G.R. No. 152214 – Bangungot

 

PHILIPPINE JURISPRUDENCE – FULL TEXT
The Lawphil Project – Arellano Law Foundation
G.R. No. 152214             September 19, 2006
EQUI-ASIA PLACEMENT, INC. vs. DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, ET AL.
 

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

FIRST DIVISION

G.R. No. 152214             September 19, 2006

EQUI-ASIA PLACEMENT, INC., petitioner,
vs.
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (DFA) represented by the HON. DOMINGO L. SIAZON, JR., SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT (DOLE), represented by HON. BIENVENIDO LAGUESMA, respondents.

D E C I S I O N

CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari of the Decision dated 4 October 20011 and Resolution dated 18 February 2002 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 61904. The Decision denied petitioner’s petition for certiorari while the Resolution denied its Motion for Reconsideration.

The Court of Appeals summarized the facts of this case in this wise:

On September 16, 2000, Manny dela Rosa Razon, a native of Lemery, Batangas and an overseas Filipino worker, died of acute cardiac arrest while asleep at the dormitory of the Samsong Textile Processing Factory in South Korea. Informed thereof, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) at South Korea immediately relayed the incident to the Philippine Embassy in South Korea. Forthwith, the [Labor] Attaché of the Philippine Embassy dispatched a letter to Eleuterio N. Gardiner, administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). The letter reads:

"resuscitation for cardiac arrest"

“VERY URGENT, POLO has recently received a report that OFW Manny dela Rosa RAZON, an undocumented worker, died last Saturday, 16 September, from an apparent pancreatic attack or ‘bangungot.’

According to the verbal reports of Moises and Ronald Recarde, Manny’s co-workers, he was found already lifeless inside their quarters at around 11:00 in the morning of the above date. They rushed him to Uri Hospital where the Doctor declared him dead on arrival.

Per information gathered, the deceased is single, 29 years old, from Bukal, Lemery, Batangas. His next-of-kins are Mrs. Rowena Razon (Auntie) and Mr. Razon (Uncle) with telephone number (043)411-2308.

POLO is awaiting signed statements from the aforementioned workers who promised to send it by fax this afternoon.

We are also coordinating with the deceased’s employer for documentation requirements and financial assistance for the repatriation of the remains.

We will highly appreciate if Home Office could advise the next-of-kins of the urgent need to issue a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) to facilitate the repatriation requirements of the subject.

In anticipation of the next-of-kins’ likely move to seek financial assistance from OWWA for the repatriation of their loved [one], please be advised in advance that we will need about US$4,000.00 to repatriate the cadaver (to include hospital and morgue costs) to Manila. xxx”

In turn, the OWWA, through Atty. Cesar L. Chavez, indorsed the matter, for appropriate action, to Director R. Casco of the Welfare Employment Office of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (WEO-POEA).

Upon verification by the WEO-POEA on its data base, it was discovered that Manny Razon was recruited and deployed by petitioner Equi-Asia Placement, Inc., and was sent to South Korea on April 3, 2000 to work-train at Yeongjin Machinery, Inc. Thereupon, POEA addressed the herein first assailed telegram-directive dated September 22, 2000 to the President/General Manager of the petitioner. We quote the telegram:

“PLEASE PROVIDE PTA [Prepaid Ticket Advice] FOR THE REPATRIATION OF REMAINS AND BELONGINGS OF OFW MANNY DELA ROSA RAZON AS PER REQUEST OF PHILIPPINE EMBASSY, KOREA, YOU CAN COORDINATE WITH YOUR FOREIGN EMPLOYER AND TO WAD/OWWA (MLA) AS REGARDS TO THIS MATTER. YOU ARE GIVEN TWO (2) DAYS FROM RECEIPT HEREOF WITHIN WHICH TO PROVIDE SAID TICKET AND ASSISTANCE, KINDLY SUBMIT YOUR REPORT TO ASSISTANCE AND WELFARE DIVISION (AWD), 2/F POEA, FAILURE TO DO SO WILL CONSTRAIN US TO IMPOSE APPROPRIATE SANCTION UNDER OUR RULES”

