Court orders NPC to pay employees P6.49-Billion

by EVMail News on April 7, 2009

ORMOC CITY – A Quezon City regional trial court has awarded with finality this week some 9,777 employees of the National Power Corporation (NPC) a whooping P6.496-Billion representing “back allowances” and unpaid cost of living allowances (COLA) from November 1989 up to 1999, when the case was filed against the government corporation.

The sum, if equally divided among the 9,777 employees, would give each around P664,000.00. However, the distribution of the money would be prorated, depending on their salary scale, as the back allowances and COLA due to them represents 40 plus 10 percent of their salaries, respectively.

Presiding Judge Luisito G. Cortez of the RTC Branch 84 in Quezon City has also ordered NPC to pay the employees another P 704-million interest at 12 percent per annum on the whole sum, from the time the complaint was filed in December 2007 until its resolution in December 2008. The lawyers and “consultants” of the NPC employees were also awarded 300,000.00 in attorney’s fees, aside from five percent of the entire amount that each employee will receive, as consultancy fee for them. That would be around P324.8-million.
A notice to comply dated March 24, this year, has since been served by the sheriff of RTC Branch 84 to the NPC on March 25, after the decision became final. It is not learned at this point in time if the NPC would file an appeal on the judge’s decision at the Supreme Court, or if still can be appealed.
However, NPC employees are confident they would get the P6.496-Billion award, banking on a similar case that has already been resolved by the Supreme Court just last December 2008. This was the complaint filed by terminated members of the NPC Drivers and Mechanics Association (NPC DAMA). The Supreme Court has ordered NPC to pay the terminated drivers their back wages and allowances, saying their termination from work was illegal. The National Power Corporation is a government-controlled corporation. Its transmission facilities under TransCo have since been privatized, including the one in Eastern Visayas based at Milagro, this city, which was bought by a Chinese firm and now operating under the name National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

NPC is the same entity that has recently been allowed by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to increase on their power rates by some P1.1460 in the Visayas, claiming they have been operating on the red. However, in a certification issued on April 22, 2008, Alexander Japon, NPC senior finance department manager, certified that it has available funds for the payment of back allowances and COLA to its personnel and former employees in the amount of P8.5-Billion.
To demand for the immediate compliance of the court order, former NPC employees, majority of who have since been absorbed by the new owners of its facilities, have started a “peaceful assembly” in their respective locations every lunch break. Here in Milagro, this city, the employees took to assembling at the plant gates during their lunch break starting Friday, March 27, 2009. Requesting anonymity, some employees told the EV Mail that what they are doing is just to dramatize their demand, but they are doing it during their lunch break so as not to disrupt the normal operations of the electric transmission facility.

Class suit

The complaint against the NPC is for mandamus. It was filed by two employees originally, Abner P. Eleria and Melito B. Lupanco. Eleria was president of the NPC Employees Consolidated Union or NECU and Lupanggo, president of the NPC Employees and Workers Union (NEWU). Soon thereafter, their respective unions filed as petitioner-intervenors in behalf of its members. The judge then ruled that since the parties involved were numerous, that the same was a “class suit”. The petitioners complained to the court that before November 1989, they received allowances and COLA which were discontinued after the Salary Standardization Law took effect. The Department of Budget and Management, on the other hand, issued DBM Corporate Circular No. 10 (CCC No. 10), as its implementing guidelines. The guidelines, however, proved fatally defective after it was not published. It was only published by the DBM on the Official Gazette on March 1999, after 10 years. Government counsels, on the other hand, including the Office of the Solicitor General, tried to argue for NPC and DBM, attacking the complaint for various technicalities including the non-payment of the proper amount of docket fees.

