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Recitation in Labor Law Review

153 SCRA 38 (August 12, 1987)
Facts: Based on the facts of the case, Ramon Pilones was employed on 16 February
1978 by Cebu Royal Plant on a probationary period of 6 months. He was entrusted with
the function of a syrup man handling ingredients in the processing of soft drinks. After 6
months, he was required by the company to undergo medical examination to qualify him
as regular employee. However, the medical exam result showed that he was suffering
from Pulmonary Tuberculosis minimal. He was then informed by the company of his
termination from employment alleging that his illness is not curable within 6 months.
Aggrieved, Pilones filed a complaint for illegal dismissal with the Regional Director of
DOLE. The latter dismissed the complaint but was reversed by the Deputy Minister of
Labor finding that the private respondent was already a permanent employee at the
time of his dismissal and so was entitled to security of tenure. The alleged ground for
his removal, to wit, "pulmonary tuberculosis minimal," was not certified as incurable
within six months as to justify his separation. Additionally, Pilones insists that the
petitioner company should have first obtained a clearance, as required by the
regulations then in force, for the termination of his employment.
Cebu Royal Plant for its part claims that the Pilones was still on probation at the
time of his dismissal and so had no security of tenure. His dismissal was not only
inconformity with company policy but also necessary for the protection of the public
health, as he was handling ingredients in the processing of soft drinks which were being
sold to the public. It is also argued that the findings of the regional director, who had
direct access to the facts, should not have been disturbed on appeal. For these same
reasons, it contends, the employee's reinstatement as ordered by the public respondent
should not be allowed. Required to reinstate the separated employee and pay him back
wages, the petitioner company elevated the case to the Supreme Court faulting the
Deputy Minister with grave abuse of discretion.
The Supreme Court ruled that the six-month period of probation started from the
said date of appointment and so ended on August 17, 1978, but it is not shown that the
private respondent's employment also ended then; on the contrary, he continued
working as usual. Under Article 282 of the Labor Code, "an employee who is allowed to
work after a probationary period shall be considered a regular employee." Hence,
Pilones was already on permanent status when he was dismissed on 21 August 1978,
or four days after he ceased to be a probationer.
The petitioner claims it could not have dismissed the private respondent earlier because
the x-ray examination was made only on August 17, 1978, and the results were not

It can be surmised that if the required certification was not presented. the employer shall not terminate the employee but shall ask the employee to take a leave. as certified by competent authority." Its belated concern for the consuming public is hardly persuasive. We take this opportunity to reaffirm our concern for the lowly worker who. without more. — Where the employee suffers from a disease and his continued employment is prohibited by law or prejudicial to his health or to the health of his co-employees. its protestations now that reinstatement of Pilones would prejudice public health cannot but sound hollow and hypocritical. who was not a "competent public health authority. the petitioner had exposed its customers to the employee's disease because of its failure to examine him before entrusting him with the functions of a "syrup man. again without security of tenure. In the light of such delay. If so. 8. The record does not contain the certification required by the above rule. of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code reading as follows: Sec. we have also the health of the public and of the dismissed employee himself to consider. dismissal was unquestionably a severe and unlawful sanction. this must be conditioned on his fitness to resume his work. The employer shall reinstate such employee to his former position immediately upon the restoration of his normal health. Hence. It is error to take him for granted. That excuse is untenable. By its own implied admission. Disease as a ground for dismissal. it chose to wait until exactly the last day of the probation period." It required "not just the mere filing of a petition or the mere attempt to procure a clearance" but that "the said clearance be obtained prior to the operative act of termination. If the disease or ailment can be cured within the period. We note that when the petitioner had all of six months during which to conduct such examination. It is also worth noting that the petitioner's application for clearance to terminate the employment of the private respondent was filed with the Ministry of Labor only on August 28. or seven days after his dismissal. As the NLRC has repeatedly and correctly said. must look up to the law for his protection. 1978. the prior clearance rule (which was in force at that time) was not a "trivial technicality. There was here an attempt to circumvent the law by separating the employee after five months' service to prevent him from becoming a regular employee. We cannot permit this subterfuge if we are to be true to the spirit and mandate of social justice." and merely stated the employee's disease.immediately available. The medical certificate offered by the petitioner came from its own physician. and then rehiring him on probation. Book VI. often at the mercy of his employers. The applicable rule on the ground for dismissal invoked against him is Section 8. On the other hand. the employer shall not terminate his employment unless there is a certification by a competent public health authority that the disease is of such nature or at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of six (6) months even with proper medical treatment. although we must rule in favor of his reinstatement. He . Rule I. that law regards him with tenderness and even favor and always with faith and hope in his capacity to help in shaping the nation's future. if not clearly insincere and self-righteous. it was because the disease was not of such a nature or seriousness that it could not be cured within a period of six months even with proper medical treatment. Fittingly.

