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FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 120095. August 5, 1996]


JMM PROMOTION AND MANAGEMENT, INC., and KARY INTERNATIONAL, INC., petitioner, vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. MA. NIEVES CONFESSOR, then Secretary of the
Department of the Labor and Employment, HON. JOSE BRILLANTES, in his capacity
as acting Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment and
HON. FELICISIMO JOSON, in his capacity as Administrator of the Philippine
Overseas Employment Administration, respondents.
DECISION
KAPUNAN, J.:
The limits of government regulation under the State's Police Power are once again at the
vortex of the instant controversy. Assailed is the government's power to control deployment of
female entertainers to Japan by requiring an Artist Record Book (ARB) as a precondition to the
processing by the POEA of any contract for overseas employment. By contending that the right to
overseas employment, is a property right within the meaning of the Constitution, petitioners
vigorously aver that deprivation thereof allegedly through the onerous requirement of an ARB
violates the due process clause and constitutes an invalid exercise of the police power.
The factual antecedents are undisputed.
Following the much-publicized death of Maricris Sioson in 1991, former President Corazon C.
Aquino ordered a total ban against the deployment of performing artists to Japan and other foreign
destinations. The ban was, however, rescinded after leaders of the overseas employment industry
promised to extend full support for a program aimed at removing kinks in the system of
deployment. In its place, the government, through the Secretary of Labor and Employment,
subsequently issued Department Order No. 28, creating the Entertainment Industry Advisory Council
(EIAC), which was tasked with issuing guidelines on the training, testing certification and deployment
of performing artists abroad.
Pursuant to the EIAC's recommendations, [1] the Secretary of Labor, on January 6, 1994, issued
Department Order No. 3 establishing various procedures and requirements for screening performing
artists under a new system of training, testing, certification and deployment of the former. Performing
artists successfully hurdling the test, training and certification requirement were to be issued an

Artist's Record Book (ARB), a necessary prerequisite to processing of any contract of employment
by the POEA. Upon request of the industry, implementation of the process, originally scheduled for
April 1, 1994, was moved to October 1, 1994.
Thereafter, the Department of Labor, following the EIAC's recommendation, issued a series of
orders fine-tuning and implementing the new system. Prominent among these orders were the
following issuances:
1. Department Order No. 3-A, providing for additional guidelines on the training, testing, certification
and deployment of performing artists.
2. Department Order No. 3-B, pertaining to the Artist Record Book (ARB) requirement, which could
be processed only after the artist could show proof of academic and skills training and has passed
the required tests.
3. Department Order No. 3-E, providing the minimum salary a performing artist ought to receive (not
less than US$600.00 for those bound for Japan) and the authorized deductions therefrom.
4. Department Order No. 3-F, providing for the guidelines on the issuance and use of the ARB by
returning performing artists who, unlike new artists, shall only undergo a Special Orientation
Program (shorter than the basic program) although they must pass the academic test.
In Civil Case No. 95-72750, the Federation of Entertainment Talent Managers of the
Philippines (FETMOP), on January 27, 1995 filed a class suit assailing these department orders,
principally contending that said orders 1) violated the constitutional right to travel; 2) abridged
existing contracts for employment; and 3) deprived individual artists of their licenses without due
process of law. FETMOP, likewise, averred that the issuance of the Artist Record Book (ARB) was
discriminatory and illegal and "in gross violation of the constitutional right... to life liberty and
property." Said Federation consequently prayed for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction
against the aforestated orders.
On February 2, 1992, JMM Promotion and Management, Inc. and Kary International, Inc.,
herein petitioners, filed a Motion for Intervention in said civil case, which was granted by the trial
court in an Order dated 15 February, 1995.
However, on February 21, 1995, the trial court issued an Order denying petitioners' prayer for
a writ of preliminary injunction and dismissed the complaint.

On appeal from the trial court's Order, respondent court, in CA G.R. SP No. 36713 dismissed
the same. Tracing the circumstances which led to the issuance of the ARB requirement and the
assailed Department Order, respondent court concluded that the issuances constituted a valid
exercise by the state of the police power.

Of the hundreds of thousands of workers who left the country for greener pastures in the last
few years, women composed slightly close to half of those deployed, constituting 47% between
1987-1991, exceeding this proportion (58%) by the end of 1991, [6] the year former President Aquino
instituted the ban on deployment of performing artists to Japan and other countries as a result of the
gruesome death of Filipino entertainer Maricris Sioson.

