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Smart Communications vs Astorga 542 scra 153 (2007) FACTS: Regina M.

Astorga (Astorga) was employed by respondent Smart Communications, Incorporated (SMART) on May 8, 1997 as District Sales Manager of the Corporate Sales Marketing Group/ Fixed Services Division (CSMG/FSD). As District Sales Manager, Astorga enjoyed additional benefits, namely, annual performance incentive equivalent to 30% of her annual gross salary, a group life and hospitalization insurance coverage, and a car plan in the amount of P455,000.00. On May 18, 1998, SMART sent a letter to Astorga demanding that she pay the current market value of the Honda Civic Sedan which was given to her under the companys car plan program, or to surrender the same to the company for proper disposition. Astorga, however, failed and refused to do either, thus prompting SMART to file a suit for replevin with the Regional Trial Court of Makati (RTC) on August 10, 1998. In February 1998, SMART launched an organizational realignment to achieve more efficient operations. This was made known to the employees on February 27, 1998. Part of the reorganization was the outsourcing of the marketing and sales force. Thus, SMART entered into a joint venture agreement with NTT of Japan, and formed SMART-NTT Multimedia, Incorporated (SNMI). Since SNMI was formed to do the sales and marketing work, SMART abolished the CSMG/FSD, Astorgas division. SNMI agreed to absorb the CSMG personnel who would be recommended by SMART.SMART then conducted a performance evaluation of CSMG personnel and those who garnered the highest ratings were favorably recommended to SNMI. Astorga landed last in the performance evaluation, thus, she was not recommended by SMART. SMART offered her a supervisory position in the Customer Care Dept but she refused the offer. On March 3, 1998, SMART issued a memorandum advising Astorga of the termination of her employment on ground of redundancy, effective April 3, 1998. Astorga received it on March 16, 1998. The termination of her employment prompted Astorga to file a Complaint for illegal dismissal, non-payment of salaries and other benefits with prayer for moral and exemplary damages against SMART. She claimed that abolishing CSMG and, consequently, terminating her employment was illegal for it violated her right to security of tenure. ISSUE: Whether the dismissal of Astorga be valid or illegal. Whether or not the RTC has no jurisdiction over the complaint for recovery of a car which Astorga acquired as part of her employee benefit. HELD: Astorga is declared validly dismissed. Astorga was terminated due to redundancy, which is one of the authorized causes for the dismissal of an employee. Redundancy in an employers personnel force necessarily or even ordinarily refers to duplication of work. The characterization of an employees services as superfluous or no longer necessary and, therefore, properly terminable, is an exercise of business judgment on the part of the employer. An employer is not precluded from adopting a new policy conducive to a more economical and effective management even if it is not experiencing economic reverses. Neither does the law require that the employer should suffer financial losses before he can terminate the services of the employee on the ground of redundancy. But while tilting the scales of justice in favor of workers, the fundamental law also guarantees the right of the employer to reasonable returns for his investment. In this light, we must acknowledge the prerogative of the employer to adopt such measures as will promote greater efficiency, reduce overhead costs and enhance prospects of economic gains, albeit always within the framework of existing laws. However, SMART failed to comply with the mandated one (1) month notice prior to termination. The record is clear that Astorga received the notice of termination only on March 16, 1998 or less than a month prior to its effectively on April 3, 1998. Likewise, the Department of Labor and Employment was notified of the redundancy program only on March 6, 1998.Article 283 of the Labor Code clearly provides: Art. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof x x x. The RTC rightfully assumed jurisdiction over the suit and acted well within its discretion in denying Astorgas motion to dismiss. SMARTs demand for payment of the market value of the car or, in the alternative, the surrender of the car, is not a labor, but a civil, dispute. It involves the relationship of debtor and creditor rather than employee-employer relations. As such, the dispute falls within the jurisdiction of the regular courts. Replevin is a possessory action, the gist of which is the right of possession in the plaintiff. The primary relief sought therein is the return of the property in specie wrongfully detained by another person. It is an ordinary statutory proceeding to adjudicate rights to the title or possession of personal property. The question of whether or not a party has the right of possession over the property involved and if so, whether or not the adverse party has wrongfully taken and detained said property as to require its return to plaintiff, is outside the pale of competence of a labor tribunal and beyond the field of specialization of Labor Arbiters.