is LIFTED. Comment:  FIRST-AID TREATMENT – adequate. and necessary medical and dental attention or remedy given in case of injury or illness suffered by a worker during employment. If we cherish him as we should. DENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY CHAPTER I MEDICAL AND DENTAL SERVICES Section 1 of the IR states the applicability of this rule. which employs in any workplace one or more workers.deserves our abiding respect. WHEREFORE. The Order of the public respondent dated July 14. of course. Article 156. the petition is DISMISSED and the temporary restraining order of November 18. in accordance with such regulations as the Department of Labor and Employment shall prescribe. Every employer shall keep in his establishment such first-aid medicines and equipment as the nature and conditions of work may require. including the Government and any of its political subdivisions and government-owned or controlled corporations. whether operating for profit or not. 1981. SAFETY AND SOCIAL WELFARE BENEFITS TITLE I MEDICAL. but with the modification that the backwages shall be limited to three years only and the private respondent shall be reinstated only upon certification by a competent public health authority that he is fit to return to work. we must resolve to lighten "the weight of centuries" of exploitation and disdain that bends his back but does not bow his head. The employer shall take steps for the training of a sufficient number of employees in first-aid treatment. How society treats him will determine whether the knife in his hands shall be a caring tool for beauty and progress or an angry weapon of defiance and revenge.  FIRST AIDER – any person trained and duly certified as qualified to administer first aid by the Phil. First-aid treatment. before a more extensive medical and/or dental treatment can be secured. National Red Cross or by any other organization accredited by the former. irrespective of whether or not such injury or illness is work-connected. immediate. Discussion BOOK FOUR HEALTH. 1981. is AFFIRMED. The development and enforcement of dental standards shall continue to be under the responsibility of the Bureau of Dental Health Services of the Department of Health. The choice is obvious. . It shall apply to all employers.

subject to such regulations as the Secretary of Labor and Employment may prescribe to insure immediate availability of medical and dental treatment and attendance in case of emergency. The requirement for an emergency hospital or dental clinic shall not be applicable in case there is a hospital or dental clinic which is accessible from the employer’s establishment and he makes arrangement for the reservation therein of the necessary beds and dental facilities for the use of his employees. (As amended by Presidential Decree NO. and The services of a full-time physician. Emergency medical and dental services. no employer shall engage the services of a physician or a dentist who cannot stay in the premises of the establishment for at least two (2) hours. When emergency hospital not required. the existing hospital to be utilized should be within five kilometers from the workplace or is accessible within 25-minute travel. in the case of those engaged on part-time basis. 157 clearly allow employers in non-hazardous establishments to engage on retained basis the services of a dentist or physician. The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall provide by appropriate regulations. It shall be the duty of every employer to furnish his employees in any locality with free medical and dental attendance and facilities consisting of: The services of a full-time registered nurse when the number of employees exceeds fifty (50) but not more than two hundred (200) except when the employer does not maintain hazardous workplaces. Nowhere does the law provide that the physician or dentist so engaged thereby becomes a regular employee. Comment: where the employer is not required to put up an emergency hospital. In cases of hazardous workplaces. when the number of employees exceeds two hundred (200) but not more than three hundred (300).Article 157. in which case. in the case of those employed on full-time basis. Article 158. hazardous workplaces for purposes of this Article. a part-time physician and dentist. Section 26) Comment: Art. dentist and a full-time registered nurse as well as a dental clinic and an infirmary or emergency hospital with one bed capacity for every one hundred (100) employees when the number of employees exceeds three hundred (300). The phrase on retained basis negates the idea that this engagement necessarily gives rise to an employer-employee relationship. the physician and dentist may be engaged on retainer basis. where no registered nurse is available. the services that shall be required where the number of employees does not exceed fifty (50) and shall determine by appropriate order. and an emergency clinic. and not less than eight (8) hours. The services of a full-time registered nurse. The employer must provide the transport in . the services of a graduate first-aider shall be provided for the protection of workers. Where the undertaking is non-hazardous in nature. 570-A.