We agree.
The latin maxim salus populi est suprema lex embodies the character of the entire spectrum of
public laws aimed at promoting the general welfare of the people under the State's police power. As
an inherent attribute of sovereignty which virtually "extends to all public needs," [2] this "least
limitable"[3] of governmental powers grants a wide panoply of instruments through which the state,
as parens patriae gives effect to a host of its regulatory powers.
Describing the nature and scope of the police power, Justice Malcolm, in the early case
of Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro[4] wrote:
"The police power of the State," one court has said...'is a power coextensive with self-protection, and
is not inaptly termed 'the law of overruling necessity.' It may be said to be that inherent and plenary
power in the state which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, safety and welfare of
society.' Carried onward by the current of legislature, the judiciary rarely attempts to dam the
onrushing power of legislative discretion, provided the purposes of the law do not go beyond the
great principles that mean security for the public welfare or do not arbitrarily interfere with the right of
the individual."[5]
Thus, police power concerns government enactments which precisely interfere with personal
liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare or the common good. As the assailed
Department Order enjoys a presumed validity, it follows that the burden rests upon petitioners to
demonstrate that the said order, particularly, its ARB requirement, does not enhance the public
welfare or was exercised arbitrarily or unreasonably.
A thorough review of the facts and circumstances leading to the issuance of the assailed
orders compels us to rule that the Artist Record Book requirement and the questioned Department
Order related to its issuance were issued by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to a valid exercise of
the police power.
In 1984, the Philippines emerged as the largest labor sending country in Asia dwarfing the
labor export of countries with mammoth populations such as India and China.According to the
National Statistics Office, this diaspora was augmented annually by over 450,000 documented and
clandestine or illegal (undocumented) workers who left the country for various destinations abroad,
lured by higher salaries, better work opportunities and sometimes better living conditions.

It was during the same period that this Court took judicial notice not only of the trend, but also
of the fact that most of our women, a large number employed as domestic helpers and entertainers,
worked under exploitative conditions "marked by physical and personal abuse." [7] Even then, we
noted that "[t]he sordid tales of maltreatment suffered by migrant Filipina workers, even rape and
various forms of torture, confirmed by testimonies of returning workers" compelled "urgent
government action."[8]
Pursuant to the alarming number of reports that a significant number of Filipina performing
artists ended up as prostitutes abroad (many of whom were beaten, drugged and forced into
prostitution), and following the deaths of a number of these women, the government began
instituting measures aimed at deploying only those individuals who met set standards which would
qualify them as legitimate performing artists. In spite of these measures, however, a number of our
countrymen have nonetheless fallen victim to unscrupulous recruiters, ending up as virtual slaves
controlled by foreign crime syndicates and forced into jobs other than those indicated in their
employment contracts. Worse, some of our women have been forced into prostitution.
Thus, after a number of inadequate and failed accreditation schemes, the Secretary of Labor
issued on August 16, 1993, D.O. No. 28, establishing the Entertainment Industry Advisory Council
(EIAC), the policy advisory body of DOLE on entertainment industry matters. [9] Acting on the
recommendations of the said body, the Secretary of Labor, on January 6, 1994, issued the assailed
orders. These orders embodied EIAC's Resolution No. 1, which called for guidelines on screening,
testing and accrediting performing overseas Filipino artists. Significantly, as the respondent court
noted, petitioners were duly represented in the EIAC, [10] which gave the recommendations on which
the ARB and other requirements were based.
Clearly, the welfare of Filipino performing artists, particularly the women was paramount in the
issuance of Department Order No. 3. Short of a total and absolute ban against the deployment of
performing artists to "high risk" destinations, a measure which would only drive recruitment further
underground, the new scheme at the very least rationalizes the method of screening performing
artists by requiring reasonable educational and artistic skills from them and limits deployment to only
those individuals adequately prepared for the unpredictable demands of employment as artists
abroad. It cannot be gainsaid that this scheme at least lessens the room for exploitation by
unscrupulous individuals and agencies.

