304 304 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group, Inc. vs. Medequillo, Jr. the prescriptive period, the cause of action under the 1st contract was already time-barred.” 27 The issue that proceeds from the fact of novation is the consequence of the non- deployment of respondent. The petitioners argue that under the POEA Contract, actual deployment of the seafarer is a suspensive condition for the commencement of the employment. 28 We agree with petitioners on such point. However, even without actual deployment, the perfected contract gives rise to obligations on the part of petitioners. A contract is a meeting of minds between two persons whereby one binds himself, with
8/27/2019 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 663 22/29 respect to the other, to give something or to render some service. 29 The contracting parties may establish such stipulations, clauses, terms and conditions as they may deem convenient, provided they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy. 30 The POEA Standard Employment Contract provides that employment shall commence “upon the actual departure of the seafarer from the airport or seaport in the port of hire.” 31 We adhere to the terms and conditions of the contract so as to credit the valid prior stipulations of the parties before the controversy started. Else, the obligatory force of every contract will be useless. Parties are bound not only to the fulfillment of what has been expressly stipulated but also to all the consequences which, according to their nature, may be in keeping with good faith, usage and law. 32 Thus, even if by the standard contract employment commences only “upon actual departure of the seafarer,” this does _______________ 27 Rollo , pp. 47-48. 28 Id. , at p. 48. 29 Article 1305, New Civil Code. 30 Article 1306, New Civil Code. 31 Rollo , p. 48. 32 Article 1315, New Civil Code. 305
8/27/2019 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 663 23/29 VOL. 663, JANUARY 18, 2012 305 Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group, Inc. vs. Medequillo, Jr. not mean that the seafarer has no remedy in case of non-deployment without any valid reason. Parenthetically, the contention of the petitioners of the alleged poor performance of respondent while on board the first ship MV “Stolt Aspiration” cannot be sustained to justify the non-deployment, for no evidence to prove the same was presented. 33 We rule that distinction must be made between the perfection of the employment contract and the commencement of the employer-employee relationship. The perfection of the contract, which in this case coincided with the date of execution thereof, occurred when petitioner and respondent agreed on the object and the cause, as well as the rest of the terms and conditions therein.
- Winter '17
- Supreme Court of the United States, Appellate court, Employment contract