Sta. Lucia East Commercial Corp. vs Sec. of Labor GR No. 162355, August 14, 2009 FACTS: On February 2001, Confederated Labor Union of the Philippines (CLUP), instituted a petition for certification election among the regular rank-and-file employees of petitioner and its affiliates. The Med Arbiter ordered the dismissal of the petition due to inappropriateness of the bargaining unit. In the meantime, CLUP-Sta. Lucia reorganized itself and re-registered itself as CLUPSLECCAWA and filed a petition. The company filed a motion to dismiss and averred that its recognized the CLUP- Sta. Lucia and as the exclusive bargaining agent of its regular rank-and-file employees and that the collective bargaining negotiation already commenced. On November 2001, a CBA was ratified between the company and the CLUP-Sta. Lucia. CLUP-SLECCAWA opposed the execution of CBA as the same is tainted with malice, collusion and conspiracy. Med Arbiter dismissed CLUP-SLECCAWAs petition for direct certification on the ground of contract bar rule. On appeal, SOLE reversed and set aside Med Arbiters decision. The company filed a petition before the CA, the CA affirmed the ruling of SOLE. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether the CA erred in affirming the DOLE decision. Ruling: The petition has no merit. The inclusion in the union of disqualified employees is not among the grounds for cancellation of registration, unless such inclusion is due to misrepresentation, false statement or fraud under the circumstances enumerated in Sections (a) to (c ) of Article 239 of the Labor Code. Thus, CLUP-Sta. Lucia and its Affiliates Workers Union, having been validly issued a certificate of registration, should be considered as having acquired juridical personality which may not be attacked collaterally. The proper procedure for the company is to file a petition for cancellation of certificate of registration and not to immediately commence voluntary recognition proceedings. The petition is denied. Patrcia Halaguea et,al. v. PAL G.R. No. 172013, October 2, 2009. Facts: Petitioners were employed as flight attendants of respondent on different dates prior to November 1996. They are members of FASAP union exclusive bargaining organization of the flight attendants, flight stewards and pursers. On July 2001, respondent and FASAP entered into a CBA incorporating the terms and conditions of their agreement for the years 2000 to 2005 (compulsory retirement of 55 for female and 60 for males). In July 2003, petitioner and several female cabin crews, in a letter, manifested that the provision in CBA on compulsory retirement is discriminatory. On July 2004, FASAP president submitted their willingness to commence the collective bargaining negotiations at the soonest possible time. On the same month, petitioners filed a Special Civil Action for Declaratory Relief with issuance of TRO with the RTC Makati. The RTC issued a TRO. After the denial of the respondent on its motion for reconsideration for the TRO, it filed a Petition with the CA. CA granted respondents petition and ordered lower court to dismiss the case. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether the provision on compulsory retirement in CBA is unlawful and unconstitutional. Ruling: The petitioners primary relief in Civil Case No. 04-886 is the annulment of Section 144, Part A of the PAL-FASAP CBA, which allegedly discriminates against them for being female flight attendants. The subject of litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation, exclusively cognizable by the RTC, pursuant to Section 19 (1) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended. Being an ordinary civil action, the same is beyond the jurisdiction of labor tribunals. The said issue cannot be resolved solely by applying the Labor Code. Rather, it requires the application of the Constitution, labor statutes, law on contracts and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the power to apply and interpret the constitution and CEDAW is within the jurisdiction of trial courts, a court of general jurisdiction. In Georg Grotjahn GMBH & Co. v. Isnani, this Court held that not every dispute between an employer and employee involves matters that only labor arbiters and the NLRC can resolve in the exercise of their adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. The jurisdiction of labor arbiters and the NLRC under Article217 of the Labor Code is limited to dispute arising from an employer-employee relationship which can only be resolved by reference to the Labor Code other labor statutes, or their collective bargaining agreement.

SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION (MANDAUE PACKAGING PRODUCTS PLANTS), petitioner, vs. MANDAUE PACKING PRODUCTS PLANTS-SAN PACKAGING PRODUCTS SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION MONTHLIES RANK-ANDFILE UNION FFW (MPPP-SMPP-SMAMRFU-FFW), respondent. Facts: On 15 June 1998, respondent, identifying itself as an affiliate of Federation of Free Workers (FFW), filed a petition for certification election with the DOLE Regional Office. In the petition, respondent stated that it sought to be certified and to represent the permanent rank-and-file monthly paid employees of the petitioner. A set of documents were attached to the petition, including a (1) Charter Certificate issued by FFW certifying that respondent was a duly certified local chapter of FFW, (2) copy of the constitution of respondent, (3) a list of respondents officers, (4) a certification signifying that respondent had just been organized and no amount had yet been collected from its members and (5) a list of all the rank-and-file monthly paid employees of the Mandaue Packaging Products Plants and Mandaue Glass Plant On 27 July 1998, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the petition for certification election on the sole ground that herein respondent is not listed or included in the roster of legitimate labor organizations based on the certification issued by the Officer-In-Charge, Regional Director of the DOLE Regional Office. Undersecretary Baldoz concluded that respondent acquired legal personality as early as 15 June 1998, the date it submitted the required documents, citing Section 3, Rule VI of the New Rules Implementing the Labor Code (Implementing Rules) which deems that a local/chapter acquires legal personality from the date of filing of the complete documentary requirements as mandated in the Implementing Rules. These two conclusions of the DOLE were affirmed in the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals Issue: Whether or not respondent has acquired legal personality Held: YES. It could be properly said that at the exact moment respondent was filing the petition for certification, it did not yet possess any legal personality, since the requisites for acquisition of legal personality under Section 3, Rule VI of Department Order No. 9 had not yet been complied with. It could also be discerned that the intention of the Labor Code and its Implementing Rules that only those labor organizations that have acquired legal personality are capacitated to file petitions for certification elections. Such is the general rule. Yet there are peculiar circumstances in this case that allow the Court to rule that respondent acquired the requisite legal personality at the same time it filed the petition for certification election. In doing so, the Court acknowledges that the strict letter of the procedural rule was not complied with. However, labor laws are generally construed liberally in favor of labor, especially if doing so affirms the constitutionally guaranteed right to self-organization. Under Section 3, Rule VI of Department Order No. 9, it is the submission of these same documents to the Regional Office or Bureau that operates to vest legal personality on the local/chapter. There is no doubt that on 15 June 1998, or the date respondent filed its petition for certification election, attached thereto were respondents constitution, the names and addresses of its officers, and the charter certificate issued by the national union FFW. However, respondent never submitted a separate by-laws, nor does it appear that respondent ever intended to prepare a set thereof. Section 1(c), Rule VI, Book V of Department Order No. 9 provides that the submission of both a constitution and a set of by-laws is required, or at least an indication that the local/chapter is adopting the constitution and by-laws of the federation or national union. A literal reading of the provision might indicate that the failure to submit a specific set of by-laws is fatal to the recognition of the local/chapter. However, a critical examination of respondents constitution reveals that it is sufficiently comprehensive in establishing the necessary rules for its operation. These premises considered, there is clearly no need for a separate set of by-laws to be submitted by respondent. TAPE v SERVAA GR No. 167648 | January 28, 2008Nature: Petition for Review on Certiorari of the Decision and Resolution of the CA Petitioner: Television and Production Exponents (TAPE), Antonio Tuviera Respondent: Roberto Servaa Quick Summary: Servaa, a security guard of TAPE stationed at Broadway Centrum, was dismissed due to redundancy and the companys decision to engage the services of a professional security agency. The Court held that although the existence of an employer-employee relationship is a factual issue, the Court can still assume jurisdiction especially if the findings of lower courts/ agencies are conflicting (NLRC with those of CA and Labor Arbiters).Looking at the following facts, the Court held that Servaa is an employee of TAPE: Vis--vis the four fold test Servaa was absorbed by TAPE, thus, he was hired by TAPE. He received a fixed amount as monthly compensation for the services he rendered to TAPE. The Memorandum informing respondent of the discontinuance of his service proves that TAPE had the power to dismiss respondent. Control is manifested in the bundy cards submitted by respondent in evidence. He was required to report daily and observe definite work hours. Identification card of Servaa shows he is an employee.