Moreover, here or abroad, selection of performing artists is usually accomplished by auditions,


where those deemed unfit are usually weeded out through a process which is inherently subjective
and vulnerable to bias and differences in taste. The ARB requirement goes one step further,
however, attempting to minimize the subjectivity of the process by defining the minimum skills
required from entertainers and performing artists. As the Solicitor General observed, this should be
easily met by experienced artists possessing merely basic skills. The tests are aimed at segregating
real artists or performers from those passing themselves off as such, eager to accept any available
job and therefore exposing themselves to possible exploitation.
As to the other provisions of Department Order No. 3 questioned by petitioners, we see
nothing wrong with the requirement for document and booking confirmation (D.O. 3-C), a minimum
salary scale (D.O. 3-E), or the requirement for registration of returning performers. The requirement
for a venue certificate or other documents evidencing the place and nature of work allows the
government closer monitoring of foreign employers and helps keep our entertainers away from
prostitution fronts and other worksites associated with unsavory, immoral, illegal or exploitative
practices. Parenthetically, none of these issuances appear to us, by any stretch of the imagination,
even remotely unreasonable or arbitrary. They address a felt need of according greater protection
for an oft-exploited segment of our OCW's. They respond to the industry's demand for clearer and
more practicable rules and guidelines. Many of these provisions were fleshed out following
recommendations by, and after consultations with, the affected sectors and non-government
organizations. On the whole, they are aimed at enhancing the safety and security of entertainers and
artists bound for Japan and other destinations, without stifling the industry's concerns for expansion
and growth.
In any event, apart from the State's police power, the Constitution itself mandates government
to extend the fullest protection to our overseas workers. The basic constitutional statement on labor,
embodied in Section 18 of Article II of the Constitution provides:
Sec. 18. The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of
workers and promote their welfare.
More emphatically, the social justice provision on labor of the 1987 Constitution in its first
paragraph states:
The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized
and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all.
Obviously, protection to labor does not indicate promotion of employment alone. Under the
welfare and social justice provisions of the Constitution, the promotion of full employment, while
desirable, cannot take a backseat to the government's constitutional duty to provide mechanisms for

the protection of our workforce, local or overseas. As this Court explained in Philippine Association
of Service Exporters (PASEI) v. Drilon,[11] in reference to the recurring problems faced by our
overseas workers:
What concerns the Constitution more paramountly is that such an employment be above all, decent,
just, and humane. It is bad enough that the country has to send its sons and daughters to strange
lands because it cannot satisfy their employment needs at home. Under these circumstances, the
Government is duty-bound to insure that our toiling expatriates have adequate protection, personally
and economically, while away from home.
We now go to petitioners' assertion that the police power cannot, nevertheless, abridge the
right of our performing workers to return to work abroad after having earlier qualified under the old
process, because, having previously been accredited, their accreditation became a property right,"
protected by the due process clause. We find this contention untenable.
A profession, trade or calling is a property right within the meaning of our constitutional
guarantees. One cannot be deprived of the right to work and the right to make a living because
these rights are property rights, the arbitrary and unwarranted deprivation of which normally
constitutes an actionable wrong.[12]
Nevertheless, no right is absolute, and the proper regulation of a profession, calling, business
or trade has always been upheld as a legitimate subject of a valid exercise of the police power by
the state particularly when their conduct affects either the execution of legitimate governmental
functions, the preservation of the State, the public health and welfare and public morals. According
to the maxim, sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas, it must of course be within the legitimate range of
legislative action to define the mode and manner in which every one may so use his own property so
as not to pose injury to himself or others.[13]
In any case, where the liberty curtailed affects at most the rights of property, the permissible
scope of regulatory measures is certainly much wider.[14] To pretend that licensing or accreditation
requirements violates the due process clause is to ignore the settled practice, under the mantle of
the police power, of regulating entry to the practice of various trades or professions. Professionals
leaving for abroad are required to pass rigid written and practical exams before they are deemed fit
to practice their trade.Seamen are required to take tests determining their seamanship. Locally, the
Professional Regulation Commission has began to require previously licensed doctors and other
professionals to furnish documentary proof that they had either re-trained or had undertaken
continuing education courses as a requirement for renewal of their licenses. It is not claimed that
these requirements pose an unwarranted deprivation of a property right under the due process
clause. So long as Professionals and other workers meet reasonable regulatory standards no such
deprivation exists.

