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  Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT ManilaFIRST DIVISION G.R. No. L-50999 March 23, 1990JOSE SONGCO, ROMEO CIPRES, and AMANCIO MANUEL, petitioners, vs NAIONAL LA!OR RELAIONS COMMISSION #IRS $I%ISION&, LA!OR AR!IER #LA%IO AGUAS, and #.E. 'UELLIG M&, INC., respondents. Raul E. Espinosa for petitioners. Lucas Emmanuel B. Canilao for petitioner A. Manuel. Atienza, Tabora, Del Rosario & Castillo for private respondent.  ME$IAL$EA, J.: This is a petition for certiorari   seeking to modify the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission in NLRC Case No. RB-I-! #$ -%#-T entitled, & ose !on co and Romeo Cipres, Complainants#Appellants, v. $.E. %uelli M', (nc., Respondent#Appellee & and NLRC Case No. RN- I-! #''-%#-T entitled, )Amancio Manuel, Complainant#Appellant, v. $.E. %uelli M', (nc., Respondent#Appellee,)   (hich dismissed the appeal of petitioners herein and in effect affirmed the decision of the Labor )rbiter ordering private respondent to pay petitioners separation pay e*+ivalent to their one month salary ecl+sive of commissions, allo(ances, etc. for every year of service. The antecedent facts are as follo(s/ 0rivate respondent 1.2. 3+ellig 4, Inc., hereinafter referred to as 3+ellig filed (ith the 5epartment of Labor Regional 6ffice No. $ an application seeking clearance to terminate the services of petitioners 7ose 8ongco, Romeo Cipres, and )mancio 4an+el hereinafter referred to as petitioners allegedly on the gro+nd of retrenchment d+e to financial losses. This application (as seasonably opposed by petitioners alleging that the company is not s+ffering from any losses. They alleged f+rther that they are being dismissed beca+se of their membership in the +nion. )t the last hearing of the case, ho(ever, petitioners manifested that they are no longer contesting their dismissal. The parties then agreed that the sole iss+e to be resolved is the basis of the separation pay d+e to petitioners. 0etitioners, (ho (ere in the sales force of 3+ellig received monthly salaries of at least 0$ , . In addition, they received commissions for every sale they made.The collective Bargaining )greement entered into bet(een 3+ellig and 1.2. 3+ellig 2mployees )ssociation, of (hich petitioners are members, contains the follo(ing provision p. %9, Rollo / )RTICL2 :I ; Retirement <rat+ity8ection la-)ny employee, (ho is separated from employment d+e to old age, sickness, death or permanent lay-off not d+e to the fa+lt of said employee shall receive from the company a retirement grat+ity in an amo+nt e*+ivalent to one 9 month=s salar*   per year of service. 6ne month of salar* as +sed in this paragraph shall be deemed e*+ivalentto the salar*   at date of retirement> years of service shall be deemed e*+ivalent to total service credits, a fraction of at least si months being considered one year, incl+ding probationary employment. 2mphasis s+pplied6n the other hand, )rticle !#$ of the Labor Code then prevailing provides/ )rt. !#$. Reduction of personnel  . ; The termination of employment of any employee d+e to the installation of labor saving-devices, red+ndancy, retrenchment to prevent losses, and other similar ca+ses, shall entitle the employee affected thereby to separation  pa*  . In case of termination d+e to the installation of labor-saving devices or red+ndancy, the separation pay shall be e*+ivalent to one 9 month  pa*   or to at least one 9 month  pa* for every year of service, (hichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and other similar ca+ses, the separation pay shall be e*+ivalent to one 9 month pay or at least one-half 9?! month pay for every year of service, (hichever is higher. ) fraction of at least si @ months shall be considered one 9 (hole year. 2mphasis s+ppliedIn addition, 8ections Ab and 9 , R+le 9, Book I of the R+les Implementing the Labor Code provide/    8ec. Ab. here the termination of employment is d+e to retrechment initiated by the employer to prevent losses or other similar ca+ses, or (here the employee s+ffers from a disease and his contin+ed employment is prohibited by la( or is pre+dicial to his health or to the health of his co-employees, the employee shall be entitled to termination pay e*+ivalent at least to his one month salary, or to one-half month  pa*   for every year of service, (hichever is higher, a fraction of at least si @ months being considered as one (hole year.    8ec. 9 . Basis of termination pa*  . ; The comp+tation of the termination pay of an employee as provided herein shallbe based on his latest salary rate, +nless the same (as red+ced by the employer to defeat the intention of the Code, in (hich case the basis of comp+tation shall be the rate before its ded+ction. 