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05 Salazar v. NLRC (1996)

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  Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT ManilaFIRST DIVISION  G.R. No. 109210 April 17, 1996ENGINEER LEONCIO V. SALAZAR, petitioner, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION 2! #i$i%io!& '! (.L. CARLOS CONSTRUCTION, CO. INC., respondents.  )APUNAN, J.:  p This is a petition for certiorari * to annul the decision of the National abor Relations !o ission in NR! !ase No. ##$%&&'($ dated $) .Nove ber *(($ +hich affir ed intoto the decision of the abor rbiter in NR! N!R'##'#('#&--&'(* dated $( anuar/ *(($ dis issin0 the co plaint filed b/ petitioner for lac1 of erit. The NR!2s resolutiondated $$ Februar/ *((- is si ilarl/ i pu0ned for den/in0 petitioner2s otion for reconsideration.The antecedent facts are as follo+s3On *) pril *((#, private respondent, at a onthl/ salar/ of P4,&##.##, e plo/ed petitioner as construction5pro6ect en0ineer for the construction of the Monte de Piedad buildin0 in !ubao, 7ue8on !it/. lle0edl/, b/ virtue of an oral contract, petitioner +ould also receive a share in the profits after co pletion of the pro6ect and that petitioner2s services in e9cess of ei0ht :%; hours on re0ular da/s and services rendered on +ee1ends and le0al holida/s shall be co pensable overti e at the rate of P$).%& per hour.On *< pril *((*, petitioner received a e orandu issued b/ private respondent2s pro6ect ana0er, =n0r. Nestor . Delantar infor in0 hi of the ter ination of his services effective on -# pril *((*. Reproduced hereunder is the above entioned e orandu 3 pril *<, *((*M=MORND>M TO3=ON!IO V. S?RPro6ect =n0ineer MONT= D= PI=DD @DA. PRO=!T7ue8on !it/Due to the i pendin0 co pletion of the afore entioned pro6ect and the lac1 of up'co in0 contracted +or1s for our co pan/ in the i ediate future, volu e of +or1 for our en0ineerin0 and technical personnel has 0reatl/ been di inished.In vie+ of this, /ou are hereb/ advised to +ind up all technical reports includin0 acco plish ents, chan0e orders, etc.Further, /ou are advised that /our services are bein0 ter inated effective at the close of office hours on pril -#, *((*.This, ho+ever, has no pre6udice to /our re'e plo/ ent in this co pan/ in its local and overseas pro6ects should the need for /our services arises.Than1 /ou for /our invaluable services rendered to this co pan/.Noted @/3:S0d.; Mario @. !ornistaVice President 1 On *- Septe ber *((*, petitioner filed a co plaint a0ainst private respondent for ille0aldis issal, unfair labor practice, ille0al deduction, non'pa/ ent of +a0es, overti e rendered, service incentive leave pa/, co ission, allo+ances, profit'sharin0 and separation pa/ +ith the NR!'N!R rbitration @ranch, Manila. 2 On $( anuar/ *(($, abor rbiter Raul T. Buino rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of +hich reads, thus3C=R=FOR=, responsive to the fore0oin0, the instant case is hereb/ DISMISS=D for lac1 of erits. 1  SO ORD=R=D. + The abor rbiter ruled that petitioner +as a ana0erial e plo/ee and therefore e9e pt fro pa/ ent of benefits such as overti e pa/, service incentive leave pa/ and pre iu pa/ for holida/s and rest da/s. Petitioner, abor rbiter Buino further declared, +as also not entitled to separation pa/. e +as hired as a pro6ect e plo/ee and his services +ere ter inated due to the co pletion of the pro6ect.  The abor rbiter, li1e+ise, denied petitioner2s clai for a share in the pro6ect2s profits, rei burse ent of le0al e9penses and unpaid +a0es for lac1 of basis. - On *4 pril *(($, petitioner appealed to the National abor Relations !o ission :NR!;.On $) Nove ber *(($, the NR! rendered the assailed decision, the dispositive portion of +hich reads as follo+s3C=R=FOR=, pre ises considered, the appeal is hereb/ Dis issed and the assailed decision is ffir ed en toto .SO ORD=R=D. 6 On $( anuar/ *((-, petitioner filed a otion for reconsideration +hich the NR! denied for lac1 of erit on $$ Februar/ *((-. 