6/14/2021

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SECOND DIVISION
[ G.R. No. 239015, September 14, 2020 ]
HAROLD B. GUMAPAC, PETITIONER, VS. BRIGHT MARITIME
CORPORATION, CLEMKO SHIPMANAGEMENT S.A. AND/OR DESIREE
SILLAR, RESPONDENTS.
DECISION
DELOS SANTOS, J.:
Before the Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari[1] under Rule 45 of the Revised
Rules of Court questioning the Decision[2] dated July 17, 2017 and the Resolution[3]
dated March 21, 2018 denying the motion for reconsideration thereof of the Court of
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 138401. The CA reversed the Decision[4] dated August
29, 2014 and the Resolution[5] dated October 3, 2014 of the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC), granting Harold B. Gumapac (petitioner) total and permanent
disability benefits equivalent to US$60,000.00, sickness allowance in the amount of
US$1,860.00, and 10% of the money awards as attorney's fees.
The Facts
Petitioner was hired as Able-Bodied Seaman by Bright Maritime Corporation, in behalf
of its foreign principal, Clemko Shipmanagement S.A. (collectively, respondents) and
assigned on board the vessel MY Capetan Costas S, under an approved Philippine
Overseas Employment Administration-Standard Employment Contract (POEA-SEC)
dated October 22, 2012, for a contract period of nine (9) months,+(-) 2 months
extendable upon consent of both parties, with a basic pay of US$465.00.[6]
As part of routinary requirements and prior to boarding the vessel, petitioner submitted
himself to pre-employment medical evaluation and was subsequently declared fit to
work. He alleged that in the performance of his duties and responsibilities on board the
vessel, he was always exposed to the harsh conditions particularly the toxic
environment in the engine room usually filled with pollutants and intoxicating
chemicals. He was also under severe stress while being away from his family and
suffered regular fatigue due to long hours of work, from eight (8) to 16 hours a day,
performing the following tasks: (a) measuring the depth of water in shallow or
unfamiliar waters, using lead line and telephones or shouting information to the bridge;
(b) breaking out, rigging, overhauling, and stowing cargo handling gear, stationary
rigging, and running gear; (c) standing guard from the bow of the ship or the wing of
the bridge to look for obstruction in the path of the ship; (d) steering the ship and
maintaining visual communication with other ships; (e) steering the ship under the
direction of the ship's commander or navigating officer, or directing the helmsman to
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