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CHAPTER 1

THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND

Introduction

Over the years, the country is bombarded with controversial issues pertaining to

labor law. Although the Labor Code which is the governing law between employers and

employees in the private sector has undergone various amendments or changes, there

are still issues of flaws in most of its provisions in which some people perceived a need

for these to be addressed and be given utmost attention and consideration. This is

consonance with the policy of the state to promote full protection to labor.

One of the major issues pertaining to labor law in the country is with regard to the

security of tenure. 1Security of tenure is a right of paramount value that is given specific

recognition and guaranteed by the Constitution. It is a constitutional and statutory right

of every employee not to be dismissed from his work without just or valid cause and in

the absence of due process. In cases wherein, the employees are illegally dismissed or

terminated from work, they are afforded reliefs and remedies under the law. However,

the question relies on the sufficiency of these reliefs and remedies.

Tracing the provision of Article 294 [formerly Art. 279] of the Labor Code, it is

undisputed that the employees who were declared illegally dismissed from office are

1
Duka, Cecilio D. (2008) Labor Laws and Social Legislations: A Barrister’s Companion. Rex Printing Company Inc.:
Quezon City
given entitlement to certain reliefs and remedies. These include the reinstatement

without loss of seniority rights and other privileges. An employee is entitled also to full

backwages, inclusive of allowances, and to his other benefits or their monetary

equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the

time of his actual reinstatement. However, a close reading thereof, implies that these

remedies are inadequate and do not particularly point out the appropriate reliefs for

employees under various cases or circumstances which do not fall within the ambit of

the said provision.

Taking as an example is when there arises a conflict or tension between an

employer and employee wherein it is no longer convenient to stay in same environment.

The employee; therefore, chooses not to be reinstated. In this manner, he should not be

left without any recourse. Hence, the Court in most of its decisions has ruled that the

employee must be entitled to separation pay in lieu of reinstatement. Although the Labor

Code did not mention the award of separation pay, the Court interpreted in its previous

cases that it would be just for the employee to be given another remedy if the

reinstatement is impossible.

In light of this circumstance, it can be gleaned that the Supreme Court in its

decisions in various cases has played a role in supplementing the provision of the law

with new-fangled reliefs and remedies in the absence of legal foundation which are

declared as doctrines during the time of their promulgation but only to be subsequently

changed and superseded by new ones that can possibly lead to conflict and

obfuscation. The role taken by the Court in interpreting the provisions of the law is

merely to fill-in the gaps that the particular law is lacking. Hence, unless there would be
an amendment, the Court could rely only to what is stated under the provision of the

Labor Code and construe the law upon its spirit.

It is in this vein that the researcher intends to fully understand and determine the

reliefs and remedies available to the illegally dismissed employees and how does the

court grant these reliefs in various cases or jurisprudence. In the end, it seeks to

expound and explore the deficiencies of the reliefs and remedies as stated under the

Labor Code and to recommend proposal for amendment of the particular provision.

Statement of the Problem

This study intends to determine deficiencies in the reliefs and remedies available

to the illegally dismissed employees.

Specifically, it seeks to answer the following sub-problems:

1. What does the Labor Code state about the remedies entitled to employees

who were illegally terminated from work?

2. How do court decisions or jurisprudence grant reliefs and remedies to the

illegally dismissed employees in various cases or circumstances where they do not fall

within the ambit of the reliefs contemplated in Art 294 (formerly Art. 279) of the Labor

Code?

Objectives of the Study

This research on the sufficiency of the reliefs and remedies available to the

illegally dismissed employees aims to:


1. Determine what the law states and how the jurisprudence grants reliefs and

remedies to the employees who were illegally terminated from work

2. Identify the significant deficiencies in the reliefs and remedies of the law and

recommend proposal of amendment on the particular provision of Labor Code

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will redound to the benefit of the employees in order to

afford to them appropriate reliefs and remedies in cases of illegal dismissal or

termination from office. The study can also set as an awakening call for the government

to review and update the particular provision of the Labor Code in order to fully provide

the needed protection of the employees. Moreover, the study can be used as a guide

for future researches regarding this matter.

Limitations of the Study

This study is limited on the provision of Article 294, formerly Art. 279 of the Labor

Code entitled “Security of Tenure”. It covers only the reliefs and remedies entitled to the

illegally dismissed employees. The analysis of jurisprudence, on the other hand is

limited only on the Philippine jurisprudence regarding cases on illegal dismissal of

employees and the reliefs afforded or imposed by the court.

Definition of Terms

For better understanding of the study, the following terms are hereby defined:
Employer. 2This includes any person acting in the interest of an employer,

directly or indirectly. The term shall not include any labor organization or any of its

officers or agents except when acting as employer.

Employee. 3This includes any person in the employ of an employer. The term

shall not be limited to the employees of a particular employer, unless this Code so

explicitly states. It shall include any individual whose work has ceased as a result of or

in connection with any current labor dispute or because of any unfair labor practice if he

has not obtained any other substantially equivalent and regular employment.

Employ. 4This includes to suffer or permit to work.

Wage. 5This is paid to any employee shall mean the remuneration or

earnings, however designated, capable of being expressed in terms of money,

whether fixed or ascertained on a time, task, piece, or commission basis, or other

method of calculating the same, which is payable by an employer to an employee

under a written or unwritten contract of employment for work done or to be done, or

for services rendered or to be rendered and includes the fair and reasonable value,

as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, of board, lodging, or

other facilities customarily furnished by the employer to the employee. "Fair and

reasonable value" shall not include any profit to the employer, or to any person

affiliated with the employer.

2
Republic Act No. 6715 (1989), Sec. 4.
3
Id.
4
LABOR CODE, Art. 97.
5
Id.
Conceptual Framework

This illustrates the different inputs used in the study as well as the process of

gathering data and the perceived outcome or result of the research. The researcher

utilized the IPO model to provide a general structure and to guide for the direction of the

study.

In the first part, the researcher applies the laws and jurisprudence that will govern

the study. The provision of the Labor Code, particularly Article 294 (formerly Art. 279)

will be used in order to determine the reliefs and remedies entitled to employees who

are illegally terminated from office. In the same way, the Philippine jurisprudence will be

utilized to identify the manner of how the Court grants the appropriate reliefs and

remedies to these employees in various cases and circumstances.

In the second part, the researcher will analyze the law and jurisprudence on it

affords reliefs and remedies to illegally dismissed employees.

In the last part, from the analysis of the law and jurisprudence, the researcher

hopes to determine whether the reliefs entitled to the employees are sufficient. With

these also, the researcher seeks to expound and explore the deficiencies of the law

which in turn possible measures can be recommended.


 Article 294
(formerly Art.
279) of Labor
Code Deficiencies in the reliefs
Analysis of the law and and remedies under
 Republic Act jurisprudence that Article 294 [279] of the
No. 6715 affords the reliefs and Labor Code which are
remedies to illegally entitled to the employees
 Philippine dismissed employees who are illegally
Jurisprudence terminated from office
on Illegal
Dismissal of
employees

Figure 1.

Conceptual Paradigm