Bond requirement, perfection of appeal in the NLRC

SECOND DIVISION [ G.R. No. 209403, January 22, 2014 ] BEE SENG ELECTRICAL SUPPLY, INC. V. DOMINADOR V. SING.

After a judicious perusal of the records, the Court resolves to DENY the instant petition and AFFIRM the March 22, 2013 and September 26, 2013 Resolutions[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 123650 for failure of Bee Seng Electrical Supply, Inc. (petitioner) to show that the CA committed any reversible error in upholding the denial of its appeal for non-perfection.

As correctly held by the CA, Section 6, Rule VI[2] of the 2005 NLRC Rules of Procedure and Article 223[3] of the Labor Code, require, for the perfection of an appeal that a bond be posted equivalent to the monetary award. In this instance, petitioner failed to post the corresponding bond equivalent to the retirement benefits of respondent Dominador V. Sing. Its motion to be exempt from or to reduce the bond, in a reasonable amount, did not toll the running of the period to appeal. It is well-settled that appeal is not a natural right nor is it a component of due process; it is merely a statutory privilege which may be exercised only in the manner provided for by law.[4] The failure of petitioner to perfect its appeal within the reglementary period rendered the ruling of the Labor Arbiter final and executory.[5]SO ORDERED.

[1] Rollo, pp. 30-34 and 35-37, respectively. Penned by Associate Justice Zenaida T. Galapate-Laguilles, with Associate Justices Mariflor P. Punzalan-Castillo and Amy C. Lazaro-Javier, concurring.
[2] Section 6, Rule VI of the 2005 NLRC Rules of Procedure provides:
Sec. 6. Bond. - In case the decision of the Labor Arbiter or the Regional Director involves a monetary award, an appeal by the employer may be perfected only upon the posting of a bond, which shall either be in the form of cash deposit or surety bond equivalent in amount to the monetary award, exclusive of damages and attorney's fees.
x x x x
No motion to reduce bond shall be entertained except on meritorious grounds, and only upon the posting of a bond in a reasonable amount in relation to the monetary award. The mere filing of a motion to reduce bond without complying with the requisites in the preceding paragraphs shall not stop the running of the period to perfect an appeal.
[3] Article 223 of the Labor Code provides:
Art. 223. Appeal.- Decisions, awards, or orders of the Labor Arbiter are final and executory unless appealed to the Commission by any or both parties within ten (10) calendar days from receipt of such decisions, awards, or orders x x x.
x x x x
In case of a judgment involving a monetary award, an appeal by the employer may be perfected only upon the posting of a cash or surety bond issued by a reputable bonding company duly accredited by the Commission in the amount equivalent to the monetary award in the judgment appealed from.
x x x x
[4] Boardwalk Business Ventures, Inc., v. Villareal Jr., G.R. No. 181182, April 10, 2013, 695 SCRA 468, 470, citing Fenequito v. Vergara, Jr., G.R. No. 172829, July 18, 2012, 677 SCRA 113, 117. [5] Escalante v. People, G.R. No. 192727, January 9, 2013, citing Lapulapu Devt. & Housing Corp. v. Group Mgt. Corp., 437 Phil. 297, 313-314.

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