RUBEN D. TORRES, in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of

G.R. No. 92391

July 3, 1992

In 1988, Med-Arbiter Basa issued an Order granting the petition for
Certification election filed by the Trade Union of the Philippines and Allied
Services (TUPAS). Said order directed the holding of a certification election
among the regular and seasonal workers of the Philippine Fruits and
Vegetables, Inc. After a series of pre-election conferences, all issues relative
to the conduct of the certification election were threshed out except that
which pertains to the voting qualifications of the hundred ninety four (194)
workers enumerated in the lists of qualified voters submitted by TUPAS.
Election transpired and only 168 of the questioned workers actually voted.
This was opposed by the company and objected the proceeding. However, it
was subsequently agreed upon that workers whose names were inadvertently
omitted in the list of qualified voters were allowed to vote, subject to
challenge. Only 38 of them voted in the election. Subsequently, since the
majority votes of the employees were not reached, a need to open the 168
challenged vote was necessary, this was again objected by the company.
Eventually, the petitioner-company filed a protest but was then denied. After
the denial of its motion for reconsideration by the Secretary of Labor, the
company filed for a petition for certiorari in the Court alleging that the
Secretary of Labor committed manifest error in upholding the certification of
TUPAS as the sole bargaining agent mainly on an erroneous ruling that the
protest against the canvassing of the votes cast by 168 dismissed workers
was filed beyond the reglementary period.

ISSUE: Whether or not the protest was belatedly filed

Yes. The Court ruled that that the formal protest of petitioner PFVII
was filed beyond the reglementary period. Under Section 4, Rule VI, Book V
of the Implementing Rules of the Labor Code:
Sec. 4. Protest to be decided in twenty (20) working days. — Where the
protest is formalized before the med-arbiter with five (5) days after the close
of the election proceedings, the med-arbiter shall decide the same within
twenty (20) working days from the date of formalization…xxx
The Court stated the two requirements in order that a protest filed
thereunder would prosper: (1) The protest must be filed with the
representation officer and made of record in the minutes of the proceedings
before the close of election proceedings, and (2) The protest must be
formalized before the Med-Arbiter within five (5) days after the close of the
election proceedings.
The records of the case clearly disclosed that petitioner, after filing a
manifestation of protest on December 16, 1988, election day, only formalized

1974 4 but to be effective as of February 16. 1974 the Continental Manufacturing Corporation. The respondents also . Such CE was certified on March 15. if a protest can be formalized within five days CONFEDERATION OF CITIZENS LABOR UNIONS (CCLU). 1989. CMC filed its answer to the petition praying for the dismissal of the petition on the ground of the contract-bar rule.the same on February 20. 1974. however. However. The CMC-CELA collective bargaining agreement was certified on March 4. 1974 REDSON filed its answer praying for the dismissal of the petition principally on the ground that the petition was barred by the collective bargaining agreement which it had signed with RELA. Nos. 1974 FACTS: This is a consolidated case regarding the dismissal of the petition for certification election filed by FFW to the 2 companies involved herein. 6 Thus. respondent FFW. THE SECRETARY OF LABOR et al. the phrase "close of election proceedings" as used in Sections 3 and 4 of the pertinent Implementing Rules refers to that period from the closing of the polls to the counting and tabulation of the votes as it could not have been the intention of the Implementing Rules to include in the term "close of the election proceedings" the period for the final determination of the challenged votes and the canvass thereof. as in the case at bar which may take a very long period. The FFW. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. . filed with NLRC a "Petition for Certification Election at the CMC ". The NLRC upon consolidation of the petitions directed the conduct of the CE. G. A three-year collective bargaining agreement 3 was signed on March 4. As explained correctly by the Solicitor General. another legitimate labor organization. 1974 it. On February 15. 1974. (hereinafter referred to as CMC) renewed for another three years or until February 15. or more than two months after the close of election proceedings . In another case. 1974 by REDSON and RELA. L-38955-56 October 31. (hereinafter referred to as CCLU) which is a legitimate labor organization. On February 28. 1974. CONTINENTAL EMPLOYEES AND LABORERS ASSOCIATION (CELA) AND REDSON EMPLOYEES AND LABORERS ASSOCIATION (RELA) vs. Petitioners filed a motion to cancel the pre-election conference. "Petition for Certification Election at Redson with the NLRC. 1977 its collective bargaining agreement with Continental Employees and Laborers Association (hereinafter referred to as CELA) an affiliate of petitioner Confederation of Citizens Labor Unions. On March 18.R. The election was enjoined by the Court. on February 12. had already filed on February 25.

