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60 DAY FREEDOM PERIOD

NATIONAL CONGRESS OF UNIONS IN THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF THE PHILIPPINES (NACUSIP)-TUCP, petitioner,
vs.
HON. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, in her capacity as Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations; and the NATIONAL FEDERATION OF
SUGAR WORKERS (NFSW)-FGT-KMU, respondents.

Zoilo V. De la Cruz, Jr., Beethoven R. Buenaventura and Pedro E. Jimenez for petitioner.

Manlapao, Drilon, Ymballa and Chavez for private respondent.

MEDIALDEA, J.:

This is a petition for certiorari seeking the nullification of the resolution issued by the respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations
Pura Ferrer-Calleja dated June 26, 1989 setting aside the order of the Med-Arbiter dated February 8, 1989 denying the motion to
dismiss the petition and directing the conduct of a certification election among the rank and file employees or workers of
the Dacongcogon Sugar and Rice Milling Co. situated at Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.

The antecedent facts giving rise to the controversy at bar are as follows:

Petitioner National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines (NACUSIP-TUCP) is a legitimate national labor organization
duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment. Respondent Honorable Pura Ferrer-Calleja is impleaded in her official
capacity as the Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations of the Department of Labor and Employment, while private respondent National
Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW-FGT-KMU) is a labor organization duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment.

Dacongcogon Sugar and Rice Milling Co., Inc. (Dacongcogon) based in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental employs about five hundred (500)
workers during milling season and about three hundred (300) on off-milling season.

On November 14, 1984, private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU and employer Dacongcogon entered into a collective bargaining agreement
(CBA) for a term of three (3) years, which was to expire on November 14, 1987.

When the CBA expired, private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU and Dacongcogon negotiated for its renewal. The CBA was extended for
another three (3) years with reservation to negotiate for its amendment, particularly on wage increases, hours of work, and other terms and
conditions of employment.

However, a deadlock in negotiation ensued on the matter of wage increases and optional retirement. In order to obviate friction and tension,
the parties agreed on a suspension to provide a cooling-off period to give them time to evaluate and further study their positions. Hence, a
Labor Management Council was set up and convened, with a representative of the Department of Labor and Employment, acting as
chairman, to resolve the issues.

On December 5, 1988, petitioner NACUSIP-TUCP filed a petition for direct certification or certification election among the rank and file
workers of Dacongcogon.

On January 27, 1989, private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU moved to dismiss the petition on the following grounds, to wit:

The Petition was filed out of time;

II

There is a deadlocked (sic) of CBA negotiation between forced intervenor and respondent-central. (Rollo, p. 25)

On February 6, 1989, Dacongcogon filed an answer praying that the petition be dismissed.

By an order dated February 8, 1989, the Med-Arbiter denied the motion to dismiss filed by private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU
and directed the conduct of certification election among the rank and file workers of Dacongcogon, the dispositive portion
of which provides as follows:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Motion to Dismiss the present petition is, as it is hereby DENIED. Let
therefore a certification election among the rank and file employees/workers of the Dacongcogon Sugar and Rice
Milling Co., situated at Kabankalan, Neg. Occ., be conducted with the following choices:

(1) National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines (NACUSIP-TUCP);

(2) National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW);

(3) No Union.

The designated Representation Officer is hereby directed to call the parties for a pre-election conference to thresh out
the mechanics of the election and to conduct and supervise the same within twenty (20) days from receipt by the
parties of this Order. The latest payroll shall be used to determine the list of qualified voters.

SO ORDERED. (Rollo, p. 34)

On February 9, 1989, private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration and/or appeal alleging that the Honorable Med-Arbiter
misapprehended the facts and the law applicable amounting to gross incompetence. Hence, private respondent prayed that the order of the
Med-Arbiter be set aside and the motion to dismiss be reconsidered.

On February 27, 1989, petitioner filed its opposition to the motion for reconsideration praying that the motion for reconsideration and/or
appeal be denied for lack of merit.

