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Bagatsing vs.

Ramirez
HON. RAMON D. BAGATSING, as Mayor of the City of Manila; ROMAN G. GARGANTIEL, as
Secretary to the Mayor; THE MARKET ADMINISTRATOR; and THE MUNICIPAL BOARD OF
MANILA, petitioners, vs.
HON. PEDRO A. RAMIREZ, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of
Manila, Branch XXX and the FEDERATION OF MANILA MARKET VENDORS, INC., respondents.
Municipal Board of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 7522, "AN ORDINANCE REGULATING THE
OPERATION OF PUBLIC MARKETS AND PRESCRIBING FEES FOR THE RENTALS OF STALLS
AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION THEREOF AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES." The
petitioner City Mayor, Ramon D. Bagatsing, approved the ordinance on June 15, 1974.
Respondent Federation of Manila Market Vendors, Inc. sought the declaration of nullity of the said
Ordinance. Among the reason for its nullification was that the publication requirement under the
Revised Charter of the City of Manila has not been complied with, and that the ordinance would
violate PD No. 7 prescribing the collection of fees and charges on livestock and animal products.
After due hearing on the merits, respondent Judge rendered its decision declaring the nullity of
Ordinance No. 7522 of the City of Manila on the primary ground of non-compliance with the
requirement of publication under the Revised City Charter. (Note that under the Revised City Charter
that Each proposed ordinance shall be published in two daily newspapers of general circulation
in the city Each approved ordinance * * * shall be published in two daily newspapers of general
circulation in the city, within ten days after its approval)
Petitioners moved for reconsideration of the adverse decision, stressing that what is required was
the publication of the Ordinance after it is approved by local legislative bodies in accordance to Local
Tax Code. In other words, while the Revised Charter of the City of Manila requires
publication before the enactment of the ordinance and after the approval thereof in two daily
newspapers of general circulation in the city, the Local Tax Code only prescribes for publication after
the approval of "ordinances levying or imposing taxes, fees or other charges"
The chief question to be decided in this case is what law shall govern the publication of a tax
ordinance enacted by the Municipal Board of Manila, the Revised City Charter (R.A. 409, as
amended), which requires publication of the ordinance before its enactment and after its approval, or
the Local Tax Code (P.D. No. 231), which only demands publication after approval?
Issues:
1. Was the ordinance properly and validly published?
2. Were the fees for rentals of stalls, penalties and other charges are taxes?
Held:

1. Yes. Publication of ordinances levying or imposing taxes, fees or other charges are
governed by Local Tax Code.
The general rule is that a prior special law is not ordinarily repealed by a subsequent
general law. The fact that one is special and the other general creates a presumption that the
special is to be considered as remaining an exception of the general, one as a general law of
the land, the other as the law of a particular case.
However, the exception is when where the special statute refers to a subject in general,
while the general statute treats the subject in particular. The exactly is the circumstance

obtaining in the case at bar. Section 17 of the Revised Charter of the City of Manila speaks of
"ordinance" in general, i.e., irrespective of the nature and scope thereof,whereas, Section 43 of
the Local Tax Code relates to "ordinances levying or imposing taxes, fees or other charges" in
particular. In regard, therefore, to ordinances in general, the Revised Charter of the City of
Manila is doubtless dominant, but, that dominant force loses its continuity when it approaches
the realm of "ordinances levying or imposing taxes, fees or other charges" in particular. There,
the Local Tax Code controls. Here, as always, a general provision must give way to a particular
provision. 3 Special provision governs. 4 This is especially true where the law containing the particular
provision was enacted later than the one containing the general provision. The City Charter of Manila was
promulgated on June 18, 1949 as against the Local Tax Code which was decreed on June 1, 1973.
2. Yes, they were considered as taxes, and hence the Ordinance do not violate PD No. 7.
Precisely, the raising of revenues is the principal object of taxation. Under Section 5, Article XI of the
New Constitution, "Each local government unit shall have the power to create its own sources of
revenue and to levy taxes, subject to such provisions as may be provided by law." 13 And one of those
sources of revenue is what the Local Tax Code points to in particular: "Local governments may collect
fees or rentals for the occupancy or use of public markets and premises * * *." 14 They can provide for and
regulate market stands, stalls and privileges, and, also, the sale, lease or occupancy thereof. They can
license, or permit the use of, lease, sell or otherwise dispose of stands, stalls or marketing privileges. 15