to provide the services of a graduate first-aider who may be one of the workers in the workplace and who has immediate access to first-aid medicines. programs to ensure safe and healthful working conditions in all places of employment. The Implementing Rules also explain the workplaces that are considered “hazardous”. Training programs. shall establish the qualifications. Safety and health standards. techniques and approaches for dealing with occupational safety and health problems. medical. in consultation with industrial. dentists and nurses employed by employers pursuant to this Chapter shall have the necessary training in industrial medicine and occupational safety and health. It shall be the duty of any employer to provide all the necessary assistance to ensure the adequate and immediate medical and dental attendance and treatment to an injured or sick employee in case of emergency. by appropriate orders. The physicians. Administration of safety and health laws. or life expectancy as a result of his work and working conditions. and to develop medical criteria which will assure insofar as practicable that no employee will suffer impairment or diminution in health. . It shall be the responsibility of the Department of Labor and Employment to conduct continuing studies and research to develop innovative methods. The Department of Labor and Employment shall develop and implement training programs to increase the number and competence of personnel in the field of occupational safety and industrial health. and update existing. to discover latent diseases by establishing causal connections between diseases and work in environmental conditions. The physician engaged by an employer shall. Article 164. Article 161. functional capacity. Article 160. develop and implement a comprehensive occupational health program for the benefit of the employees of his employer. Article 159. The Secretary of Labor and Employment. set and enforce mandatory occupational safety and health standards to eliminate or reduce occupational safety and health hazards in all workplaces and institute new.emergency cases. employing 10-50 workers in the workplace. Research. The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall. and occupational safety and health associations. criteria and conditions of employment of such health personnel. Article 163. Rule 1 section 4 requires any covered employer. Comment: the IR in Book 4. Health program. Article 165. Chapter II OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY Article 162. Qualifications of health personnel. in addition to his duties under this Chapter. Assistance of employer.

Comment: the employer is required to observe safety standards and provide safety devices. or disease. in the event of workconnected disability or death. specifically the Regional Office. .  COMPENSATION -Money relief afforded according to the scale established under the statute as differentiated from compensatory damages recoverable in an action at law for breach of contract or for tort. The Secretary of Labor and Employment may. On the part of the employee. Comment: “Workmen’s compensation” is a general and comprehensive term applied to those laws providing for compensation for loss resulting from the injury. disablement. the test and approval for safe use of materials. the Implementing Rules require proper use of these safeguards and devices. The State shall promote and develop a tax-exempt employees’ compensation program whereby employees and their dependents. through appropriate regulations. pressure vessels and pipings and electrical installations. or death of workmen through industrial accident. The Rules also require the setting up of a safety committee. equipment and other safety devices and the approval of plans for such materials. chartered cities may be allowed to conduct industrial safety inspections of establishments within their respective jurisdictions where they have adequate facilities and competent personnel for the purpose as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment and subject to national standards established by the latter.The Department of Labor and Employment shall be solely responsible for the administration and enforcement of occupational safety and health laws. may promptly secure adequate income benefit and medical related benefits. Policy. While differing in many instances with respect to scope and method. collect reasonable fees for the inspection of steam boilers. however. equipment and devices. regulations and standards in all establishments and workplaces wherever they may be located. these laws posses the common feature of providing compensation. casualty. Title II EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION AND STATE INSURANCE FUND Chapter I POLICY AND DEFINITIONS Article 166. The fee so collected shall be deposited in the national treasury to the credit of the occupational safety and health fund and shall be expended exclusively for the administration and enforcement of safety and other labor laws administered by the Department of Labor and Employment. Safety inspections are to be done annually by the Department of Labor.

if notification is required. GSIS in public sector . delay. The employee pays NO contribution into the fund. Source of Compensation: 1. . injury or death deemed work connected to: a. Process: A compensation claim starts with a work-related injury or disease that: 1. . agreement to the contrary is VOID and PROHIBITED. and ultimately to the consuming public. befalls an employee 2. Within 5 days after entry report the sickness. .The general purpose of workmen’s compensation legislation are: . All covered employers are required to remit to a common fund a monthly contribution equivalent to one percent of the monthly salary credit of every covered employee. require the employer to take out insurance either with i. Within 5 days must notify employer.To transfer from the worker to the industry in which he is employed. a greater proportion of the economic loss due to industrial accidents and injuries. the Labor Code adopts the compensation fund type. b. not only for employees a remedy which is both expeditious and independent of proof of fault. As regards source of compensation. but also for employers a liability which is limited and determinate. Insurance Statutes a. expense. who in turn. Direct Payment Statutes – payment by the employer directly to the employee 2. private company b.To improve the economic status of the workers. .To obviate the uncertainties. and hardship attendant upon the enforcement of court remedies. Death benefits and funeral benefits are also given. SSS in private sector or. an insurance bureau operated by the state ii. The employer’s contribution make up the State Insurance Fund from which comes the compensation to be paid to claimant employee or the employee’s dependents in case the employee suffers from a work-connected injury or disease. require and employer to contribute to a compensation fund if an employee is injured the compensation is paid by the insurer or from the compensation fund. Compensation is in the form of medical supplies and services and/or cash income if employee is unable to earn because of injury of disease.To improve the relations between employers and employees by avoiding or reducing the friction incident to litigation. must enter notice in the logbook 3.To provide.

