Sunday, January 3, 2016

Updating the computation of awards to include backwages and separation pay allowed

x x x.

Updating the computation of
awards to include as well
backwages and separation pay
corresponding to the period after
the rendition of LA Gambito’s
decision on November 6, 2000 up to
its finality on July 11, 2005 is not
violative of the principle of
immutability of a final and
executory judgment.

This Court need not belabor the first two issues raised since they have been amply discussed by the CA in the assailed decision and resolution.

In Session Delights aptly quoted by the CA and reiterated in several cases including Nacar and Gonzales v. Solid Cement Corporation,27 the Court was emphatic that:

[N]o essential change is made by a re-computation as this step is a necessary consequence that flows from the nature of the illegality of dismissal declared in that decision. A re-computation (or an original computation, if no previous computation has been made) is a part of the law—specifically, Article 279 of the Labor Code and the established jurisprudence on this provision—that is read into the decision. By the nature of an illegal dismissal case, the reliefs continue to add on until full satisfaction, as expressed under Article 279 of the Labor Code. The re- computation of the consequencesof illegal dismissal upon execution of the decision does not constitute an alteration or amendment of the final decision being implemented. The illegaldismissal ruling stands; only the computation of monetary consequences of this dismissal is affected and this is not a violation of the principle of immutability of final judgments.

x x x x

That the amount the petitioner shall now pay has greatly increased is a consequence that it cannot avoid asit is the risk that it ran when it continued to seek recourses against the labor arbiter’s decision. Article 279 provides for the consequences ofillegal dismissal in no uncertain terms, qualified only by jurisprudence in its interpretation of when separation pay in lieu of reinstatement is allowed. When that happens, the finality of the illegal dismissal decision becomes the reckoning point instead of the reinstatement that the law decrees. In allowing separation pay, the final decision effectively declares that the employment relationship ended so that separation pay and backwages are to be computed up to that point. x x x.28 (Citation omitted and underscoring ours)

Prescinding from the above, the Court finds no reversible error committed by the CA when it affirmed LA Flores’ Order dated August 22, 2006, which allowed the updating beyond November 6, 2000 of the computation of backwages and separation pay awarded to the respondents. The CA correctly ruled that the backwages should be computed from May 9, 2000, the date of illegal dismissal, up toJuly 11, 2005, the date of the Entry of Judgment, while separation pay should be reckoned from the respective first days of employment of Florentino and Nilda up to July 11, 2005 as well.

x x x."

G.R. No. 211228 November 12, 2014