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Digest Author: Fredrick Atienza

ALMARIO V PAL
Petitioners: Vicente Almario
Respondents: PAL

Doctrine:
Enrichment of the defendant consists in every patrimonial, physical, or moral
advantage, so long as it is appreciable in money
The enrichment of the defendant must have a correlative prejudice,
disadvantage, or injury to the plaintiff
The injury to the plaintiff, however, need not be the cause of the enrichment
of the defendant. It is enough that there be some relation between them, that
the enrichment of the defendant would not have been produced had it not
been for the fact from which the injury to the plaintiff is derived.
FACTS:
1. Vicente S. Almario (Almario), was hired by respondent, Philippine
Airlines, Inc. (PAL), as a Boeing 747 Systems Engineer.
2. Almario, then about 39 years of age and a Boeing 737 (B-737) First
Officer at PAL, successfully bid for the higher position of Airbus 300
(A-300) First Officer. Since said higher position required additional
training, he underwent, at PALs expense, more than five months of
training consisting of ground schooling in Manila and flight simulation
in Melbourne, Australia.
3. After completing the training course, Almario served as A-300 First
Officer of PAL, but after eight months of service as such or on
September 16, 1996, he tendered his resignation, for personal
reasons, effective October 15, 1996.
4. PAL sent a letter to Almario stating that he would be liable to pay for
the expenses incurred by PAL for Almarios training.
5. Almario still resigned.
6. PAL filed a complaint against Almario with the RTC of Makati for
reimbursement of the training expenses. PAL invoked the existence
of an innominate contract of do ut facias (I give that you may do) with
Almario in that by spending for his training, he would render service
to it until the costs of training were recovered in at least three (3)
years.
7. Almario answered that there was no provision in the CBA which
contained the 3 year rule.

8. The lower court ruled in favor of Almario. On appeal, CA found


Almario liable under the CBA1 and under Article 222 of the Civil Code.
ISSUE:
1. WoN Almario must reimburse Philippine Airlines for the training
expenses.

RULING + RATIO:
1. YES. Almario would be unjustly enriched if he does not reimburse
PAL. (MAIN)
Article 22 of the CC on unjust enrichment recognizes the
principle that one may not enrich himself at the expense of
another.
o Enrichment of the defendant consists in every
patrimonial, physical, or moral advantage, so long
as it is appreciable in money. It may consist of some
positive pecuniary value incorporated into the
patrimony of the defendant, such as: (1) the
enjoyment of a thing belonging to the plaintiff; (2) the
benefits from service rendered by the plaintiff to the
defendant; (3) the acquisition of a right, whether real
or personal; (4) the increase of value of property of
the defendant; (5) the improvement of a right of the
defendant, such as the acquisition of a right of
preference; (6) the recognition of the existence of a
right in the defendant; and (7) the improvement of
the conditions of life of the defendant.
o The enrichment of the defendant must have a
correlative prejudice, disadvantage, or injury to the
plaintiff. This prejudice may consist, not only of the
loss of property or the deprivation of its enjoyment,
but also of non-payment of compensation for a
prestation or service rendered to the defendant without
intent to donate on the part of the plaintiff, or the failure
to acquire something which the latter would have
obtained. The injury to the plaintiff, however, need
not be the cause of the enrichment of the
defendant. It is enough that there be some relation
between them, that the enrichment of the

1 Article XXIII, Section 1 of the 1991-1994 Collective Bargaining Agreement:Pilots fifty-seven


(57) years of age shall be frozen in their position. Pilots who are less than fifty-seven (57) years
of age provided they have previously qualified in any companys turbo-jet aircraft shall be
permitted to occupy any position in the companys turbo-jet fleet.

2 Art. 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other means,
acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal
ground, shall return the same to him.

defendant would not have been produced had it


not been for the fact from which the injury to the
plaintiff is derived.
Admittedly, PAL invested for the training of Almario to enable him
to acquire a higher level of skill, proficiency, or technical
competence so that he could efficiently discharge the position of
A-300 First Officer. Given that, PAL expected to recover the
training costs by availing of Almarios services for at least three
years. The expectation of PAL was not fully realized, however,
due to Almarios resignation after only eight months of service
following the completion of his training course. He cannot,
therefore, refuse to reimburse the costs of training without
violating the principle of unjust enrichment.

2. YES. Based on Section 1 of Art XXIII of the CBA


The rationale of the three-year period is the prohibitive training
costs. At an earlier time, when the CBA between PAL and its
employees were still negotiated, the Secretary of Labor basically
ruled that PAL should be allowed a return on investment for their
pilots training expenses. Thus, the provisions that pilots 57 years
of age shall be frozen and pilots less than 57, provided they have
previously qualified in any companys turbo-jet aircraft, shall be
permitted to occupy any position in the companys turbo-jet fleet,
were incorporated in later incarnations of the CBA.
It bears noting that when Almario took the training course, he
was about 39 years old, 21 years away from the retirement age

of 60. Hence, with the maturity, expertise, and experience he


gained from the training course, he was expected to serve PAL
for at least three years to offset the prohibitive costs thereof.
DISPOSITION
Almario must pay PAL the sum of P559,739.90, to bear the legal interest
rate of 6% per annum from the filing of PALs complaint on February 11,
1997 until the finality of this decision.
In light of the foregoing discussions on the main issue, the Court finds
it unnecessary to dwell on the other issues raised by Almario. Suffice it
to state that the appellate courts disposition thereof is, as its decision
reflects, well-taken.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the decision appealed from is
AFFIRMED.
Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.