However, Judge Cortez brushed these aside, invoking in his decision the constitutional right of the people to the equal protection of law. In his prefatory statement, the judge said “The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare. The state values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect of human rights.” He also invoked that “Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty”. He said that when the case was filed at his sala, the Clerk of Court computed the proper fees for its filing then, since it was only in the course of the proceedings that it became a “class suit”. As such, the judge also imposed a lien of P145.4-million on the total award representing payment of the adjusted docket fees. He cited Section 2, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court that provides: “Where the court in its final judgment awards a claim not alleged, or a relief different from, or more than that claimed in the pleading, the party concerned shall pay the additional fees which shall constitute lien on the judgment in satisfaction of said lien”. with a report from JP Serseña

{ 1979 comments… read them below or add one }

mar-uo August 13, 2014 at 2:28 am

ano yun? in summary sana paki lagay sa lay mans term ah.ah. di namin maintindian maga sir/madam..

angela August 13, 2014 at 10:07 pm

@ mar-ruo..yan po sana ung 54 copies n share n link n amigo sa sobrang haba mahirap i copy paste..:(

Albert August 14, 2014 at 12:22 am

thank you Angela…ang importante may kasagutan na ang matagal na hinihintay nating mga taga NAPOCOR…wait na lng tayo if kailan..thank you lord..

pards August 14, 2014 at 2:25 am

kasama din po ba ang mga early leavers?

who me? August 14, 2014 at 8:31 am

may movement ba ang npc psalm?

poll August 14, 2014 at 10:40 pm

sabi sa HO pumuta raw sherrif kahapon pinapagarnish ang lote ng HO including the building of ngcp and transco. can someone confirm this?.

ping August 15, 2014 at 2:31 am

Totoo yan

ping August 15, 2014 at 2:36 am

Meron pang iba n pinuntahan ang sherrif para iserve yong garnishment, basahin nyo doon s NPP s fb, mas updated doon ,mag member kayo s NPP s fb, para updated kayo s dama news ,direct yon galing kay Atty Orocio.

slec August 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm

how long is the garnishment process?

slec August 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm

according to some information that I got, I don’t know how true it is, that there are already funds availabe to pay for our dama claims, from NPC, PSALM & NGCP, why is there still a need to garnish the assets of NPC and Transco?

who me? August 18, 2014 at 2:19 am

any update mga kapatid?

Hershey August 18, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Have patience mga kapatid at katoto kay Kristo, Let us continue praying to our Almigthy God for the immediate release of our long awaiting DAMA claims. Let’s pray for the good health of Atty VV Orocio and his companions for their unstoppable offense and defense for our DAMA!!!!To God Be the Glory!!!!!!!

Matthew 28:20
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

slec August 18, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Let us pray for the immediate actions on our long awaited dama claims. May the good Lord bless us and touch the hearts of the people behind this, to expedite processing of our claims.

Restyresty August 19, 2014 at 10:24 am

Target date for the release of payment/checks is Dec 2014. Let’s pray for this to happen.

mar-uo August 19, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Wow. Am so happy to hear that. sana magkatutuo na yan. para yung 11 years of waiting will be rewarded thru just compensation. ang dami ng panahon ang pinag hintay natin..

Hershey August 19, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Pls read the link…
business.inquirer.net/177016/biz-buzz-garnished

Essay August 20, 2014 at 12:42 am

Sana po hindi na magtagal, para maging masaya na tayong lahat …

slec August 20, 2014 at 1:29 am

oo nga para makatulong din sa ating mga financial needs lalo na ngayon na lahat na lang tumatas ang presyo at mga gastos natin.

angela August 20, 2014 at 1:39 am

Biz Buzz: Garnished

By the staff |Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:59 am | Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Read more: http://business.inquirer.net/177016/biz-buzz-garnished#ixzz3Av5vcSsI
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook
Apart from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP)—parts of which were struck down by the Supreme Court—President Aquino’s fiscal and energy managers have another ax to grind with the judiciary, this time on the revenue generation side and one that particularly throws the power industry in a frenzy.

An emergency meeting was recently convened by the departments of energy and of finance with private sector power generation administrators and distributors after they received a notice of garnishment from the sheriff of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City.