TAPE failed to adduce any evidence to prove that it compliedwith the requirements laid down in Policy Instruction No. 40for Servaa to qualify as Independent contractor. (did notpresent contract , did not comply with contract registration requirement) He had been continuously under the employ of TAPE from1995 until his termination in March 2000, or for a span of 5years. He is considered a regular employee under Article 280of the Labor Code.Facts: Roberto Servaa had served as a security guard for TAPE from March 1987 until he was terminated on March 3, 2000. He was first connected with Agro-Commercial Security Agency, which assigned him to assist TAPE in its live productions. When the security agencys contract with RPN-9expired in 1995, respondent was absorbed by TAPE. The parties have agreed that Servaa would render his services until such time that TAPE shall have engaged the services of a professional security agency. TAPE started negotiations for the engagement of a professional security agency, Sun Shield Security Agency. TAPE issued a memorandum to Servaa informing him of his impending dismissal due to TAPEs decision to contract the services of Sun Shield and redundancy. Servaa filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and non-payment of benefits against TAPE. Labor Arbiter: declared Servaa regular employee of TAPE citing nature of his work as necessary and desirable in the usual business activity of TAPE. Termination was valid on the ground of redundancy and ordered the payment of respondents separation pay. NLRC: reversed the Labor Arbiters decision and considered Servaa amere program employee. CA: regular employee of TAPE. Issue: WON an employer-employee relationship exists between TAPE and Servaa Held/ Ratio: YES. Employee-Employer relationship exists. CA decision modified, exempted Antonio Tuviera from liability absent bad faith. The factors to be considered in determining the existence of employer-employee relationship are: Selection and engagement of the employee PNOC-EDC v NLRC Facts: Danilo Mercado, an employee of the Philippine National Oil Company- Energy Development Corporation, was dismissed on the grounds of serious acts of dishonesty and violation of company rules and regulations allegedly committed as follows: 1. Withdrew P1680.00 from company funds, appropriated P680.00 for personal use and paid the nipa supplier P1000.00. 2. Withdrew P28.66 as payment for the fabrication of rubber stamp but appropriated the P8.66 for personal use. 3. Absence without leave and without proper turn-over thus disrupting and delaying company work activities. 4. Vacation leave without prior leave. Mercado filed a complaint against PNOC-EDC before the NLRC Regional Arbitration Branch. After considerations of position papers presented by both parties, the labor arbiter ruled in favour of Mercado. Issues: 1. Whether or not matters of employment of PNOC-EDC is within the jurisdiction of the labor arbiter and the NLRC. 2. Whether or not the labor arbiter and the NLRC are justified in ordering the reinstatement of the private respondent, payment of his savings, 13th month pay, and payment of damages as well as attorneys fees. Held: The High Court affirmed the resolution of the respondent NLRC with modification: reducing moral damages to P10000 and exemplary damages to P5000. 1. The test whether a government-owned or controlled corporation is subject to Civil Service Law is the manner of its creation. Those created by special charter are subject to its provision while those created under General Corporation Law are not within its coverage. The PNOC-EDC, having been incorporated under General Corporation Law, is subject to the provisions of the Labor Law. 2. PNOC-EDCs accusations are not supported by evidence. Loss of trust or breach of confidence is a valid ground for dismissing an employee, but such loss or breach must have some basis.