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G.R. No. 146775. January 30, 2002
SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, petitioner,
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS-FORMER THIRTEENTH DIVISION, HON. UNDERSECRETARY JOSE M. ESPAÑOL, JR., Hon. CRESENCIANO B. TRAJANO, and HON. REGIONAL DIRECTOR ALLAN M. MACARAYA, respondents.
The Department of Labor and Employment conducted a routine inspection in San Miguel Corporation, Iligan City and it was discovered that there was underpayment by SMC of regular Muslim holiday pay to its employees. DOLE sent a copy of inspection result to SMC which the latter contested the findings. SMC failed to submit proof and hence the Director of DOLE of Iligan District Office issued a compliance order to pay both its Muslim and non-Muslim employees the Muslim Holidays. SMC appealed to DOLE main office but dismissed for having been filed late but later on reconsidered because it is within reglementary period but still dismissed for lack of merit. Hence, this present petition for certiorari.
Whether or not non-Muslim employees working in Muslim areas is entitled to Muslim Holiday Pay.
The Supreme Court dismissed the petition and ordered the petitioner to pay its non-Muslim employees. The basis for this decision were Articles 169 and 170 of P.D. No. 1083 “Code of Muslim Personal Laws” which listed all official Muslim holidays and provincies and cities where officially observed. In this case, SMC is located in Iligan which is covered in the those provisions. Also Article 169 and 170 of PD No. 1083 should be read in conjunction with Article 94 of Labor Code which provides for the right of every worker to be paid of holiday pay.
Petitioner asserts Art.3(3) of PD No. 1083 provides that it shall be applicable only to Muslims. However, the Court said that said article declares that nothing herein shall be construed to operate to the prejudice of a non-Muslim. There should be no distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims as regards payment of benefits for Muslim holidays.
It was said also that the The Court of Appeals did not err in sustaining Undersecretary Español who stated: “Assuming arguendo that the respondent’s position is correct, then by the same token, Muslims throughout the Philippines are also not entitled to holiday pays on Christian holidays declared by law as regular holidays. We must remind the respondent-appellant that wages and other emoluments granted by law to the working man are determined on the basis of the criteria laid down by laws and certainly not on the basis of the worker’s faith or religion.”
Acknowledgement: Barbie Pinos