Finally, it is a futile gesture on the part of petitioners to invoke the non-impairment clause of the
Constitution to support their argument that the government cannot enact the assailed regulatory
measures because they abridge the freedom to contract. In Philippine Association of Service
Exporters, Inc. vs. Drilon, we held that "[t]he non-impairment clause of the Constitution... must yield
to the loftier purposes targeted by the government." [15] Equally important, into every contract is read
provisions of existing law, and always, a reservation of the police power for so long as the
agreement deals with a subject impressed with the public welfare.
A last point. Petitioners suggest that the singling out of entertainers and performing artists
under the assailed department orders constitutes class legislation which violates the equal
protection clause of the Constitution. We do not agree.
The equal protection clause is directed principally against undue favor and individual or class
privilege. It is not intended to prohibit legislation which is limited to the object to which it is directed or
by the territory in which it is to operate. It does not require absolute equality, but merely that all
persons be treated alike under like conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities imposed.
[16]
We have held, time and again, that the equal protection clause of the Constitution does not forbid
classification for so long as such classification is based on real and substantial differences having a
reasonable relation to the subject of the particular legislation. [17] If classification is germane to the
purpose of the law, concerns all members of the class, and applies equally to present and future
conditions, the classification does not violate the equal protection guarantee.
In the case at bar, the challenged Department Order clearly applies to all performing artists
and entertainers destined for jobs abroad. These orders, we stressed hereinbefore, further the
Constitutional mandate requiring Government to protect our workforce, particularly those who may
be prone to abuse and exploitation as they are beyond the physical reach of government regulatory
agencies. The tragic incidents must somehow stop, but short of absolutely curtailing the right of
these performers and entertainers to work abroad, the assailed measures enable our government to
assume a measure of control.
WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error in the decision sought to be reviewed, petition is
hereby DENIED.
SO ORDERED.
Padilla (Chairman), Bellosillo, Vitug, and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.

The facts were summarized by the NLRC in this wise:[6]


THIRD DIVISION
[G.R. No. 122917. July 12, 1999]
MARITES BERNARDO, ELVIRA GO DIAMANTE, REBECCA E. DAVID, DAVID P. PASCUAL,
RAQUEL ESTILLER, ALBERT HALLARE, EDMUND M. CORTEZ, JOSELITO O. AGDON
GEORGE P. LIGUTAN JR., CELSO M. YAZAR, ALEX G. CORPUZ, RONALD M. DELFIN,
ROWENA M. TABAQUERO, CORAZON C. DELOS REYES, ROBERT G. NOORA, MILAGROS O.
LEQUIGAN, ADRIANA F. TATLONGHARI, IKE CABANDUCOS, COCOY NOBELLO, DORENDA
CANTIMBUHAN, ROBERT MARCELO, LILIBETH Q. MARMOLEJO, JOSE E. SALES, ISABEL
MAMAUAG, VIOLETA G. MONTES, ALBINO TECSON, MELODY V. GRUELA, BERNADETH D.
AGERO, CYNTHIA DE VERA, LANI R. CORTEZ, MA. ISABEL B. CONCEPCION, DINDO
VALERIO, ZENAIDA MATA, ARIEL DEL PILAR, MARGARET CECILIA CANOZA, THELMA
SEBASTIAN, MA. JEANETTE CERVANTES, JEANNIE RAMIL, ROZAIDA PASCUAL, PINKY
BALOLOA, ELIZABETH VENTURA, GRACE S. PARDO & RICO TIMOSA, petitioners vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION & FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST
COMPANY, respondents.

Complainants numbering 43 (p. 176, Records) are deaf-mutes who were hired on various periods
from 1988 to 1993 by respondent Far East Bank and Trust Co. as Money Sorters and Counters
through a uniformly worded agreement called Employment Contract for Handicapped Workers. (pp.
68 & 69, Records) The full text of said agreement is quoted below:
EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT FOR HANDICAPPED WORKERS
This Contract, entered into by and between:
FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, a universal banking corporation duly organized and
existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Philippines, with business address at FEBTC Building,
Muralla, Intramuros, Manila, represented herein by its Assistant Vice President, MR. FLORENDO G.
MARANAN, (hereinafter referred to as the BANK);
- and -

DECISION

________________, ________________ years old, of legal age, _____________, and residing at


__________________ (hereinafter referred to as the (EMPLOYEE).

PANGANIBAN, J.:

WITNESSETH: That

The Magna Carta for Disabled Persons mandates that qualified disabled persons be granted the
same terms and conditions of employment as qualified able-bodied employees. Once they have
attained the status of regular workers, they should be accorded all the benefits granted by law,
notwithstanding written or verbal contracts to the contrary. This treatment is rooted not merely on
charity or accommodation, but on justice for all.