This was in line with the high tribunal’s order to the state-owned National Power Corp. and its successor entity, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), to pay back wages to all employees terminated when the power utility was reorganized in 2003 (in compliance with the Electric Power Industry Reform Act). This decision, circa 2008, was recently upheld with finality and the prescribed settlement on severance pay and back wages had ballooned to P61 billion from P34.7 billion when the original ruling was issued.

The sheriff has now ordered the power industry to disclose all credits payable to Napocor/PSALM. For the private sector contractors, the fiscal impact is neutral as it was just the same amount to be paid to another entity. But for the government, it’s a P61-billion reduction in its cookie jar.

It looks like the executive isn’t ready to throw in the towel yet and a “coordinated” response to the garnishment order is under review. In the meantime, the private sector awaits the tug-of-war between their regulators and the courts. Doris C. Dumlao

Read more: http://business.inquirer.net/177016/biz-buzz-garnished#ixzz3Av6GCsoc
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

angela August 20, 2014 at 2:16 am

mataimtim n dasal po kailangan natin dito sapagkat ang pamahalaang Aquino ay nagulantang sa napakalaking bayarin ng ahencya ng gobyerno ang napocor s kanilang mga tauhan ng dahil s mga ganid na namumuno ng napocor..:(

angela August 20, 2014 at 2:25 am

imagine nyo na lang po ito ang mga halaga n nakuha ng ating mga iginagalang na mga senators..s PDAF …kumpara sa benefits ng mga empleyado na pinatanggal sa napocor..Members of the Senate & Congress identified by the Inquirer as participants in the PDAF scam[19]

Legislator

Chamber

Party

Amount exposed

Bong Revilla Senate Lakas ₱1.015 billion
Juan Ponce Enrile Senate PMP ₱641.65 million
Jinggoy Estrada Senate PMP ₱585 million
Rizalina Seachon-Lanete House of Representatives NPC ₱137.29 million
Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. Senate Nacionalista ₱100 million
Conrado Estrella III House of Representatives NPC ₱97 million
Edgar L. Valdez House of Representatives APEC ₱85 million
Rodolfo Plaza House of Representatives NPC ₱81.5 million
Erwin Chiongbian House of Representatives Lakas ₱65.35 million
Samuel Dangwa House of Representatives Lakas ₱62 million
Robert Raymund Estrella House of Representatives Abono ₱41 million
Gregorio Honasan Senate Independent ₱15 million
TOTAL ₱2.928 billion

richard panotes August 21, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Ayaw pumayag ni PNOY na bayaran ang dama claims hayan ang daang matuwid ang hindi pagsunod sa korte suprema.

who me? August 22, 2014 at 2:01 am

ayan naman may aberya sa claims natin,
buhay pinoy talaga….

who me? August 22, 2014 at 2:04 am

buhay pinoy talaga

entz August 22, 2014 at 6:45 am
richard panotes August 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm

It seems hindi susunod sa utos ng supreme court ang gobyernong ito, wala talaga silang balak bayaran ang dama claimants. Ano pa bang legal basis ang hinahanap ni psalm president ledesma e may utos na nga supreme court. Kaya keep on praying mga kasama GOD will touch this government to prevail rule of law

Albert August 22, 2014 at 9:12 pm

ang lupet ng gobyerno ng pinas!!!Desisyon na ng Supreme Court hindi sinusunod…sana sa ano man klase ng case na desisyon na ng SC ipatupad na,mukhang walang kapangyarihan ang SC sa pinas..ano ba masasabi nyo mga kapatid sa Napocor???

who me? August 23, 2014 at 6:17 am

why not the rtc to order of contempt the psalm president ledisma jr.
he must be jail until the compliance of DAma..

who me? August 23, 2014 at 6:21 am

ang sakit naman ng sagot ng psalm, parang wlang alam sa case
after of the long years sasabihin sa korte na baseless ang lahat..
makaramdam karin sana ng paghihirap ng matagal sa buhay..

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