G.R. No. 195382, June 15, 2016
ORION WATER DISTRICT, REPRESENTED BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER, CRISPIN Q. TRIA, ET AL., Petitioner, v. THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS), Respondent.
R E S O L U T I O N
Before this Court is a petition for review on certiorari1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court filed by Orion Water District (OWD) assailing the Decision2 dated October 14, 2010 and Resolution3 dated January 24, 2011 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 105377.
After this Court perused the arguments of both parties, this Court finds the motion unmeritorious.On May 22, 2008, OWD and its officers filed a Motion for Reconsideration11 reiterating their claim of lack of jurisdiction of the RTC. In an Order12 dated June 27, 2008, the RTC denied the said motion.
The defendants failed to even allege that they are disputing or controverting the claim filed by the [GSIS], or that the dispute, claim or controversy between the parties arises from the interpretation or application of the statutes, contracts or agreements involved in this case.
WHEREFORE, the Motion is Denied.
SEC, 6. Collection and Remittance of Contributions. — x x xIn case of delayed remittance, Section 722 of the law charges interest on the unremitted amount at the rate of not less than two percent (2%) which shall be shouldered by the employer. Continued refusal of the employer to remit contributions gives rise to a cause of action on the part of GSIS to institute the necessary action in the appropriate court or tribunal to recover unremitted contributions. Section 41(w) of R.A. No. 8291 specifies, thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
(b) Each employer shall remit directly to the GSIS the employees' and employers' contributions within the first ten (10) days of the calendar month following the month to which the contributions apply. The remittance by the employer of the contributions to the GSIS shall take priority over and above the payment of any and all obligations, except salaries and wages of its employees.cralawred
SEC. 41. Powers and Functions of the GSIS. - x x xAs correctly held by the CA, the GSIS properly instituted the complaint with the RTC, which has the jurisdiction in civil cases where the demand for sums of money or value of property exceeds P300,000.00 in the provinces, or P400,000.00 in Metro Manila.23ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
x x x x
w) to ensure the collection or recovery of all indebtedness, liabilities and/or accountabilities, including unpaid premiums or contributions in favor of the GSIS arising from any cause or source whatsoever, due from all obligors, whether public or private. The Board shall demand payment or settlement of the obligations referred to herein within thirty (30) days from the date the obligation becomes due, and in the event of failure or refusal of the obligor or debtor to comply with the demand, to initiate or institute the necessary or proper actions or suits, criminal, civil or administrative or otherwise, before the courts, tribunals, commissions, boards, or bodies of proper jurisdiction within thirty (30) days reckoned from the expiry date of the period fixed in the demand within which to pay or settle the account;
x x x xcralawred
SEC. 1. Provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding, all disputes, claims and controversies solely between or among the departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the National Government, including constitutional offices or agencies, arising from the interpretation and application of statutes, contracts or agreements, shall henceforth be administratively settled or adjudicated as provided hereinafter: Provided, That this shall not apply to cases already pending in court at the time of the effectivity of this decree. (Emphasis ours)cralawredThat the law is not all-encompassing was elaborated in Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corporation (PHIVIDEC) v. Judge Velez,24 where the Court emphasized that P.D. No. 242 applies only to certain cases of disputes. It does not intrude into the jurisdiction of regular courts as it "only prescribes an administrative procedure for the settlement of certain types of disputes between or among departments, bureaus, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities of the National Government, including [GOCCs], so that they need not always repair to the courts for the settlement of controversies arising from the interpretation and application of statutes, contracts or agreements."25ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
SEC. 66. How Settled.—All disputes, claims and controversies, solely between or among the departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the National Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations, such as those arising from the interpretation and application of statutes, contracts or agreements, shall be administratively settled or adjudicated in the manner provided in this Chapter. This Chapter shall, however, not apply to disputes involving the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions, and local governments.cralawredFollowing the ejusdem generis rule on statutory construction, disputes that should be referred to administrative arbitration must relate to the interpretation and application of statutes, contracts or agreements, or any other cases of similar nature. The usage of the phrase "such as those arising from the interpretation and application of statutes, contracts or agreements" in the provision means that the situation must be held similar or analogous to those expressly enumerated in the law in question.
