National Power Corporation (NPC) employees, who were illegally terminated to give way to the re-organization of the corporation in 2002, are entitled to separation pay, backwages, wage adjustments, and other benefits accruing from January 31, 2003 to the date of payment under a validly approved Separation Program.
Thus the Supreme Court ruled in a 24-page resolution penned by Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario when it partially granted the Motion for Clarification of petitioners NPC Drivers and Mechanics Association (NPC DAMA), NPC Employees and Workers Union (NEWU) Northern Luzon Regional Center, and affected employees of NPC of the Court’s September 26, 2006 decision. The Court previously held that the two resolutions, which provided for the termination and separation program of the employees, were null and of no legal effect.
The Court said that as a logical and necessary consequence of its earlier decision, the terminated employees have the right to such benefits as it is already impossible for them to be reinstated.
The Court also stressed that the injunction granted in its previous decision on the two resolutions did not preclude the re-organization of the NPC. “To validly implement the re-organization of NPC, the National Power Board is not precluded by our decision of September 26, 2006 from passing another resolution, in accord with law and jurisprudence, approving a new separation program for its employees,” the Court explained.
The separation benefits that the petitioners received under the nullified resolutions will be taken into account and offset against the amount they will be entitled to receive after proceedings in the proper forum, the Court said. (GR No. 156208, NPC DAMA vs. NPC, September 17, 2008)