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[PEDRO CASTRO v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION COMMISSION](http://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/c5bb7?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09)
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176 Phil. 671

FIRST DIVISION

[ G.R. No. L-42598, December 29, 1978 ]

PEDRO CASTRO, PETITIONER, VS. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION COMMISSION AND REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

D E C I S I O N

FERNANDEZ, J.:

This is a petition to review the decision of the Workmen's Compensation Commission in WC Case No. RO7-18823 entitled "Pedro V. Castro, Claimant, versus Republic of the Philippines (Supreme Court of the Philippines), Respondent",[1]  reversing the decision of the Acting Referee of Regional Office No. VII of the Department of Labor, Cebu City, which awarded disability compensation to the claimant.[2]

On March 17, 1975, Pedro Castro filed a notice of injury or sickness and claim for compensation against the Republic of the Philippines with the Workmen's Compensation Unit, Regional Office No. VII, Cebu City.

The claim was controverted by the respondent, Republic of the Philippines, on the grounds that the claim was filed beyond the reglementary period as provided in Section 24 of the Workmen's Compensation Act and that there is no causal connection between the claimant's illness and the nature of employment.

After the parties had submitted affidavits of their witnesses in lieu of their oral testimony and other pertinent documents, the Hearing Officer and Acting Referee of Regional Office No. VII rendered a decision in favor of the claimant, the dispositive part of which reads:

 

"WHEREFORE, the Republic of the Philippines (Supreme Court) is hereby ordered ?

 

1. To pay to the claimant, through this Office, the sum of P584.62 representing medical expenses and the sum of P6,000.00 representing maximum disability compensation (Under Section 14, claimant is entitled to the sum of P2,122.04 and under Section 17, claimant is entitled to the sum of P4,382.05 or a total of P6,505.04 but the maximum allowed by law is P6,000.00 only and the same was reduced to the said maximum) or a total of SIX THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY FOUR and 62/100 PESOS (P6,584.62) in lump sum;

 

2. To pay to Atty. Virgino Lapinid, claimant's counsel, the sum of THREE HUNDRED PESOS (P300.00) representing attorney's fees; and,

 

3. To pay to the Workmen's Compensation Fund the sum of SIXTY ONE PESOS (P61.00) representing fees pursuant to Section 55 of the Act.

 

SO ORDERED.
Cebu City, Philippines, July 16, 1975.

 

(SGD.) BERNARDO G. DELFIN
Hearing Officer & Acting Referee"[3] 

The Republic of the Philippines filed a motion for reconsideration and the case was elevated to the Workmen's Compensation Commission. In a decision dated December 18, 1975, the Commission reversed the decision of Regional Office No. VII, Cebu City, and dismissed the claim on the ground that the claimant was not disabled for work on account of his illness. Hence, this petition for review.

The only issue is whether or not the illness of the petitioner is compensable.

The Workmen's Compensation Commission stated in its decision that "There is no question that the herein claimant contracted his illness in the course of his employment with the respondent in 1973."[4] This being so, the illness is presumed to be compensable under Section 44 of the Workmen's Compensation Act.[5]

The petitioner did not rely on the legal presumption alone. He presented evidence showing that his illness was caused by his employment with the Court of First Instance of Cebu.

The record shows that the claimant was employed by the respondent, Republic of the Philippines, as laborer with designation as Acting Bailiff in the Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch VII, with station at Barili, Cebu, with a salary at the rate of P3,534.24 per annum. The claimant started working with the said court on July 16, 1962. He continued working until his physical incapacity on October 28, 1974 due to illness. According to Dr. Cesar Estalilla, the claimant was suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis and according to Dr. Tirso Aguilar, the claimant was suffering from hypertensive heart disease. In order to determine the extent of his disability, the claimant was referred to Dr. Francisco Dayak, Compensation Rating Medical Officer of Regional Office No. VII at Cebu City. The said medical officer submitted the following findings: "Permanent partial disability: 62% N.S.D. (A.F.) aside from temporary total disability from October 28, 1974 until he had reached 65 years old or one (1) year from the date he retired at the age of 64 years or 52 weeks." It was further shown that claimant's diseases were aggravated by the nature of his work as laborer resulting in his disability for labor. Because of his physical condition, the claimant applied for optional retirement and his application was approved effective December 31, 1974 at the age of 64 years. The claimant allegedly spent more than P1,000.00 for the treatment of his diseases but upon verification by Dr. Dayak, only the amount of P584.62 was found relevant to the illness and reasonable.[6]

In view of the foregoing, the claimant's disabling diseases are compensable under the Workmen's Compensation Act, as amended.

The Hearing Officer and Acting Referee of Regional Office No. VII, Cebu City, awarded the disability compensation on the following computation:

 

"Under Section 14, to temporary total disability compensation equivalent to 60% of his average weekly wage for 52 weeks. 60% of P67.96, claimant's average weekly wage, is P40.77 and for 52 weeks, claimant is entitled to the sum of P2,122.04 in temporary total disability compensation; and,

 

Under Section 17, to permanent partial disability compensation equivalent to 50% of his average weekly wage for 128.96 weeks. 50% of P67.96 is P33.98 and for 128.96 weeks, the claimant is entitled to the sum of P4,382.00 in permanent partial disability compensation."[7] 

The foregoing computation is in accordance with law.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Workmen's Compensation Commission sought to be reviewed is hereby set aside and the Republic of the Philippines is ordered:

1) To pay to the petitioner, through the Department of Labor, the sum of Five Hundred Eighty-Four and 62/100 Pesos (P584.62) representing medical expenses and the sum of Six Thousand Pesos (P6,000.00) representing maximum disability compensation or a total of Six Thousand Five Hundred Eighty-Four and 62/100 Pesos (P6,584.62);

2) To pay the petitioner's counsel the sum of Six Hundred Pesos (P600.00) as attorney's fees; and

3) To pay the successor of the Workmen's Compensation Commission the sum of Sixty-One Pesos (P61.00) as administrative fee.

SO ORDERED.

Teehankee, (Chairman), Santos, and Guerrero, JJ., concur.

Makasiar, J., concurs in a separate opinion.


[1] Annex "F", Rollo, pp. 29-30.

[2] Annex "C", Rollo, pp. 24-26.

[3] Rollo, p. 26.

[4] Annex "F", Rollo, p. 29.

[5] Manila Railroad Company vs. Workmen's Compensation Commission, et al., 21 SCRA 98, 103.

[6] Annex "C", Rollo, pp. 24-25.

[7] Rollo, pp. 25-26.

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