Responding thereto, petitioner, thru its President Daniel Morga, Jr., faxed on September 26, 2000 the following message to the Assistance and Welfare Division of the POEA:

“In connection with your telegram, dated 09/22/2000, requiring us to report the circumstances surrounding the death of OFW MANNY DELA ROSA RAZON in Korea and requesting us to issue a PTA, etc., for the repatriation of the remains of said OFW, this is to report to your good office the following:

1. The deceased was deployed by our agency on April 3, 2000 to Yeongjin Machine Company in South Korea;

2. He violated his employment/training/dispatching contracts on June 25, 2000 by unlawfully escaping/running away (TNT) from his company assignment without prior KFSMB authorization and working/staying in unknown company/place;

3. He allegedly died of ‘bangungot‘ thereafter;

In view thereof, we cannot heed your requests as embodied in your telegram. However, his relatives can avail of the benefits provided for by OWWA in cases involving undocumented/illegal Filipino workers abroad.

Trusting for your kind understanding”

On the same date – September 26, 2000 – Director Ricardo R. Casco of the WEO-POEA sent to the petitioner the herein second assailed letter-directive, which pertinently reads:

“We have received a copy of your fax message dated 26 September 2000 as regards to your response to our request for PTA for aforesaid deceased OFW. Nevertheless, may we remind you that pursuant to Sections 52, 53, 54 and 55 of the Implementing Rules Governing RA 8042, otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995, the repatriation of OFW, his/her remains and transport of his personal effects is the primary responsibility of the principal or agency and to immediately advance the cost of plane fare without prior determination of the cause of worker’s repatriation. The Rules further provide for the procedure to be followed in cases when the foreign employer/agency fails to provide for the cost of the repatriation, compliance of which is punishable by suspension of the license of the agency or such sanction as the Administration shall deem proper. Hence, you are required to provide the PTA for the deceased OFW in compliance with the requirement in accordance with R.A. 8042. You are given forty-eight (48) hours upon receipt hereof within which to provide said ticket. Failure in this regard will constrain us to impose the appropriate sanction under our rules.”

On September 27, 2000, petitioner wrote back Director Ricardo R. Casco, thus:

“In connection with your fax letter dated September 26, 2000, re: the repatriation of the remains of the deceased, ex-trainee (OFW) MANNY DELA ROSA RAZON, please be informed that the provisions of Section 53 as well as, and in relation to, Section 55 of the Omnibus Rules and Regulations Implementing the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 on the matters covering the following:

1. The responsibility of the agency to advance the cost of plane fare without prior determination of the cause of the deceased worker’s termination.

2. The recovery of the same costs from the estate of the dead worker before the NLRC.

3. The action to be imposed by POEA for non-compliance therewith within 48 hours are violative of due process and/or the principle on due delegation of power.

This is so because Sec. 15 of R.A. 8042 clearly contemplates prior notice and hearing before responsibility thereunder could be established against the agency that sets up the defense of sole fault – in avoidance of said responsibility -. Besides, the sections in question unduly grant the powers to require advance payment of the plane fare, to impose the corresponding penalty of suspension in case of non-compliance therewith, within 48 hours and to recover said advance payment from the dead worker’s estate upon the return of his remains to the country before the NLRC, when the law itself does not expressly provide for the grant of such powers.

x x x x x x x x x.

Please provide us immediately with the death certificate/post mortem report/police report pertinent to above as proof of death and cause thereof.”

Nonetheless, and apprehensive of the adverse repercussions which may ensue on account of its non-compliance with the directive, petitioner, on September 29, 2000, advanced under protest the costs for the repatriation of the remains of the late Manny dela Rosa Razon.