On June 26, 1989, respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations rendered a resolution reversing the order of the
Med-Arbiter, to wit:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Order of the Med-Arbiter dated 8 February 1989 is hereby set
aside and vacated, and a new one issued dismissing the above-entitled petition for being filed out of
time.

SO ORDERED. (Rollo, p. 46)

Hence, this petition raising four (4) issues, to wit:

I. RESPONDENT HON. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, IN HER CAPACITY AS DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR
RELATIONS, COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN RENDERING HER RESOLUTION DATED 26 JUNE
1989 REVERSING THE ORDER DATED FEBRUARY 8, 1989 OF MED-ARBITER FELIZARDO SERAPIO.

II. THAT THE AFORESAID RESOLUTION DATED 26 JUNE 1989 OF RESPONDENT PURA FERRER-CALLEJA IS
CONTRARY TO LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE.

III. THAT THE AFORESAID RESOLUTION DATED 26 JUNE 1989 OF RESPONDENT DIRECTOR PURA FERRER-
CALLEJA DENIES THE RANK AND FILE EMPLOYEES OF THE DACONGCOGON SUGAR & RICE MILLING
COMPANY, AND THE HEREIN PETITIONER NACUSIP-TUCP, THEIR LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

IV. THAT RESPONDENT DIRECTOR PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, IN RENDERING HER SAID RESOLUTION DATED
26 JUNE 1989 WAS BIASED AGAINST PETITIONER NACUSIP-TUCP. (Rollo,
p. 2)

The controversy boils down to the sole issue of whether or not a petition for certification election may be filed after the 60-day freedom
period.

Petitioner maintains that respondent Director Calleja committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction in rendering the
resolution dated June 26, 1989 setting aside, vacating and reversing the order dated February 8, 1989 of Med-Arbiter Serapio, in the
following manner:

1) by setting aside and vacating the aforesaid Order dated February 8, 1989 of Med-Arbiter Felizardo Serapio and in
effect dismissing the Petition for Direct or Certification Election of Petitioner NACUSIP-TUCP (Annex "A" hereof)
without strong valid, legal and factual basis;

2) by giving a very strict and limited interpretation of the provisions of Section 6, Rule V, Book V of the Implementing
Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code, as amended, knowing, as she does, that the Labor Code, being a social
legislation, should be liberally interpreted to afford the workers the opportunity to exercise their legitimate legal and
constitutional rights to self-organization and to free collective bargaining;

3) by issuing her questioned Resolution of June 26, 1989 knowing fully well that upon the effectivity of Rep. Act No.
6715 on 21 March 1989 she had no longer any appellate powers over decisions of Med-Arbiters in cases of
representation issues or certification elections;

4) by ignoring intentionally the applicable ruling of the Honorable Supreme Court in the case of Kapisanan ng Mga
Manggagawa sa La Suerte-FOITAF vs. Noriel, L-45475, June 20, 1977;

5) by clearly failing to appreciate the significance (sic) of the fact that for more than four (4) years there has been no
certification election involving the rank and file workers of the Company; and,

6) by frustrating the legitimate desire and will of the workers of the Company to determine their sole and exclusive
collective bargaining representative through secret balloting. (Rollo, pp. 9-10)

However, the public respondent through the Solicitor General stresses that the petition for certification election was filed out of
time. The records of the CBA at the Collective Agreements Division (CAD) of the Bureau of Labor Relations show that the
CBA between Dacongcogon and private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU had expired on November 14, 1987, hence, the
petition for certification election was filed too late, that is, a period of more than one (1) year after the CBA expired.

The public respondent maintains that Section 6 of the Rules Implementing Executive Order No. 111 commands that
the petition for certification election must be filed within the last sixty (60) days of the CBA and further
reiterates and warns that any petition filed outside the 60-day freedom period "shall be dismissed outright."
Moreover, Section 3, Rule V, Book V of the Rules Implementing the Labor Code enjoins the filing of a
representation question, if before a petition for certification election is filed, a bargaining deadlock to which
the bargaining agent is a party is submitted for conciliation or arbitration .

