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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

G.R. No. 101279 August 6, 1992
PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF SERVICE EPORTERS, INC., petitioner,
vs.
HON. RU!EN ". TORRES, #s S$%&$t#&' o( t)$ "$*#&t+$,t o( L#-o& .
E+*/o'+$,t, #,0 1OSE N. SARMIENTO, #s A0+2,2st&#to& o( t)$
PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLO3MENT A"MINISTRATION, respondents.
De Guzman, Meneses & Associates for petitioner.

GRI4O5A6UINO, J.:
This petition for prohibition with temporar restrainin! order was filed b the
Philippine Association of "ervice E#porters $PA"E%, for short&, to prohibit and en'oin
the "ecretar of the (epartment of )abor and Emploment $(*)E& and the
Administrator of the Philippine *verseas Emploment Administration $or P*EA&
from enforcin! and implementin! (*)E (epartment *rder No. +,, "eries of +--+
and P*EA Memorandum Circulars Nos. ./ and .0, "eries of +--+, temporaril
suspendin! the recruitment b private emploment a!encies of 1ilipino domestic
helpers for 2on! 3on! and vestin! in the (*)E, throu!h the facilities of the P*EA,
the tas4 of processin! and deploin! such wor4ers.
PA"E% is the lar!est national or!ani5ation of private emploment and recruitment
a!encies dul licensed and authori5ed b the P*EA, to en!a!ed in the business of
obtainin! overseas emploment for 1ilipino landbased wor4ers, includin! domestic
helpers.
*n 6une +, +--+, as a result of published stories re!ardin! the abuses suffered b
1ilipino housemaids emploed in 2on! 3on!, (*)E "ecretar Ruben (. Torres
issued (epartment *rder No. +,, "eries of +--+, temporaril suspendin! the
recruitment b private emploment a!encies of 71ilipino domestic helpers !oin! to
2on! 3on!7 $p. ./, Rollo&. The (*)E itself, throu!h the P*EA too4 over the
business of deploin! such 2on! 3on!8bound wor4ers.
%n view of the need to establish mechanisms that will enhance the
protection for Filipino domestic helpers going to Hong Kong, the
recruitment of the same b private emploment a!encies is hereb
temporaril suspended effective + 6ul +--+. As such, the (*)E
throu!h the facilities of the Philippine *verseas Emploment
Administration shall ta4e over the processin! and deploment of
household wor4ers bound for 2on! 3on!, sub'ect to !uidelines to be
issued for said purpose.
%n support of this polic, all (*)E Re!ional (irectors and the
Bureau of )ocal Emploment9s re!ional offices are li4ewise directed
to coordinate with the P*EA in maintainin! a manpower pool of
prospective domestic helpers to 2on! 3on! on a re!ional basis.
1or compliance. $Emphasis ours: p. ./, Rollo.&
Pursuant to the above (*)E circular, the P*EA issued Memorandum Circular No.
./, "eries of +--+, dated 6ul +/, +--+, providin! ;<%(E)%NE" on the ;overnment
processin! and deploment of 1ilipino domestic helpers to 2on! 3on! and the
accreditation of 2on! 3on! recruitment a!encies intendin! to hire 1ilipino domestic
helpers.
"ub'ect= ;uidelines on the Temporar ;overnment Processin! and
(eploment of (omestic 2elpers to 2on! 3on!.
Pursuant to (epartment *rder No. +,, series of +--+ and in order to
operationali5e the temporar !overnment processin! and deploment
of domestic helpers $(2s& to 2on! 3on! resultin! from the
temporar suspension of recruitment b private emploment
a!encies for said s4ill and host mar4et, the followin! !uidelines and
mechanisms shall !overn the implementation of said polic.
%. Creation of a 'oint P*EA8*>>A 2ousehold >or4ers Placement
<nit $2>P<&
An ad hoc, one stop 2ousehold >or4ers Placement <nit ?or 2>P<@
under the supervision of the P*EA shall ta4e char!e of the various
operations involved in the 2on! 3on!8(2 industr se!ment=
The 2>P< shall have the followin! functions in coordination with
appropriate units and other entities concerned=
+. Ne!otiations with and Accreditation of 2on! 3on! Recruitment
A!encies
A. Manpower Poolin!
.. >or4er Trainin! and Briefin!