WHEREAS, the BANK, cognizant of its social responsibility, realizes that there is a need to provide
disabled and handicapped persons gainful employment and opportunities to realize their potentials,
uplift their socio-economic well being and welfare and make them productive, self-reliant and useful
citizens to enable them to fully integrate in the mainstream of society;

The Case

Challenged in the Petition for Certiorari[1] before us is the June 20, 1995 Decision[2] of the National
Labor Relations Commission (NLRC),[3] which affirmed the August, 22 1994 ruling of Labor Arbiter
Cornelio L. Linsangan. The labor arbiters Decision disposed as follows:[4]
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered dismissing the above-mentioned complaint for lack of
merit.
Also assailed is the August 4, 1995 Resolution[5] of the NLRC, which denied the Motion for
Reconsideration.
The Facts

WHEREAS, there are certain positions in the BANK which may be filled-up by disabled and
handicapped persons, particularly deaf-mutes, and the BANK ha[s] been approached by some civicminded citizens and authorized government agencies [regarding] the possibility of hiring
handicapped workers for these positions;
WHEREAS, the EMPLOYEE is one of those handicapped workers who [were] recommended for
possible employment with the BANK;
NOW, THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the foregoing premises and in compliance with
Article 80 of the Labor Code of the Philippines as amended, the BANK and the EMPLOYEE have
entered into this Employment Contract as follows:
1. The BANK agrees to employ and train the EMPLOYEE, and the EMPLOYEE agrees to diligently
and faithfully work with the BANK, as Money Sorter and Counter.

2. The EMPLOYEE shall perform among others, the following duties and responsibilities:
i Sort out bills according to color;
ii. Count each denomination per hundred, either manually or with the aid of a counting machine;
iii. Wrap and label bills per hundred;
iv. Put the wrapped bills into bundles; and
v. Submit bundled bills to the bank teller for verification.
3. The EMPLOYEE shall undergo a training period of one (1) month, after which the BANK shall
determine whether or not he/she should be allowed to finish the remaining term of this Contract.
4. The EMPLOYEE shall be entitled to an initial compensation of P118.00 per day, subject to
adjustment in the sole judgment of the BANK, payable every 15 th and end of the month.
5. The regular work schedule of the EMPLOYEE shall be five (5) days per week, from Mondays thru
Fridays, at eight (8) hours a day. The EMPLOYEE may be required to perform overtime work as
circumstance may warrant, for which overtime work he/she [shall] be paid an additional
compensation of 125% of his daily rate if performed during ordinary days and 130% if performed
during Saturday or [a] rest day.
6. The EMPLOYEE shall likewise be entitled to the following benefits:
i. Proportionate 13th month pay based on his basic daily wage.
ii. Five (5) days incentive leave.
iii. SSS premium payment.
7. The EMPLOYEE binds himself/herself to abide [by] and comply with all the BANK Rules and
Regulations and Policies, and to conduct himself/herself in a manner expected of all employees of
the BANK.
8. The EMPLOYEE acknowledges the fact that he/she had been employed under a special
employment program of the BANK, for which reason the standard hiring requirements of the BANK
were not applied in his/her case. Consequently, the EMPLOYEE acknowledges and accepts the fact
that the terms and conditions of the employment generally observed by the BANK with respect to the
BANKs regular employee are not applicable to the EMPLOYEE, and that therefore, the terms and
conditions of the EMPLOYEEs employment with the BANK shall be governed solely and exclusively
by this Contract and by the applicable rules and regulations that the Department of Labor and

