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RepublicofthePhilippines

SUPREMECOURT
Manila

AlsoassailedinthisPetitionistheJanuary18,2011Resolution5oftheCA
denyingRoyaleHomesMotionforReconsideration,6aswellasits
Supplemental7thereto.

SECONDDIVISION

FactualAntecedents

G.R.No.195190July28,2014
ROYALEHOMESMARKETINGCORPORATION,Petitioner,
vs.
FIDELP.ALCANTARA[deceased],substitutedbyhisheirs,
Respondent.
DECISION
DELCASTILLO,J.:
Noteveryformofcontrolthatahiringpartyimposesonthehiredpartyis
indicativeofemployeeemployerrelationship.Rulesandregulationsthat
merelyserveasguidelinestowardstheachievementofamutuallydesired
resultwithoutdictatingthemeansandmethodsofaccomplishingitdonot
establishemployeremployeerelationship.1
ThisPetitionforReviewonCertiorari2assailstheJune23,2010Decision3
oftheCourtofAppeals(CA)inCAG.R.SPNo.109998which(i)reversed
andsetasidetheFebruary23,2009Decision4oftheNationalLabor
RelationsCommission(NLRC),(ii)orderedpetitionerRoyaleHomes
MarketingCorporation(RoyaleHomes)topayrespondentFidelP.
Alcantara(Alcantara)backwagesandseparationpay,and(iii)remandedthe
casetotheLaborArbiterfortheproperdeterminationandcomputationof
saidmonetaryawards.

In1994,RoyaleHomes,acorporationengagedinmarketingrealestates,
appointedAlcantaraasitsMarketingDirectorforafixedperiodofoneyear.
HisworkconsistedmainlyofmarketingRoyaleHomesrealestate
inventoriesonanexclusivebasis.RoyaleHomesreappointedhimfor
severalconsecutiveyears,thelastofwhichcoveredtheperiodJanuary1to
December31,2003whereheheldthepositionofDivision5Vice
PresidentSales.8
ProceedingsbeforetheLaborArbiter
OnDecember17,2003,AlcantarafiledaComplaintforIllegalDismissal9
againstRoyaleHomesanditsPresidentMatildeRobles,ExecutiveVice
PresidentforAdministrationandFinanceMa.MelindaBernardino,and
ExecutiveVicePresidentforSalesCarminaSotto.Alcantaraallegedthat
heisaregularemployeeofRoyaleHomessinceheisperformingtasksthat
arenecessaryanddesirabletoitsbusiness;thatin2003thecompanygave
himP1.2millionfortheservicesherenderedtoit;thatinthefirstweekof
November2003,however,theexecutiveofficersofRoyaleHomestoldhim
thattheywerewonderingwhyhestillhadthegalltocometoofficeandsit
athistable;10andthattheactsoftheexecutiveofficersofRoyaleHomes
amountedtohisdismissalfromworkwithoutanyvalidorjustcauseandin
grossdisregardoftheproperprocedurefordismissingemployees.Thus,he
alsoimpleadedthecorporateofficerswho,heaverred,effectedhisdismissal
inbadfaithandinanoppressivemanner.
Alcantaraprayedtobereinstatedtohisformerpositionwithoutlossof
seniorityrightsandotherprivileges,aswellastobepaidbackwages,moral

