Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

Continental Steel Manufacturing Corp. Vs Hon.

Accredited Voluntary Arbitrator


GR 182836, Oct. 13, 2009
Parties:
1. Rolando Hortillano >employee of Continental Steel; applied for bereavement leave and
other death benefits
2. Atty. Montao>voluntary arbitrator; respondent
3. Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Centro Steel Corporation-Solidarity of Trade Unions in
the Philippines for Empowerment and Reforms (the Union)>respondent
4. Continental Steel Manufacturing Corporation>petitioner
Facts:
Hortillano an employee of Continental Steel and a member of the Union filed a claim for for
Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave and Death and Accident Insurance for dependent, pursuant
to a CBA between Continental and the Union. Hortillano filed the said claims due to the death
of his unborn child while his wife was on her 38th week of pregnancy. Continental Steel granted
Hortillanos claim for paternity leave but denied his other claims. This prompted the Union to
seek reversal of the denial of Hortillanos claim for Bereavement Leave and Death and Accident
Insurance for dependent, through a grievance machinery provided for in the CBA. However, the
parties failed to settle their dispute, which led the case to be brought before the NCMB and was
submitted for voluntary arbitration under Atty. Montao.
During the arbitration, the Union argued that Hortillano was entitled to the said death benefits
provided by the CBA, because Art. X and Art. XVIII of the said CBA did not specifically state
that the dependent should have first been born alive or must have acquired juridical capacity to
be covered by the CBA.
Continental Steel on the other hand reasoned out that Hortillano was not qualified to claim the
death benefits for dependent, because, according to Continental Steel, the child of Hortillano or
the fetus who was stillborn cannot be considered as a dependent because it never acquired
juridical personality and only one with juridical personality can die, basing their argument on
Art. 40,41, and 42 of the Civil Code.
The voluntary arbitrator, Atty. Montao, ruled in favor of Hortillano and the Union.
Aggrieved, Continental steel elevated the case to the CA which affirmed the ruling of the
voluntary arbitrator.
Issue:

1. Whether o not life is synonymous with civil personality?


2. Whether or not a stillborn child can be considered as dependent?
Held:
Life is not synonymous with civil personality. One need not acquire civil personality first before
he/she could die. Even a child inside the womb already has life. No less than the Constitution
recognizes the life of the unborn from conception, that the State must protect equally with the
life of the mother. If the unborn already has life, then the cessation thereof even prior to the
child being delivered, qualifies as death.
Likewise, the unborn child can be considered a dependent under the CBA. As Continental Steel
itself defines, a dependent is one who relies on another for support; one not able to exist or
sustain oneself without the power or aid of someone else. Under said general definition, even
an unborn child is a dependent of its parents. Hortillanos child could not have reached 38-39
weeks of its gestational life without depending upon its mother, Hortillanos wife, for
sustenance. Additionally, it is explicit in the CBA provisions in question that the dependent may
be the parent, spouse, or child of a married employee; or the parent, brother, or sister of a single
employee. The CBA did not provide a qualification for the child dependent, such that the child
must have been born or must have acquired civil personality, as Continental Steel avers.
Without such qualification, then child shall be understood in its more general sense, which
includes the unborn fetus in the mothers womb.