was the
legal wife. Editha then also claimed for the benefits stating that she indeed was
the legal wife.
SSS denied the death benefits claim by Yolanda, but recognized the two minor
children of Gina as the primary beneficiaries of the deceased under the SSS
Law. SSS was also able to discover that the marriage between Yolanda and
Rodolfo were null and void for having been contracted while Rodolfos marriage
with Editha still subsisted as confirmed by the Civil Registry.
Issue:
Who is entitled to the SSS benefits of a member who was survived not only by
his legal wife, but also by two common-law wives with whom he had six children?
Held:
The Court agreed with SSS, stating that the two minor children of the deceased
with Gina was entitled 100% of the benefits as provided by the SSS Law. The
SSS Law was clear in stating that for a minor child to qualify as a dependent
entitled the benefit, the only requirement was that the child must be below 21
years of age, not married nor gainfully employed.
Though Editha waived her claim for the rights to the claim of benefits, it was not a
strong ground for Yolandas claim because she did not even try to allege and
prove any infirmity in the marriage between the deceased and Editha, after
having been proven that her marriage with Rodolfo was null and void. She was
disqualified because thet did not have a legitimate child or children. Under the
SSS Law, it follows that the dependent illegitimate minor children of the
deceased shall be entitled the death benefits as the primary beneficiaries.

5. SSS v Jarque
FACTS:
In 1955 Clemente Bailon and Alice Diaz married in Barcelona, Sorsogon. Fifteen
plus years later, Clemente filed an action to declare the presumptive death of
Alice, she being an absentee. The petition was granted in 1970.
In 1983, Clemente married Jarque. The two live together until Clementes death
in 1998. Jarque then sought to claim her husbands SSS benefits and the same
were granted her. On the other hand, a certain Cecilia Bailon-Yap who claimed
that she is the daughter of Bailon to a certain Elisa Jayona petitioned before the
SSS that they be given the reimbursement for the funeral spending for it was
actually them who shouldered the burial expenses of Clemente.
They further claim that Clemente contracted three marriages; one with Alice,
another with Elisa and the other with Jarque. Cecilia also averred that Alice is
alive and kicking and Alice subsequently emerged; Cecilia claimed that Clemente
obtained the declaration of Alices presumptive death in bad faith for he was
aware of the whereabouts of Alice or if not he could have easily located her in her
parents place. She was in Sorsogon all along in her parents place. She went
there upon learning that Clemente had been having extra-marital affairs.
SSS then ruled that Jarque should reimburse what had been granted her and to
return the same to Cecilia since she shouldered the burial expenses and that the
benefits should go to Alice because her reappearance had terminated
Clementes marriage with Jarque. Further, SSS ruled that the RTCs decision in
declaring Alice to be presumptively death is erroneous. Teresita appealed the
decision of the SSS before the Social Security Comission and the SSC affirmed
SSS. The CA however ruled the contrary.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the mere appearance of the absent spouse declared
presumptively dead automatically terminates the subsequent marriage.
HELD:
There is no previous marriage to restore for it is terminated upon Clementes
death. Likewise there is no subsequent marriage to terminate for the same is
terminated upon Clementes death. SSS is correct in ruling that it is inutile for
Alice to pursue the recording of her reappearance before the local civil registrar
through an affidavit or a court action. But it is not correct for the SSS to rule upon
the declaration made by the RTC.
The SSC or the SSS has no judicial power to review the decision of the RTC.
SSS is indeed empowered to determine as to who should be the rightful
beneficiary of the benefits obtained by a deceased member in case of disputes
but such power does not include the appellate power to review a court decision

or declaration. In the case at bar, the RTC ruling is binding and Jarques marriage
to Clemente is still valid because no affidavit was filed by Alice to make known
her reappearance legally. Alice reappeared only after Clementes death and in
this case she can no longer file such an affidavit; in this case the bad faith [or
good faith] of Clemente can no longer be raised the marriage herein is
considered voidable and must be attacked directly not collaterally it is however
impossible for a direct attack since there is no longer a marriage to be attacked
for the same has been terminated upon Clementes death.