Finally, the public respondent emphasizes that respondent Director has jurisdiction to entertain the motion for
reconsideration interposed by respondent union from the order of the Med-Arbiter directing a certification
election. Public respondent contends that Section 25 of Republic Act No. 6715 is not applicable, "(f)irstly,
there is as yet no rule or regulation established by the Secretary for the conduct of elections among the rank
and file of employer Dacongcogon; (s)econdly, even the mechanics of the election which had to be first laid
out, as directed in the Order dated February 8, 1989 of the Med-Arbiter, was aborted by the appeal therefrom
interposed by respondent union; and (t)hirdly, petitioner is estopped to question the jurisdiction of
respondent Director after it filed its opposition to respondent union's Motion for Reconsideration (Annex
'F,' Petition) and without, as will be seen, in any way assailing such jurisdiction. . . ." (Rollo, p.66)

We find the petition devoid of merit.

A careful perusal of Rule V, Section 6, Book V of the Rules Implementing the Labor Code, as amended by the rules implementing Executive
Order No. 111 provides that:

Sec. 6. Procedure . . .

In a petition involving an organized establishment or enterprise where the majority status of the incumbent collective
bargaining union is questioned by a legitimate labor organization, the Med-Arbiter shall immediately order
the conduct of a certification election if the petition is filed during the last sixty (60) days of
the collective bargaining agreement. Any petition filed before or after the sixty-day freedom
period shall be dismissed outright.

The sixty-day freedom period based on the original collective bargaining agreement shall not be affected by any
amendment, extension or renewal of the collective bargaining agreement for purposes of certification election.

The clear mandate of the aforequoted section is that the petition for certification election filed by the petitioner
NACUSIP-TUCP should be dismissed outright, having been filed outside the 60-day freedom period or a period of
more than one (1) year after the CBA expired.

It is a rule in this jurisdiction that only a certified collective bargaining agreement i.e., an agreement duly certified by the BLR may serve as
a bar to certification elections. (Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions (PAFLU) v. Estrella, G.R. No. 45323, February 20, 1989, 170
SCRA 378, 382) It is noteworthy that the Bureau of Labor Relations duly certified the November 14, 1984 collective bargaining agreement.
Hence, the contract-bar rule as embodied in Section 3, Rule V, Book V of the rules implementing the Labor Code is applicable.
This rule simply provides that a petition for certification election or a motion for intervention can only be entertained within sixty days prior to
the expiry date of an existing collective bargaining agreement. Otherwise put, the rule prohibits the filing of a petition for certification election
during the existence of a collective bargaining agreement except within the freedom period, as it is called, when the said agreement is about
to expire. The purpose, obviously, is to ensure stability in the relationships of the workers and the
management by preventing frequent modifications of any collective bargaining agreement earlier entered
into by them in good faith and for the stipulated original period. (Associated Labor Unions (ALU-TUCP) v. Trajano, G.R.
No. 77539, April 12, 1989, 172 SCRA 49, 57 citing Associated Trade Unions (ATU v. Trajano, G.R. No. L-75321, 20 June 1988, 162 SCRA
318, 322-323)

Anent the petitioner's contention that since the expiration of the CBA in 1987 private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU and Dacongcogon had
not concluded a new CBA, We need only to stress what was held in the case of Lopez Sugar Corporation v.Federation of Free Workers,
Philippine Labor Union Association (G.R. No. 75700-01, 30 August 1990, 189 SCRA 179, 191) quoting Article 253 of the Labor Code that "(i)t
shall be the duty of both parties to keep the status quo and to continue in full force and effect the terms and conditions of the existing
agreement during the 60-day period and/or until a new agreement is reached by the parties." Despite the lapse of the formal effectivity of the
CBA the law still considers the same as continuing in force and effect until a new CBA shall have been validly executed. Hence, the contract
bar rule still applies.

Besides, it should be emphasized that Dacongcogon, in its answer stated that the CBA was extended for another three (3) years and that the
deadlock was submitted to the Labor Management Council.

All premises considered, the Court is convinced that the respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations did not commit grave abuse of
discretion in reversing the order of the Med-Arbiter.

