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TANO v.

SOCRATES
Facts:
The petitioners filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition
assailing the constitutionality of:
(1 ) O rdi nance N o. 15 -9 2 e nti tle d:
" AN ORDINANCE BANNING THE SHIPMENT OF ALL LIVE
FISH AND LOBSTER OUTSIDE PUERTO PRINCESA CITY FROM
JANUARY 1, 1993 TO JANUARY 1,1998 AND PROVIDING
EXEMPTIONS, PENALTIES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES THEREOF"
(2 ) O ffi ce O rde r N o. 23 , re q ui ri ng any pe rson
e nga ge d or i nte n di ng to e ngage i n any busi ne ss,
trade, occupation, calling or profession or having in his
possession any of the articles for which a permit is required
to be had, to obtain first a Mayors and authorizing and
directing to check or conduct necessary inspections on
cargoes containing live fish and lobster being shipped out
from Puerto Princesa and,
(3) Resolution No. 33, Ordinance No. 2
entitled: "A RESOLUTION PROHIBITING
THE
C ATC HI N G,
G ATHE RI N G,
PO SSE SSI N G,
B UYI N G,
SEL L I N G AN D SHI PMEN T O F LI VE MARI N E CORAL
DWELLING AQUATIC ORGANISMS
The
petitioners
contend
that
the
said
Ordinances deprived them of due process of
l a w , t h e i r livelihood, and unduly restricted them from
the practice of their trade, in violation of Section 2, Article
XII and Sections 2 and 7 of Article XIII of the 1987
Constitution and that the Mayor had the absolute authority
to determine whether or not to issue the permit. They also
claim that it took away their right to earn their livelihood in
lawful ways; and insofar as the Airline Shippers Association
are concerned, they were unduly prevented from pursuing
their vocation an d e nte ri ng "i nto contrac ts w hi ch a re
p ro pe r, ne ce ssary, an d e sse nti al to carry out the i r
b usi ne ss endeavors to a successful conclusion Pu bl i c

re s pon de nts Gove rno r Soc rate s a nd Me mbe rs of


the Sa ng gu ni an g Pa nl al aw i ga n of
Palawan defended the validity of Ordinance No. 2, Series of
1993, as a valid exercise of the Provincial Gove rn me nt's
pow e r unde r the ge ne ral w el fa re cl ause ; the y
l i kew i se m ai ntai ne d that the re w as no violation of the
due process and equal protection clauses of the
Constitution.
Issue:
Whether or not
unconstitutional

the

Ordinances

in

question

are

Held: NO
Ratio:
In light then of the principles of decentralization and
devolution enshrined in the LGC and the powers granted
therein to local government units under Section 16 (the
General Welfare Clause), and under Sections 149, 447(a) (1)
(vi), 458 (a) (1) (vi) and 468 (a) (1) (vi), which
unquestionably involve the exercise of police power, the
validity of the questioned Ordinances cannot be doubted.
***Sec. 16. General Welfare. Every local government unit
shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those
necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary,
appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective
governance, and those which are essential to the promotion
of the general welfare. Within their respective territorial
jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and
support, among other things, the preservation and
enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance
the right of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage
and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant
scientific and technological capabilities, improve public
morals, enhance economic prosperity and social justice,

promote full employment among their residents, maintain


peace and order, and preserve the comfort and convenience
of their inhabitants. (emphasis supplied). It is clear to the
Court that both Ordinances have two principal objectives or
purposes: (1) to establish a "closed season" for the species
of fish or aquatic animals covered therein for a period of five
years; and (2) to protect the coral in the marine waters of
the City of Puerto Princesa and the Province of Palawan
from further destruction due to illegal fishing activities.
I t i mp ose s up on the san gg uni a ng bay an, the
sa ng guni a ng panl u ngs od, an d the san gg uni an g
panlalawigan the duty to enact ordinances to "[p]rotect the
environment and impose appropriate penalties f o r a c t s
which endanger the environment such as
dynamite
fi s h i n g
and
other
forms
of
d e s t r u c t i v e fishing . . . and such other activities which
result in pollution, acceleration of eutrophication of rivers
and lakes or of ecological imbalance."

The petition is dismissed.


Sections 2 and 7 of Article XIII provide:
Sec. 2. The promotion of social justice shall include the
commitment to create economic opportunities based on
freedom of initiative and self-reliance.
xxx xxx xxx
Sec. 7. The State shall protect the rights of subsistence
fishermen, especially of local communities, to the
preferential use of the communal marine and fishing
resources, both inland and offshore. It shall provide support
to such fishermen through appropriate technology and
research, adequate financial, production, and marketing
assistance, and other services. The State shall also protect,
develop, and conserve such resources. The protection shall
extend to offshore fishing grounds of subsistence fishermen
against foreign intrusion. Fishworkers shall receive a just
share from their labor in the utilization of marine and fishing
resources.