Almirante: Teacher's probation period

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By Dominador Almirante

Labor case Digest

Friday, April 4, 2014


PETITIONER Colegio del Santisimo Rosario (CSR) had hired respondent Emmanuel Rojo as a high school teacher on probationary basis for the school years 1992-1993, 1993-1994 and 1994-1995.

On April 5, 1995, CSR, through petitioner Sr. Zenaida S. Mofada, OP, decided not to renew respondent’s services. On July 13, 1995, respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. He claimed that since he had served three consecutive school years, which is the maximum number of terms allowed for probationary employment, he should be extended permanent employment. Does this claim find merit?

Supreme Court (Second Division) ruling: Yes.

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The common practice is for the employer and the teacher to enter into a contract, effective for one school year. At the end of the school year, the employer has the option not to renew the contract, particularly considering the teacher’s performance.

If the contract is not renewed, the employment relationship terminates. If the contract is renewed, usually for another school year, the probationary employment continues. Again, at the end of that period, the parties may opt to renew or not to renew the contract. If renewed, this second renewal of the contract for another school year would then be the last year – since it would be the third school year – of probationary employment.

At the end of this third year, the employer may now decide whether to extend a permanent appointment to the employee, primarily on the basis of the employee having met the reasonable standards of competence and efficiency set by the employer. For the entire duration of this three-year period, the teacher remains under probation.

Upon the expiration of his contract of employment, being simply on probation, he cannot automatically claim security of tenure and compel the employer to renew his employment contract. It is when the yearly contract is renewed for the third time that Section 93 of the manual becomes operative, and the teacher then is entitled to regular or permanent employment status. (Collegio Del Santisimo Rosario, et. al. vs. Emmanuel Rojo, G.R. No. 170388, Sept. 04, 2013 quoting Magis Young Achievers’ Learning Center v. Manalo, G.R. No. 178835, Feb. 13, 2009, 579 SCRA 421, 435-436)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 05, 2014.

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