Employment may issue in connection with the employment of disabled and handicapped
workers. More specifically, the EMPLOYEE hereby acknowledges that the provisions of Book Six of
the Labor Code of the Philippines as amended, particularly on regulation of employment and
separation pay are not applicable to him/her.
9. The Employment Contract shall be for a period of six (6) months or from ____ to ____ unless
earlier terminated by the BANK for any just or reasonable cause. Any continuation or extension of
this Contract shall be in writing and therefore this Contract will automatically expire at the end of its
terms unless renewed in writing by the BANK.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties, have hereunto affixed their signature[s] this ____ day of
_________________, ____________ at Intramuros, Manila, Philippines.
In 1988, two (2) deaf-mutes were hired under this Agreement; in 1989 another two (2); in 1990,
nineteen (19); in 1991 six (6); in 1992, six (6) and in 1993, twenty-one (21). Their employment[s]
were renewed every six months such that by the time this case arose, there were fifty-six (56) deafmutes who were employed by respondent under the said employment agreement. The last one was
Thelma Malindoy who was employed in 1992 and whose contract expired on July 1993.
xxxxxxxxx
Disclaiming that complainants were regular employees, respondent Far East Bank and Trust
Company maintained that complainants who are a special class of workers the hearing impaired
employees were hired temporarily under [a] special employment arrangement which was a result of
overtures made by some civic and political personalities to the respondent Bank; that complainant[s]
were hired due to pakiusap which must be considered in the light of the context of the respondent
Banks corporate philosophy as well as its career and working environment which is to maintain and
strengthen a corps of professionals trained and qualified officers and regular employees who are
baccalaureate degree holders from excellent schools which is an unbending policy in the hiring of
regular employees; that in addition to this, training continues so that the regular employee grows in
the corporate ladder; that the idea of hiring handicapped workers was acceptable to them only on a
special arrangement basis; that it adopted the special program to help tide over a group of
handicapped workers such as deaf-mutes like the complainants who could do manual work for the
respondent Bank; that the task of counting and sorting of bills which was being performed by tellers
could be assigned to deaf-mutes; that the counting and sorting of money are tellering works which
were always logically and naturally part and parcel of the tellers normal functions; that from the
beginning there have been no separate items in the respondent Bank plantilla for sorters or
counters; that the tellers themselves already did the sorting and counting chore as a regular feature
and integral part of their duties (p. 97, Records); that through the pakiusap of Arturo Borjal, the
tellers were relieved of this task of counting and sorting bills in favor of deaf-mutes without creating
new positions as there is no position either in the respondent or in any other bank in the Philippines
which deals with purely counting and sorting of bills in banking operations.

Petitioners specified when each of them was hired and dismissed, viz: [7]