7 ence, the instant petition +herein the follo+in0 issues +ere raised3I. Arantin0 for the sa1e of ar0u ent +ithout concedin0, that co plainant'petitioner herein +as a ana0erial e plo/ee, +as his verbal contract to be paid his overti e services as stated in para0raph $:b; of this Petition invalidE and the pa/ ents of such overti e services as evidenced b/ =9hibits @ to @'$4 :the 0enuineness and authenticit/ of +hich are not disputed; are the/ not evidentiar/ and of corroborative value to the true un+ritten a0ree ent bet+een the parties in this caseEII. Is there an/ portion of the abor !ode that prohibits contracts bet+een e plo/er and e plo/ee 0ivin0 the latter the benefit of bein0 paid overti e services, as in this particular caseEIII. Chere an e plo/ee +as induced to accept a lo+ or distorted salar/ or +a0e level, because of an incentive pro ise to receive a bi00er co pensation than that +hich +ould be his true and correct +a0e level as sho+n b/ docu ents for the pa/ ent of hisdistorted +a0es and overti e services, is it not le0all/ proper, in the alternative to clai pa/ ent of the differential of his undistorted salar/ or +a0e level +hen the pro ised incentive co pensation is denied b/ his e plo/er after the co pletion of the 6ob for +hich he has e plo/edEIV. Is the !ertificate of e plo/ ent issued to an e plo/ee b/ his e plo/er, assailable b/ ere affidavits of denials to the effect that said !ertificate +as issued because of theinsistence of the e plo/ee that it be ade to include a period he did not +or1, but +hich such fact of insistence or reBuest is also denied b/ the e plo/ee, because he reall/ +or1ed durin0 the period included in said !ertificateEV. Is the e plo/er liable for the pa/ ent of the attorne/2s pa/ incurred b/ his e plo/ee in a +or1 connected cri inal prosecution a0ainst hi for an act done b/ another e plo/ee assi0ned b/ sa e e plo/er to do the act +hich +as the sub6ect of the cri inal prosecutionE  Petitioner pra/s that 6ud0 ent be rendered, thus3*. That the decision of the NR! and its resolution den/in0 the Motion for Reconsideration be set aside on 0rounds of 0rave abuse of discretion andG$. That private respondent be ordered to pa/ petitioner the follo+in03a. the pre iu pa/s for his overti e services of -<% hours on ordinar/ da/s at $&HG $)$ hours on Saturda/s at -#HG $)$ hours on Sunda/s plus $4 hours on le0al holida/s at $##H co puted at the rate of P$).%& per hour of undistorted +a0e levelGb. in the alternative, to pa/ at least one :*; percent of 4.& illion pesos profit share, or the su total of the differential of his salaries, in the a ount of P$,*%4.## per onth, since pril *), *((# to pril -#, *((*, his undistorted salar/ bein0 P<,<%4.## per onthGand to pa/ his unpaid salar/ for *& da/s ' Ma/ * to *&, *((*, +ith his undistorted salar/ rateGc. the a ount of P-,###.## rei burse ent for +hat he paid his defense counsel in that cri inal action +hich should have instead been a0ainst respondent2s 0eneral ana0erGd. Separation pa/ of at least one onth salar/, he havin0 been ter inated unreasonabl/ +ithout cause, and three da/s service incentive leave pa/G and to pa/ the costsG 9 2  @efore proceedin0 to the erits of the petition, +e shall first resolve the procedural ob6ection raised. Private respondent pra/s for the outri0ht dis issal of the instant petition on 0rounds of +ron0 ode of appeal, it bein0 in the for of a petition for revie+ on certiorari :Rule 4& of the Revised Rules of !ourt; and not a special civil action for certiorari   :Rule <& thereof; +hich is the correct ode of appeal fro decisions of the NR!. lthou0h +e a0ree +ith private respondent that appeals to the Supre e !ourt fro decisions of the NR! should be in the for of a special civil action for certiorari under Rule <& of the Revised Rules of !ourt, this rule is not infle9ible. In a nu ber of cases, 10 this !ourt has resolved to treat as special civil actions for certiorari petitions erroneousl/captioned as petitions for revie+ on certiorari   in the interest of 6ustice. In People's Security, Inc  . v  . NLRC  , 11  +e elaborated, thus3Indeed, this !ourt has ti e and a0ain declared that the onl/ +a/ b/ +hich a labor case a/ reach the Supre e !ourt is throu0h a petition for certiorari   under Rule <& of the Rules of !ourt alle0in0 lac1 or e9cess of 6urisdiction or 0rave abuse of discretion :PearlS. @uc1 Foundation v. NR!, *%$ S!R 44< *((#J;.This petition should not be dis issed on a ere technicalit/ ho+ever. Dis issal of appeal purel/ on technical 0rounds is fro+ned upon +here the polic/ of the courts is toencoura0e hearin0s