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


{ 2622 comments… read them below or add one }

bulig November 20, 2014 at 7:22 am

@dama-yan
Sino po si rosita conde buenaventura at ano po naisulat nya sa supreme court salamat po

Reply

Dama-yan November 20, 2014 at 8:00 am

Taga Tiwi GPPP daw po sya. Wala po akong copy ng sulat nya.

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bulig November 20, 2014 at 8:15 am

@dama-yan
Tungkol saan ang sulat nya at pinansin ba ng supreme court ang sulat nya? Baka naman tinapon lang trash can ang sulat na yun kasi wala ng bearing.

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Dama-yan November 20, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Yan po ang news sa NPP Facebook, pero wala pang comment si Atty. VVO.

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bulig November 21, 2014 at 3:43 pm

@dama-yan
Tingin ko hindi na mag comment jan si atty. Orocio kasi hindi na binigyan ng attention ng supreme court ang letter ni rosita buenaventura kung meron man. Kasi aware ang supreme court na merong na re-hire at hindi na re-hire. Na discuss na yang issue na yan. Kaya wala ng effect o impact ang letter na yun

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entz November 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm

another 45 days to count dahil sa sulat ni sisa.

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Amad November 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Nov. 17 ang start, ibig sabihin ng after 45 days sa 3rd week pa ng January 2015 malilibawagan kng mababayaran na ang Dama.

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Dama-yan November 21, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Di ba napag usapan na sa mga hearing noon kng kasali ang mga rehired sa Dama claims, bakit ngayon ang SC Justices binigyan nila kaagad ng importansya ang sulat ni Mrs. Buenaventura hindi ba nila ito pinag aralan muna? May pressure kaya ito sa Palasyo o baka naman gumagawa lang sila ng dahilan para hindi na nila bayaran ang ating claims. Pananaw ko lang po ito.

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Umaasa Sa Wala November 21, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Baka po pakawala lang o bayaran tong Si Rosita Conde (KungDe-monya) Buenaventura ng “Yellow Submarine”

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jay sison November 22, 2014 at 12:15 am

tama lang yan… pag aralan ng sc ang legitimate claimants

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bulig November 22, 2014 at 1:09 am

@dama-yan
Confirm na ba na binigyan ng importansya ng supreme court ang letter ni rosita buenaventura? Kung confirm na bakit walang narereceive na notice si atty. Orocio galing sa supreme court para mag comment sa letter ni rosita? Kaya nagtataka ako sa mga post dito na kesyo another 45 days na extentione wala namang ilalabas ang korte suprema.

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Dama-yan November 24, 2014 at 7:12 am

@ bulig, As per info from NPP board tungkol sa petisyon ni Mrs. Buenaventura, sumulat na si Atty. VVO sa SC at antayin na lang natin sa kanya kng ano ang magiging resulta. Yon lang po salamat.

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antonia longakit November 23, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Saan ba natin makikita ang sulat na pasasagutin tayo ng either yes or no kung payag ba tayo na 50% muna ibibigay na pasiunang bayad ng dama ang husband ay papayag.

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antonia longakit November 23, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Papayag ang husband ko sa 50% basta lng may mangyayari ng bayaran para masaya tayong lahat ngayong pasko makakabayad sa mga bayarin.

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rogelio bandalan November 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm

sana mga kasamahan mabayaran na tayo bago mag pasko , at ano talaga ang bagong update nito sa dama claims nayin, ako po so rogelio bandalan 88-55072-2 dati assingd sa transco milagro, ormc city, thanks

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rogelio bandalan November 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm

sana mga kasamahan mabayaran na tayo bago mag pasko , at ano talaga ang bagong update nito sa dama claims nayin, ako po so rogelio bandalan 88-55072-2 dati assingd sa transco milagro, ormc city, thanks

Reply

Amad November 23, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Wala pa pong sinasabi ang NPC na magbayad na sila ng 50% sa dama claims. Yon pong sinasabi nila o nabalitaan ninyo ay kong “SAKALING” ang NPC ay magbayad ng “installment” at nagbotohan po ang mga members ng NPP sa Facebook. Yon pong result na botohan at ibibigay nila kay Atty. VVO. Wala pang malinaw sa ngayon dahil sa sulat ni Mrs. Buenaventura et. al. posibleng maantala na ang bayaran.

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whuzz November 24, 2014 at 1:45 am

Yan ang nakakabahala kung totoo man yan letter na yan…As per Atty. VVO, the ruling in the Mercury Drug case shall apply in the Dama case whether rehired or not…

In my opinion, as I read the case, there is a legal basis to contest said jurisprudence as far as the Dama case is concern. The facts in the Mercury Case and Dama Case are not exactly the same.

I really don’t understand why it was never raised as an issue in the Dama Case.

Now, the bad news is, if the SC will decide on this, another year or so of waiting. This is how our judicial system works.

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bulig November 24, 2014 at 1:56 am

@whuzz
Basahin u lahat ng resolution ng supreme court at lahat ng issue ay na discuss. Ang nagpapa gulo ng decision e ung mga nag dudunong dungan sa batas. Alam ng supreme court na may na rehired. Malinawanag sa ruling na lahat e babayaran kaya huwag ng paguluhin pa.

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Justin Love November 24, 2014 at 7:05 am

matagal na tapos ang decision ng sc, naging final at estoffel pa, bat bumalik na naman kayo sa analysis ng case??

This case was clearly and unquestionably won already at listahan na lang pina finalize ngayun at para mag kabayaran na. Pag dasal na lang natin this will happen within 31 days before 2014 Christmas.

I think the claimants deserves the full right to know the updates and the real truth on this decided case and the sc should be responsible and obligated to inform us being the legitimate claimants.

Reply

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