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2. Dy Caico v.

SSS AUTHOR: Basilio


G.R. No. 161357, November 30, 2009 Notes:
TOPIC: Social Legislation: SSS
PONENTE: Callejo, Sr. J.
CASE LAW/ DOCTRINE: the SC does not find substantial distinction between spouses whose assignment as a beneficiary
was made after the marriage and spouses whose assignment as a beneficiary was made before the marriage. The statute
violates equal protection clause when it grants surviving pensions only to the spouses belonging to the former case and not
to than the latter.
Emergency Recit:

FACTS:
Elena Dycaico seeks to reverse the Decision of the Court of Appeals that affirmed the decision of Social Security Commission
denying her claim for survivor’s pension which accrues from the death of her husband, Bonifacio Dycaico.

Bonifacio Dycaico became a member of SSS and designated Elena Dycaico and their eight children as beneficiaries therein. At
that time, Bonifacio and Elena lived together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage.

Nine years after, Bonifacio was considered retired and began receiving his monthly pension from the SSS. He continued to
receive the monthly pension until he passed away. A few months prior to his death, however, Bonifacio married the petitioner
shortly after Bonifacio’s death, the petitioner filed with the SSS an application for survivor’s pension. Her application,
however, was denied on the ground that they were not living under the benefit of marriage when Bonifacio became a member
of SSS. The basis was Section 12-B(d) of Republic Act (Rep. Act) No. 8282 which reads:

Sec. 12-B. Retirement Benefits. –



(d) Upon the death of the retired member, his primary beneficiaries as of the date of his retirement shall be entitled to receive
the monthly pension. …

An appeal was made to the Court of Appeals but it was, likewise, denied. The same Court ruled that that since the petitioner
was merely the common-law wife of Bonifacio at the time of his retirement, his designation of the petitioner as one of his
beneficiaries is void.

The petitioner claims that there is no merit to the decision of Court of Appeals as the SSS law does is silent denying the
beneficiary’s claim for survivor pension.

ISSUE(S): Whether or not there is a violation to equal protection clause of the Constitution.

HELD: Yes

RATIO: The Supreme Court ruled in the positive. There is a violation of due process and equal protection.

The Court holds that the proviso “as of the date of his retirement” in Section 12-B(d) of Rep. Act No. 8282, which qualifies the
term “primary beneficiaries,” is unconstitutional for it violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the
Constitution.

If the said provision will be sustained, there will be an outright confiscation of benefits due to the surviving spouse without
giving her opportunity to be heard. There is, therefore, a violation of due process.

There is also a violation of equal protection of the Constitution.

A statute, to be valid and reasonable, must satisfy the following requirements: must satisfy the following requirements: (1) it
must rest on substantial distinctions; (2) it must be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) it must not be limited to existing
conditions only; and (4) it must apply equally to all members of the same class.

Classifying dependent spouses and determining their entitlement to survivor’s pension based on whether the marriage was
contracted before or after the retirement of the other spouse bears no relation to the achievement of the policy objective of
the law.
Indeed, the SC does not find substantial distinction between spouses whose assignment as a beneficiary was made after the
marriage and spouses whose assignment as a beneficiary was made before the marriage. The statute violates equal protection
clause when it grants surviving pensions only to the spouses belonging to the former case and not to than the latter.

DISSENTING/CONCURRING OPINION(S):