filed their comments affirming that they both signed a CE with CELA and RELA and alleged the dismissal of the petition by the FFW for the collective bargaining agreements of CMC and REDSON were in effect certified as of February 15. The Court recognizes the NLRC in accordance with Rules and Regulations Re Its Organization and Definition of Functions. Assuming. that the existing law on collective bargaining at the time of the promulgation of Implementing Instructions No. agencies and instrumentalities of the National Government . 2 because it violates not only General Order No. offices." and the Judiciary to continue trying and deciding cases in accordance with existing laws. in accordance with existing laws. 2 was that a collective bargaining agreement need not be certified in order to be a bar to a certification election. This Order did not render unchangeable the existing law.. among others that respondent NLRC had no authority to modify the "contract-bar rule" by requiring that a collective bargaining agreement had to be certified before it could constitute a bar to a petition for certification election ISSUE: Whether or not the NLRC modified the contract-bar rule as asserted by the petitioners (Contract-Bar Rule Applies: 1) when there exists an unexpired registered CBA. or 2) when there is no challenge on the representation status of the incumbent union during the freedom period. which among other things provide to rule on issues regarding petitions for certification election of labor org. In the present petition. bureaus.. 3. HELD: No. the President granted the . 3 but also the existing jurisprudence on the matter. until otherwise ordered by the Pres. and as stated above. gratia argumenti.. 2 establishing rules and regulations concerning certification elections for use and enforcement of the was shown that the NLRC’s authority to promulgate rules emanates from the Presidential Decree No. it does not mean that it could not be changed by virtue of General Order No. for it is expressly provided therein that the executive departments and their agencies may function not in accordance with the then existing law if so ordered by the President or by his duly authorized representative. ordered "all executive departments. the Court stated Labor Relations Implementing Instruction No. Further. contend that respondent NLRC had no authority to promulgate Section 3 of Implementing Instructions No. 21. The President in General Order No. however. the Petitioners contend. to function .Petitioners. and no certification election could be entertained during the life of said bargaining contracts. 3.. or by te Pres’ duly designated representative. 1974. However.

. as admitted by REDSON in its answer. for it was acknowledged only on February 21. is a corporation engaged in the production and marketing of bananas for export. The collective bargaining agreement between the CMC and the CELA which. Inc. furthermore. the Monthly Paid office and technical rank and file employee of the petitioner enjoy constitutional rights to self organization and collective bargaining. On 1992. 1974. that there was already an existing CBA between the rank and file employees represented by NFL and petitioner. Assuming arguendo. Petitioner appealed to the Secretary of Labor which the LabSec denies the appeal for lack of merit. had not yet been filed as of that date for certification. for their collective bargaining agreement was signed only on March 4. 18 and acknowledged only on March 7. Petitioner argued that the subject employees shoull have joined the existing CBA if they are not managerial employees. and that the employees represented by PFL are disqualified by the courts. The petition for certification election filed by FFW at the CMC was filed on February 12. As of said date. GOLDEN FARMS VS SECRETARY OF LABOR AND PFL FACTS: Petitioner Golden Farms. 1974. On April 18. 1974. The petition for certification election at Redson was filed on February 25. the Med-Arbiter ordered the conduct of the certification elections.NLRC original and exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving employee- employer relationship. A "bargaining unit" has been defined as a group of employees of . ISSUE: WON the Monthly Paid rank and file employee can constitute a bargaining unit separate from the existing bargaining units of its daily-paid rank and file employees RATIO: Yes. and the authority to issue rules and regulations concerning collective bargaining. that a non-certified collective bargaining agreement may serve as a bar to a certification election as petitioners would want the Court to hold. as claimed. PFL countered that the monthly-paid office workers and technical employees should be allowed because they were expressly excluded from the coverage of the CBA between Petitioner and NFL. no collective bargaining agreement had been entered into between REDSON and RELA which could serve as a bar to the petition. Petitioner moved to dismiss claiming that PFL failed to show that it organized a chapter within the petitioner establishment. 1974. union would still be bereft of cause to complain. should bar said petition. private respondent Progressive Federation of Labor (PFL) filed a petition before the Med-Arbiter praying for the holding of a certification election among the monthly paid office and technical rank-and-file employees of petitioner Golden Farms.1991. 1974.

salary rates. the evidence established that the monthly paid rank-and-file employees of petitioner primarily perform administrative or clerical work. "And this is so because 'the basic test of an asserted bargaining unit's acceptability is whether or not it is fundamentally the combination which will best assure to all employees the exercise of their collective bargaining right. It is crystal clear the monthly paid rank-and-file employees of petitioner have very little in common with its daily paid rank-and-file employees in terms of duties and obligations. which the collective interest of all the employees. In contradistinction. consistent with equity to the employer. comprised of all or less than all of the entire body of employees. To rule otherwise would deny this distinct class of employees the right to self-organization for purposes of collective bargaining. In the case at bench.a given employer. The community or mutuality of interest is therefore the essential criterion in the grouping. working conditions. and skills. the petitioner's daily paid rank-and-file employees mainly work in the cultivation of bananas in the fields. . indicate to be the best suited to serve the reciprocal rights and duties of the parties under the collective bargaining provisions of the law. This dissimilarity of interests warrants the formation of a separate and distinct bargaining unit for the monthly paid rank-and-file employees of the petitioner.