andexemplarydamages,andattorneysfees.Hefurthersoughtthatthe
ownershipoftheMitsubishiAdventurewithPlateNo.WHD945be
transferredtohisname.
RoyaleHomes,ontheotherhand,vehementlydeniedthatAlcantaraisits
employee.ItarguedthattheappointmentpaperofAlcantaraisclearthatit
engagedhisservicesasanindependentsalescontractorforafixedtermof
oneyearonly.Heneverreceivedanysalary,13thmonthpay,overtimepay
orholidaypayfromRoyaleHomesashewaspaidpurelyoncommission
basis.Inaddition,RoyaleHomeshadnocontrolonhowAlcantarawould
accomplishhistasksandresponsibilitiesashewasfreetosolicitsalesat
anytimeandbyanymannerwhichhemaydeemappropriateandnecessary.
Heisevenfreetorecruithisownsalespersonneltoassisthiminpursuance
ofhissalestarget.
AccordingtoRoyaleHomes,Alcantaradecidedtoleavethecompanyafter
hiswife,whowasonceconnectedwithitasasalesagent,hadformeda
brokeragecompanythatdirectlycompetedwithitsbusiness,andeven
recruitedsomeofitssalesagents.Althoughthiswasagainsttheexclusivity
clauseofthecontract,RoyaleHomesstillofferedtoacceptAlcantaraswife
backsoshecouldcontinuetoengageinrealestatebrokerage,albeit
exclusivelyforRoyaleHomes.Inaspecialmanagementcommitteemeeting
onOctober8,2003,however,Alcantaraannouncedpubliclyandopenlythat
hewouldleavethecompanybytheendofOctober2003andthathewould
nolongerfinishtheunexpiredtermofhiscontract.Hehasdecidedtojoin
hiswifeandpursuetheirownbrokeragebusiness.RoyaleHomesaccepted
Alcantarasdecision.Itthenthrewadespedidapartyinhishonorand,
subsequently,appointedanewindependentcontractor.Twomonthsafter
herelinquishedhispost,however,AlcantaraappearedinRoyaleHomesand
submittedaletterclaimingthathewasillegallydismissed.
RulingoftheLaborArbiter
OnSeptember7,2005,theLaborArbiterrenderedaDecision11holdingthat
AlcantaraisanemployeeofRoyaleHomeswithafixedtermemployment

periodfromJanuary1toDecember31,2003andthatthepreterminationof
hiscontractwasagainstthelaw.Hence,Alcantaraisentitledtoanamount
whichhemayhaveearnedontheaveragefortheunexpiredportionofthe
contract.Withregardtotheimpleadedcorporateofficers,theLaborArbiter
absolvedthemfromanyliability.
ThedispositiveportionoftheLaborArbitersDecisionreads:
WHEREFORE,premisesconsidered,judgmentisherebyrenderedordering
therespondentRoyaleHomesMarketingCorp.topaythecomplainantthe
totalamountofTWOHUNDREDSEVENTYSEVENTHOUSAND
PESOS(P277,000.00)representinghiscompensation/commissionforthe
unexpiredtermofhiscontract.
Allotherclaimsaredismissedforlackofmerit.
SOORDERED.12
BothpartiesappealedtheLaborArbitersDecisiontotheNLRC.Royale
HomesclaimedthattheLaborArbitergrievouslyerredinrulingthatthere
existsanemployeremployeerelationshipbetweentheparties.Itinsisted
thatthecontractbetweenthemexpresslystatesthatAlcantaraisan
independentcontractorandnotanordinaryemployee.Ithadnocontrolover
themeansandmethodsbywhichheperformedhiswork.RoyaleHomes
likewiseassailedtheawardofP277,000.00forlackofbasisasitdidnot
preterminatethecontract.ItwasAlcantarawhochosenottofinishthe
contract.
Alcantara,forhispart,arguedthattheLaborArbitererredinrulingthathis
employmentwasforafixedtermandthatheisnotentitledtobackwages,
reinstatement,unpaidcommissions,anddamages.
RulingoftheNationalLaborRelationsCommission

OnFebruary23,2009,theNLRCrendereditsDecision,13rulingthat
AlcantaraisnotanemployeebutamereindependentcontractorofRoyale
Homes.Itbaseditsrulingmainlyonthecontractwhichdoesnotrequire
Alcantaratoobserveregularworkinghours.Hewasalsofreetoadoptthe
sellingmethodshedeemedmosteffectiveandcanevenrecruitsalesagents
toassisthiminmarketingtheinventoriesofRoyaleHomes.TheNLRCalso
consideredthefactthatAlcantarawasnotreceivingmonthlysalary,butwas
beingpaidoncommissionbasisasstipulatedinthecontract.Beingan
independentcontractor,theNLRCconcludedthatAlcantarasComplaint
iscognizablebytheregularcourts.
ThefallooftheNLRCDecisionreads:
WHEREFORE,premisesconsidered,theDecisionofLaborArbiterDolores
PeraltaBeleydatedSeptember5,2005isREVERSEDandSETASIDEand
aNEWONErendereddismissingthecomplaintforlackofjurisdiction.
SOORDERED.14
Alcantaramovedforreconsideration.15InaResolution16datedMay29,
2009,however,theNLRCdeniedhismotion.
AlcantarathusfiledaPetitionforCertiorari17withtheCAimputinggrave
abuseofdiscretiononthepartoftheNLRCinrulingthatheisnotan
employeeofRoyaleHomesandthatitistheregularcourtswhichhave
jurisdictionovertheissueofwhetherthepreterminationofthecontractis
valid.
RulingoftheCourtofAppeals
OnJune23,2010,theCApromulgateditsDecision18grantingAlcantaras
PetitionandreversingtheNLRCsDecision.Applyingthefourfoldand
economicrealitytests,itheldthatAlcantaraisanemployeeofRoyale
Homes.RoyaleHomesexercisedsomedegreeofcontroloverAlcantara