GSIS Law
1. Gership Association v GSIS

2. GSIS v De Leon
FACTS:
Respondent Fernando P. de Leon retired as Chief State Prosecutor of the
Department of Justice (DOJ) in 1992, after 44 years of service to the
government. He applied for retirement under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 910,
invoking R.A. No. 3783, as amended by R.A. No. 4140, which provides that chief
state prosecutors hold the same rank as judges. Thereafter, and for more than
nine years, respondent continuously received his retirement benefits, until 2001,
when he failed to receive his monthly pension.
Respondent learned that GSIS cancelled the payment of his pension because
the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) informed GSIS that
respondent was not qualified to retire under R.A. No. 910; that the law was
meant to apply only to justices and judges; and that having the same rank and
qualification as a judge did not entitle respondent to the retirement benefits
provided thereunder.
Respondent then filed a petition for mandamus before the CA, praying that
petitioner be compelled to continue paying his monthly pension and to pay his
unpaid monthly benefits from 2001. The CA granted the petition. Petitioner GSIS
is now before this Court, assailing the Decision of the CA and the Resolution
denying its motion for reconsideration. GSIS argues that the writ of mandamus
issued by the CA is not proper because it compels petitioner to perform an act
that is contrary to law.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA erred in granting the petition for mandamus
HELD:
This case involves a former government official who, after honorably serving
office for 44 years, was comfortably enjoying his retirement in the relative
security of a regular monthly pension, but found himself abruptly denied the
benefit and left without means of sustenance. This is a situation that obviously
cries out for the proper application of retirement laws, which are in the class of
social legislation. Indeed, retirement laws are liberally construed and
administered in favor of the persons intended to be benefited, and all doubts are
resolved in favor of the retiree to achieve their humanitarian purpose.
In this case, respondent was able to establish that he has a clear legal right to
the reinstatement of his retirement benefits. In stopping the payment of
respondents monthly pension, GSIS relied on the memorandum of the DBM,
which, in turn, was based on the Chief Presidential Legal Counsels opinion that
respondent, not being a judge, was not entitled to retire under R.A. No. 910. And
because respondent had been mistakenly allowed to receive retirement benefits
under R.A. No. 910, GSIS erroneously concluded that respondent was not

entitled to any retirement benefits at all, not even under any other extant
retirement law. This is flawed logic.
Respondents disqualification from receiving retirement benefits under R.A. No.
910 does not mean that he is disqualified from receiving any retirement benefit
under any other existing retirement law.
Prior to the effectivity of R.A. No. 8291, retiring government employees who were
not entitled to the benefits under R.A. No. 910 had the option to retire under
either of two laws: Commonwealth Act No. 186, as amended by R.A. No. 660, or
P.D. No. 1146.
In his Comment, respondent implicitly indicated his preference to retire under
P.D. No. 1146, since this law provides for higher benefits, and because the same
was the latest law at the time of his retirement in 1992.
Under P.D. No. 1146, to be eligible for retirement benefits, one must satisfy the
following requisites:
Section 11. Conditions for Old-Age Pension.
(a) Old-age pension shall be paid to a member who:
(1) has at least fifteen years of service;
(2) is at least sixty years of age; and
(3) is separated from the service.
Respondent had complied with these requirements at the time of his retirement.
GSIS does not dispute this. Accordingly, respondent is entitled to receive the
benefits provided under Section 12 of the same law. To grant respondent these
benefits does not equate to double retirement, as GSIS mistakenly claims. Since
respondent has been declared ineligible to retire under R.A. No. 910, GSIS
should simply apply the proper retirement law to respondents claim, in
substitution of R.A. No. 910.
It must also be underscored that GSIS itself allowed respondent to retire under
R.A. No. 910, following jurisprudence laid down by this Court.
One could hardly fault respondent, though a seasoned lawyer, for relying on
petitioners interpretation of the pertinent retirement laws, considering that the
latter is tasked to administer the governments retirement system. He had the
right to assume that GSIS personnel knew what they were doing. Since the
change in circumstances was through no fault of respondent, he cannot be
prejudiced by the same.
DENIED

3. GSIS v Alcaraz