Thereafter, petitioner went to this Court via the instant petition for certiorari, posing, for Our consideration, the sole issue of –

“WHETHER OR NOT SECTIONS 52, 53, 54 AND 55 OF THE OMNIBUS RULES AND REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE MIGRANT WORKERS AND OVERSEAS FILIPINOS ACT OF 1995 (R.A. 8042), ISSUED BY DFA AND POEA, WHICH POEA SUMMARILY ORDERED THE HEREIN PETITIONER TO COMPLY VIZ-A-VIZ THE PAYMENT IN ADVANCE OF THE EXPENSES FOR THE REPATRIATION OF THE REMAINS OF A DECEASED WORKER-TRAINEE WHO, AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, HAS NO EXISTING EMPLOYMENT (DISPATCHING) CONTRACT WITH EITHER SAID PETITIONER OR HIS FOREIGN PRINCIPAL AND NO VALID VISA OR IS NOT WORKING WITH THE FOREIGN PRINCIPAL TO WHICH PETITIONER DEPLOYED HIM, IS ILLEGAL AND/OR VIOLATIVE OF DUE PROCESS SUCH THAT POEA ACTED WITHOUT [OR IN] EXCESS OF ITS JURISDICTION AND/OR IN GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN ISSUING SAID ORDER TO PAY SAID EXPENSES.”2

On 4 October 2001, the Court of Appeals rendered the Decision which is now the subject of the present petition. The dispositive portion of the Court of Appeals’ Decision states:

WHEREFORE, for lack of merit, the instant petition is DENIED and is accordingly DISMISSED.3

In dismissing the petition for certiorari, the Court of Appeals stated that petitioner was mainly accusing the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) of grave abuse of discretion when it ordered petitioner to pay, in advance, the costs for the repatriation of the remains of the deceased Manny dela Rosa Razon.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the POEA did not commit any grave abuse of discretion as its directives to petitioner were issued pursuant to existing laws and regulations.4 It likewise held that a petition for certiorari, which was the remedy availed of by petitioner, is not the proper remedy as the same is only available when “there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.”5 Section 62 of the Omnibus Rules and Regulations Implementing the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 or Republic Act 8042 (“Omnibus Rules”) states that “the Labor Arbiters of NLRC shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide all claims arising out of employer-employee relationship or by virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino workers for overseas deployment including claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages, subject to the rules and procedures of the NLRC.” There is, therefore, an adequate remedy available to petitioner.

Lastly, the Court of Appeals declared that it could not strike down as unconstitutional Sections 52, 53, 54, and 55 of the Omnibus Rules as the unconstitutionality of a statute or rules may not be passed upon unless the issue is directly raised in an appropriate proceeding.6

In the present recourse, petitioner submits the following issues for our consideration:

1. The Court of Appeals erred in the appreciation of the issue as it mistakenly considered, in dismissing the petition before it, that petitioner is contesting the compliance and conformity of the POEA directives with Sections 52, 53, 54, and 55 of the Omnibus Rules and Regulations implementing in particular Section 15 of RA 8042;

2. The Court of Appeals, in dismissing the petition, again erred in ruling that constitutional questions cannot be passed upon and adjudged in a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure;

3. The Court of Appeals erred in not holding that, under the facts of the case that gave rise to the petition before it, the same sections of the said rules and regulations are illegal, invalid and/or violative of the right of petitioner to due process of law and, therefore, the POEA directives issued pursuant thereto constitute acts committed without, or in excess of, jurisdiction and/or in grave abuse of discretion.7

In Our Resolution of 20 November 2002, we gave due course to the present petition and directed the parties to submit their respective memoranda.8 On 28 August 2006, we resolved to dispense with the memorandum of the estate/heirs of deceased Manny dela Rosa Razon.

At the center of this petition are the following provisions of the omnibus rules:

Section 52. Primary Responsibility for Repatriation. – The repatriation of the worker, or his/her remains, and the transport of his/her personal effects shall be the primary responsibility of the principal or agency which recruited or deployed him/her abroad. All costs attendant thereto shall be borne by the principal or the agency concerned.

Section 53. Repatriation of Workers. – The primary responsibility to repatriate entails the obligation on the part of principal or agency to advance the cost of plane fare and to immediately repatriate the worker should the need for it arise, without a prior determination of the cause of the termination of the worker’s employment. However, after the worker has returned to the country, the principal or agency may recover the cost of repatriation from the worker if the termination of employment was due solely to his/her fault.

Every contract for overseas employment shall provide for the primary responsibility of agency to advance the cost of plane fare, and the obligation of the worker to refund the cost thereof in case his/her fault is determined by the Labor Arbiter.

