You are on page 1of 2

Almario vs. Philippine Airlines G.R. No.

170928, September 11, 2007 Unjust enrichment: Article 22, CC recognizes the principle that one may not enri ch himself at the expense of another. Form of "enrichment:" Enrichment of the defendant consists in every patrimonial, physical, or moral advantage, so long as it is appreciable in money FACTS: This is a complaint for reimbursement of training costs filed by PAL against its pilot, Almario. Almario was initially hired as a Boeing 747 Systems Engineer. Later on, he succe ssfully bid for the higher position of Airbus 300 First Officer, for which he wa s given additional training at PALs expense. After completing the course, Almario served as A-300 First Officer of PAL but after eight months of service, he tend ered his resignation for personal reasons. PAL then wrote him a letter, stating that they invested heavily on his professio nal training on the basis that he continue to serve the Company for a definite p eriod of time which is approximately 3 yrs. In short, PAL wanted Almario to reco nsider his resignation, otherwise they would be compelled to ask reimbursement f or the training costs from him. Despite this, Almario pushed through with his re signation. Hence, a reimbursement case was filed. In the lower court, PAL invoked the existence of an innominate contract of do ut facias (I give that you may do) with Almario in that by spending for his traini ng, he would render service to it until the costs of training were recovered in at least 3 yrs. They based the period of 3 yrs to a decision of the Secretary of L abor concerning PALs CBA with its employee-union. For his part, Almario denied the existence of any agreement with PAL that he wou ld render service to it for three years after his training, failing which he wou ld reimburse the training costs. The lower court ruled in favor of Almario. On a ppeal, CA found Almario liable under the CBA and under Article 22 of the Civil C ode. Hence this appeal. ISSUE: Whether or not Almario is obliged to reimburse the costs incurred by PAL for his training HELD: The petition fails. The rationale of the three-year period is the prohibitive training costs. At an earlier time, when the CBA between PAL and its employees were still negotiated, the Secretary of Labor basically ruled that PAL should be allowed a return on in vestment for their pilots training expenses. Thus, the provisions that pilots 57 years of age shall be frozen and pilots less than 57, provided they have previou sly qualified in any companys turbo-jet aircraft, shall be permitted to occupy an y position in the companys turbo-jet fleet, were incorporated in later incarnatio ns of the CBA. When Almario took the training course, he was about 39 yrs old, 21 yrs away from the retirement age of 60. Hence, with the maturity, expertise and experience he gained from the training course, he was expected to serve PAL for at least thre

e yrs to offset the prohibitive costs thereof. Article 22 of the Civil Code applies. This provision on unjust enrichment recognizes the principle that one may not en rich himself at the expense of another. Enrichment of the defendant consists in every patrimonial, physical, or moral ad vantage, so long as it is appreciable in money. It may consist of some positive pecuniary valueincorporated into the patrimony of the defendant, such as: (1) th e enjoyment of a thing belonging to the plaintiff; (2) the benefits from service rendered by the plaintiff to the defendant; (3) the acquisition of a right, whe ther real or personal; (4) the increase of value of property of the defendant; ( 5) the improvement of a right of the defendant, such as theacquisition of a righ t of preference; (6) the recognition of the existence of a right in the defendan t; and (7) the improvement of the conditions of life of the defendant. The enrichment of the defendant must have a correlative prejudice, disadvantage, or injury to the plaintiff. This prejudice may consist, not only of the loss of property or the deprivation of its enjoyment, but also of non-payment of compen sation for a prestation or service rendered to the defendant without intent to d onate on the part of the plaintiff, or the failure to acquire something which th e latter would have obtained. The injury to the plaintiff, however, need not be the cause of the enrichment of the defendant. It is enough that there be some re lation between them, that the enrichment of the defendant would not have been pr oduced had it not been for the fact from which the injury to the plaintiff is de rived. In the present case, PAL invested for the training of Almario on the expectation that they may recover by availing of Almarios services for at least three years. This expectation was not fully realized, however, due to Almarios resignation af ter only eight months of service following the completion of histraining course. He cannot, therefore, refuse to reimburse the costs of training without violati ng the principle of unjust enrichment.