Provisional bond is posted upon filing of the motion to reduce bond. This is not yet the appellate bond mentioned in the Labor Code and the NLRC Rules. This is just for the purpose of moving for bond reduction and provisionally furnished to perfect the appeal in terms of compliance with the reglementary period.
The Supreme Court ruled in the following case:
Balite vs. SS Ventures International, Inc.,
G.R. No. 195109, February 4, 2015
Respondent SS Ventures International, Inc. is a domestic corporation duly engaged in the business of manufacturing footwear products for local sales and export abroad. It is represented in this action by respondents Sung Sik Lee and Evelyn Rayala. Balite, et al Andy Balite (Balite), Monaliza Bihasa (Bihasa) and Delfin Anzaldo (Anzaldo) were regular employees of the respondent company until their employments were severed for violation of various company policies.
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For his part, Balite was issued a Show Cause Memorandum by the respondent company charging him with the following infractions: (1) making false reports, malicious and fraudulent statements and rumor-mongering against the company; (2) threatening and intimidating co-workers; (3) refusing to cooperate in the conduct of investigation; and (4) gross negligence in the care and use of the company property resulting in the damage of the finished products. After respondent found Balite’s explanation insufficient, he was dismissed from employment, through a Notice of Termination.
Bihasa, on the other hand, was charged with absence without leave on two occasions and with improper behavior, stubbornness, arrogance and uncooperative attitude towards superiors and employees. Bihasa was likewise terminated from the service after her explanation in an administrative investigation was found unsatisfactory by the respondent company.
Anzaldo was also dismissed from employment after purportedly giving him due process. The records of the infractions he committed as well as the date of his termination, however, are not borne by the records. Consequently, the three employees charged respondents with illegal dismissal and recovery of backwages, 13th month pay and attorney’s fees before the Labor Arbiter. In refuting the allegations of the Balite, et al, respondents averred that Balite, et al were separated from employment for just causes and after affording them procedural due process of law.
The Labor Arbiter rendered a Decision in favor of Balite, et al and held that respondents are liable for illegal dismissal for failing to comply with the procedural and substantive requirements in terminating employment.
Aggrieved, respondents interposed an appeal by filing a Notice of Appeal and paying the corresponding appeal fee. However, instead of filing the required appeal bond equivalent to the total amount of the monetary award which is P490,308.00, respondents filed a Motion to Reduce the Appeal Bond to P100,000.00 and appended therein a manager’s check bearing the said amount. Respondents cited financial difficulty as justification for their inability to post the appeal bond in full owing to the partial shutdown of respondent company’s operations.
The NLRC dismissed the appeal filed by the respondents for non-perfection. The NLRC ruled that posting of an appeal bond equivalent to the monetary award is indispensable for the perfection of the appeal and the reduction of the appeal bond, absent any showing of meritorious ground to justify the same, is not warranted in the instant case. Similarly ill-fated was respondents’ Motion for Reconsideration which was denied by the NLRC.
On certiorari, the Court of Appeals reversed the NLRC Decision and allowed the relaxation of the rule on posting of the appeal bond. According to the appellate court, there was substantial compliance with the rules for the perfection of an appeal because respondents seasonably filed their Memorandum of Appeal and posted an appeal bond in the amount of P100,000.00. While the amount of the appeal bond posted was not equivalent to the monetary award, the Court of Appeals ruled that respondents were able to sufficiently prove their incapability to post the required amount of bond.
Whether or not the amount of bond of more than 20% of the judgment award is sufficient as provisional bond pending resolution of motion to reduce bond
In line with Sara Lee and the objective that the appeal on the merits to be threshed out soonest by the NLRC, the Court holds that the appeal bond posted by the respondent in the amount of P100,000.00 which is equivalent to around 20% of the total amount of monetary bond is sufficient to perfect an appeal.
With the employer’s demonstrated good faith in filing the motion to reduce the bond on demonstrable grounds coupled with the posting of the appeal bond in the requested amount, as well as the filing of the memorandum of appeal, the right of the employer to appeal must be upheld.
This is in recognition of the importance of the remedy of appeal, which is an essential part of our judicial system and the need to ensure that every party litigant is given the amplest opportunity for the proper and just disposition of his cause freed from the constraints of technicalities.