Friday, November 29, 2013

Appeal procedure in labor cases -

A.C. No. 9698. November 13, 2013
Rolando E. Cawaling Vs. Napoleon M. Menese, et al.

"x x x.

The pertinent portions of Sections 4 and 6, Rule VI of the Revised Rules of Procedure of the NLRC read:

SECTION 4. REQUISITES FOR PERFECTION OF APPEAL – a) The appeal shall be: (1) filed within the reglementary period provided in Section 1 of this Rule; (2) verified by the appellant himself in accordance with Section 4, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court, as amended; (3) in the form of a memorandum of appeal which shall state the grounds relied upon and the arguments in support thereof, the relief prayed for, and with a statement of the date the appellant received the appealed decision, resolution or order; (4) in three (3) legibly typewritten or printed copies; and (5) accompanied by i) proof of payment of the required appeal fee and legal research fee; ii) posting of a cash or surety bond as provided in Section 6 of this Rule; iii) a certificate of non-forum shopping; and iv) proof of service upon the other parties.

SECTION 6. BOND. - In case the decision of the Labor Arbiter or the Regional Director involves a monetary award, an appeal by the employer may be perfected only upon the posting of a cash or surety bond. The appeal bond shall either be in cash or surety in an amount equivalent to the monetary award, exclusive of damages and attorney’s fees.

In case of surety bond, the same shall be issued by a reputable bonding company duly accredited by the Commission or the Supreme Court, and shall be accompanied by:

(a) a joint declaration under oath by the employer, his counsel, and the bonding company, attesting that the bond posted is genuine, and shall be in effect until final disposition of the case.
(b) a copy of the indemnity agreement between the employer-appellant and bonding company; and
(c) a copy of security deposit or collateral securing the bond.

A certified true copy of the bond shall be furnished by the appellant to the appellee who shall verify the regularity and genuineness thereof and immediately report to the Commission any irregularity.

Upon verification by the Commission that the bond is irregular or not genuine, the Commission shall cause the immediate dismissal of the appeal.

No motion to reduce bond shall be entertained except on meritorious grounds and upon the posting of a bond in a reasonable amount in relation to the monetary award.

The filing of the motion to reduce bond without compliance with the requisites in the preceding paragraph shall not stop the running of the period to perfect an appeal.7

In a nutshell, the rules are explicit that the filing of a bond for the perfection of an appeal is mandatory and jurisdictional. The requirement that employers post a cash or surety bond to perfect their appeal is apparently intended to assure workers that if they prevail in the case, they will receive the money judgment in their favor upon the dismissal of the former’s appeal.

It was intended to discourage employers from using an appeal to delay, or even evade, their obligations to satisfy their employees' just and lawful claims. However, the whole essence of requiring the filing of bond is defeated if the bond issued turned out to be invalid due to the surety company's expired accreditation.

x x x."