Here are select January 2013 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on labor law and procedure:
Appeal to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC); Requisites for perfection of appeal; Joint declaration under oath accompanying the surety bond; Substantial compliance with procedural rules. There was substantial compliance with the NLRC Rules of Procedure when the respondents PAL Maritime Corporation and Western Shipping Agencies, Pte., Ltd. filed, albeit belatedly, the Joint Declaration Under Oath, which is required when an employer appeals from the Labor Arbiter’s decision granting a monetary award and posts a surety bond. Under the NLRC rules, the following requisites are required to perfect the employer’s appeal: (1) it must be filed within the reglementary period; (2) it must be under oath, with proof of payment of the required appeal fee and the posting of a cash or surety bond; and (3) it must be accompanied by typewritten or printed copies of the memorandum of appeal, stating the grounds relied upon, the supporting arguments, the reliefs prayed for, and a statement of the date of receipt of the appealed decision, with proof of service on the other party of said appeal. If the employer posts a surety bond, the NLRC rules further require the submission by the employer, his or her counsel, and the bonding company of a joint declaration under oath attesting that the surety bond posted is genuine and that it shall be in effect until the final disposition of the case.
In the case at bar, the respondents posted a surety bond equivalent to the monetary award and filed the notice of appeal and the appeal memorandum within the reglementary period. When the NLRC subsequently directed the filing of a Joint Declaration Under Oath, the respondents immediately complied with the said order. There was only a late submission of the Joint Declaration. Considering that there was substantial compliance with the rules, the same may be liberally construed. The application of technical rules may be relaxed in labor cases to serve the demands of substantial justice. Rolando L. Cervantes vs. PAL Maritime Corporation and/or Western Shipping Agencies, Pte., Ltd. G.R. No. 175209. January 16, 2013.