Section 54. Repatriation Procedure. – When a need for repatriation arises and the foreign employer fails to provide for it cost, the responsible personnel at site shall simultaneously notify OWWA and the POEA of such need. The POEA shall notify the agency concerned of the need for repatriation. The agency shall provide the plane ticket or the prepaid ticket advice (PTA) to the Filipinos Resource Center or to the appropriate Philippine Embassy; and notify POEA of such compliance. The POEA shall inform OWWA of the action of the agency.

Section 55. Action on Non-Compliance. – If the employment agency fails to provide the ticket or PTA within 48 hours from receipt of the notice, the POEA shall suspend the license of the agency or impose such sanctions as it may deem necessary. Upon notice from the POEA, OWWA shall advance the costs of repatriation with recourse to the agency or principal. The administrative sanction shall not be lifted until the agency reimburses the OWWA of the cost of repatriation with legal interest.

Said provisions, on the other hand, are supposed to implement Section 15 of Republic Act No. 80429 which provides:

SEC. 15. Repatriation of Workers; Emergency Repatriation Fund. – The repatriation of the worker and the transport of his personal belongings shall be the primary responsibility of the agency which, recruited or deployed the worker overseas. All costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne by or charged to the agency concerned and/or its principal. Likewise, the repatriation of remains and transport of the personal belongings of a deceased worker and all costs attendant thereto shall be borne by the principal and/or the local agency. However, in cases where the termination of employment is due solely to the fault of the worker, the principal/employer or agency shall not in any manner be responsible for the repatriation of the former and/or his belongings.

Petitioner contends that the Court of Appeals misappreciated the issue it presented in its petition for certiorari when, instead of resolving whether Sections 52, 53, 54, and 55 of the Omnibus Rules are illegal and violative of due process, it merely confined itself to the question of whether or not the POEA committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing its directives of 22 September 2000 and 27 September 2000.

Petitioner also contends that, contrary to the finding of the Court of Appeals, a special civil action for certiorari is the appropriate remedy to raise constitutional issues.

Also, petitioner insists that the subject portions of the omnibus rules are invalid on the ground that Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8042 does not impose on a recruitment agency the primary responsibility for the repatriation of a deceased Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), while Section 52 of the Omnibus Rules unduly imposes such burden on a placement agency.

Moreover, petitioner argues that the word “likewise” at the start of the third sentence of Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8042 is used merely as a connective word indicating the similarity between a recruitment agency’s financial obligation in the repatriation of living and a deceased OFW. It does not, however, necessarily make a placement agency primarily responsible for the repatriation of a deceased OFW unlike in the case of an OFW who is alive.

As for Section 53 of the Omnibus Rules, petitioner submits that the same is invalid as Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8042 clearly states that a placement agency shall not in any manner be responsible for the repatriation of the deceased OFW and his or her belongings should the termination of the OFW’s employment be due to his or her fault. However, as Section 53 of the Omnibus Rules stipulates that a placement agency or principal shall bear the primary responsibility of repatriating an OFW and of advancing the payment for his or her plane fare, the omibus rules, as far as this section is concerned, is an invalid exercise of legislative power by an administrative agency.

In addition, petitioner claims Section 53 of the Omnibus Rules violates the due process clause of the constitution as it deprives the deploying agency of the right to prior notice and hearing through which it can prove that it should not bear the burden of repatriating an OFW.

Finally, petitioner points out that it should be the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration which should advance the costs of repatriation of the deceased Razon with the resources coming out of the emergency repatriation fund of said agency.

The Solicitor General for its part counters that Sections 52, 53, 54, and 55 of the Omnibus Rules are valid quasi-legislative acts of respondents Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Labor and Employment.10 Because of this, the requirements of prior notice and hearing are not essential. Besides, there are cases where even in the exercise of quasi-judicial power, administrative agencies are allowed, sans prior notice and hearing, to effectuate measures affecting private property, such as:

1) [F]or the summary abatement of nuisance per se which affects the immediate safety of persons and property, or 2) in summary proceedings of distraint and levy upon the property of delinquent taxpayers in the collection of internal revenue taxes, fees or charges or any increment thereto, or 3) in the preventive suspension of a public officer pending investigation. x x x.11

The Solicitor General also adds that since petitioner is engaged in the recruitment of Filipino workers for work abroad, the nature of its business calls for the exercise of the state’s police power in order to safeguard the rights and welfare of the Filipino laborers. One such measure is the primary responsibility imposed upon placement agencies with regard to the repatriation of an OFW or of his remains.