B. Processin! and (eploment
C. >elfare Pro!rams
%%. (ocumentar ReDuirements and *ther Conditions for
Accreditation of 2on! 3on! Recruitment A!encies or Principals
Recruitment a!encies in 2on! 3on! intendin! to hire 1ilipino (2s
for their emploers ma ne!otiate with the 2>P< in Manila directl
or throu!h the Philippine )abor Attache9s *ffice in 2on! 3on!.
### ### ###
E. %nterim Arran!ement
All contracts stamped in 2on! 3on! as of 6une ./ shall continue to
be processed b P*EA until .+ 6ul +--+ under the name of the
Philippine a!encies concerned. Thereafter, all contracts shall be
processed with the 2>P<.
Recruitment a!encies in 2on! 3on! shall submit to the Philippine
Consulate ;eneral in 2on! 4on! a list of their accepted applicants in
their pool within the last wee4 of 6ul. The last da of acceptance
shall be 6ul .+ which shall then be the basis of 2>P< in acceptin!
contracts for processin!. After the e#haustion of their respective
pools the onl source of applicants will be the P*EA manpower
pool.
1or strict compliance of all concerned. $pp. .+8.C, Rollo.&
*n Au!ust +, +--+, the P*EA Administrator also issued Memorandum Circular No.
.0, "eries of +--+, on the processin! of emploment contracts of domestic wor4ers
for 2on! 3on!.
T*= All Philippine and 2on! 3on! A!encies en!a!ed in the
recruitment of (omestic helpers for 2on! 3on!
1urther to Memorandum Circular No. ./, series of +--+ pertainin!
to the !overnment processin! and deploment of domestic helpers
$(2s& to 2on! 3on!, processing of emploment contracts which
have been attested b the 2on! 3on! Commissioner of )abor up to
./ 6une +--+ shall be processed b the P*EA Emploment
Contracts Processin! Branch up to +C Au!ust +--+ onl.
Effective +, Au!ust +--+, all 2on! 3on! recruitment a!entFs hirin!
(2s from the Philippines shall recruit under the new scheme which
reDuires prior accreditation which the P*EA.
Recruitment a!encies in 2on! 3on! ma appl for accreditation at
the *ffice of the )abor Attache, Philippine Consulate ;eneral where
a P*EA team is posted until .+ Au!ust +--+. Thereafter, those who
failed to have themselves accredited in 2on! 3on! ma proceed to
the P*EA8*>>A 2ousehold >or4ers Placement <nit in Manila for
accreditation before their recruitment and processin! of (2s shall be
allowed.
Recruitment a!encies in 2on! 3on! who have some accepted
applicants in their pool after the cut8off period shall submit this list
of wor4ers upon accreditation. *nl those (2s in said list will be
allowed processin! outside of the 2>P< manpower pool.
1or strict compliance of all concerned. $Emphasis supplied, p. .,,
Rollo.&
*n "eptember A, +--+, the petitioner, PA"E%, filed this petition for prohibition to
annul the aforementioned (*)E and P*EA circulars and to prohibit their
implementation for the followin! reasons=
+. that the respondents acted with !rave abuse of discretion andFor in
e#cess of their rule8ma4in! authorit in issuin! said circulars:
A. that the assailed (*)E and P*EA circulars are contrar to the
Constitution, are unreasonable, unfair and oppressive: and
.. that the reDuirements of publication and filin! with the *ffice of
the National Administrative Re!ister were not complied with.
There is no merit in the first and second !rounds of the petition.
Article ., of the )abor Code !rants the )abor "ecretar the power to restrict and
re!ulate recruitment and placement activities.