sincehisjob,asobservedbytheCA,issubjecttocompanyrules,
regulations,andperiodicevaluations.Hewasalsoboundbythecompany
codeofethics.Moreover,theexclusivityclauseofthecontracthasmade
AlcantaraeconomicallydependentonRoyaleHomes,supportingthetheory
thatheisanemployeeofsaidcompany.
TheCAfurtherheldthatAlcantarasterminationfromemploymentwas
withoutanyvalidorjustcause,anditwascarriedoutinviolationofhis
righttoproceduraldueprocess.Thus,theCAruledthatheisentitledto
backwagesandseparationpay,inlieuofreinstatement.
Considering,however,thattheCAwasnotsatisfiedwiththeproofadduced
toestablishtheamountofAlcantarasannualsalary,itremandedthecaseto
theLaborArbitertodeterminethesameandthemonetaryawardheis
entitledto.Withregardtothecorporateofficers,theCAabsolvedthem
fromanyliabilityforwantofclearproofthattheyassentedtothepatently
unlawfulactsorthattheyareguiltyofbadfaithorgrossnegligence.Thus:
WHEREFORE,inviewoftheforegoing,theinstantPETITIONis
GRANTED.TheassaileddecisionoftheNationalLaborRelations
CommissioninNLRCNCRCASENO.00121431103NLRCCANO.
04610405datedFebruary23,2009aswellastheResolutiondatedMay29,
2009areherebySETASIDEandanewoneisenteredorderingthe
respondentcompanytopaypetitionerbackwageswhichshallbecomputed
fromthetimeofhisillegalterminationinOctober2003uptothefinalityof
thisdecision,plusseparationpayequivalenttoonemonthsalaryforevery
yearofservice.ThiscaseisREMANDEDtotheLaborArbiterforthe
properdeterminationandcomputationofbackwages,separationpayand
othermonetarybenefitsthatpetitionerisentitledto.
SOORDERED.19
RoyaleHomesfiledaMotionforReconsideration20andaSupplemental
MotionforReconsideration.21InaResolution22datedJanuary18,2011,
however,theCAdeniedsaidmotions.

Issues
Hence,thisPetitionwhereRoyaleHomessubmitsbeforethisCourtthe
followingissuesforresolution:
A.
WHETHERTHECOURTOFAPPEALSHAS
DECIDEDTHEINSTANTCASENOTINACCORD
WITHLAWANDAPPLICABLEDECISIONSOFTHE
SUPREMECOURTWHENITREVERSEDTHE
RULINGOFTHENLRCDISMISSINGTHE
COMPLAINTOFRESPONDENTFORLACKOF
JURISDICTIONANDCONSEQUENTLY,INFINDING
THATRESPONDENTWASILLEGALLY
DISMISSED[.]
B.
WHETHERTHECOURTOFAPPEALSCOMMITTED
ASERIOUSERROROFLAWINDISREGARDING
THEENBANCRULINGOFTHISHONORABLE
COURTINTHECASEOFTONGKOVS.MANULIFE,
ANDINBRUSHINGASIDETHEAPPLICABLE
RULINGSOFSONZAVS.ABSCBNAND
CONSULTAV.CA[.]
C.
WHETHERTHECOURTOFAPPEALSCOMMITTED
ASERIOUSERROROFLAWINDENYINGTHE
MOTIONFORRECONSIDERATIONOFPETITIONER
ANDINREFUSINGTOCORRECTITSELF[.]23