The Solicitor General also argues that the wording of Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8042 leaves no doubt that a recruitment agency shall bear the primary responsibility for the repatriation of an OFW whether the latter is dead or alive.

Lastly, the Solicitor General insists that actions assailing the validity of implementing rules and regulations are within the original jurisdiction of the regional trial courts.

We shall first address the procedural question involved in the present petition.

There is no denying that regular courts have jurisdiction over cases involving the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by administrative agencies. Such jurisdiction, however, is not limited to the Court of Appeals or to this Court alone for even the regional trial courts can take cognizance of actions assailing a specific rule or set of rules promulgated by administrative bodies. Indeed, the Constitution vests the power of judicial review or the power to declare a law, treaty, international or executive agreement, presidential decree, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation in the courts, including the regional trial courts.12

Section 1, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure states:

SECTION 1. Petition for Certiorari. – When any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.

The petition shall be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or resolution subject thereof, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto, and a sworn certification of non-forum shopping as provided in the third paragraph of Section 3, Rule 46.

From this, it is clear that in order for a petition for certiorari to prosper, the following requisites must be present: (1) the writ is directed against a tribunal, a board or an officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions; (2) such tribunal, board or officer has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.

It bears emphasizing that administrative bodies are vested with two basic powers, the quasi-legislative and the quasi-judicial.13 In Abella, Jr. v. Civil Service Commission,14 we discussed the nature of these powers to be –

In exercising its quasi-judicial function, an administrative body adjudicates the rights of persons before it, in accordance with the standards laid down by the law. The determination of facts and the applicable law, as basis for official action and the exercise of judicial discretion, are essential for the performance of this function. On these considerations, it is elementary that due process requirements, as enumerated in Ang Tibay, must be observed. These requirements include prior notice and hearing.

On the other hand, quasi-legislative power is exercised by administrative agencies through the promulgation of rules and regulations within the confines of the granting statute and the doctrine of non-delegation of certain powers flowing from the separation of the great branches of the government. Prior notice to and hearing of every affected party, as elements of due process, are not required since there is no determination of past events or facts that have to be established or ascertained. As a general rule, prior notice and hearing are not essential to the validity of rules or regulations promulgated to govern future conduct.

In this case, petitioner assails certain provisions of the Omnibus Rules. However, these rules were clearly promulgated by respondents Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Labor and Employment in the exercise of their quasi-legislative powers or the authority to promulgate rules and regulations. Because of this, petitioner was, thus, mistaken in availing himself of the remedy of an original action for certiorari as obviously, only judicial or quasi-judicial acts are proper subjects thereof. If only for these, the petition deserves outright dismissal. Be that as it may, we shall proceed to resolve the substantive issues raised in this petition for review in order to finally remove the doubt over the validity of Sections 52, 53, 54, and 55 of the Omnibus Rules.

It is now well-settled that delegation of legislative power to various specialized administrative agencies is allowed in the face of increasing complexity of modern life. Given the volume and variety of interactions involving the members of today’s society, it is doubtful if the legislature can promulgate laws dealing with the minutiae aspects of everyday life. Hence, the need to delegate to administrative bodies, as the principal agencies tasked to execute laws with respect to their specialized fields, the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given statute and effectuate its policies.15 All that is required for the valid exercise of this power of subordinate legislation is that the regulation must be germane to the objects and purposes of the law; and that the regulation be not in contradiction to, but in conformity with, the standards prescribed by the law.16 Under the first test or the so-called completeness test, the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature such that when it reaches the delegate, the only thing he will have to do is to enforce it.17 The second test or the sufficient standard test, mandates that there should be adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to determine the boundaries of the delegate’s authority and prevent the delegation from running riot.18

We resolve that the questioned provisions of the Omnibus Rules meet these requirements.

