"x x x.
Article 223 of the Labor Code, the governing law on the timeliness of an appeal from the decisions, awards or orders of the Labor Arbiter, is explicit that the aggrieved party has 10 calendar days from receipt thereof to appeal to the NLRC. Accordingly, this 10-day reglementary period to perfect an appeal is mandatory and jurisdictional in nature. The failure to file an appeal within the reglementary period renders the assailed decision final and executory and deprives the appellate court of jurisdiction to alter the judgment, much less to entertain the appeal.
There is no dispute that petitioner received a copy of the Labor Arbiter’s decision on 7 February 2001. Thus, pursuant to Article 223 of the Labor Code, petitioner had only until 17 February 2001, the 10th calendar day from 7 February 2001, within which to file an appeal. However, as 17 February 2001 fell on a Saturday, petitioner had until the next working day, or until 19 February 2001, to file its appeal. On 16 February 2001, petitioner consigned its notice of appeal to LBC for delivery to the NLRC. The NLRC received petitioner’s notice of appeal only on 26 February 2001.
In Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. NLRC, we ruled:
The established rule is that the date of delivery of pleadings to a private letter-forwarding agency is not to be considered as the date of filing thereof in court, and that in such cases, the date of actual receipt by the court, and not the date of delivery to the private carrier, is deemed the date of filing of that pleading.
In this case, petitioner availed of the services of LBC, a private carrier, to deliver its notice of appeal to the NLRC. Had petitioner sent its notice of appeal by registered mail, the date of mailing would have been deemed the date of filing with the NLRC. But petitioner, for reasons of its own, chose to send its notice of appeal through a private letter-forwarding agency. Therefore, the date of actual receipt by the NLRC of the notice of appeal, and not the date of delivery to LBC, is deemed to be the date of the filing of the notice of appeal. Since the NLRC received petitioner’s notice of appeal on 26 February 2001, the appeal was clearly filed out of time. Petitioner had thus lost its right to appeal from the decision of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC should have dismissed its notice of appeal.
x x x."
CHARTER CHEMICAL AND G.R. No. 163891
PUNO, C.J., Chairperson,
- versus - CARPIO,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, and
HERBERT TAN and Promulgated:
Respondents. May 21, 2009
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