2mphasis s+pplied6n 7+ne !@,9A%#, the Labor )rbiter rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of (hich reads p. %#, Rollo /R2806N8I2 T6 TD2 16R2<6IN<, respondent sho+ld be as it is hereby, ordered to pay the complainants separation pay e*+ivalent to their one month salary ecl+sive of commissions, allo(ances, etc. for every year of service that they have (orked (ith the company.86 6R52R25.The appeal by petitioners to the National Labor Relations Commission (as dismissed for lack of merit. Dence, the present petition. 6n 7+ne !, 9A# , the Co+rt, acting on the verified &Notice of ol+ntary )bandonment and ithdra(al of 0etition dated )pril %, 9A# filedby petitioner Romeo Cipres, based on the gro+nd that he (ants &to abide by the decision appealed from& since he had &received, to his f+ll and complete satisfaction, his separation pay,& resolved to dismiss the petition as to him. The iss+e is (hether or not earned sales commissions and allo(ances sho+ld be incl+ded in the monthly salary of petitioners for the p+rpose of comp+tation of their separation pay. The petition is impressed (ith merit. 0etitioners= position (as that in arriving at the correct and legal amo+nt of separation pay d+e them, (hether +nder the Labor Code or the CB), their basic salary, earned sales commissions and allo(ances sho+ld be added together. They cited )rticle A%f of the Labor Code (hich incl+des commission as part on one=s salary, to (it>f =age= paid to any employee shall mean the rem+neration or earnings, ho(ever designated, capable of being epressed in terms of money, (hether fied or ascertained on a time, task, piece, or commission basis, or other method of calc+lating the same, (hich is payable by an employer to an employee +nder a (ritten or +n(ritten contract of employment for (ork done or to be done, or for services rendered or to be rendered, and incl+des the fair and reasonable val+e, as determined by the 8ecretary of Labor, of board, lodging, or other facilities c+stomarily f+rnished by the employer to the employee. =1air reasonable val+e= shall not incl+de any profit to the employer or to any person affiliated (ith the employer.3+ellig arg+es that if it (ere really the intention of the Labor Code as (ell as its implementing r+les to incl+de commission in the comp+tation of separation pay, it co+ld have eplicitly said so in clear and +ne*+ivocal terms. 1+rthermore, in the definition of the term &(age&, &commission& is +sed only as one of the feat+res or designations attached to the (ord rem+neration or earnings. Insofar as the iss+e of (hether or not allo(ances sho+ld be incl+ded in the monthly salary of petitioners for the p+rpose of comp+tation of their separation pay is concerned, this has been settled in the case of !antos v. +LRC, et al.,  <.R. No. %@%!9, 8eptember !9, 9A#%, 9'$ 8CR) 9@@, (here e r+led that &in the comp+tation of back(ages and separation pay, acco+nt m+st be taken not only of the basicsalary of petitioner b+t also of her transportation and emergency living allo(ances.& This r+ling (as reiterated in !oriano v. +LRC, et al.,  <.R. No. %''9 , 6ctober !%, 9A#%, 9'' 8CR) 9!$ and recently, in lanters roducts, (nc. v. +LRC, et al., <.R. No. %#'!$, 7an+ary ! , 9A#A.e shall concern o+rselves no( (ith the iss+e of (hether or not earned sales commission sho+ld be incl+ded in the monthly salary of petitioner for the p+rpose of comp+tation of their separation pay. )rticle A%f by itself is eplicit that commission is incl+ded in the definition of the term &(age&. It has been repeatedly declared by the co+rts that (here the la( speaks in clear and categorical lang+age, there is no room for interpretation or constr+ction> there is only room for application Ceb+ 0ortland Cement Co. v. 4+nicipality of Naga, <.R. Nos. !$99@-9%, )+g+st !!, 9A@#, !$ 8CR) % #> <onEaga v. Co+rt of )ppeals, <.R.No. L-! %$'', 7+ne !#,9A%F, '9 8CR) F#9. ) plain and +nambig+o+s stat+te speaks for itself, and  any attempt to make it clearer is vain labor and tends only to obsc+rity. Do( ever, it may be arg+ed that if e correlate )rticle A%f (ith  )rticle :I of the Collective Bargaining )greement, )rticle !#$ of the Labor Code and 8ections Ab and 9 of the Implementing R+les, there appears to be an ambig+ity. In this regard, the Labor )rbiter rationaliEed his decision in this manner pp. %$-%@, Rollo/The definition of =(age= provided in )rticle A@ sic of the Code can be correctly be sic stated as a general definition. It is =(age = in its generic sense. ) caref+l per+sal of the same does not sho( any indication that commission is part of salary. e can say that commission by itself may be considered a (age. This is not something novel for it cannot be gainsaid that certain types of employees like agents, field personnel and salesmen do not earn any reg+lar daily, (eekly or monthly salaries, b+t rely mainly on commission earned. Gpon the other hand, the provisions of 8ection 9 , R+le 9, Book I of the implementing r+les in con+nction (ith  )rticles !