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Flourish Maritime Shipping vs.

Almanzor Ponente: Nachura Date: March 14, 2008 RATIO DECIDENDI: In case of unjust, invalid or unauthorized termination of overseas employment, where the term of the employment contract is at least one year or more, the worker shall be entitled to a salary of three months for ever year of the unexpired term, in accord with Section 10 of RA 8042. QUICK FACTS:.Donato (respondent) was a fisherman illegally dismissed. The monetary award, which was increased by the CA, is also questioned by the petitioner. FACTS: Name of Petitioner: Flourish Maritime Shipping and Lolita Uy Name of Respondent: Donato Almanzor (employee) Facts 49-yo Donato entered into a 2-year employment contract with petitioner Flourish Maritime Shipping as a fisherman, with a monthly salary of NT15,8400 including free meals everyday. However, when he was deployed to Taipei as part of a crew of the fishing vessel FV Tsang Cheng 66, he found out that there were only 5 crew members and that he had to buy food. Worse, the master of the vessel, gave orders that Donato couldnt understandwhich caused the master to be enraged and to hit Donato. Lolita talked to the master of the vessel and when they were docked at the airport, Donato was told that he was going to eb repatriated. When Donato arrived at the Philippines, he reported to Fluorish Maritime and was declared fit for work. He was promised that the was going to be redeployed, but it turned out that it was no longer possible because he was 49 years oldallegedly no longer fit for work. Donato filed a complaint for illegal dismissal for the unexpired portion of his employment contract, earned wages, moral and exemplary damages, and attorneys fees. Petitioners, on the other hand, said that Donato voluntarily resigned, that he failed to comply with the machinery and arbitration clause in the employment contract, and that he failed to discharge the burden of proof of illegal dismissal. Labor Arbiter NLRC CA Held that respondents were guilty of illegal dismissal and entitled to six months total of salary (NT95,040,000). Affirmed in toto the Labor Arbiters decision Upheld the decision and Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, and increased the monetary award, due to the interpretation of Section 10 of RA8042.

Section 10, RA 8042 Money Claims. In case of termination of overseas employment without just, valid or authorized cause as defined by law or contract, the worker shall be entitled to the full reimbursement

of his placement fee with interest at twelve percent (12%) per annum, plus his salaries for the unexpired portion of his employment contract or for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term, whichever is less. According to the NLRC and Labor Arbiter, Donato was entitled to six months because the contract covered a two-year period and he was dismissed only after 26 days of actual work. The CA, on the other hand, said that he actually worked for 26 days, so the unexpired portion of the contract was actually 1 yr, 11 months, and 4 days. The CA held that he was entitled to full compensation for 11 months and 4 days of the first year, with a total salary equivalent of 14 months and 4 days.

ISSUE: WON respondent was illegally dismissed from employment WON the award of the Court of Appeals was correct DECISION: The SC partially granted the petition in that the monetary award should be lessened. HELD 1. No. The LA and the NLRC correctly concluded, as affirmed by the CA, that respondent was not actually redeployed for work, in violation of their employment contract. The respondent failed give conclusive evidence that respondent voluntarily resigned from employment, that respondent was not physically fit to perform work due to his old age and that the employment contract provided a grievance machinery. Therefore, the termination of respondents services was without valid cause. Further, the Court is not a trier of facts, and factual issues have been resolved already by the Labor Arbiter and NLRC, as affirmed by the CA. 2. No. The correct interpretation of Section 10, RA 802 has already been resolved in Marsaman Manning Agency, Inc. vs. NLRC. The provision comes into play only when the employment contract has a term of at least 1 year or more. In this case, the contract was for two years, and the overseas contract worker actually worked for only 26 days prior to the dismissal. Thus, the three months salary rule applies.