The claim is decided by the SSS or GSIS. sickness or death is work related or not. appealable to the SC in limited cases b. Decisions of the two administering agencies are appealable to the Employees’ Compensation Commission. Under the present law for an employee to be entitled to sickness. no presumption of compensability 2. there is a need for the employer to controvert the claim within 14 days otherwise he is deemed to have waived the right 3. There is a presumption of compensability 1. 4. there is a presumption of aggravation 2. The old law destroyed the parity or balance between the competing interests of employer and employee with respect to workmen’s compensation. Any illness definitely accepted as an occupational disease listed by the Commission 2. injury or death benefits. payment of compensation made by SSS/GSIS through the State Insurance Fund .Note: The employer INITIALLY decided whether the injury. it must be result from or must have resulted: 1. no need for the employer to controvert 4. payment of compensation made by the employer 4. Any illness caused by employment subject to proof that the risk of contracting the same is increased by working conditions WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION ACT EMPLOYEES COMPENSATION LAW 1. If SSS or GSIS is reversed the two systems cannot appeal to the high court. The balance was tilted unduly in favor of the workmen since it was possible to stretch the work-related nature of an ailment beyond the seemingly rational limits. no presumption of aggravation 3. a. If the result of the appeal is favorable to the employee becomes final and executory. which is the policy making body. within 30 days.

or growing out of. or death. the employee must have been injured at the place where the work requires him to be 2. Presumptive Compensability for AFP Members and Policemen In a limited sense. and accidents in which it is possible to trace the injury to some risk or hazard to which the employee is exposed in a special degree by reason of such employment.  ART 164. if the injury is sustained elsewhere. the injury was not due to the employee’s intoxication.  Conditions for an occupational disease and the resulting disability or death to be compensable : 1. to approve the adoption of a policy that the moment an AFP member suffers a contingency. notorious negligence or otherwise prohibited under this Title. the employee must have been performing his official functions 3.  INJURY . the employee must have been executing an order for the employer 4.Any harmful change in the human organism from any accident arising out of and in the course of employment. provided that evidentiary details of his injury. by the attending physician or duly authorized representatives of the hospital where he is brought for treatment. but only for such injuries arising from. The employee’s work must involve the risk described therein .  SICKNESS . or death. LIBERAL INTERPRETATION The ECC should adopt a liberal attitude in favor of the employee in deciding claims for compensability. willful intention to injure or kill himself or another.  GROUNDS FOR AN INJURY TO BE COMPENSABLE 1.4. as it hereby resolves. especially where there is some basis in the facts for inferring a workconnection to the accident. This kind of interpretation gives meaning and substance to the compassionate spirit of the law as embodied in Article 4 of the New Labor Code. the presumption is that it is because of the nature of his work. Presumption of Compensability has been restored through Resolution No 3906.1. the risks peculiar to the nature of the work in the scope of the workmen’s employment or incidental to such employment. DEFINITION OF TERMS. adopted on July 5. it is not the intention of the legislature the insurer against all accidental injuries which might happen to an employee while in the course of the employment. are clearly established through duly issued medical certifications on his injury or injuries.Any illness definitely accepted as an occupational disease listed by the Commission or any illness caused by employment subject to proof that the risk of contracting the same is increased by working conditions. 5. However. 1988 by the ECC which states: This board resolves.