Section 1 of P.D. No. 242 explicitly provides that only disputes, claims and controversies solely between or among departments, bureaus, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities of the National Government, including constitutional offices or agencies, as well as [GOCCs], shall be administratively settled or adjudicated. While the BIR is obviously a government bureau, and both PNOC and PNB are [GOCCs], respondent Save llano is a private citizen. His standing in the controversy could not be lightly brushed aside. It was private respondent Savellano who gave the BIR the information that resulted in the investigation of PNOC and PNB; who requested the BIR Commissioner to reconsider the compromise agreement in question; and who initiated CTA Case No. 4249 by filing a Petition for Review.27cralawredWHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing disquisition, the instant petition is DENIED. The Decision dated October 14, 2010 and Resolution dated January 24, 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 105377 are AFFIRMED.
1Rollo, pp. 10-28.
2 Penned by Associate Justice Sesinando E. Villon, with Associate Justices Rebecca De Guia-Salvador and Amy C. Lazaro-Javier concurring; id. at 30-37.
[3 Id. at 39.
4 Id. at 86-93.
5 Id. at 89.
6 Id. at 75-80.
7SEC. 66. How Settled.—All disputes, claims and controversies, solely between or among the departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the National Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations, such as those arising from the interpretation and application of statutes, contracts or agreements, shall be administratively settled or adjudicated in the manner provided in this Chapter. This Chapter shall, however, not apply to disputes involving the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions, and local governments.
SEC. 67. Disputes Involving Questions of Law.—All cases involving only questions of law shall be submitted to and settled or adjudicated by the Secretary of Justice as Attorney-General of (he National Government and as ex officio legal adviser of all government-owned or controlled corporations. His ruling or decision thereon shall be conclusive and binding on all the parties concerned.
SEC. 68. Disputes Involving Questions of Fact and Law.—Cases involving mixed questions of law and of fact or only factual issues shall be submitted to and settled or adjudicated by:
(1) The Solicitor General, if the dispute, claim or controversy involves only departments, bureaus, offices and other agencies of the National Government as well as government-owned or controlled corporations or entities of whom he is the principal law officer or general counsel; and
(2) The Secretary of Justice, in all other cases not falling under paragraph (1).
SEC. 69. Arbitration.—The determination of factual issues may be referred to an arbitration panel composed of one representative each of the parties involved and presided over by a representative of the Secretary of Justice or the Solicitor General, as the case may be.
SEC. 70. Appeals.—The decision of the Secretary of Justice as well as that of the Solicitor General, when approved by the Secretary of Justice, shall be final and binding upon the parties involved. Appeals may, however, be taken to the President where the amount of the claim or the value of the property exceeds one million pesos. The decision of the President shall be final.
8Rollo, pp. 76-77.
9 Rendered by Presiding Judge Francisco G. Mendiola; id. at 81-82.
11 Id. at 83-84.
12 Id. at 85.
13 Id. at 126.
14 Id. at 43-64.
15 Id. at 53.
16 Id. at 30-37.
17 Id. at 34-36.
18 Id. at 139-145.
19 Id. at 39.
20City of Dumaguete v. Philippine Ports Authority, 671 Phil. 610, 629 (2011).
21 R.A. NO. 8291, Section 3.
22 SEC. 7. Interests on Delayed Remittances. - Agencies which delay the remittance of any and all monies due the GSIS shall be charged interests as may be prescribed by the Board but not less than two percent (2%) simple interest per month. Such interest shall be paid by the employers concerned.
23 BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG 129, Section 19 (8), as amended by R.A. No. 7691.
24 276 Phil. 439 (1991).chanrobleslaw
25 Id. at 443.
26 496 Phil. 506 (2005).
27 Id. at 558.