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  • Employment &

    Immigration Update

    Inside this issue

    Outsourcing, a flourishing industry

    PHL gains in competitiveness

    Labor Force Survey

    Re-stamping of new visa imprints in the passports of foreigners who have been granted residency status

    Procedure on Minimum Wage Fixing for Domestic Workers

    Exemptions from payment of terminal fee

    Special points of interest

     Supreme Court (SC) Decisions

     Labor & Immigration News

     SyCipLaw News

    Employment in the booming Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO)

    industry, also called offshoring industry, has reached the million mark—1% of the Philippine

    population in mid-2014—up from 900,000 in 2013. The Information Technology and Business

    Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the umbrella organization for IT-BPO and Global

    in-House Center, sees end-2014 revenues to hit US$18 billion, up from US$15 billion in 2013,

    putting the industry on track to attain its 2016 target employment of 1.3 million and revenue of

    US$25 billion.

    Established 15 years ago, the IT-BPO industry is next to overseas Filipino workers’ remittances

    as a source of foreign exchange. The industry consists of contact center services; back offices;

    medical, legal, and data transcription; animation; software development; engineering design;

    and digital content.

    A big number of global corporations have transferred some of their non-core, labor-intensive,

    and IT-enabled jobs to the Philippines. It is not just Metro Manila that has BPO facilities; second-

    tier cities such as Cebu, Dumaguete, Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod, and Iligan enjoy a flourishing

    offshore industry of call centers providing voice and non-voice services. Call center operations

    (Continued on page 4)

    July-September 2014 Volume XII, Issue 3

    Outsourcing, a flourishing industry

    PHL gains in competitiveness

    The Philippines ranked 52nd out of 144 economies this year—up from 59th out of 148 in the

    previous survey—in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015,

    which assessed markets against “pillars of competitiveness” that drive productivity.

    In its current position, the Philippines has already notched a steady improvement of 33 places

    since a 2009 plunge which the Forum noted was “the largest over that period among all

    countries studies.”

    “The results suggest that the reforms of the four years have bolstered the country’s economic

    fundamentals,” it added. “The trends across most of the 12 pillars are positive and, in some

    cases, truly remarkable.”

    Switzerland remained the most competitive in the world for a sixth year, followed by

    Singapore, the United States, Finland, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the United

    (Continued on page 4)

    http://www.syciplaw.com/

  • Quick Quotes from Recent SC Decisions

    The company-designated

    physician must arrive at a

    definite assessment of the

    seafarer’s fitness to work or

    permanent disability within a

    period of 120 or 240 days,

    pursuant to Article 192(c)(1)

    of the Labor Code and Rule X,

    Section 2 of the Amended

    Rules on Employees

    Compensation (AREC). If he

    fails to do so and the

    seafarer’s medical condition

    remains unresolved, the latter

    shall be deemed totally and

    permanently disabled. (Fil-

    Pride Shipping Company, Inc.,

    et al. v. Edgar A. Balasta, G.R.

    No. 193047, 03 March 2014). 

    A Collective Bargaining

    Agreement (CBA) is a contract

    entered into by an employer

    and a legitimate labor

    organization concerning the

    terms and conditions of

    employment. Like any other

    contract, it has the force of law

    between the parties and, thus,

    should be complied with in

    good faith. Unilateral changes

    or suspensions in the

    implementation of the

    provisions of the CBA,

    therefore, cannot be allowed

    without the consent of both

    parties. (Wesleyan University-

    Philippines v. Wesleyan

    University-Philippines Faculty

    and Staff Association, G.R. No.

    181806, 12 March 2014). 

    Requirements for compensability of an injury or illness

    SC Decision: G.R. No. 199344, 05 March 2014

    Under Section 20(B)(6) of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration-Standard

    Employment Contract (POEA-SEC), an injury or illness is compensable when, first, it is work-

    related and, second, the injury or illness existed during the term of the seafarer’s employment

    contract. Section 32(A) of the 2000 POEA Amended Standard Terms and Conditions further

    provides that for an occupational disease and the resulting disability to be compensable, the

    following need to be satisfied: (1) the seafarer’s work must involve the risks described; (2) the

    disease was contracted as a result of the seafarer’s exposure to the described risks; (3) the

    disease was contracted within a period of exposure and under such other factors necessary to

    contract it; and (4) there was no notorious negligence on the part of the seafarer.

    Respondent-seafarer has been diagnosed to suffer from posterior subscapular cataract on his

    right eye and pseudophakia, and posterior capsule opacification on his left eye. For these to be

    regarded as occupational diseases, respondent-seafarer had to prove that the risk of

    contracting the disease was increased by the conditions under which he worked. The evidence

    must be real and substantial, and not merely apparent. It must constitute a reasonable basis for

    arriving at a conclusion that the conditions of his employment caused the disease or that such

    conditions aggravated the risk of contracting the illness.

    Respondent-seafarer did not present substantial proof that his eye ailment was work-related.

    Other than his bare claim that paint droppings accidentally splashed on an eye causing blurred

    (Continued on page 5)

    2

    Exemptions from payment of terminal fee

    The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has published a Notice regarding the

    International Passenger Service Charge (or Terminal Fee) which will be integrated effective 01

    October 2014 into the cost of airline ticket at point of sale.

    The following are exempt from paying the terminal fee provided they are able to present, at the

    point of sale, exemption certificate duly issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment

    Administration (POEA) or the MIAA:

    a) Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) with Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) issued by

    the POEA;

    b) Pilgrims endorsed by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos with exemption

    certificate issued by MIAA;

    c) Athletes endorsed by the Philippine Sports Commission with exemption certificate issued

    by the MIAA; and

    d) Others who are authorized by the Office of the President.

    Circumstances when terminal fee will be collected from exempt passengers:

    a) Airline tickes purchased online;

    b) Airline tickets purchased abroad;

    c) If no exemption certificate has been presented when airline ticket is purchased over the

    counter from airline office or its travel agent in the Philippines.

    To facilitate the refund process for exempted passengers who have been charged the terminal

    fee upon purchase of the ticket, the following documents must be presented during refund:

    a) OFWs—airport copy of the OEC, and any of the following showing payment of terminal fee:

    LI International, E-ticket, Itinerary receipt with official receipt (O.R.) or Invoice, or

    boarding pass;

    b) For Pilgrims, Athletes and Others—MIAA Exemption Certificate, and any of the following

    showing payment of terminal fee: LI International, E-ticket, Itinerary receipt with O.R. or

    Invoice, or boarding pass.

    (Continued on page 5)

  • SC Decision: G.R. No. 186621, 12 March 2014

    To ascertain the existence of an employer-employee relationship, jurisprudence has invariably

    adhered to the four-fold test, to wit: (1) the selection and engagement of the employee; (2) the

    payment of wages; (3) the power of dismissal; and (4) the power to control the employee’s

    conduct, or the so-called “control test.” In resolving the issue of whether such relationship

    exists in a given case, substantial evidence—that amount of relevant evidence which a

    reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion—is sufficient. Although no

    particular form of evidence is required to prove the existence of the relationship, and any

    competent and relevant evidence to prove the relationship may be admitted, a finding that the

    relationship exists must nonetheless rest on substantial evidence.

    In the case at bar, the Court of Appeals (CA) gave more credence to the declarations of five

    former employees of petitioners that respondent was their co-worker in petitioner company.

    The SC upheld the conclusion of the CA. 

    3

    Existence of emplo