RoyaleHomescontendsthatitscontractwithAlcantaraisclearand
unambiguousitengagedhisservicesasanindependentcontractor.This
canbereadilyseenfromthecontractstatingthatnoemployeremployee
relationshipexistsbetweentheparties;thatAlcantarawasfreetosolicit
salesatanytimeandbyanymannerhemaydeemappropriate;thathemay
recruitsalespersonneltoassisthiminmarketingRoyaleHomes
inventories;and,thathisremunerationsaredependentonhissales
performance.
RoyaleHomeslikewisearguesthattheCAgrievouslyerredinrulingthatit
exercisedcontroloverAlcantarabasedonashallowgroundthathis
performanceissubjecttocompanyrulesandregulations,codeofethics,
periodicevaluation,andexclusivityclauseofcontract.RoyaleHomes
maintainsthatitisexpectedtoexercisesomedegreeofcontroloverits
independentcontractors,butthatdoesnotautomaticallyresultinthe
existenceofemployeremployeerelationship.Forcontroltobeconsideredas
aprooftendingtoestablishemployeremployeerelationship,thesame
mustpertaintothemeansandmethodofperformingthework;notonthe
relationshipoftheindependentcontractorsamongthemselvesortheir
personsortheirsourceofliving.
RoyaleHomesfurtherassertsthatitneitherhirednorwieldedthepowerto
dismissAlcantara.ItwasAlcantarawhoopenlyandpubliclydeclaredthat
hewaspreterminatinghisfixedtermcontract.
ThepivotalissuetoberesolvedinthiscaseiswhetherAlcantarawasan
independentcontractororanemployeeofRoyaleHomes.
OurRuling
ThePetitionisimpressedwithmerit.
Thedeterminationofwhetherapartywhorendersservicestoanotherisan
employeeoranindependentcontractorinvolvesanevaluationoffactual

matterswhich,ordinarily,isnotwithintheprovinceofthisCourt.Inview
oftheconflictingfindingsofthetribunalsbelow,however,thisCourtis
constrainedtogooverthefactualmattersinvolvedinthiscase.24

MR.FIDELP.ALCANTARA

Thejuridicalrelationshipofthepartiesbasedontheirwrittencontract

MarikinaCity

Theprimaryevidenceofthenatureofthepartiesrelationshipinthiscaseis
thewrittencontractthattheysignedandexecutedinpursuanceoftheir
mutualagreement.Whiletheexistenceofemployeremployeerelationship
isamatteroflaw,thecharacterizationmadebythepartiesintheircontract
astothenatureoftheirjuridicalrelationshipcannotbesimplyignored,
particularlyinthiscasewherethepartieswrittencontractunequivocally
statestheirintentionatthetimetheyenteredintoit.InTongkov.The
ManufacturersLifeInsuranceCo.(Phils.),Inc.,25itwasheldthat:

DearMr.Alcantara,

Tobesure,theAgreementslegalcharacterizationofthenatureofthe
relationshipcannotbeconclusiveandbindingonthecourts;xxxthe
characterizationofthejuridicalrelationshiptheAgreementembodiedisa
matteroflawthatisforthecourtstodetermine.Atthesametime,though,
thecharacterizationthepartiesgavetotheirrelationshipintheAgreement
cannotsimplybebrushedasidebecauseitembodiestheirintentatthetime
theyenteredtheAgreement,andtheyweregovernedbythisunderstanding
throughouttheirrelationship.Attheveryleast,theprovisionontheabsence
ofemployeremployeerelationshipbetweenthepartiescanbeanaidin
consideringtheAgreementanditsimplementation,andinappreciatingthe
otherevidenceonrecord.26
Inthiscase,thecontract,27dulysignedandnotdisputedbytheparties,
conspicuouslyprovidesthat"noemployeremployeerelationshipexists
between"RoyaleHomesandAlcantara,aswellashissalesagents.Itis
clearthattheydidnotwanttobeboundbyemployeremployeerelationship
atthetimeofthesigningofthecontract.Thus:
January24,2003