ACCORDINGLY, the petition is DENIED and the resolution of the respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations is hereby
AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.
PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF FREE LABOR UNIONS (PAFLU) LUZANO, Petitioner, v. HON. FRANCISCO L. ESTRELLA,
Acting Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, and/or Chief of Labor Appeals Review Staff, and ASSOCIATED LABOR
UNIONS (ALU), Respondents.

Salvador and Rola, Jr. for Petitioner.

The Solicitor General for Petitioner.

Januario T . Seno for Associated Labor Unions.

SYLLABUS

1. LABOR LAW; BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS; PETITION FOR CERTIFICATION ELECTION; REQUISITES; HOLDING OF
CERTIFICATION ELECTION MANDATORY UPON COMPLIANCE THEREWITH. The Med-Arbiter was not in error in issuing an order
calling for a certification election at the Visayan Glass Factory, Inc. Neither was the BLR in error when, on 22 July 1975, it affirmed
such order of the Med-Arbiter. It does not appear from the record of this case that the Petition for Certification Election filed by
petitioner PAFLU on 26 March 1968, did not satisfy the requirements stated in the above provision. On the contrary, the Med-
Arbiter found as a matter of fact that said petition was supported by at least 30% of all company employees. Consequently, it was
mandatory upon the BLR to grant the petition and, thereafter, to conduct certification elections at the Visayan Glass Factory, Inc.

2. ID.; ID.; COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT; MUST BE DULY CERTIFIED TO SERVE AS A BAR TO CERTIFICATION
ELECTIONS. Private respondent ALU would, however, invoke the "contract bar rule" and argue that the renegotiation on 5 April
1975 of a collective bargaining agreement between private respondent ALU and the company management rendered the
certification election held at the Visayan Glass Factory, Inc. on 30 June 1976 a nullity. The argument is not persuasive. First of all, it
is the rule in this jurisdiction that only a certified collective bargaining agreement i.e. an agreement duly certified by the BLR
may serve as a bar to certification elections. It is noteworthy that the BLR did not certify the 5 April 1975 collective bargaining
agreement here in question. Second, even assuming (though merely arguendo) that approval of said agreement by the NLRC on 11
April 1975 had the same effect as certification by the BLR, nevertheless, such approval did not quash, as it were, petitioner PAFLUs
Petition for Certification Election which had then remained pending with the BLR for more then seven (7) years, such petition having
been filed as early as March of 1968. To hold otherwise would be to create an incentive for labor unions or employers to block the
expeditious disposition of petitions for certification elections which are, after all, the mechanisms through which the choice of the
workers of their own representatives is ascertained.

RESOLUTION

FELICIANO, J.:

The present Petition for Certiorari, filed with this Court on 4 January 1977, is directed at the Resolution dated 16 December 1976 of
the Bureau of Labor Relations, in BLR Case No. 0314. That case originated from a Petition for Certification Election (docketed as
Case No. 333-MC-CEBU) filed with the former Court of Industrial Relations, Cebu Branch, by petitioner Philippine Association of Free
Labor Unions-Luzano ("PAFLU").

The facts are stated in the Resolution sought to be nullified: jgc:c hanrobles. com.ph

"On March 26, 1968, the Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions (PAFLU) filed with the Court of Industrial Relations a petition
for certification election at Visayan Glass Factory, Inc. The Cebu Central Union of the Philippine (CCUP) moved to intervene. On the
other hand, ALU moved to dismiss on the ground that it had then a collective agreement with the company which would expire on
May 31, 1968. The latter motion was denied.

The case, however, dragged on, and on May 20, 1968, ALU renewed the contract, this time expiring on May 31, 1971. ALU again
moved to dismiss the petition. Even so, the case remained unresolved and on November 25, 1971, a new contract expiring on May
31, 1974 was again concluded.

On January 16, 1975, the unresolved case was transferred to this Office pursuant to the provisions of the Labor Code. On March 3,
1975, the Med-Arbiter called a certification election.