Basically, petitioner is impugning the subject provisions of the Omnibus Rules for allegedly expanding the scope of Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8042 by: first, imposing upon it the primary obligation to repatriate the remains of the deceased Razon including the duty to advance the cost of the plane fare for the transport of Razon’s remains; and second, by ordering it to do so without prior determination of the existence of employer-employee relationship between itself and Razon.

Petitioner’s argument that Section 15 does not provide that it shall be primarily responsible for the repatriation of a deceased OFW is specious and plain nitpicking. While Republic Act No. 8042 does not expressly state that petitioner shall be primarily obligated to transport back here to the Philippines the remains of the deceased Razon, nevertheless, such duty is imposed upon him as the statute clearly dictates that “the repatriation of remains and transport of the personal belongings of a deceased worker and all costs attendant thereto shall be borne by the principal and/or the local agency.” The mandatory nature of said obligation is characterized by the legislature’s use of the word “shall.” That the concerned government agencies opted to demand the performance of said responsibility solely upon petitioner does not make said directives invalid as the law plainly obliges a local placement agency such as herein petitioner to bear the burden of repatriating the remains of a deceased OFW with or without recourse to the principal abroad. In this regard, we see no reason to invalidate Section 52 of the omnibus rules as Republic Act No. 8042 itself permits the situation wherein a local recruitment agency can be held exclusively responsible for the repatriation of a deceased OFW.

Nor do we see any reason to stamp Section 53 of the Omnibus Rules as invalid for allegedly contravening Section 15 of the law which states that a placement agency shall not be responsible for a worker’s repatriation should the termination of the employer-employee relationship be due to the fault of the OFW. To our mind, the statute merely states the general principle that in case the severance of the employment was because of the OFW’s own undoing, it is only fair that he or she should shoulder the costs of his or her homecoming. Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8042, however, certainly does not preclude a placement agency from establishing the circumstances surrounding an OFW’s dismissal from service in an appropriate proceeding. As such determination would most likely take some time, it is only proper that an OFW be brought back here in our country at the soonest possible time lest he remains stranded in a foreign land during the whole time that recruitment agency contests its liability for repatriation. As aptly pointed out by the Solicitor General –

Such a situation is unacceptable.

24. This is the same reason why repatriation is made by law an obligation of the agency and/or its principal without the need of first determining the cause of the termination of the worker’s employment. Repatriation is in effect an unconditional responsibility of the agency and/or its principal that cannot be delayed by an investigation of why the worker was terminated from employment. To be left stranded in a foreign land without the financial means to return home and being at the mercy of unscrupulous individuals is a violation of the OFW’s dignity and his human rights. These are the same rights R.A. No. 8042 seeks to protect.19

As for the sufficiency of standard test, this Court had, in the past, accepted as sufficient standards the following: “public interest,” “justice and equity,” “public convenience and welfare,” and “simplicity, economy and welfare.”20

In this case, we hold that the legislature’s pronouncements that Republic Act No. 8042 was enacted with the thought of upholding the dignity of the Filipinos may they be here or abroad and that the State shall at all times afford full protection to labor, both here and abroad, meet the requirement and provide enough guidance for the formulation of the omnibus rules.

WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review is DENIED. The Court of Appeals’ Decision dated 4 October 2001 and Resolution dated 18 February 2002 are hereby AFFIRMED. With costs.

SO ORDERED.

Panganiban, C.J., Chairperson, Ynares-Santiago, Austria-Martinez, Callejo, Sr., J.J., concur.
Footnotes

1 Penned by Associate Justice Cancio C. Garcia (now a member of this Court) and Associate Justices Hilarion L. Aquino and Edgardo P. Cruz, concurring; rollo, pp. 44-55.

2 Rollo, pp. 45-50.

3 Id. at 55.

4 Id. at 53.

5 Id. at 11.

6 Id. at 12.

7 Id. at 267-268.

8 Id. at 241-242.

9 AN ACT TO INSTITUTE THE POLICIES OF OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT AND ESTABLISH A HIGHER STANDARD OF PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF THE WELFARE OF MIGRANT WORKERS, THEIR FAMILIES AND OVERSEAS FILIPINOS IN DISTRESS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

10 Signed by Secretary Domingo L. Siazon, Jr. for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Secretary Leonardo A. Quisumbing for the Department of Labor and Employment.

