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PHILIPPINE LAWS, STATUTES & CODES

Commonwealth Act No. 559

  PHILIPPINE LAWS, STATUTES AND CODES - CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY

COMMONWEALTH ACTS





COMMONWEALTH ACT NO. 559

COMMONWEALTH ACT NO. 559 - AN ACT TO AMEND COMMONWEALTH ACT NUMBERED ONE HUNDRED AND THREE, AS AMENDED

Section 1. Section one of Commonwealth Act Numbered One hundred and three, as amended by Commonwealth Act Numbered Two hundred and fifty-four, is further amended to read as follows:

"Section 1. Jurisdiction Judges. There is hereby created a Court of Industrial Relations hereinafter called the court, which shall have jurisdiction over the entire Philippines, to consider, investigate, decide, and settle all questions matters, controversies, or disputes arising between, and/or affecting employers and employees or laborers, and landlords and tenants or farm-laborers, and regulate the relations between them, subject to the provisions of this Act.

"The Court shall also have jurisdiction over cases submitted to it under the provisions of Commonwealth Act Numbered Four hundred and sixty-one.

"The Court shall consist of a presiding Judge and four associate Judges to be appointed by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments of the National Assembly. The Judges of the Court shall have the same qualifications provided in the Constitution for members of the Supreme Court, and shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy years, or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. Whenever the terms 'senior judge' or 'judge' and 'judges' appear in Commonwealth Act Numbered One hundred and three, as amended, they shall, unless the context, otherwise provides, mean 'presiding judge,' and 'associate judge,' respectively.

"They may be suspended or removed in the same manner and upon the same grounds as the Judges of the Court of First Instance.

"The presiding Judge shall receive an annual compensation of eleven thousand pesos and the four associate Judges shall receive an annual compensation of ten thousand pesos each. They shall be entitled to traveling expenses and per diems when performing official duties outside of the City of Manila.

"The Department of Justice shall have executive supervision over the Court.

"The Court shall keep record of its proceedings. The Judges shall act on such matters as the presiding Judge may designate and each of them shall have power to preside over hearing of cases assigned to him and to render decisions thereon.

"Should any party aggrieved by a ruling or decision of any of the Judges, request a reconsideration thereof, or at the request of any of them, the Judges shall sit together, and the concurrence of at least three of the five judges shall be necessary for the pronouncement of a decision, order, or award.

"If on the account of illness, absence, or incapacity of any of the judges of the court, or, whenever, by reason of temporary disability of any judge thereof or of a vacancy occurring therein, the requisite number of judges necessary to render a decision, order, or award in any case, is not present, or, in the event of a tie vote among the Judges, the Secretary of Justice may designate such number of judges of the Court of First Instance, as may be necessary, to sit temporarily as judges of the said court, until a decision, order, or award in said case is reached."

Section2. Section four of the same Act is amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 4. Strikes and lockouts. The Court shall take cognizance for purposes of prevention, arbitration, decision and settlement, of any industrial or agricultural dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or lockout, arising from differences as regards wages, shares or compensation, dismissals, lay-offs, or suspension of employees or laborers, tenants or farm-laborers, hours of labor, or conditions of tenancy or employment, between employers and employees or laborers and between landlords and tenants or farm-laborers, provided that the number of employees, laborers or tenants or farm-laborers involved exceeds thirty, and such industrial or agricultural dispute is submitted to the Court by the Secretary of Labor, or by any or both of the parties to the controversy. In all such cases, the Secretary of Labor or the party or parties submitting the disputes, shall clearly and specifically state in writing the questions to be decided. Upon the submission of such a controversy or question by the Secretary of Labor, his intervention therein as authorized by law, shall cease.

The Court shall, before hearing the dispute and in the course of such hearing, endeavor to reconcile the parties and induce them to settle the dispute by amicable agreement. If any agreement as to the whole or any part of the dispute is arrived at by the parties, a memorandum of its terms shall be made in writing, signed and acknowledged by the parties thereto before any Judge of the Court or any official acting in his behalf and authorized to administer oaths or acknowledgments, or, before a notary public. The memorandum shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of Court, and, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, shall, as between the parties to the agreement, have the same effect as, and be deemed to be, a decision or award."