%F and !%$ sic of the Code specifically states that the basis of the termination pay d+e to one (ho is so+ght to be legally separated from the service is =his latest salary rates.  .2ven )rticles !%F and !%$ sic invariably +se =monthly pay or monthly salary=.The above terms fo+nd in those )rticles and the partic+lar R+les (ere intentionally +sed to epress the intent of the framers of the la( that for p+rposes of separation pay they mean to be specifically referring to salary only. .... 2ach partic+lar benefit provided in the Code and other 5ecrees on Labor has its o(n pec+larities and n+ances and sho+ld be interpreted in that light. Th+s, for a specific provision, a specific meaning is attached to simplify mattersthat may arise there from. The general g+idelines in sic the formation of specific r+les for partic+lar p+rpose. Th+s, that (hat sho+ld be controlling in matters concerning termination pay sho+ld be the specific provisions of both Book I of the Code and the R+les. )t any rate, settled is the r+le that in matters of conflict bet(een the general provision of la( and that of a partic+lar- or specific provision, the latter sho+ld prevail.6n its part, the NLRC r+led p. 99 , Rollo /1rom the afore*+oted provisions of the la( and the implementing r+les, it co+ld be ded+ced that (age is +sed in its generic sense and obvio+sly refers to the basic (age rate to be ascertained on a time, task, piece or commission basis or other method of calc+lating the same. It does not, ho(ever, mean that commission, allo(ances or analogo+sincome necessarily forms part of the employee=s salary beca+se to do so (o+ld lead to anomalies sic, if not abs+rd,constr+ction of the (ord &salary.& 1or (hat (ill prevent the employee from insisting that emergency living allo(ance, 9Fth month pay, overtime, and premi+m pay, and other fringe benefits sho+ld be added to the comp+tation of their separation pay. This sit+ation, to o+r mind, is not the real intent of the Code and its r+les.e r+le other(ise. The ambig+ity bet(een )rticle A%f, (hich defines the term =(age= and )rticle :I of the Collective Bargaining  )greement, )rticle !#$ of the Labor Code and 8ections Ab and 9 of the Implementing R+les, (hich mention the terms &pay& and &salary&, is more apparent than real. Broadly, the (ord &salary& means a recompense or consideration made to a person for his pains or ind+stry in another man=s b+siness. hether it be derived from &salari+m,& or more fancif+lly from &sal,& the pay of the Roman soldier, it carries (ith it the f+ndamental idea of compensation for services rendered. Indeed, there is eminent a+thority for holding that the (ords &(ages& and &salary& are in essence synonymo+s ords and 0hrases, ol. F# 0ermanent 2dition, p. $$ citing Dopkins vs. Crom(ell, #' N.H.8. #FA,#$9,#A )pp. 5iv. $#9> F# )m. 7+r. $A@. &8alary,& the etymology of (hich is the Latin (ord &salari+m,& is often +sed interchangeably (ith &(age&, the etymology of (hich is the 4iddle 2nglish (ord &(agen&. Both (ords generally refer to one and the same meaning, that is, a re(ard or recompense for services performed. Like(ise, &pay& is the synonym of &(ages& and &salary& Black=sLa( 5ictionary, 'th 2d.. Inasm+ch as the (ords &(ages&, &pay& and &salary& have the same meaning, and commission is incl+ded in the definition of &(age&, the logical concl+sion, therefore, is, in the comp+tation of the separation pay of petitioners, their salary base sho+ld incl+de also their earned sales commissions. The afore*+oted provisions are not the only consideration for deciding the petition in favor of the petitioners. e agree (ith the 8olicitor <eneral that granting, in ratia ar umenti  , that the commissions (ere in the form of incentives or enco+ragement, so that the petitioners (o+ld be inspired to p+t a little more ind+stry on the obs partic+larly assigned to them, still these commissions are direct rem+neration services rendered (hich contrib+ted to the increase of income of 3+ellig . Commission is the recompense, compensation or re(ard of an agent, salesman, eec+tor, tr+stees, receiver, factor, broker or bailee, (hen the same iscalc+lated as a percentage on the amo+nt of his transactions or on the profit to the principal Black=s La( 5ictionary, 'th 2d., citing einer v. 8(ales, !9% 4d. 9!F, 9$9 ).!d %$A, %' . The nat+re of the (ork of a salesman and the reason for s+ch type of rem+neration for