11 Rollo, p. 294.

12 Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) v. National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), G.R. No. 151908, 12 August 2003, 408 SCRA 678, 689.

13 Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, G.R. No. L-76633, 18 October 1988, 166 SCRA 533, 546-547.

14 G.R. No. 152574, 17 November 2004, 442 SCRA 507, 529-530.

15 Beltran v. Secretary of Health, G.R. No. 133640, 25 November 2005, 476 SCRA 168, 191.

16 The Conference of Maritime Manning Agencies v. Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, 313 Phil. 592, 606 (1995).

17 Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, supra note 13 at 543.

18 Id.

19 Rollo, p. 300.

20 Supra note 13 at 537.

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2 comments on “G.R. No. 152214 – Bangungot

  1. I just want to ask po kasi my father died last jan 3, 2011 sa Riyadh due to heart attack. May IQAMA po cya and complete documents. Sagot naman po ng company nya yung pag repatriate ng remains nya. Regarding po sa IQAMA nya ano po ba ito? isa po ba ito insurance?at ano po ang maitutulong nito sa madaling pagpapauwi ng papa ko? Thank you po

    • Dito po sa KSA kung hindi po asikasohin agad ng employer ang pag-pauwi ng mga labi ng namatay na OFW, ito po ay magtatagal maaring isang buwan, 2, 3 ,4 ,5, at minsan pa nga aabotin ng taon.

      Ang iqama po ay hindi po insurance related identification.

      Ang iqama po ay Work permit ng isang foreign worker na nagtatrabaho sa KSA. Ito po ay nagpapatunay na legal po ang kanyang status bilang foreign worker sa KSA.

      Basahin po ang mga sumusunod:

      Mga Tanong at Sagot Tungkol sa Pagpapauwi ng Namatay na OFW.

      Makikita nyo rin ito sa ating blog, ito po ang link: http://ofwempowerment.wordpress.com/ofw-guide/patnubay/

      Ilan sa ating mga kababayang OFW’s ang inaabot ng kanilang kamatayan dito sa Saudi Arabia at madalas, ang mga pamilya ng mga nasawi ay hinihiling ang madaliang pag pauwi ng mga labi nito.

      Para sa kaalaman ng lahat, ang pagpauwi ng mga labi ng mga namatay na OFW’s ay katulad din ng pag-papauwi ng mga stranded OFW’s … kailangan din ang EXIT VISA.

      Tunghayan ang mga sumusunod na tanong at kasagutan upang maunawaan ang paraan sa pagpapauwi ng mga labi ng namatay na OFW.

      TANONG: Saan kumukuha ng Exit Visa para sa namatay na OFW?

      Ang Exit Visa ay kinukuha sa Saudi Immigration Office. Itina-tatak ang exit visa sa passport ng namatay na OFW.

      TANONG: Anu-ano ang mga kailangang papeles para makakuha ng Exit Visa?

      Kailangang mayroong sulat mula sa pulis (endorsement letter) na karapat-dapat bigyan ng exit visa ang OFW. Gayundin, ang sulat mula sa pulis ay magpapapatunay na ang employer o sponsor ng nasawing OFW ay natugunan nang lahat ng mga patakaran ng Saudi Arabia sa pag-papauwi ng namatay na manggagawa.

      TANONG: May kailangan bang papeles para makakuha ng sulat o endorsement letter mula sa Pulis?

      Oo. Ang employer o sponsor ng namatay na OFW ay nararapat kumuha ng mga sumusunod na dokumento sa tamang opisina bago siya makakuha ng clearance para maipauwi ang labi ng OFW:

      Required Documents:

      1)Medical Report
      Concerned Agency: Ospital kung saan namatay o dinala ang mga labi ng OFW.
      Conditions of Issuance: Dapat bayad lahat ang hospital bills ng nasawi.
      2)Death Certificate on the date the worker passed away.

