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


{ 2273 comments… read them below or add one }

Restyresty September 22, 2014 at 10:12 am

Dama Updates:
Ang ginagawa ngayon ay tinitingnan ang listahan that was submitted Kung talagang tama at Kung sino ang mga qualified claimants, at saka tinitingnan din Kung tama ang salary ng qualified claimants at Kung tama din ba ang computation ng total claims. Wait Lang tayo mga kasama. Meron din scheduled rally infront of NPC head office in Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City on October 13, Monday, starting at 8:00 AM, para maipadala ang pagbabayad sa atin. Let’s join this rally.

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paeng September 22, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Restyresty, ibig mong sabihin mawawala sa dating listahan na nai submit ng napocor ang mga PCP, casual at contractual? Ang pagkaka alam ko kasi may mga PCP, casual at contractual. At isa pa mawawala rin ba sa listahan ang na rehire ng napocor? Tanx

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Restyresty September 22, 2014 at 10:14 am

Sorry, maipadala means mapadali

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Restyresty September 22, 2014 at 10:16 am

Sorry, maipadala means mapadali, salamat

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Damayan September 22, 2014 at 11:42 am

Please accept my friend request sa NPP. Thank you

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Greta schultz September 22, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Please accept my friend request sa NPP. Thank you

REPLY

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ayong September 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm

to all admin of NPP please accept our friend request, thanks

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Restyresty September 22, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Not all friend request sa NPP will be accepted, only legit current and ex-NPC employees. So if u are legit, use your real names, no alias are accepted.

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Restyresty September 22, 2014 at 8:49 pm

COLA Update:

The NP Board Review Committee scheduled last Monday was cancelled because they attended the hearing on the requested emergency power regarding power shortage next year.

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paeng September 22, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Restyresty, sa pag determine ng SC sa qualified claimant ng dama e posible bang ma remove ang name ng mga PCP, casual, contractual at na rehired ng napocor sa listahan ng ng unang nai submit na name kaya umabot ng 60 bilyong kasi sabi ni psalm president e mga 30 bilyon lang ang tamang ibabayad nila para sa dama. Tanx

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Restyresty September 22, 2014 at 9:20 pm

It all depend on the court decision, I don’t to comment on that.

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Restyresty September 22, 2014 at 9:56 pm

@Paeng, are you a former NPC employee?

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paeng September 23, 2014 at 5:09 am

Restyresty, yap I am former npc employee but coterminuous sa duration ng project. I was rehired by napocor on march 1, 2003 until duration of project but terminated later on.

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Restyresty September 23, 2014 at 8:08 am

Employed ka ba sa NPC by the end of Feb 2003? If u are, more likely ay qualified claimant ka.

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paeng September 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Restyresty, yes employed ako sa NPC by the end of february 2003. Thank you sir resty. More power.

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Gretchen mae September 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Sir how about immediate kin of ex npc employees since the original is with the Lord now. Thanks…

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Restyresty September 22, 2014 at 9:24 pm

I really don’t know the answer to that question, marami kc nag question sa mga aliases names, your real name should be referred to by a legit current or ex-NPC employee.

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jojo September 22, 2014 at 10:24 pm

ano talaga ang problema sa payment ng NPC sa mga sa DAMA at COLA claims dahil nahihirapan na kami sa kahihintay ako pal si Rogelio l. Bandalan, nang Ormoc City NPC , Milagro before.

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pards September 23, 2014 at 12:47 am

@Sir Restyresty, re ur Sept. 22, 2014 comment, ibig sabihin po ba e naisubmit na ng DAMA ang complete list na inirerequire ng SC and that the SC is now checking the proper recepients and correct computation? Thanks po!

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Restyresty September 23, 2014 at 8:11 am

Iyan ang utos ng SC, to submit within 45 days, Pero Hindi ko alam ang status ngayon if submitted na.

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Dama-yan September 23, 2014 at 2:44 am

@ restyresty, sa friend request po namin nakalagay po yong real name at madetermine nyo na po kng ex-NPC employee po sila o hindi kasi may mga listahan naman po kayo ng mga still employed sa NPC, ex – NPC at retired na. Thank you.

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Restyresty September 23, 2014 at 8:15 am

Yung admission nyo NPP ay depende sa NPP Admin, send them a message justifying that u are ex-NPC employee.

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Restyresty September 23, 2014 at 8:19 am

Maingat ang NPP admin ngayon sa pagtanggap ng member dahil Baka mapasukan ng fake employee at gumawa ng Hindi maganda para sa NPP.

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SALVADOR LUMANOG September 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm

regarding NPP admin paano maging member?