On March 14, 1975, ALU appealed to this Office alleging that its contract of November 25, 1971 still subsisted because of its
automatic renewal clause. On April 26, 1975, it filed a motion to dismiss alleging that it had negotiated a new contract on April 15,
1975 which the National Labor Relations Commission approved on April 11; the contract would expire on April 4, 1979.

Nonetheless, on July 22, 1975, the Bureau affirmed the Med-Arbiters order, ruling that the alleged contract could not bar the
election because at the time it was approved, a representative question was pending resolution. Pre-election conference was then
ordered.

On October 22, 1975, ALU filed a motion for clarification praying that PAFLU be excluded from the list of unions to be voted on. On
December 3, 1975, the Bureau passed upon the motion and announced that no further motion shall entertained. On December 23,
1975, ALU appealed to the Secretary of Labor. Directed to treat the same as a motion to reconsider, the Bureau dismissed the
appeal on February 27, 1976.

Pursuant to the order, a certification election was held on June 30, 1976 yielding the following results: c han rob1es vi rtual 1aw lib rary

PAFLU 214 votes

ALU 75 votes

CCUP 3 votes

NO UNION 3 votes

On July 14, 1976, ALU filed an election protest contending that the election was void because its contract (i.e., the collective
bargaining agreement with the company) was allegedly ratified by the employees and approved by the National Labor Relations
Commission on April 11, 1975, and therefore barred the election held long after.

On October 7, 1976, this Bureau dismissed the protest, standing firm on its previous orders. It therefore certified PAFLU-Luzano as
the exclusive bargaining agent of the employees.

On November 9, 1976, ALU repaired to the Secretary of Labor who, in turn, directed this Office to consider the same as a motion
for reconsideration." cra law virt ua1aw li bra ry

On 16 December 1976, however, public respondent Francisco L. Estrella, then Acting Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations
("BLR"), issued the assailed Resolution, 1 the dispositive portion of which read: jgc: chan robles .com.p h

"WHEREFORE, the election protest is hereby sustained, and all previous orders of this Bureau in this case are hereby set aside.

SO ORDERED." c ralaw vi rtua 1aw lib rary

The above conclusion was rationalized in the following terms: jgc: chan robles .com.p h

"After thorough consideration of the raised and the arguments adduced, this Office [is] convinced that it should regard the protest
with a more sympathetic mind. Indeed, the contract which ALU executed with the company was approved by the National Labor
Relations Commission way back on April 11, 1975. That approval already amounts to a certification by this Bureau itself. It
therefore bars a certification election as would a certification by this Bureau of a collective agreement in accordance with Article 230
of the Labor Code. For certainly, it would be unwise for this Bureau to annul an official act of the Commission. Yet, that would
precisely be the result if the Bureau certify PAFLU and throw open once more the bargaining negotiations which were already put to
rest by the Commission when it approved the contract concluded by ALU with the company, from which the employees have since
drawn untold benefits without complaints. That an election was held notwithstanding is quite unfortunate because it was clearly a
nullity from the start. The Bureau should not compound its error by attaching undeserved weight to the results." c ralaw virtua1aw l ibra ry

The Resolution dated 16 December 1976 of the public respondent Acting Director of the BLR must be set aside. c hanrobles vi rt ual lawli bra ry

1. The Med-Arbiter was not in error in issuing an order calling for a certification election at the Visayan Glass Factory, Inc. Neither
was the BLR in error when, on 22 July 1975, it affirmed such order of the Med-Arbiter. In this respect, Article 257 of the Labor Code
(as it then stood) provides: jgc:c hanro bles. com.ph

"Art. 257. Requisites for certification election. Any petition for certification election filed by any legitimate labor organization shall
be supported by the written consent of at least thirty percent (30%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit. Upon receipt and
verification of such petition, it shall be mandatory for the Bureau to conduct a certification election for the purpose of determining
the representative of the employees in the appropriate bargaining unit and certify the winner as the exclusive collective bargaining
representative of all the employees in the unit." (Emphasis supplied)

