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FALLARME AND ANDREA MARTINEZ-GACOS vs. SAN JUAN 1.

The employer must have made known to the


DE DIOS EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, INC., CHONA M. probationary employee the reasonable standard
HERNANDEZ, VALERIANO ALEJANDRO III, SISTER that the latter must comply with to qualify as a
CONCEPTION GABATINO, D.C., AND SISTER JOSEFINA regular employee; and
QUIACHON, D.C. 2. The employer must have informed the
G.R. Nos. 190015 & 190019 | September 14, 2016 probationary employee of the applicable
performance standard at the time of the latter's
FACTS: engagement.
Fallarme was hired by San Juan de Dios Educational Foundation,
Inc. in 2003-2004 for full-time teaching positions. In 2005, Failing in one or both, the employee, even if initially hired as a
despite having served as a faculty member, Fallarme was asked probationary employee, shall be considered a regular employee.
only to sign and submit to the dean of general education a
written contract on the nature of the former's employment and With respect to the regularization of probationary teachers, the
corresponding obligations specifying the status of Fallarme as a standards laid down in Abbott Laboratories apply to the third
probationary faculty member. requisite under the 1992 Manual of Regulations for Private
Schools that:
After the expiration of the contract, the college informed her
that it would not be renewed based on the school's 3. They must have rendered satisfactory service.
"administrative prerogative."
In Colegio del Santisimo Rosario v. Rojo, the use of the term
The same thing happened to MARTINEZ-GACOS. SATISFACTORY "necessarily connotes the requirement for
schools to set reasonable standards to be followed by teachers
FALLARME and MARTINEZ-GACOS questioned the nonrenewal on probationary employment. For how else can one determine
of their respective employment contracts. Not satisfied with the if probationary teachers have satisfactorily completed the
reply, they filed a Complaint against respondents for illegal probationary period if standards therefor are not provided?"
dismissal, reinstatement, back wages, and damages before the
LA. Therefore, applying Article 281 of the Labor Code, a school must
not only set reasonable standards that will determine whether
In their defense, the COLLEGE claimed that FALLARME and a probationary teacher rendered satisfactory service and is
MARTINEZ-GACOS had been remiss in their duties. qualified for regular status; it must also communicate these
 Both of them reportedly sold computerized final standards to the teacher at the start of the probationary period.
examination sheets to their students without prior Should it fail to do so, the teacher shall be deemed a regular
school approval. employee from Day One.
 Fallarme also sold sociology books to students
 Martinez-Gacos served as part-time faculty in However, the records lack evidence that THE COLLEGE clearly
another school and organized out-of-campus and directly communicated to FALLARME and MARTINEZ-
activities, all without the permission of respondent GACOS, at the time they were hired, what reasonable standards
college. they must meet for the school to consider their performance
satisfactory and for it to grant them regularization as a result.
ISSUE:
WON THE SCHOOL’S ADMINISTRATIVE PREROGATIVE IS The COLLEGE claim that the standards were provided in the
PART OF ITS ACADEMIC FREEDOM UNDER THE appointment contracts signed by FALLARME and MARTINEZ-
CONSTITUTION; WON FALLARME AND MARTINEZ-GACOS GACOS. Each of the contracts supposedly provided that it
ARE REGULAR EMPLOYEES. "incorporates by reference the school policies, regulations,
operational procedures and guidelines provided for in the Manual
HELD: of Operations of the School xxx."
Indeed, the determination of whether the performance of However, this claim defeats THE COLLEGE’s own defense,
probationary teaching personnel has been sufficiently because the appointment contracts invoked were signed by
satisfactory as to warrant their regularization lies in the hands FALLARME and MARTINEZ-GACOS only at the start of the
of the school pursuant to its administrative prerogative, which second semester of SY 2005-2006.
is an extension of its academic freedom under Section 5(2),
Article XIV of the Constitution. Nonetheless, it is clear and undisputed that FALLARME and
MARTINEZ-GACOS were hired by the COLLEGE as early as 2003,
ACADEMIC FREEDOM gives the school the discretion and the but were required to sign appointment contracts for the first
prerogative to impose standards on its teachers and to time only in 2005. An examination of the records will show
determine whether these have been met upon the conclusion of that when they were hired in 2003, they each signed a mere
the probationary period. However, he exercise of that memorandum informing them that they had passed the
prerogative is still subject to the limitations imposed by the qualifying examinations for faculty members, and that they
Labor Code and jurisprudence on valid probationary were being hired effective first semester of SY 2003-2004. The
employment. memorandum did not indicate their status as probationary
employees, the specific period of effectivity of their status as
In Abbott Laboratories v. Alcaraz, this Court explained that such, and the reasonable standards they needed to comply with
valid probationary employment under Art. 281 presupposes the to be granted regular status. The failure to inform them of these
concurrence of two requirements: matters was in violation of the requirements of valid
probationary employment. It also violated Section 91 of the
1992 Manual, which provides as follows:

Every contract of employment shall specify the designation,


qualification, salary rate, the period and nature of service and
its date of effectivity, and such other terms and conditions of
employment as may be consistent with laws and the rules,
regulations and standards of the school. A copy of the
contract shall be furnished the personnel concerned.

The appointment contracts invoked by the COLLEGE appear to


be an afterthought, as they asked FALLARME and MARTINEZ-
GACOS to sign the contracts only when the latter's three-year
probationary period was about to expire. Apparently, this act
was an effort to put a stamp of validity on respondents' refusal
to renew FALLARME and MARTINEZ-GACOS' contracts.

The COLLEGE were clearly remiss in their duty under the Labor
Code to inform FALLARME and MARTINEZ-GACOS of the
standards for the latter's regularization. Consequently,
FALLARME and MARTINEZ-GACOS ought to be considered as
regular employees of THE COLLEGE right from the start.