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Restyresty September 23, 2014 at 8:32 am

Hindi pinag-uusapan ngayon sa NPP Kung sino ang kasali at Hindi sa claimants. Their focus is on the rally to be held on Oct 13, 2014, Monday, 8:00AM, infront(but outside) of NPC head office, in Quezon City. Pwede nyo isama inyong family para mas marami tayo, parang reunion natin Ito. Will you join this rally?

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edelo September 23, 2014 at 5:16 pm

sir resty sino sino ba ang miembro ng dama kc apektado rin by force retirement noong 1999/

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bulig September 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Ang member ng dama e ung mga na illegal termination noong february 28, 2003. Kung kayo po e force retirement noong 1999 e hindi po kayo qualified claimant ng dama kasi hindi po kayo na illegal terminate sa halip e nag retire kayo.

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Ponciano Molino September 30, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Sir ksali ba kmi NGCP kmi ngaun pero ksali ako sa 2003 na binayatan ng napocor

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Restyresty September 23, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Iyan yata ang ipinaglaban ng grupo ni Efren Herrera, Pero Hindi yata maganda ang naging court decision. Meron bang nakakaalam ng herrera’s court decision?

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paeng September 24, 2014 at 5:41 am

Ang herrera case ay tungkol lang sa separation benefits from epira law at GSIS retirement benefits. Sinabi sa sc court decision na hindi pwedeng 2 benefits ang ma receive ng napocor employees, dapat daw mamili ang npc employee kung aling benefits ang prefer nya. Anyway it was already resolved now by NPC and GSIS.

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pards September 23, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Hindi po kami makakasama sa rally dahil napakalayo namin sa Head Office … islands and mountains away. But we will be your prayer brigade. We will be praying for the success of the rally.

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Restyresty September 24, 2014 at 6:34 am

Dama update

Usapan sa NPP as ipanatag na ang kalokohan natin dahil according daw Kay Atty Orocio ay walang nabago sa SC decision. Parang yun pa din ang list of employees, parang verification Lang ang ginagawa,latest info naman na natanggap ko ay babawasin daw ang na received natin na separation pay, na tama naman.

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Restyresty September 24, 2014 at 6:34 am

Kalokohan means kalooban

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Amad September 24, 2014 at 6:58 am

Thank you for the information. God bless to all.

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paeng September 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Restyresty, alam u ba kung anong case GR number sa supreme court ng ng COLA. Case tanx

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Restyresty September 24, 2014 at 7:54 pm

GR 156208

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Restyresty September 24, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Sorry dama pala yan, di ko alam ang cola

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bulig September 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Bakit ang balita raw sa NPC head office e half of 8,000 na lang ang qualified claimant na isa submit ng PSALM at NPC sa supreme court? Can anyone confirm this?

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Erwin Leano September 24, 2014 at 10:40 pm

dear admin,paki accept nyo ako s Npp.tnx Erwin Leano

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Restyresty September 25, 2014 at 9:28 am

Bulig, reliable ba ang source mo?

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Dama-yan September 25, 2014 at 7:39 pm

No EPIRA provision for pass-on of P63-B DAMA settlement
by Myrna Velasco
September 25, 2014

The country’s energy officials have admitted in a plenary debate in Congress that there is no specific provision in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) allowing pass-on of the P63 billion settlement cost on a case it lost against the National Power Corporation’s Drivers and Mechanics Association or what is now widely known as the DAMA case.

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) conveniently used the “pass-on to consumers” spin to incite public agitation over the garnishment writ served by a Quezon City sheriff on the DAMA case settlement process.

But when asked what law has been PSALM’s basis on its assertion, the officials led by Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla noted that they will just “defer to what the Supreme Court will say in their pending motion.”

They went as far as admitting that they just liberally interpreted the SC decision’s reference on liabilities as something that they can bank on “for the pass-on to consumers’ option.”

When Rep. Neri Colmenares pressed them what particular provision of the EPIRA allows the proposed cost pass-on to end-users, a PSALM lawyer relayed to Rep. Celso Lobregat that there is a provision about universal charge.

But when apprised that there is actually a specific definition and formula as to which costs shall be treated as universal charge, the energy officials had rest their case and just stipulated that the settlement process shall depend on “what the Supreme Court will lay down in its decision.”

Early on, it has already been asserted by various quarters that the advice being given to PSALM and Petilla on the prospective pass-on in the electricity rates of the P63 billion settlement costs to dismissed NPC employees is blatantly wrong and in violation of the EPIRA.

It was pointed out by experts that the EPIRA explicitly stipulated that only ‘prudently incurred costs’ shall be allowed in the rates to be passed on in the consumers electric bills.