It does not appear from the record of this case that the Petition for Certification Election filed by petitioner PAFLU on 26 March
1968, did not satisfy the requirements stated in the above provision. On the contrary, the Med-Arbiter found as a matter of fact
that said petition was supported by at least 30% of all company employees. Consequently, it was mandatory upon the BLR to grant
the petition and, thereafter, to conduct certification elections at the Visayan Glass Factory, Inc. 2

Private respondent ALU would, however, invoke the "contract bar rule" and argue that the renegotiation on 5 April 1975 of a
collective bargaining agreement between private respondent ALU and the company management rendered the certification election
held at the Visayan Glass Factory, Inc. on 30 June 1976 a nullity. The argument is not persuasive. First of all, it is the rule in this
jurisdiction that only a certified collective bargaining agreement i.e. an agreement duly certified by the BLR may serve as a bar
to certification elections. 3 It is noteworthy that the BLR did not certify the 5 April 1975 collective bargaining agreement here in
question. Second, even assuming (though merely arguendo) that approval of said agreement by the NLRC on 11 April 1975 had the
same effect as certification by the BLR, nevertheless, such approval did not quash, as it were, petitioner PAFLUs Petition for
Certification Election which had then remained pending with the BLR for more then seven (7) years, such petition having been filed
as early as March of 1968. To hold otherwise would be to create an incentive for labor unions or employers to block the expeditious
disposition of petitions for certification elections which are, after all, the mechanisms through which the choice of the workers of
their own representatives is ascertained.

2. It does not follow as a matter of course that reversal of the BLRs Resolution of 16 December 1976 necessarily results in
nullification of an "official act" of the NLRC: the collective bargaining agreement executed between private respondent ALU and the
company management in April of 1975 need not be disturbed, especially considering that the substantive terms and conditions
thereof had not once been assailed, whether by labor or management, and that the employees of the company had in fact availed
of the benefits offered thereunder. In other words, the fairness of the agreement had not here been put in issue. What must be
resolved, however, is which union petitioner PAFLU or private respondent ALU has the exclusive right to represent the workers
of the Visayan Glass Factory, Inc. for the purpose of collective bargaining with company management. In this respect, the record
clearly shows that the workers of the company, in the certification election held on 30 June 1976, had chosen petitioner PAFLU to
be their bargaining representative. The will of the workers having been unequivocally and freely expressed, it is the duty of this
Court, as well as of all other agencies concerned, to give life and meaning to rather than subject that will.

It remains only to note that what the Court is here saying is that petitioner PAFLU was entitled to be certified as the exclusive
bargaining representative of the employees at the Visayan Glass Factory, Inc. as of December 1976. The Court is not informed of
developments concerning the representation of those employees after 12 August 1977, the date of the last pleading filed with the
Court by the parties in this case. This Resolution must therefore be regarded as subject to such subsequent developments, e.g., a
subsequent election resulting in the certification of some other union as exclusive bargaining representative of Visayan Glass
employees.

ACCORDINGLY, the Petition for Certiorari is GRANTED. The Resolution dated 16 December 1976 of the Acting Director of the Bureau
of Labor Relations in BLR Case No. 00314, is hereby SET ASIDE. This Resolution is immediately executory. No pronouncement as to
costs.

Fernan, C.J., Gutierrez, Jr., Bidin and Corts, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:

1. Id., pp. 72-73.

2. Article 257, Labor Code (1976 ed., supra). National Organization of the Trade Unions (NORTU) v. Secretary of Labor 90 SCRA
463 (1979; and Federacion Obrera de la Industria Tabaquera y Otros Trabajadores de Filipinas (FOITAF-Associated Anglo American
Chapter) v. Noriel, 72 SCRA 24 (1976).

3. Chrysler Philippines Labor Union (CPLU) v. Estrella, 86 SCRA 338 (1978); Firestone Tire & Rubber Company Employees Union v.
Estrella, 81 SCRA 49 (1978); and Foamtex Labor Union-Tupas v. Noriel, 72 SCRA 371 (1976). See Article 230 of the Labor Code
(1976 Ed.). See also Book V, Rule IX, Sec. 3 of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code (1976 ed.).