Labor Arbiter's Jurisdiction despite Lack of Employment Relationship

In Santiago v. CF Sharp Crew Management, Inc., it was held that a seafarer who has already signed a POEA-approved employment contract but was not deployed overseas and, therefore, there is no employer-employee relationship, may file his monetary claims case with the Labor Arbiter. This is due to the fact that the jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters is not limited to claims arising from employer-employee relationships. Under Section 10 of R. A. No. 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995), the Labor Arbiter may exercise jurisdiction over the claims of OFWs arising out of an employer-employee relationship or by virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino workers for overseas deployment, including claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damage.

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