"x x x.
While the dispositive portion of the
herein assailed CA decision did not
explicitly refer to the 13th month
pay, its inclusion in the computation
approved by LA Flores is proper.
Presidential Decree No. 85129 (P.D. No. 851) is the law directing the 13th month payment. On the other hand, Article 279 of the Labor Code in part provides that an illegally-dismissed employee shall be entitled to full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and other benefits ortheir monetary equivalent computed from the time compensation was withheld up to the time of actual reinstatement.
In Gonzales, a final and executory decision of the LA did not explicitly award the 13th month pay. During the execution proceedings, the NLRC included it in the computation. The CA deleted the same. This Court thereafter ruled that the CA abused its discretion since "the 13th month pay fell due x x x by legal mandate."30
In the body and dispositive portion of LA Gambito’s Decision31 dated November 6, 2000, which became final and executory on July 11, 2005, he did not explicitly include the 13th month pay in the award. However, the decision stated that Florentino and Nilda were entitled to full backwages and other benefits.
Subsequently, the Labor Arbitration Associate’s updated computation of the award32 included the 13th month pay and was approved by LA Flores through the latter’s August 22, 2006 Order. The NLRC set aside LA Flores’ order, but the CA reinstated the same. The dispositive portion of the CA decision expressly ordered the award of backwages, separation pay, attorney’s fees and legal interest, but conspicuously absent was a reference to the inclusion of the 13th month pay.33
The Court finds that despite the CA’s non-explicit reference to the 13th month pay, following the doctrine in Gonzales, its inclusion in the computation is proper. Entitlement to it is a right granted by P.D. No. 851. Besides, the computation of award for backwages and other benefits is a mere legal consequence of the finding that there was illegal dismissal.34
x x x."
G.R. No. 211228 November 12, 2014
UNIVERSITY OF PANGASINAN, INC., CESAR DUQUE/JUAN LLAMAS AMOR/DOMINADOR REYES, Petitioners,
FLORENTINO FERNANDEZ and HEIRS OF NILDA FERNANDEZ, Respondents.