of appeal on their erits. The rules of procedure ought not to be applied in a very rigid technical sense, rules of procedure are used only to help secure,not override substantial justice . If a technical and rigid enforceent of the rules is ade, their ai !ould be defeated   :Ta a/o v. !ourt of ppeals, $#( S!R &*%, &$$ *(($J citing Are0orio v. !ourt of ppeals, )$ S!R *$# *()<J;. Conse uently, in the interest of justice, the instant petition for revie! shall be treated as a special civil actionon certiorari  . := phasis ours.;Movin0 on to the erits, stated differentl/, the issues for our resolution are the follo+in03*; Chether or not petitioner is entitled to overti e pa/, pre iu pa/ for services rendered on rest da/s and holida/s and service incentive leave pa/, pursuant to rticles%), (-, (4 and (& of the abor !odeG$; Chether or not petitioner is entitled to a share in the profits of the construction pro6ectG.-; Chether or not petitioner rendered services fro * Ma/ to *& Ma/ *((* and is, therefore, entitled to unpaid +a0esG4; Chether or not private respondent is liable to rei burse petitioner2s le0al e9penses andG&; Chether or not petitioner is entitled to separation pa/.On the first issue, the NR! concurred +ith the abor rbiter2s rulin0 that petitioner +as a ana0erial e plo/ee and, therefore, e9e pt fro pa/ ent of overti e pa/, pre iu pa/ for holida/s and rest da/s and service incentive leave pa/ under the la+. The NR!declared that3@oo1 III on conditions of e plo/ ent e9e pts ana0erial e plo/ees fro its covera0eon the 0rant of certain econo ic benefits, +hich are the ones the co plainant'appellant+as de andin0 fro respondent. It is an undisputed fact that appellant +as a ana0erial e plo/ee and such, he +as not entitled to the econo ic benefits he sou0ht to recover. 12 Petitioner clai s that since he perfor s his duties in the pro6ect site or a+a/ fro the principal place of business of his e plo/er :herein private respondent;, he falls under the cate0or/ of field personnel. o+ever, petitioner accentuates that his case constitutes the e9ception to the e9ception because his actual +or1in0 hours can be deter ined as evidenced b/ the disburse ent vouchers containin0 pa/ ents of petitioner2s salaries and overti e services. 1+  Stran0el/, petitioner is of the vie+ that fieldpersonnel a/ include ana0erial e plo/ees.Ce are constrained to disa0ree +ith petitioner.In his ori0inal co plaint, petitioner stated that the nature of his +or1 is supervisor/'en0ineerin0. 1  Si ilarl/, in his o+n petition and in other pleadin0s sub itted to this !ourt, petitioner confir ed that his 6ob +as to supervise the laborers in the construction pro6ect 1-  ence, althou0h petitioner cannot strictl/ be classified as a ana0erial e plo/ee under rt. %$ of the abor !ode, 16  and sec. $:b;, Rule I, @oo1 III of the O nibus Rules I ple entin0 the abor !ode, 1 7  nonetheless he is still not entitled to pa/ ent of the aforestated benefits because he falls sBuarel/ under another e9e pt cate0or/ K officers or e bers of a ana0erial staff as defined under sec. $:c; of theabove entioned i ple entin0 rules3Sec. $. #$eption . K The provisions of this Rule shall not appl/ to the follo+in0 persons if the/ Bualif/ for e9e ption under the condition set forth herein3999 999 999 3  :c; Officers or e bers of a ana0erial staff if the/ perfor the follo+in0 duties and responsibilities3:*; The pri ar/ dut/ consists of the perfor ance of +or1 directl/ related to ana0e ent policies of their e plo/erG:$; !usto aril/ and re0ularl/ e9ercise discretion and independent 6ud0 entG:-; iJ Re0ularl/ and directl/ assist a proprietor or a ana0erial e plo/ee +hose pri ar/ dut/ consists of the ana0e ent of the establish ent in +hich he is e plo/ed or subdivision thereofG or iiJ e9ecute under 0eneral supervision +or1 alon0 speciali8ed or technical lines reBuirin0 special trainin0, e9perience, or 1no+led0eG or iiiJ e9ecute under 0eneral supervision special assi0n ents and tas1sG and:4; +ho do not devote ore than $# percent of their hours +or1ed in a +or1'+ee1 to activities +hich are not directl/ and closel/ related to the perfor ance of the +or1 described in para0raphs :*;, :$;, and :-; above.  case in point is National Sugar Refineries Corporation v  . NLRC  . 