Art. .,. Regulator !o"er. G The "ecretar of )abor shall have the
power to restrict and regulate the recruitment and placement
activities of all a!encies within the covera!e of this title ?Re!ulation
of Recruitment and Placement Activities@ and is hereb authorized to
issue orders and promulgate rules and regulations to carr out the
ob#ecti$es and implement the pro$isions of this title. $Emphasis
ours.&
*n the other hand, the scope of the re!ulator authorit of the P*EA, which was
created b E#ecutive *rder No. 0-0 on Ma +, +-HA to ta4e over the functions of the
*verseas Emploment (evelopment Board, the National "eamen Board, and the
overseas emploment functions of the Bureau of Emploment "ervices, is broad and
far8ran!in! for=
+. Amon! the functions inherited b the P*EA from the defunct
Bureau of Emploment "ervices was the power and dut=
7A. To establish and maintain a re!istration andFor
licensin! sstem to regulate pri$ate sector
participation in the recruitment and placement of
"or%ers, locall and o$erseas, . . .7 $Art. +C, )abor
Code, Emphasis supplied&. $p. +., Rollo.&
A. %t assumed from the defunct *verseas Emploment (evelopment
Board the power and dut=
.. To recruit and place wor4ers for overseas
emploment of 1ilipino contract wor4ers on a
!overnment to !overnment arran!ement and in such
other sectors as polic ma dictate . . . $Art. +0,
)abor Code.& $p. +., Rollo.&
.. 1rom the National "eamen Board, the P*EA too4 over=
A. To re!ulate and supervise the activities of a!ents
or representatives of shippin! companies in the
hirin! of seamen for overseas emploment: and
secure the best possible terms of emploment for
contract seamen wor4ers and secure compliance
therewith. $Art. A/, )abor Code.&
The vesture of Duasi8le!islative and Duasi8'udicial powers in administrative bodies is
not unconstitutional, unreasonable and oppressive. %t has been necessitated b 7the
!rowin! comple#it of the modern societ7 $"olid 2omes, %nc. vs. Paawal, +00
"CRA 0A, 0-&. More and more administrative bodies are necessar to help in the
re!ulation of societ9s ramified activities. 7"peciali5ed in the particular field assi!ned
to them, the can deal with the problems thereof with more e#pertise and dispatch
than can be e#pected from the le!islature or the courts of 'ustice7 $&bid.&.
%t is noteworth that the assailed circulars do not prohibit the petitioner from
en!a!in! in the recruitment and deploment of 1ilipino landbased wor4ers for
overseas emploment. A careful readin! of the challen!ed administrative issuances
discloses that the same fall within the 7administrative and policin! powers e#pressl
or b necessar implication conferred7 upon the respondents $People vs. Maceren, 0-
"CRA BC/&. The power to 7restrict and re!ulate conferred b Article ., of the )abor
Code involves a !rant of police power $Cit of Na!a vs. Court of Appeals, AB "CRA
H-H&. To 7restrict7 means 7to confine, limit or stop7 $p. ,A, Rollo& and whereas the
power to 7re!ulate7 means 7the power to protect, foster, promote, preserve, and
control with due re!ard for the interests, first and foremost, of the public, then of the
utilit and of its patrons7 $Philippine Communications "atellite Corporation vs.
Alcua5, +H/ "CRA A+H&.
The "olicitor ;eneral, in his Comment, aptl observed=
. . . "aid Administrative *rder ?i.e., (*)E Administrative *rder No.
+,@ merel restricted the scope or area of petitioner9s business
operations b e#cludin! therefrom recruitment and deploment of
domestic helpers for 2on! 3on! till after the establishment of the
7mechanisms7 that will enhance the protection of 1ilipino domestic
helpers !oin! to 2on! 3on!. %n fine, other than the recruitment and
deploment of Filipino domestic helpers for Hong%ong, petitioner
ma still deplo other class of Filipino "or%ers either for 2on!4on!
and other countries and all other classes of 1ilipino wor4ers for other
countries.
"aid administrative issuances, intended to curtail, if not to end,
rampant violations of the rule a!ainst e#cessive collections of
placement and documentation fees, travel fees and other char!es
committed b private emploment a!encies recruitin! and deploin!
domestic helpers to 2on!4on!. '(he are reasonable, $alid and
#ustified under the general "elfare clause of the )onstitution, since
the recruitment and deploment business, as it is conducted toda, is
affected "ith public interest.
### ### ###
The alle!ed ta4eover ?of the business of recruitin! and placin!