      Concerned Agency: Ministry of Interior, Directorate General of Civil Affairs.
      Conditions of Issuance: Copy of the Medical Report

      3)Police Report on Cause of Death

      Concerned Agency: Ministry of Interior, Public Section
      Conditions of Issuance: Copy of the Medical Report and Death Certificate

      4)Statement and Clearance of Payment of Benefits

      Concerned Agency: Saudi Labor Office (Ang ahensya ng gobyerno na siyang sumisiguro na tama at sapat ang matatanggap na benepisyo ng namatay na OFW.
      Conditions of Issuance: Dapat maibigay sa Saudi Labor Office o sa tagapagmana ang kaukulang halaga ng benepisyo ng namatay na OFW.

      5)No objection Certificate (NOC) on the shipment of remains

      Concerned Agency: Issuance of NOC from Philippine Embassy.
      Conditions of Issuance: Dapat magbigay ang pamilya ng OFW ng Acceptance Letter na tatanggapin nila ang mga labi ng nasawing OFW.

      6)Blood Money o Diya Clearance (kung ang OFW ay namatay sa isang aksidente o biktima ng krimen).

      Concerned Agency: Pulisya na humahawak sa imbestigasyon ng kaso.
      Conditions of Issuance: Dapat ay makumpleto muna ng pulisya ang imbestigasyon sa pagkamatay ng OFW at matiyak kung sino ang dapat magbigay ng diya o blood money.

      TANONG: Sapat na ba ang pagkakaroon ng Exit Visa para mapauwi kaagad ang mga labi ng namatay na OFW?

      Hindi. Maliban sa exit visa, kailangan pang kumuha ng clearance mula sa morgue, Customs Office at Cargo Office bago tuluyang mapauwi ang mga labi ng namatay na OFW.

      TANONG: Sino ang dapat maglakad ng mga kinakailangan papeles para mapadali ang pagpapauwi ng mga labi ng namatay na OFW?

      Tanging ang employer o sponsor ng nasawing OFW ang siyang dapat maglakad ng mga papeles para agad na mapauwi ang mga labi ng namatay na OFW.

      TANONG: Mayroon bang kaukulang halaga na kailangang bayaran sa pag-papauwi ng mga labi ng namatay na OFW? Sino ang dapat magbayad?

      Oo. Humigit kumulang sa US$2,500.00 ang halagang dapat bayaran sa pagpauwi sa mga labi ng namatay na OFW. Ito ay dapat sagutin ng employer o sponsor ng OFW.

      TANONG: Anu-ano ang mga kadalasang dahilan ng pagkabalam ng pag-papauwi sa labi ng mga namatay na OFW’s?

      Narito ang mga kadalasang dahilan sa pagkabalam sa pag-papauwi ng mga labi ng mga namatay na OFW’s.
      DAHILAN:

      1)Ang kawalan ng kooperasyon ng employer o sponsor ng OFW.

      Resulta: Walang maglalakad ng mga kailangang papeles para sa pag-papauwi ng namatay na OFW.

      2)Ang hindi agad pagbabayad ng employer o sponsor ng kaukulang halaga sa benepisyo ng OFW sa Saudi Labor Office.

      Resulta: Ang hindi pagbabayad ay nangangahulugan ng hindi pagbibigay ng Saudi Labor Office Clearance.

      3)Ang mabagal na pagbibigay ng pamilya ng OFW ng sulat (Acceptance Letter) na nagsasaad kung sino ang tatanggap ng labi ng OFW sa pagdating sa Pilipinas.

      Resulta: Hindi alam ng Cargo Office kung kanino ipapadala ang mga labi ng namatay na OFW.

      4)Ang hindi pagbabayad ng Employer o sponsor sa hospital bills ng nasawing OFW.

      Resulta: Hindi makakuha ng medical report na kailangan din sa pagkuha ng Exit Visa.

      5)Ang matagal na paghihintay mula sa pulis na masiguro kung sino ang magbabayad ng blood money kung ang OFW ay biktima nang isang aksidente o krimen.

      Resulta: Hindi nagbibigay ang pulis ng blood money clearance, isa sa mga kailangang papeles sa pagkuha ng exit visa kung ang nasawi ay biktima ng aksidente o krimen.

      6)Ang hindi agad paglilipat sa iba ng rehistro ng sasakyan na namatay na OFW.

      Resulta: Hindi magbibigay ang Immigration Office ng Exit Visa hanggat hindi naililipat sa iba ang rehistro ng sasakyan ng namatay na OFW.

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