1  On the issue of +hether supervisor/ e plo/ees, as defined in rticle $*$ : ;, @oo1 V of the abor !ode, should be considered as officers or e bers of the ana0erial staff under rticle%$, @oo1 III of the sa e !ode and hence not entitled to overti e, rest da/ and holida/ pa/, 19  this !ourt ruled3  cursor/ perusal of the ob Value !ontribution State ents of the union e bers +ill readil/ sho+ that these supervisor/ e plo/ees are under the direct supervision of their respective depart ent superintendents and that 0enerall/ the/ assist the latter in plannin0, or0ani8in0, staffin0, directin0, controllin0, co unicatin0 and in a1in0 decisions in attainin0 the co pan/2s set 0oals and ob6ectives. These supervisor/ e plo/ees are li1e+ise responsible for the effective and efficient operation of their respective depart ents. . . .999 999 999Fro the fore0oin0, it is apparent that the e bers of respondent union dischar0e duties and responsibilities +hich ineluctabl/ Bualif/ the as officers or e bers of the ana0erial staff, as defined in Section $, Rule I, @oo1 III of the aforestated Rules to I ple ent the abor !ode, vi8.3 :*; their pri ar/ dut/ consists of the perfor ance of +or1 directl/ related to ana0e ent policies of their e plo/erG :$; the/ custo aril/ and re0ularl/ e9ercise discretion and independent 6ud0 entG :-; the/ re0ularl/ and directl/ assist the ana0erial e plo/ee +hose pri ar/ dut/ consists of the ana0e ent of a depart ent of the establish ent in +hich the/ are e plo/edG :4; the/ e9ecute, under 0eneral supervision, +or1 alon0 speciali8ed or technical lines reBuirin0 special trainin0, e9perience, or 1no+led0eG :&; the/ e9ecute, under 0eneral supervision, special assi0n ents and tas1sG and :<; the/ do not devote ore than $#H of their hours +or1ed in a +or1'+ee1 to activities +hich are not directl/ and clearl/ related to the perfor ance of their +or1 hereinbefore described.>nder the facts obtainin0 in this case, +e are constrained to a0ree +ith petitioner that the union e bers should be considered as officers or e bers of the ana0erial staff and are, therefore, e9e pt fro the covera0e of rticle %$. Perforce, the/ are not entitled to overti e, rest da/ and holida/ pa/. 20 The aforeBuoted rationale eBuall/ applies to petitioner herein considerin0 in the ain his supervisor/ duties as private respondent2s pro6ect en0ineer, duties +hich, it is si0nificant to note, petitioner does not dispute.Petitioner, li1e+ise, clai s that the NR! failed to 0ive due +ei0ht and consideration to the fact that private respondent co pensated hi for his overti e services as indicated in the various disburse ent vouchers he sub itted as evidence.Petitioner2s contention is un eritorious. That petitioner +as paid overti e benefits does not auto aticall/ and necessaril/ denote that petitioner is entitled to such benefits. rt. %$ of the abor !ode specificall/ delineates +ho are entitled to the overti e pre iu s and service incentive leave pa/ provided under rt. %), (-, (4 and (& of the abor !odeand the e9e ptions thereto. s previousl/ deter ined, petitioner falls under the e9e ptions and therefore has no le0al clai to the said benefits. It is +ell and 0ood thatpetitioner +as co pensated for his overti e services. o+ever, this does not translate into a ri0ht on the part of petitioner to de and additional pa/ ent +hen, under the la+, petitioner is clearl/ e9e pted therefro .Aoin0 to the second issue, petitioner insists that private respondent pro ised hi a share in the profits after co pletion of the construction pro6ect. It is because of this oral a0ree ent, petitioner elucidates, that he a0reed to a onthl/ salar/ of P4,&##.##, an a ount +hich he clai s is too lo+ for a professional civil en0ineer li1e hi +ith the ran1of pro6ect en0ineer. r0uin0 further, petitioner states that pa/ ent of his overti e services, as sho+n b/ theafore entioned disburse ent vouchers, proves the e9istence of this verbal a0ree ent since pa/ ent of his overti e services constitutes part of this so'called understandin0.Ce cannot accede to petitioner2s de and. No+here in the disburse ent vouchers can +e find even the re otest hint of a profit'sharin0 a0ree ent bet+een petitioner and private respondent. Petitioner2s rationali8ation stretches the i a0ination +a/ too far. 4
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