Manila Golf & Country Club v. IAC and Fermin Llamar (G.R. No. 64948)


Respondent Fermin Llamar and his fellow caddies filed with the Social Security Commission for coverage and availment of benefits under the Social Security Act. Subsequently, all but 2 of the original 17 petitioners withdrew their claim for social security coverage. The case continued and was adjudicated by the SSC only as regards the 2 holdouts dismissing their petition and stating that the caddies were never employees of petitioner. An appeal was taken to the IAC but the other caddy’s appeal was dismissed at his instance, leaving respondent Llamar the lone appellant. The IAC found for Llamar finding employer-employee relationship between him and petitioner.


Whether or not respondent Llamar is an employee of petitioner.

Ruling: NO.

The various matters of conduct, dress, language, etc. covered by the petitioner’s regulations, does not, in the mind of the Court, so circumscribe the actions or judgment of the caddies concerned as to leave them little or no freedom of choice whatsoever in the manner of carrying out their services.

The Court agrees with petitioner that the group rotation system so-called, is less a measure of employer control than an assurance that the work is fairly distributed, a caddy who is absent when his turn number is called simply losing his turn to serve and being assigned instead the last number for the day.

In the final analysis, petitioner has no way of compelling the presence of the caddies as they are not required to render a definite number of hours of work on a single day. Even the group rotation of caddies is not absolute because a player is at liberty to choose a caddy of his preference regardless of the caddy’s order in the rotation. It can happen that a caddy who has rendered services to a player on one day may still find sufficient time to work elsewhere. Under such circumstances, he may then leave the premises of petitioner and go to such other place of work that he wishes. Or a caddy who is on call for a particular day may deliberately absent himself if he has more profitable caddying, or another, engagement in some other place. These are things beyond petitioner’s control and for which it imposes no direct sanctions on the caddies.


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