A specific definition for stranded contract cost has been provided under the law, and it does not infer covering settlement costs of losing cases of PSALM or any other costs eventually disguised as “liabilities”.

The power industry reform law has also prescribed under Section 25 that “the retail rates charged by distribution utilities for the supply of electricity in their captive market shall be subject to regulation by the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) based on the principle of full recovery of prudent and reasonable economic costs incurred…”

Section 32, meanwhile, stipulated that “the stranded contract costs of NPC shall refer to the excess of the contracted cost of electricity under eligible IPP (independent power producer) contracts of NPC over the actual selling price of the contracted energy output of such contracts in the market.”

In essence, stranded contract cost should just have referred to the cost difference that an IPP cannot recover in the market, but Rules previously laid down by the ERC liberally interpreted it to mean other liabilities, including some operating expenses of PSALM.

Former Bayan Muna Representative and convenor of advocacy group POWER Teddy Casino has also opposed the pass-on of the DAMA cost settlement in the consumers’ electricity bills, noting that such proposition would be flagrantly unfair.

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orlando rodriguez September 26, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Qualified po ba kaming mga na-terminate nung january 1999

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mar-uo September 27, 2014 at 12:33 am

Sir orly, yuong mga employees na na retired po noong Feb 28,2003 lang ang syang qualified claimant.

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jojo September 27, 2014 at 6:15 am

gud evening po ano talaga kse may balita rito sa ormoc na bayaran na daw october 1. paki conferm po salamat si rogelio l. bandalan po nang ormoc city, leyt terminated po ako noong feb. 2003 paki sagot lang po maraming salamat po

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Restyresty September 27, 2014 at 9:00 am

Marami sa mga tanong ninyo ay nasagot sa previous discussion, Kung pwede sana ay read muna ninyo ang mga previous comments dito.

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bulig September 28, 2014 at 2:23 am

Restyresty yup reliable source ko

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Amad September 29, 2014 at 5:13 am

Any update po sa lists na naisubmit ng NPC sa SC? Thanks

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Mar Reyes/TGPP September 28, 2014 at 5:54 am

Gud pm…. ask ko lang po kung until when yung 45days (Reckoning Date, pls) na ibinigay ng SC? May mga collectibles pa po ang PSALM sa NGCP (around $B 2.2)at yung 34.7Billion na hawak ng PSALM sa ngayon….pwede na rin po siguro isama ang COLA na long overdue na rin na halos kinamatayan na ng mga claimants na ex-NPC ..

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paul khriz September 28, 2014 at 7:39 pm

kawawa nmn yung tatay ko. . sobra n ang hardship nya sa npc noon
parang umaasa sa wala ang tatay dito. . anlaki ng pangarap nya
kung hindi lang siguro mga magnanakaw ang dating goyerno
hindi sana atagal ng ganito. :(
wla akung masyadong alam pero godbless sa lahat
makukuh nio rin po yan.

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Tsk3! September 29, 2014 at 5:37 am

Interview sa Malampaya Gas Exploration Pres. sa Aksyon TV5 last July pa yun, Nasa PHP100bilyon Malampaya funds pala ang nawawala. Sablay ang alibi ni Patilla, Saan napunta yun, Barya lang pala yung PHP5.3bilyon scam ni napoles. Itanong kaya natin sa aleng maliit…at sa mga sena-tong….at Tong-gressman…..at Malagay-canyang Cabinet secret-taries…at kay Penoy.

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Restyresty September 29, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Cola updates:
Mukhang good news na ang cola, Baka mauna pa Ito sa dama. Sana nga

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Restyresty September 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm

@Bulig, Kung reliable ang source mo, alin sa mga grupo ng Ito ang legitimate claimants ng Dama? 1) early leavers. 2) not rehired. 3) rehired

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bulig September 29, 2014 at 3:08 pm

@restyresty, not rehired at rehired plantilla position ang legitimate claimants ng dama, pero sa mga na rehired raw e differential na lang kasi bumaba salary at tinanggal ang ibang allowance, ung mga contactual, casual at pcp e wala na yata. Doon sa mga not rehired at na rehired e ma reduce ang computation.

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bulig September 29, 2014 at 3:12 pm

@restyresty, doon sa mga early leavers, hindi na raw sila covered ng void npc board resolution 2002-124 and 2002-125.

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Restyresty September 29, 2014 at 4:52 pm

@Bulig, based on ur statement, the number of claimants remain the same and not reduced to half as u have claimed, right? Maybe the amount may have been reduced, that I don’t know the details.