13RanchoI

ThiswillconfirmyourappointmentasDivision5
VICE[]PRESIDENTSALESofROYALEHOMESMARKETING
CORPORATIONeffectiveJanuary1,2003toDecember31,2003.
Yourappointmententailsmarketingourrealestateinventoriesonan
EXCLUSIVEBASISundersuchprice,termsandconditiontobeprovided
toyoufromtimetotime.
Assuch,youcansolicitsalesatanytimeandbyanymannerwhichyou
deemappropriateandnecessarytomarketourrealestateinventoriessubject
torules,regulationsandcodeofethicspromulgatedbythecompany.
Further,youarefreetorecruitsalespersonnel/agentstoassistyouin
marketingofourinventoriesprovidedthatyourpersonnel/agentsshallfirst
attendtherequiredseminarsandbriefingtobeconductedbyusfromtime
totimeforthepurposeoffamiliarizingthemoftermsandconditionsofsale,
thenatureofpropertysold,etc.,attendanceofwhichshallbeacondition
precedentfortheiraccreditationbyus.
ThatassuchDivision5VICE[]PRESIDENTSALESyoushallbeentitled
to:
1.Commissionoverrideof0.5%foralloption
salesbeginningJanuary1,2003bookedbyyour
salesagents.

2.Budgetallocationdependingonyour
divisionssaleperformanceasperourbudget
guidelines.
3.Salesincentiveandotherformsofcompany
supportwhichmaybegrantedfromtimetotime.
Itisunderstood,however,thatnoemployer
employeerelationshipexistsbetweenus,thatof
yoursalespersonnel/agents,andthatyoushall
holdourcompanyxxx,itsofficersand
directors,freeandharmlessfromanyandall
claimsofliabilityanddamagesarisingfrom
and/orincidenttothemarketingofourrealestate
inventories.
Wereserve,however,ourrighttoterminatethisagreementincaseof
violationofanycompanyrulesandregulations,policiesandcodeofethics
uponnoticeforjustifiablereason.
Yourperformanceshallbesubjecttoperiodicevaluationbasedonfactors
whichshallbedeterminedbythemanagement.
Ifyouareamenabletotheforegoingtermsandconditions,pleaseindicate
yourconformitybysigningonthespaceprovidedbelowandreturn[to]usa
duplicatecopyofthisletter,dulyaccomplished,toconstituteasour
agreementonthematter.(Emphasisours)

Since"thetermsofthecontractareclearandleavenodoubtuponthe
intentionofthecontractingparties,theliteralmeaningofitsstipulations
shouldcontrol."28Noconstructionisevenneededastheyalreadyexpressly
statetheirintention.Also,thisCourtadoptstheobservationoftheNLRC
thatitisratherstrangeonthepartofAlcantara,aneducatedmananda
veteransalesbrokerwhoclaimedtobereceivingP1.2millionashisannual
salary,nottohavecontestedtheportionofthecontractexpresslyindicating
thatheisnotanemployeeofRoyaleHomesiftheirtrueintentionwere
otherwise.
ThejuridicalrelationshipofthepartiesbasedonControlTest
Indeterminingtheexistenceofanemployeremployeerelationship,this
Courthasgenerallyreliedonthefourfoldtest,towit:(1)theselectionand
engagementoftheemployee;(2)thepaymentofwages;(3)thepowerof
dismissal;and(4)theemployerspowertocontroltheemployeewith
respecttothemeansandmethodsbywhichtheworkistobe
accomplished.29Amongthefour,themostdeterminativefactorin
ascertainingtheexistenceofemployeremployeerelationshipisthe"rightof
controltest".30"Itisdeemedtobesuchanimportantfactorthattheother
requisitesmayevenbedisregarded."31Thisholdstruewheretheissuesto
beresolvediswhetherapersonwhoperformsworkforanotheristhelatters
employeeorisanindependentcontractor,32asinthiscase.Forwherethe
personforwhomtheservicesareperformedreservestherighttocontrolnot
onlytheendtobeachieved,butalsothemeansbywhichsuchendis
reached,employeremployeerelationshipisdeemedtoexist.33
InconcludingthatAlcantaraisanemployeeofRoyaleHomes,theCA
ratiocinatedthatsincetheperformanceofhistasksissubjecttocompany
rules,regulations,codeofethics,andperiodicevaluation,theelementof
controlispresent.
TheCourtdisagrees.