1ilipino domestic helpers in 2on!4on!@ is merel a remedial
measure, and e#pires after its purpose shall have been attained. This
is evident from the tenor of Administrative *rder No. +, that
recruitment of 1ilipino domestic helpers !oin! to 2on!4on! b
private emploment a!encies are hereb 7temporaril suspended
effective 6ul +, +--+.7
The alle!ed ta4eover is limited in scope, bein! confined to
recruitment of domestic helpers !oin! to 2on!4on! onl.
### ### ###
. . . the 'ustification for the ta4eover of the processin! and deploin!
of domestic helpers for 2on!4on! resultin! from the restriction of
the scope of petitioner9s business is confined solel to the
unscrupulous practice of private emploment a!encies victimi5in!
applicants for emploment as domestic helpers for 2on!4on! and
not the whole recruitment business in the Philippines. $pp. ,A8,C,
Rollo.&
The Duestioned circulars are therefore a valid e#ercise of the police power as
dele!ated to the e#ecutive branch of ;overnment.
Nevertheless, the are le!all invalid, defective and unenforceable for lac4 of power
publication and filin! in the *ffice of the National Administrative Re!ister as
reDuired in Article A of the Civil Code, Article C of the )abor Code and "ections .$+&
and B, Chapter A, Boo4 I%% of the Administrative Code of +-H0 which provide=
Art. A. )aws shall ta4e effect after fifteen $+C& das followin! the
completion of their publication in the *fficial ;a5atte, unless it is
otherwise provided. . . . $Civil Code.&
Art. C. Rules and Regulations. G The (epartment of )abor and other
!overnment a!encies char!ed with the administration and
enforcement of this Code or an of its parts shall promul!ate the
necessar implementin! rules and re!ulations. "uch rules and
re!ulations shall become effective fifteen $+C& das after
announcement of their adoption in newspapers of !eneral circulation.
$Emphasis supplied, )abor Code, as amended.&
"ec. .. Filing. G $+& *$er agenc shall file "ith the +ni$ersit of
the !hilippines ,a" )enter, three -./ certified copies of e$er rule
adopted b it. Rules in force on the date of effectivit of this Code
which are not filed within three $.& months shall not thereafter be the
basis of an sanction a!ainst an part or persons. $Emphasis
supplied, Chapter A, Boo4 I%% of the Administrative Code of +-H0.&
"ec. B. *ffecti$it. G &n addition to other rule0ma%ing re1uirements
pro$ided b la" not inconsistent "ith this 2oo%, each rule shall
become effecti$e fifteen -34/ das from the date of filing as abo$e
pro$ided unless a different date is fi#ed b law, or specified in the
rule in cases of imminent dan!er to public health, safet and welfare,
the e#istence of which must be e#pressed in a statement
accompanin! the rule. The a!enc shall ta4e appropriate measures
to ma4e emer!enc rules 4nown to persons who ma be affected b
them. $Emphasis supplied, Chapter A, Boo4 I%% of the Administrative
Code of +-H0&.
*nce, more we advert to our rulin! in (a5ada $s. (u$era, +B, "CRA BB, that=
. . . Administrative rules and re!ulations must also be published if
their purpose is to enforce or implement e#istin! law pursuant also to
a valid dele!ation. $p. BB0.&
%nterpretative re!ulations and those merel internal in nature, that is,
re!ulatin! onl the personnel of the administrative a!enc and not
the public, need not be published. Neither is publication reDuired of
the so8called letters of instructions issued b administrative superiors
concernin! the rules or !uidelines to be followed b their
subordinates in the performance of their duties. $p. BBH.&
>e a!ree that publication must be in full or it is no publication at all
since its purpose is to inform the public of the content of the laws. $p.
BBH.&
1or lac4 of proper publication, the administrative circulars in Duestion ma not be
enforced and implemented.
>2ERE1*RE, the writ of prohibition is ;RANTE(. The implementation of (*)E
(epartment *rder No. +,, "eries of +--+, and P*EA Memorandum Circulars Nos.
./ and .0, "eries of +--+, b the public respondents is hereb "<"PEN(E( pendin!
compliance with the statutor reDuirements of publication and filin! under the
aforementioned laws of the land.
"* *R(ERE(.
6ar$asa, ).7., Gutierrez, 7r., )ruz, Feliciano, !adilla, 2idin, Medialdea, Regalado,
Da$ide, 7r., Romero, 6ocon and 2ellosillo, 77., concur.