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bulig September 29, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Restyresty, na reduced kasi wala ng pcp sa isasubmit ng psalm at napocor sa supreme court, kaya posibleng magka iba ang list ng qualified claimant na isasubmit ng petitioner at respondent sa 45 days period para isubmit mga names. Since mag iba ng list e doon na magkakaroon ng argument kung kanginong listhan ang aaprubahan ng supreme court.

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entz September 29, 2014 at 10:35 pm

wait nalang kayo puro spekulasyon mga ginwa nyo.

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Albert September 29, 2014 at 11:19 pm

Hindi ata ganon yun…aalisin sa list ang PCP at Casual?employee din naman ng Napocor ang PCP at Casual ha…wait na lng if ano talaga ang totoo..

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bulig September 29, 2014 at 11:38 pm

@albert, yun daw kasing PCP at casual e walang security of tenure. Ung appointment nila ay may hangganan let’s say but not beyond december 31, 2003.

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bulig September 29, 2014 at 11:43 pm

@albert, kung ma include man ang names ng PCP at casual sa list ng qualified claimant e ang computation ng kanilang claim e from march 1, 2003 up to december 31, 2003 and stop na kasi hanggang december 31, 2003 lang raw ang duration ng appointment nila

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paeng September 29, 2014 at 11:30 pm

@restyresty
Ano update sa cola? Paano u nasabi na posibleng mauna pa cola kesa dama? Tanx

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Florante G. Cadiz September 30, 2014 at 3:11 am

ask ko lang ?yung retire ng 1999 ng sucat thermal plant.gusto ko lang malaman kung may updates sa cola natin?kasi over due na to.dapat yun muna ang mauna.di naman kalakihan ang makukuha.para may maibigay o makuha tayo?

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Restyresty September 30, 2014 at 5:10 am

Cola updates:
Ang usapan ngayon sa NPP, it was reported that NPC Board Review Committee is already willing to pay our Cola, Pero wala pa official confirmation yet as they will convene on oct 8. So far good news ang usapan sa NPP.

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Justin Love September 30, 2014 at 6:21 am

maliwanag sa sc decision na all separated employees are qualified claimants ng dama casual man o pcp ay empleyado ng npc, may notice of separation, may payment ng separation, mayroong audited voucher for separation pay, may tatak sa service record na separated thru epira, at hence, no question that all were illigally terminated based on sc ruling and final decision, ano ba naman kayo? KASALI SA BAYARAN ANG CASUALS AT PCP..FINAL!!!!!

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albert September 30, 2014 at 9:52 am

@justin love….correct ka dyan at yan ang pagkaalam ko lahat ay illigally terminated PCP or casual kaya lahat babayaran…thank you sa share @justin…god bless

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Restyresty September 30, 2014 at 11:45 am

@entz, wala akong ginawang espekulasyon, ang sinasabi ko Lang ay yung info na galing sa NPP. Ok Lang Kung ayaw mo ang info ko, for the meantime stop na ang pagbibigay ko sa inyo ng info.

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Amad September 30, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Sir restyresty, please don’t stop posting information regarding the DAMA and COLA. Thank you.

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Dama-yan September 30, 2014 at 3:46 pm

@ Justin Love, tama po kayo na lahat ay kasama sa SC desisyon na lumabas last July 23, 2014. Pero may MR ang NPC/Psalm/DOE at napagbigyan ito ng SC. Nagbigay uli ng ruling ang SC sa petitioners at NPC na mag submit uli ng lists para sa Dama claimants within 45 days. Maaring magkaiba ang lists na naisubmit ng petitioners at NPC. At ang balita ni BULIG ay pwedeng magkatotoo dahil ang NPC ay gusto nilang bumaba ang bayaran nila. Kaya nasa SC pa rin kong sino talaga ang entitled to this Dama.

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Mar Reyes/TGPP September 30, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Sana maging maayos tayo….legitimate or non-ligitimate claimant ng DAMA….be professional….wait natin ang final decison ng SC kung entitled or not ang pcp/casual…wala naman sa kamay natin ang mag decide….sir Resty kindly continue giving us updates on our claims (dama/cola)… … ang importante ay mabayaran tayo sa ating legitimate claims dahil long overdue na ito sa atin at yung iba nga nating kasamahan ay mga yumao na di ba….let’s pray and hope mabayaran na tayo before 2014 ends kasi baka kung next year eh abutin na yan ng election ban….remember 2016 is election year na naman….sana makuha natin before year 2014 ends…tyvm

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Reynaldo Raflores September 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Paki add friend naman ako sa member ng NPP .Kasama po ako sa illegal terminated ng NPC MSD sucat plant end of february 2003 anong oras po ba ang rally pupunta po ako please add po.

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