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Police Power Binay and the Municipality of Makati vs Domingo and COA GR 92389 September 11, 1991 Facts:

On September 27, 1988 petitioner municipality through its council approved Resolution No. 60 seeking to extend burial assistance to families whose income fall below 2000php a month, and upon fulfillment of certain requirements would receive 500php from the municipality. The Metro Manila Commission approved said resolution and thereafter the amount of 400,000php was certified for appropriation for the implementation of the Burial Assistance Program. However, respondent Commission on Audit disapproved said resolution upon initial findings. Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay sent two letters of reconsideration stating to the effect that the program falls within the principle of police power and that the only function of the COA was to allow the financial assistance. Although COA denied both letters, on the grounds that the resolution bears no real substantial relation to the general welfare and it should benefit the whole if not the majority of the inhabitants of the city, stressing that government funds shall only be used for public purposes. Petitioner again through its council passed Resolution No. 243, reaffirming the earlier Resolution but the COA stayed the program via its Decision No. 1159, hence this petition. Issue: Whether or not Resolution No. 60 is a valid exercise of police power. Held: Yes, the Supreme Court ruled that police power is a governmental function, an inherent attribute of sovereignty, which was born with civilized government. Its fundamental purpose is securing the general welfare, comfort and convenience of the people. Municipal governments exercise this power under the general welfare clause stating that it is clothed with authority to enact ordinances and regulations necessary and proper to provide for the health, safety, comfort and convenience and promote the general welfare of the municipality and its inhabitants. Police power in a sense is the greatest and most powerful attribute of the government. It is elastic and must be responsive to various social conditions. The SC said that COA is should change with the times and that public purpose is not unconstitutional merely because it benefits a limited number of people. The care for the poor is a public duty and the support for the poor has been an accepted exercise of police power in the promotion of the common good. The loss of a family member is a painful experience and it is more painful to be burdened financially by such. Petition granted. COA decision is ordered set aside.