Substantial compliance with appeal bond

In order to perfect an appeal from the Decision of the Labor Arbiter granting monetary award, the Labor Code requires the posting of a bond, either in cash or surety bond, in an amount equivalent to the monetary award. 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.
Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has consistently held that rules should not be applied in a very rigid and strict sense.[45] This is especially true in labor cases wherein the substantial merits of the case must accordingly be decided upon to serve the interest of justice.[46] When there has been substantial compliance, relaxation of the rules is warranted.[47]

In Mendoza v. HMS Credit Corporation,[48] it was held that the posting of an appeal bond in the amount of P650,000.00 instead of P1,025,081.82 award stated in the Decision of the Labor Arbiter is substantial compliance with the requirement under Article 223. Likewise, in Pasig Cylinder Mfg. Corp. v. Rollo,[49] the High Court ruled that the filing of a reduced appeal bond of P100,000.00 is not fatal in an appeal from the labor arbiter’s ruling awarding P3,132,335.57 to the dismissed employees. In Rosewood Processing, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission,[50] the Court allowed the filing of a reduced bond of P50,000.00, accompanied with a motion, in an appeal from the Labor Arbiter’s award of P789,154.39.