Labor law; Substantial compliance with the requirements of posting a bond justifies relaxation of the rules on appeal. The perfection of an appeal within the reglementary period and in the manner prescribed by law is jurisdictional, and noncompliance with such legal requirement is fatal and effectively renders the judgment final and executory. As provided in Article 223 of the Labor Code, as amended, in case of a judgment involving a monetary award, an appeal by the employer may be perfected only upon the posting of a cash or surety bond issued by a reputable bonding company duly accredited by the Commission in the amount equivalent to the monetary award in the judgment appealed from.
However, not only in one case has this Court relaxed this requirement in order to bring about the immediate and appropriate resolution of cases on the merits. In Quiambao v. National Labor Relations Commission, this Court allowed the relaxation of the requirement when there is substantial compliance with the rule. Likewise, in Ong v. Court of Appeals, the Court held that the bond requirement on appeals may be relaxed when there is substantial compliance with the Rules of Procedure of the NLRC or when the appellant shows willingness to post a partial bond. The Court held that “[w]hile the bond requirement on appeals involving monetary awards has been relaxed in certain cases, this can only be done where there was substantial compliance of the Rules or where the appellants, at the very least, exhibited willingness to pay by posting a partial bond.”
In the instant case, the Labor Arbiter in his decision ordered PNCC to pay petitioner back wages amounting to P422,630.41 and separation pay of P37,662 or a total of P460,292.41. When PNCC filed an appeal bond amounting to P422,630.41 or at least 90% of the adjudged amount, there is no question that this is substantial compliance with the requirement that allows relaxation of the rules.
Project employee is deemed regularized if services are extended without specifying duration; While for first three months, petitioner can be considered a project employee of PNCC, his employment thereafter, when his services were extended without any specification of as to the duration, made him a regular employee of PNCC. And his status as a regular employee was not affected by the fact that he was assigned to several other projects and there were intervals in between said projects since he enjoys security of tenure.
Report of termination required upon project completion. In this case, records clearly show that PNCC did not report the termination of petitioner’s supposed project employment for the NAIA II Project to the DOLE. Department Order No. 19, or the “Guidelines Governing the Employment of Workers in the Construction Industry,” requires employers to submit a report of an employee’s termination to the nearest public employment office every time an employee’s employment is terminated due to a completion of a project.
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