Noteveryformofcontrolisindicativeofemployeremployee
relationship.1wphi1Apersonwhoperformsworkforanotherandis
subjectedtoitsrules,regulations,andcodeofethicsdoesnotnecessarily
becomeanemployee.34Aslongasthelevelofcontroldoesnotinterfere
withthemeansandmethodsofaccomplishingtheassignedtasks,therules
imposedbythehiringpartyonthehiredpartydonotamounttothelabor
lawconceptofcontrolthatisindicativeofemployeremployeerelationship.
InInsularLifeAssuranceCo.,Ltd.v.NationalLaborRelations
Commission35itwaspronouncedthat:
Logically,thelineshouldbedrawnbetweenrulesthatmerelyserveas
guidelinestowardstheachievementofthemutuallydesiredresultwithout
dictatingthemeansormethodstobeemployedinattainingit,andthosethat
controlorfixthemethodologyandbindorrestrictthepartyhiredtotheuse
ofsuchmeans.Thefirst,whichaimonlytopromotetheresult,createno
employeremployeerelationshipunlikethesecond,whichaddressboththe
resultandthemeansusedtoachieveit.xxx36

Inthiscase,theCourtagreeswithRoyaleHomesthattherules,regulations,
codeofethics,andperiodicevaluationalludedtobyAlcantaradonot
involvecontroloverthemeansandmethodsbywhichhewastoperformhis
job.Understandably,RoyaleHomeshastofixtheprice,impose
requirementsonprospectivebuyers,andlaydownthetermsand
conditionsofthesale,includingthemodeofpayment,whichthe
independentcontractorsmustfollow.ItisalsonecessaryforRoyaleHomes
toallocateitsinventoriesamongitsindependentcontractors,determinewho
haspriorityinsellingthesame,grantcommissionorallowancebasedon
predeterminedcriteria,andregularlymonitortheresultoftheirmarketing
andsalesefforts.ButtothemindofthisCourt,thesedonotpertaintothe
meansandmethodsofhowAlcantarawastoperformandaccomplishhis
taskofsolicitingsales.Theydonotdictateuponhimthedetailsofhowhe
wouldsolicitsalesorthemannerastohowhewouldtransactbusinesswith
prospectiveclients.InTongko,thisCourtheldthatguidelinesorrulesand
regulationsthatdonotpertaintothemeansormethodstobeemployedin
attainingtheresultarenotindicativeofcontrolasunderstoodinlaborlaw.
Thus:
Fromjurisprudence,animportantlessonthatthefirstInsularLifecase
teachesusisthatacommitmenttoabidebytherulesandregulationsofan
insurancecompanydoesnotipsofactomaketheinsuranceagentan
employee.Neitherdoguidelinessomehowrestrictiveoftheinsurance
agentsconductnecessarilyindicate"control"asthistermisdefinedin
jurisprudence.Guidelinesindicativeoflaborlaw"control,"asthefirst
InsularLifecasetellsus,shouldnotmerelyrelatetothemutuallydesirable
resultintendedbythecontractualrelationship;theymusthavethenatureof
dictatingthemeansormethodstobeemployedinattainingtheresult,orof
fixingthemethodologyandofbindingorrestrictingthepartyhiredtothe
useofthesemeans.Infact,resultswise,theprincipalcanimposeproduction
quotasandcandeterminehowmanyagents,withspecificterritories,ought
tobeemployedtoachievethecompanysobjectives.Theseare
managementpolicydecisionsthatthelaborlawelementofcontrolcannot
reach.OurrulingintheserespectsinthefirstInsularLifecasewas
practicallyreiteratedinCarungcong.Thus,aswillbeshownmorefully

below,Manulifescodesofconduct,allofwhichdonotintrudeintothe
insuranceagentsmeansandmannerofconductingtheirsalesandonly
controlthemastothedesiredresultsandInsuranceCodenorms,cannotbe
usedasbasisforafindingthatthelaborlawconceptofcontrolexisted
betweenManulifeandTongko.37(Emphasesintheoriginal)

isunderstoodinlaborjurisprudence.NeitherdiditmakeConsultaan
employeeofPamana.PamanadidnotprohibitConsultafromengagingin
anyotherbusiness,orfrombeingconnectedwithanyothercompany,for
aslongasthebusiness[ofthe]companydidnotcompetewithPamanas
business.43