Section3. Section six of the same Act, as amended by Commonwealth Act Numbered Three hundred and fifty-five, is further amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 6. The power to issue subpoena, to punish for direct and indirect contempts, proceedings, etc. The Court or any Judge thereof shall have the power to administer oaths in matters connected with the business of the Court; summon the parties to a controversy before the Court, issue subpoena, require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of such books, papers, contracts, records, statements of accounts, agreements and statements as may be material to a just determination of the matter under investigation or hearing conducted in pursuance of the provisions of this Act, and delegate all such powers to any board or person who shall act in behalf of the Court. The Court or any Judge thereof shall have, furthermore, all inherent powers of a court of justice provided in paragraph 5 of Rule 123 of the Supreme Court, as well as the power to punish direct and indirect contempts as provided in Rule 64 of the same Court, under the same procedure and penalties provided therein.

"Any violation of any order, award, or decision of the Court Industrial Relations shall, after such order, award, or decision has become final, conclusive, and executory, constitute contempt of court: Provided, however, That the complaint charging the commission of indirect contempt of the Court of Industrial Relations shall be in writing, signed and filed with the Clerk of the Court by the Attorney of the Court or other officer or employee thereof designated by it, or any provincial or city attorney designated by the Secretary of Justice.

"In case the employer or landlord committing any such violation or contempt is an association or corporation, the manager or the person who has charge of the management of the business of the association or corporation and the officers or directors thereof who have ordered or authorized the violation or contempt shall be liable. In case the violation or contempt is committed by persons belonging to a labor union, association, or group of laborers, which union, association, or group directs or assumes the representation of such persons, the president or the duly authorized representative of said union, association, or group who have caused the act which resulted in the contempt shall be liable.

"The proceedings for contempt mentioned in the last two preceding paragraphs shall be without prejudice to the criminal liability of the offender under the provisions of section 24 of this Act."

Section4. Sections eleven, twelve, fourteen, and fifteen of the same Act are amended so as to read as follows:

"Section 11. Court authorized to seek help from other officers. The Court shall have the power to require the services of any Government official or employee, to help it, without additional compensation, in the performance of its duties.

"All writs and processes issued by the Court shall be served and executed free of charge by provincial or city sheriffs, or by any person authorized by the Court, in the same manner as writs and processes of Courts of First Instance.

"Section 12. Power of inspection. A Judge of the Court or any officer thereof or person authorized by any of the Judges of the Court in writing may at any time during working hours, enter any labor establishment, building, ship or vessel, place or premises in the performance of the duties of the Court, inspect and view any work, material, implement, machinery, appliances or any object therein, and ask any employee, laborer, tenant or farm-laborer, as the case may be, or any person for any information or data concerning any matter or question relative to the object of the inspection.

"Any person who shall, without justifiable cause, prevent or hinder any of the Judges of the Court or officer thereof, or person authorized by any of the said Judges, from entering any labor establishment, building, ship or vessel, place or premises, or who shall refuse to furnish any information or data requested, as herein provided, or to answer any question, or who shall obstruct any of said judges, officer, or person so authorized while engaged in the discharge of official duties as provided in this Act, shall be guilty of contempt of Court.

"Section 14. Enforcement of awards, orders, and decisions. At the expiration of ten days from the date of the award, order or decision, in cases brought under the provisions of section four hereof, judgment shall be entered in accordance therewith, unless during said ten days an aggrieved party shall appeal therefrom to the Supreme Court of the Philippines by writ of certiorari as hereinafter provided. The institution of such an appeal shall not, however, stay the execution of the award, order, or decision sought to be reviewed, unless for special reasons the Court shall order that the execution be stayed, in which event the Court in its discretion, may require the appellant to deposit with the clerk of the Court such amount of salaries or wages due the employees, laborers, tenants, or farm-laborers concerned under the award, order, or decision appealed from or require him to give bond in such form and of such amount as to insure compliance with the award, order, or decision in case the same is affirmed. The Court may also require the appellant to deposit with the clerk of the Court every week, on a day therein to be fixed by the Court, an amount equivalent to the salaries or wages to be earned during the time of the appeal by the employees or laborers, or tenants or farm-laborers whose reinstatement in, or readmission to, their employment has been decreed by the Court. The failure to make such deposit shall vacate the order for stay of execution When writs of execution are so issued the proceeds thereof shall be kept by the Clerk of the Court of Industrial Relations in his custody, pending decision of the appeal, to be disposed of in conformity with the final judgment of the Supreme Court.