services rendered demonstrate clearly that commission are part of petitioners= (age or salary. e take +dicial notice of the fact that some salesmen do not receive any basic salary b+t depend on commissions and allo(ances or commissions alone, are part of petitioners= (age or salary. e take +dicial notice of the fact that some salesman do not received any basic salary b+t depend on commissions and allo(ances or commissions alone, altho+gh an employer-employee relationship eists. Bearing in mind the preceeding dic+ssions, if (e adopt the opposite vie( that commissions, do not form part of (age or salary, then, in effect, e (ill be saying that this kind of salesmen do not receive any salary and therefore, not entitled to separation pay in the event of discharge from  employment. ill this not be abs+rd This narro( interpretation is not in accord (ith the liberal spirit of o+r labor la(s and considering the p+rpose of separation pay (hich is, to alleviate the diffic+lties (hich confront a dismissed employee thro(n the the streets to face the harsh necessities of life. )dditionally, in !oriano v. +LRC, et al., supra , in resolving the iss+e of the salary base that sho+ld be +sed in comp+ting the separation pay, e held that/The commissions also claimed by petitioner =override commission= pl+s =net deposit incentive= are not properly incl+dible in s+ch base fig+re since s+ch commissions m+st be earned by act+al market transactions attrib+table to petitioner. )pplying this by analogy, since the commissions in the present case (ere earned by act+al market transactions attrib+table to petitioners, these sho+ld be incl+ded in their separation pay. In the comp+tation thereof, (hat sho+ld be taken into acco+nt is the average commissions earned d+ring their last year of employment.The final consideration is, in carrying o+t and interpreting the Labor Code=s provisions and its implementing reg+lations, the (orkingman=s (elfare sho+ld be the primordial and paramo+nt consideration. This kind of interpretation gives meaning and s+bstance to the liberal and compassionate spirit of the la( as provided for in )rticle $ of the Labor Code (hich states that &all do+bts in the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of the Labor Code incl+ding its implementing r+les and reg+lations shall be resolvedin favor of labor& )bella v. NLRC, <.R. No. %9#9!, 7+ly F ,9A#%,9'! 8CR) 9$ > 4anila 2lectric Company v. NLRC, et al., <.R. No. %#%@F, 7+ly 9!,9A#A, and )rticle 9% ! of the Civil Code (hich provides that &in case of do+bt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be constr+ed in favor of the safety and decent living for the laborer.  )CC6R5IN<LH, the petition is hereby <R)NT25. The decision of the respondent National Labor Relations Commission is 465I1I25 by incl+ding allo(ances and commissions in the separation pay of petitioners 7ose 8ongco and )mancio 4an+el. The case is remanded to the Labor )rbiter for the proper comp+tation of said separation pay. 86 6R52R25. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT ManilaFIRST DIVISION G.R. No. (10)) J*n+ , 1990LUIS $E OCAMPO, JR., JOSE RO$RIGO, EUGENIO ESUEJO, %ICORINO A!ERNERO, RI'ALO $ALI%A, #RANCISCO ACOSA and () oh+r/ /+d n Ann+ A h+r+o4, petitioners, vs. NAIONAL LA!OR RELAIONS COMMISSION and MAAI $E%ELOPMEN CORPORAION, respondents.  Alfra Beta A. !er-uina for petitioners. Maimo . Amurao, r. for private respondent. CRU', J. 6 The petition seeks a reversal of the decision of the respondent NLRC dated 7+ne #, 9A#$, the dispositive portion of (hich reads as follo(s/ D2R216R2, the 5ecision appealed from is hereby 465I1I25 as hereinabove indicated. Conse*+ently, the application for clearance to dismiss the +nion officers is granted> the employment stat+s of the individ+al complainants (ho (ere proect employees is also considered severed, not on acco+nt of illegality of the strike b+t d+e to the epiration of their employment contracts> and the respondent is ordered to reinstate, (itho+t back (ages, the individ+al complainants (ho (ere reg+lar employees ecept those (ho (ere officers of the +nion among them or paid separation pay at their option, e*+ivalent to one month=s pay or one-half month=s pay for every year of service, (hichever is greater. It appears that on 8eptember F , 9A# , the services of @' employees of private respondent 4akati 5evelopment Corporation (ere terminated on the gro+nd of the epiration of their contracts> that the said employees filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against the 45C on 6ctober 9, 9A# > 7  that on 6ctober #, 9A# , as a res+lt of the aforementioned termination, the 0hilippine Transport and
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