In a recently penned decision, the Department of Labor ordered Miriam College Foundation Inc. the immediate reinstatement of two dismissed professors, as well as payment of back wages, moral and exemplary damages, and attorney’s fees.
Professors Rebecca T. Añonuevo and Ann Debbie Lao Tan were retrenched by Miriam College due to the projected losses of the school as a consequence of the Aquino administration’s K to 12 law, or Republic Act 10533.
Both professional and multi-awarded writers, Añonuevo and Tan filed the case of illegal termination out of more than 20 General Education teachers who were mandatorily separated by the school effective June 2016.
Miriam College is required to make a report of compliance to the arbiter within 10 days from receipt of decision.
The decision noted that the school announced the Early Separation Program for the General Education faculty barely a year after the K to 12 law was signed.
At that time, the legality of the law was still being questioned before the Supreme Court. The Implementing Rules and Regulations or IRR was yet to be released.
“Over and above, from what is extant in the record, respondents undertook no alternative plans, remedies, and actions. All that appears is the School’s hard stance of cutting the GE faculty first,” Arbiter Julio R. Gayaman wrote.
“The flimsy and insubstantial character of the respondents’ decision to retrench complainants is thus exposed,” Gayaman said.
“Retrenchment is supposed to be a reduction of personnel. In this instance, there is no reduction of personnel, but an intention from the very beginning to wipe out all GE faculty members,” said the arbiter. ###