CONCHITA J. RACELIS vs. UNITED PHILIPPINE LINES, INC. and/or HOLLAND AMERICA LINES, INC.,*and FERNANDO T. LISING, G.R. No. 198408, November 12, 2014
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III. Amount of Death Benefits.
With the compensability of Rodolfo’s death now traversed, a corollary matter to determine is the amount of benefits due petitioner.
Records show that respondents do not deny – and therefore admit – the late Rodolfo’s membership in the AMOSUP that had entered into a collective bargaining agreement with HAL, or the ITWF-CBA.86 Its provisions therefore must prevail over the standard terms and benefits formulated by the POEA in its Standard Employment Contract.87 Hence, the NLRC’s award of US$60,000.00as compensation for the death of Rodolfo in accordance with Article 21.2.188 of the ITWF-CBA was in order. The same holds true for the award of burial assistance in the amount of US$1,000.00which is provided under Section 20 (A) (4) (c)89 of the 2000 POEA-SEC. Moreover, conformably with existing case law, the NLRC’s grant of attorney’s fees in the amount of US$6,100.00was called for since petitioner was forced to litigate to protect her valid claim. Where an employee is forced to litigate and incur expenses to protect his right and interest, he is entitled to an award of attorney’s fees equivalent to 10% of the award.90
All in all, the NLRC’s award of US$67,100.0091 – which, as the records bear, had already been paid92 by respondents – is hereby sustained.
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