New Filipino Maritime Agencies, Inc. v. Michael D. Despabeladeras

Temporary total disability only becomes permanent when declared by the company physician within the period he is allowed to do so, or upon the expiration of the maximum 240-day medical treatment period without a declaration of either fitness to work or permanent disability.

G.R. No. 209201, 19 November 2014

Complainant Michael D. Despabeladeras initiated a labor complaint against defendants New Filipino Maritime Agencies, et al., seeking to recover his permanent disability benefits. Previously, complainant “was hired by [defendant] New Filipino Maritime Agencies, Inc., for and in behalf of its principal, St. Paul Maritime Corp…, as Wiper to work on board the vessel M/V ‘ATHENS HIGHWAY’ for a period of nine (9) months, with a basic monthly salary of US$415.00.” Sometime after while on board, complainant slipped and fractured his left hand as he went down a stairs of the vessel in order to get some tools that would be used for dismantling the engine’s piston. He was repatriated to receive better medical treatment and management.

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Catalino B. Belmonte, Jr. v. C.F. Sharp Crew Management, Inc.

Section 20-B of the POEA-SEC provides that the seafarer is not irrevocably bound by the findings of the company-designated physician as he is allowed to seek a second opinion and consult a doctor of his choice. In case of disagreement between the findings of the company-designated physician and the seafarer’s private physician, the parties shall jointly agree to refer the matter to a third doctor whose findings shall be final and binding on both.

G.R. No. 209202, 19 November 2014

Complainant and seafarer Catalino B. Belmonte initiated a labor complaint for payment of disability benefits, among others, against defendant C.F. Sharp Crew Management, Inc. Continue reading here.

Bahia Shipping Services, Inc. v. Joel P. Hipe

The seafarer’s non-compliance with the conflict-resolution procedure results in the affirmance of the fit-to-work certification of the company-designated physician.

G.R. No. 204699, 12 November 2014

Complainant Joel P. Hipe filed a Labor Complaint for payment of permanent disability compensation, among others. Previously, complainant “had been continuously hired by petitioner Bahia Shipping Services, Inc. (Bahia) for its foreign principal, Fred Olsen Cruise Line (Olsen), and deployed to the latter’s various vessels under seven (7) consecutive contracts. He was last employed by Bahia as plumber for the vessel M/S Braemar (vessel) under a six-month contract6 commencing on the day of his embarkation on December 6, 2007, with a basic monthly salary of US$708.007 exclusive of overtime and other benefits.”

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