Sunday, October 23, 2011

JMM v NLRC (1993)

JMM Promotions & Management, Inc., petitioner, vs. National Labor Relations Commission and Ulpiano L. De Los Santos, respondents.

Ponente: Cruz, J.
1.       Following Secs. 4 and 17, Rule II, Book II of the POEA Rules, the petitioner, a recruiting agency, made the following:
a.       Paid the license fee (Sec. 4)
b.      Posted a cash bond of 100k and surety bond of 50k(Sec. 4)
c.       Placed money in escrow worth 200k (Sec. 17)
2.       The petitioner wanted to appeal a decision of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to the respondent NLRC, but the latter dismissed the appeal because of failure of the petitioner to post an appeal bond required by Sec. 6, Rule V, Book VII of the POEA Rules.  The decision being appealed involved a monetary award.
3.       The petitioner contended that its payment of a license fee, posting of cash bond and surety bond, and placement of money in escrow are enough; posting an appeal bond is unnecessary.  According to Sec. 4, the bonds are posted to answer for all valid and legal claims arising from violations of the conditions for the grant and use of the license, and/or accreditation and contracts of employment.  On the other hand, according to Sec. 17, the escrow shall answer for valid and legal claims of recruited workers as a result of recruitment violations or money claims.
4.       Sec. 6 reads:
“In case the decision of the Administration involves a monetary award, an appeal by the employer shall be perfected only upon the posting of a cash or surety bond…”
The bonds required here are different from the bonds required in Sec. 4.

Issue: Was the petitioner still required to post an appeal bond despite the fact that it has posted bonds of 150k and placed 200k in escrow before?

Yes.  It is possible for the monetary reward in favor of the employee to exceed the amount of 350,000 because of the stringent requirements posed upon recruiters. The reason for such is that overseas employees are subjected to greater risks and hence, the money will be used to insure more care on the part of the local recruiter in its choice of foreign principal to whom the worker will be sent.
Doctrine: Construction:
It is a principle of legal hermeneutics that in interpreting a statute (or a set of rules as in this case), care should be taken that every part thereof be given effect, on the theory that it was enacted as an integrated measure and not as a hodge-podge of conflicting provisions.  Ut res magis valeat quam pereat.  “That the thing may rather have effect than be destroyed.”
The rule is that a construction that would render a provision inoperative should be avoided; instead, apparently inconsistent provisions should be reconciled whenever possible as parts of a coordinated and harmonious whole. With regard to the present case, the doctrine can be applied when the Court found that Sec. 6 complements Sec. 4 and Sec. 17.
In the POEA Rules, the bonds required in Sec. 4 Rule 2, Book 2 and the escrow required in Sec. 17 Rule 2, Book 2 have different purposes from the appeal bond required in Sec. 6, Rule 5 Book 7.
The bonds in Sec. 4 are made to answer for all claims against the employer, which is not limited to monetary awards to employees whose contracts of employment have been violated.
The escrow agreement in Sec. 17 is used only as a last resort in claiming against the employer.
On the other hand, Sec. 6 requires an appeal bond in an amount equivalent to the monetary award.  Indeed, this appeal bond is intended to further insure the payment of the monetary award.  Also, it is possible that the monetary award may exceed the bonds posted previously and the money placed in escrow.  If such a case happens, where will the excess be sourced?  To solve such a dilemma, an appeal bond equivalent to the amount of the monetary award is required by Sec. 6.

No comments:

Post a Comment