Asthepartyclaimingtheexistenceofemployeremployeerelationship,it
behoveduponAlcantaratoprovetheelementsthereof,particularlyRoyale
Homespowerofcontroloverthemeansandmethodsofaccomplishingthe
work.38He,however,failedtocitespecificrules,regulationsorcodesof
ethicsthatsupposedlyimposedcontrolonhismeansandmethodsof
solicitingsalesanddealingwithprospectiveclients.Ontheotherhand,this
caseisrepletewithinstancesthatnegatetheelementofcontrolandthe
existenceofemployeremployeerelationship.Notably,Alcantarawasnot
requiredtoobservedefiniteworkinghours.39Exceptforsolicitingsales,
RoyaleHomesdidnotassignothertaskstohim.Hehadfullcontroloverthe
meansandmethodsofaccomplishinghistasksashecan"solicitsalesat
anytimeandbyanymannerwhich[hemay]deemappropriateand
necessary."Heperformedhistasksonhisownaccountfreefromthe
controlanddirectionofRoyaleHomesinallmattersconnectedtherewith,
exceptastotheresultsthereof.40

Thesamescenarioobtainsinthiscase.Alcantarawasnotprohibitedfrom
engaginginanyotherbusinessaslongashedoesnotsellprojectsofRoyale
Homescompetitors.Hecanengageinsellingvariousotherproductsor
engageinunrelatedbusinesses.

NeitherdoestherepeatedhiringofAlcantaraprovetheexistenceof
employeremployeerelationship.41Asdiscussedabove,theabsenceof
controloverthemeansandmethodsdisprovesemployeremployee
relationship.ThecontinuousrehiringofAlcantarasimplysignifiesthe
renewalofhiscontractwithRoyaleHomes,andhighlightshissatisfactory
serviceswarrantingtherenewalofsuchcontract.Nordoestheexclusivity
clauseofcontractestablishtheexistenceofthelaborlawconceptofcontrol.
InConsultav.CourtofAppeals,42itwasheldthatexclusivityofcontract
doesnotnecessarilyresultinemployeremployeerelationship,viz:
xxxHowever,thefactthattheappointmentrequiredConsultatosolicit
businessexclusivelyforPamanadidnotmeanthatPamanaexercised
controloverthemeansandmethodsofConsultasworkasthetermcontrol

PaymentofWages
Theelementofpaymentofwagesisalsoabsentinthiscase.Asprovidedin
thecontract,Alcantarasremunerationsconsistonlyofcommissionoverride
of0.5%,budgetallocation,salesincentiveandotherformsofcompany
support.Thereisnoproofthathereceivedfixedmonthlysalary.Nopayslip
orpayrollwaseverpresentedandthereisnoproofthatRoyaleHomes
deductedfromhissupposedsalarywithholdingtaxorthatitregisteredhim
withtheSocialSecuritySystem,PhilippineHealthInsuranceCorporation,
orPagIbigFund.Infact,hisComplaintmerelystatesaballparkfigureof
hisallegedsalaryofP100,000.00,moreorless.Alloftheseindicatean
independentcontractualrelationship.44Besides,ifAlcantaraindeed
consideredhimselfanemployeeofRoyaleHomes,thenhe,anexperienced
andprofessionalbroker,wouldhavecomplainedthathewasbeingdenied
statutorilymandatedbenefits.Butfornineconsecutiveyears,hekeptmum
aboutit,signifyingthathehasagreed,consented,andacceptedthefactthat
heisnotentitledtothoseemployeebenefitsbecauseheisanindependent
contractor.
ThisCourtis,therefore,convincedthatAlcantaraisnotanemployeeof
RoyaleHomes,butamereindependentcontractor.TheNLRCis,therefore,
correctinconcludingthattheLaborArbiterhasnojurisdictionoverthe
caseandthatthesameiscognizablebytheregularcourts.

WHEREFORE,theinstantPetitionisherebyGRANTED.TheJune23,
2010DecisionoftheCourtofAppealsinCAG.R.SPNo.109998is
REVERSEDandSETASIDE.TheFebruary23,2009Decisionofthe

NationalLaborRelationsCommissionisREINSTATEDandAFFIRMED.
SOORDERED.