DUAL PURPOSE DOCTRINE – allows compensation where a special trip would have to be made for the employer if the employee had not combined the service for the employer with his own going or coming trip.when the injury occurred when the employee is proceeding to or from his work on the premises of the employer must be a continuing act and has not diverted there from by any other activity and he has not departed from his usual route to or from his workplace and if the employee is on a special errand. SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT RULE – covers field trips. 3. one greater than that to which other persons in the community are exposed and an unexpected injury occurs. it must have been official and in connection with his work.EGRESS/ PROXIMITY RULE. POSITIONAL AND LOCAL RISKS DOCTRINE – If an employee by reason of his duties is exposed to a special or peculiar danger from the elements. 2. 6. outings. SPECIAL ERRAND RULE – injury sustained outside the company premises is compensable if his being out is covered by an office order or a locator slip or a pass for official business.  DIRECT PREMISES RULE – as a general rule. There was no notorious negligence on the part of the employee  DEATH - Loss of life resulting from injury or sickness  DISABILITY -Loss or impairment of a physical or mental function resulting from injury or sickness. the injury is compensable . GOING TO OR COMING FROM WORK. The disease was contracted as a result of the employee’s exposure to the described risks. INGRESS. 3.2. the accident should have occurred at the place of work to be compensable  EXCEPTIONS TO THE DIRECT PREMISES RULE 1. EXTRA-PREMISES RULE – (or the shuttle bus rule) where the company provides the means of transportation in going to or coming from the place of work is liable to the injury sustained by the employees while on board said means of transportation. The disease was contracted within a period of exposure and under such other factors necessary to contract it. 5.when the employer is about to leave or about to enter the premises of the employer by way of the customary or exclusive means of ingress or egress. that is. 4. 4. intramurals and picnics when initiated or sanctioned by the employer 7.

public or private.  STATE INSURANCE FUND: all covered employers are required to remit to a common fund a monthly contribution equivalent to one percent of the monthly salary credit of every covered employee. The action is selective and the employee may either choose to file the claim under either. the supreme court ruled that a self inflicted death could be compensable if : 1. However as held in NAESS vs. CHAPTER II COVERAGE AND LIABILITY  ART 168. . death or disability is a result of the employee’s: 1.when one in the course of his employment is reasonably required to be at a particular place at a particular time and there meets an accident although one which any other person then and there present would have met irrespective of his employment. and to all employees. - Simultaneous recovery under the LC and the SSS can be made as per an advisory opinion dated May 23. Intoxication.  Is death through suicide compensable ? As a rule NO. EXTENT OF LIABILITY - Simultaneous recovery under the Labor Code and the Civil Code cannot be made. 2. Willful intention to injure or kill himself or another. Drilon since PD 1921 has lifted the ban on simultaneous recovery. emergency. public or private including casual. FORCE MAJEURE OR AN ACT OF GOD.8. by agreement of the parties 2. NLRC. Notorious negligence. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY - NO COMPENSATION can be obtained if the injury. 1989 of Sec. The suicide/death is caused by a work related or compensable illness or disease. EFFECTIVE DATE OF COVERAGE - The employer is covered compulsorily from first day of operation and the employee from the first day of employment  ART 172. Any agreement to the contrary is prohibited. - Every employee is covered who is not over 60 years over 60 years of age or over 60 years of age if he had been paying contributions prior to the age of 60  ART 170. the claimant cannot opt for the other remedy. 4. or Unless otherwise provided by the LC  NOTORIOUS NEGLIGENCE –deliberate act of the employee to disregard his own personal safety. temporary. COMPULSORY COVERAGE - ECL applies to all employers. 3. or substitute employees. The employee pays no contribution to the fund.  ART 173. But once the election is made.

The income benefit shall be guaranteed for five years. parents.The System shall pay to the primary beneficiaries upon the death of the covered employee an amount equal to his monthly income benefit. for not more than 60 months to the secondary beneficiaries in case there are no primary beneficiaries 3. the legitimate. beginning with the youngest and without substitution. dependent children ( legitimate. Dependent spouse until he remarries b. 000. grandparents. not gainfully employed and not over 21 years of age or over 21 years of age provided that he is incapable of self. legally adopted or acknowledged natural child who is unmarried. legitimated.if as a result of the injury or sickness. in no case shall the total benefit be less that P 15. grandchildren . natural born or legally adopted) SECONDARY BENEFICIARIES a.if as a result of the injury or sickness. plus ten percent thereof for each dependent child. the employee is unable to perform any gainful occupation for a continuous period exceeding 120 days  PERMANENT PARTIAL . but not exceeding due to a physical or mental defect which is congenital or acquired during minority 2. the employee suffers a permanent partial loss of the use of any part of his body. Illegitimate children and legitimate descendants b.00  THE BENEFICIARIES ARE: PRIMARY BENEFICIARIES a.  DEATH BENEFITS . for life to the primary beneficiaries. legitimated. the employee is unable to perform any gainful occupation for a continuous period not exceeding 120 days  PERMANENT TOTAL .  DEPENDENTS: 1. guaranteed for five years 2. legitimate spouse living with the employee 3.if as a result of the injury or sickness. the parents of said employee wholly dependent upon him for regular support  BENEFITS 1.CHAPTER VI DISABILITY BENEFITS DISABILITY CATEGORIES:  TEMPORARY TOTAL .