"Section 15. Review by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in its discretion, may, in any case involving a question of law, upon petition of the party aggrieved by a decision, order, or award of the Court of Industrial Relations, and under rules and conditions that it may prescribe, may require by certiorari that said case be certified to it for review and determination. Upon that final determinations or issues raised in the appeal, the Clerk of the Supreme Court shall immediately transmit to the Clerk of the Court of Industrial Relations a certified copy of the decision or judgment. Upon receipt of said certified decision or judgment by the Clerk of the Court of Industrial Relations, it shall immediately become conclusive, final and executory.

"If exceptions to an award, order, or decision of the Court are finally sustained, judgment shall be entered setting the award, order, or decision, in whole or in part, but in such case the parties may agree upon a judgment to be entered disposing of the subject matter of the controversy, which shall have the same force and effect as judgment entered, an award, order, or decision."

Section5. Section nineteen of the same Act, as amended, is further amended to read as follows:

"Section 19. Implied condition in every contract of employment. In every contract of employment or tenancy, whether verbal or written, it is an implied condition that when any dispute between the employer or landlord and the employee, tenant or laborer has been submitted to the Court of Industrial Relations for settlement or arbitration pursuant to the provisions of this Act or when the President of the Philippines has ordered an investigation in accordance with section five of this Act with a view to determining the necessity and fairness of fixing and adopting a minimum wage or share of laborers or tenants, and pending award or decision by the Court of such dispute or during the pendency of the investigation above referred to, the employee, tenant, or laborer shall not strike or walk out of his employment when so enjoined by the Court after hearing and when public interest so requires, and if he has already done so, that he shall forthwith return to it, upon order of the Court, which shall be issued only after hearing when public interest so requires or when the dispute cannot, in its opinion, be promptly decided or settled; and if the employees, tenants or laborers fail to return to work, the Court may authorize the employer or landlord to accept other employees, tenants or laborers. A condition shall further be implied that while such dispute or investigation is pending, the employer or landlord shall refrain from accepting other employees, tenants or laborers, unless with the express authority of the Court, and shall permit the continuation in the service of his employees, tenants or laborers under the last terms and conditions existing before the dispute arose: Provided, That, with the exception of employers engaged in the operation of public services or in the businesses coupled with a public interest, employers will not be allowed to engage the services of strike breakers within fifteen days after the declaration of the strike. A violation by the employer or landlord or by the employee, tenant, or laborer of such an order or the implied contractual condition set fourth in this section shall constitute contempt of the Court of Industrial Relations and shall be punished by the Court itself in the same manner with the same penalties as in the case of contempt of a Court of First Instance. In the case of corporations, the person or persons responsible shall be the manager or the person who has charge of the management of the business of the corporation and the directors thereof who have ordered and/or authorized the act of contempt; and in the case where the contempt is committed by persons belonging to a labor union or any group of laborers which union group directs or assumes the representation of such persons, the person or persons responsible shall be the officers and/or leaders of said union or group who have participated in the direction of the movement which resulted in the contempt complained against.

"No employer or landlord shall suspend, lay-off, or dismiss any employee, laborer, tenant, or farm-laborer, without just cause, from the time a labor association or organization or group of laborers or tenants or farm-laborers has presented to an employer or landlord a petition or complaint regarding any matter likely to cause a strike or lockout mentioned in this section, and a copy thereof has been forthwith furnished the Department of Labor, or while an industrial or agricultural dispute is pending before the Court. If it is proved that during the said period an employee or laborer, tenant, or farm-laborer has been suspended or dismissed without just cause, the court may direct his reinstatement and the payment of his salary or wage during the time of the suspension or dismissal, or of any sum which he should have received had he not been suspended or dismissed, without prejudice to any criminal liability of the employer or landlord as prescribed by section twenty-four of this Act."

Section6. Section twenty-three of the same Act is amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 23. Civil liability. In case of non-compliance with any award, order or decision of the Court of Industrial Relations after it has become final, conclusive, and executory, the judgment may be enforced by a writ of execution or any other remedy provided by law in respect to enforcement and execution of orders, decisions, or judgments of the Courts of First Instance."

Section7. There is appropriated, out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of sixty-thousand pesos to be disbursed by the Secretary of Justice, for the salaries of the additional associate judges of the Court of Industrial Relations and other personnel of the said court, for the purchase of furniture and equipment, and for such sundry and other incidental expenses as may necessarily be incurred to carry out the provisions of this Act for the balance of the fiscal year nineteen hundred and forty and for the fiscal year nineteen hundred and forty-one.

Section8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved: June 7, 1940.
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