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G.R. Nos. 85122-24 March 22, 1991
JULIO N. CAGAMPAN, SILVINO C. VICERA, JORGE C. DE CASTRO, JUANITO R. DE JESUS, ARNOLD J. MIRANDA, , MAXIMO O. ROSELLO & ANICETO L. BETANA, petitioners,
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, & ACE MARITIME AGENCIES, INC., respondents.
On April 17 and 18,1985, petitioners, all seamen, entered into separate contracts of employment with the Golden Light Ocean Transport, Ltd., through its local agency, private respondent ACE MARITIME AGENCIES, INC.
Thereafter, petitioners collectively and/or individually filed complaints for non-payment of overtime pay, vacation pay and terminal pay against private respondent. In addition, they claimed that they were made to sign their contracts in blank. Likewise, petitioners averred that although they agreed to render services on board the vessel Rio Colorado managed by Golden Light Ocean Transport, Ltd., the vessel they actually boarded was MV "SOIC I" managed by Columbus Navigation. Two (2) petitioners, Jorge de Castro and Juanito de Jesus, charged that although they were employed as ordinary seamen (OS), they actually performed the work and duties of Able Seamen (AB).
Private respondent was furnished with copies of petitioners' complaints and summons, but it failed to file its answer within the reglementary period. Thus, on January 12, 1987, an Order was issued declaring that private respondent has waived its right to present evidence in its behalf and that the cases are submitted for decision (Page 68, Records).
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) rendered a Decision dismissing petitioners' claim for terminal pay but granted their prayer for leave pay and overtime pay.
Whether or not petitioners, even without sufficient evidence of actual rendition of overtime work, would automatically be entitled to overtime pay.
No. The NLRC ruling on the disallowance of overtime pay is ably supported by the fact that petitioners never produced any proof of actual performance of overtime work.
The contract provision means that the fixed overtime pay of 30% would be the basis for computing the overtime pay if and when overtime work would be rendered. Simply, stated, the rendition of overtime work and the submission of sufficient proof that said work was actually performed are conditions to be satisfied before a seaman could be entitled to overtime pay which should be computed on the basis of 30% of the basic monthly salary. In short, the contract provision guarantees the right to overtime pay but the entitlement to such benefit must first be established.
Realistically speaking, a seaman, by the very nature of his job, stays on board a ship or vessel beyond the regular eight-hour work schedule. For the employer to give him overtime pay for the extra hours when he might be sleeping or attending to his personal chores or even just lulling away his time would be extremely unfair and unreasonable.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the NLRC is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that petitioners Cagampan and Vicera are awarded their leave pay according to the terms of the contract.
Acknowledgement: Jaja Oftana