21. ROBERT MARCELO West 31 JUL 93[8] 1 AUG 93

NAME OF PETITIONER WORKPLACE Date Hired Date Dismissed

22. LILIBETH Q. MARMOLEJO West 15 JUN 90 21 NOV 93

1. MARITES BERNARDO Intramuros 12 NOV 90 17 NOV 93

23. JOSE E. SALES West 6 AUG 92 12 OCT 93

2. ELVIRA GO DIAMANTE Intramuros 24 JAN 90 11 JAN 94

24. ISABEL MAMAUAG West 8 MAY 92 10 NOV 93

3. REBECCA E. DAVID Intramuros 16 APR 90 23 OCT 93

25. VIOLETA G. MONTES Intramuros 2 FEB 90 15 JAN 94

4. DAVID P. PASCUAL Bel-Air 15 OCT 88 21 NOV 94

26. ALBINO TECSON Intramuros 7 NOV 91 10 NOV 93

5. RAQUEL ESTILLER Intramuros 2 JUL 92 4 JAN 94

27. MELODY V. GRUELA West 28 OCT 91 3 NOV 93

6. ALBERT HALLARE West 4 JAN 91 9 JAN 94

28. BERNADETH D. AGERO West 19 DEC 90 27 DEC 93

7. EDMUND M. CORTEZ Bel-Air 15 JAN 91 3 DEC 93

29. CYNTHIA DE VERA Bel-Air 26 JUN 90 3 DEC 93

8. JOSELITO O. AGDON Intramuros 5 NOV 90 17 NOV 93

30. LANI R. CORTEZ Bel-Air 15 OCT 88 10 DEC 93

9. GEORGE P. LIGUTAN, JR. Intramuros 6 SEPT 89 19 JAN 94

31. MA. ISABEL B. CONCEPCION West 6 SEPT 90 6 FEB 94

10. CELSO M. YAZAR Intramuros 8 FEB 93 8 AUG 93

32. DINDO VALERIO Intramuros 30 MAY 93 30 NOV 93

11. ALEX G. CORPUZ Intramuros 15 FEB 93 15 AUG 93

33. ZENAIDA MATA Intramuros 10 FEB 93 10 AUG 93

12. RONALD M. DELFIN Intramuros 22 FEB 93 22 AUG 93

34. ARIEL DEL PILAR Intramuros 24 FEB 93 24 AUG 93

13. ROWENA M. TABAQUERO Intramuros 22 FEB 93 22 AUG 93

35. MARGARET CECILIA CANOZA Intramuros 27 JUL 90 4 FEB 94

14. CORAZON C. DELOS REYES Intramuros 8 FEB 93 8 AUG 93

36. THELMA SEBASTIAN Intramuros 12 NOV 90 17 NOV 93

15. ROBERT G. NOORA Intramuros 15 FEB 93 15 AUG 93

37. MA. JEANETTE CERVANTES West 6 JUN 92 7 DEC 93

16. MILAGROS O. LEQUIGAN Intramuros 1 FEB 93 1 AUG 93

38. JEANNIE RAMIL Intramuros 23 APR 90 12 OCT 93

17. ADRIANA F. TATLONGHARI Intramuros 22 JAN 93 22 JUL 93

39. ROZAIDA PASCUAL Bel-Air 20 APR 89 29 OCT 93

18. IKE CABANDUCOS Intramuros 24 FEB 93 24 AUG 93

40. PINKY BALOLOA West 3 JUN 91 2 DEC 93

19. COCOY NOBELLO Intramuros 22 FEB 93 22 AUG 93

41. ELIZABETH VENTURA West 12 MAR 90 FEB 94 [SIC]

20. DORENDA CATIMBUHAN Intramuros 15 FEB 93 15 AUG 93

42. GRACE S. PARDO West 4 APR 90 13 MAR 94

43. RICO TIMOSA Intramuros 28 APR 93 28 OCT 93

Preliminary Matter: Propriety of Certiorari

As earlier noted, the labor arbiter and, on appeal, the NLRC ruled against herein petitioners. Hence,
this recourse to this Court.[9]

Respondent Far East Bank and Trust Company argues that a review of the findings of facts of the
NLRC is not allowed in a petition for certiorari. Specifically, it maintains that the Court cannot pass
upon the findings of public respondents that petitioners were not regular employees.

The Ruling of the NLRC

In affirming the ruling of the labor arbiter that herein petitioners could not be deemed regular
employees under Article 280 of the Labor Code, as amended, Respondent Commission ratiocinated
as follows:
We agree that Art. 280 is not controlling herein. We give due credence to the conclusion that
complainants were hired as an accommodation to [the] recommendation of civic oriented
personalities whose employment[s] were covered by xxx Employment Contract[s] with special
provisions on duration of contract as specified under Art. 80. Hence, as correctly held by the Labor
Arbiter a quo, the terms of the contract shall be the law between the parties. [10]
The NLRC also declared that the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons was not applicable, considering
the prevailing circumstances/milieu of the case.
Issues

In their Memorandum, petitioners cite the following grounds in support of their cause:
I. The Honorable Commission committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that the petitioners money sorters and counters working in a bank - were not regular employees.
II. The Honorable Commission committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that the employment
contracts signed and renewed by the petitioners - which provide for a period of six (6) months - were
valid.
III. The Honorable Commission committed grave abuse of discretion in not applying the provisions of
the Magna Carta for the Disabled (Republic Act No. 7277), on proscription against discrimination
against disabled persons.[11]
In the main, the Court will resolve whether petitioners have become regular employees.
This Courts Ruling

The petition is meritorious. However, only the employees, who worked for more than six months and
whose contracts were renewed are deemed regular. Hence, their dismissal from employment was
illegal.

True, the Court, as a rule, does not review the factual findings of public respondents in
a certiorari proceeding. In resolving whether the petitioners have become regular employees, we
shall not change the facts found by the public respondent. Our task is merely to determine whether
the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in applying the law to the established facts, as
above-quoted from the assailed Decision.
Main Issue: Are Petitioners Regular Employees?

Petitioners maintain that they should be considered regular employees, because their task as money
sorters and counters was necessary and desirable to the business of respondent bank. They further
allege that their contracts served merely to preclude the application of Article 280 and to bar them
from becoming regular employees.
Private respondent, on the other hand, submits that petitioners were hired only as special workers
and should not in any way be considered as part of the regular complement of the Bank.[12]Rather,
they were special workers under Article 80 of the Labor Code. Private respondent contends that it
never solicited the services of petitioners, whose employment was merely an accommodation in
response to the requests of government officials and civic-minded citizens. They were told from the
start, with the assistance of government representatives, that they could not become regular
employees because there were no plantilla positions for money sorters, whose task used to be
performed by tellers. Their contracts were renewed several times, not because of need but merely
for humanitarian reasons. Respondent submits that as of the present, the special position that was
created for the petitioners no longer exist[s] in private respondent [bank], after the latter had decided
not to renew anymore their special employment contracts.
At the outset, let it be known that this Court appreciates the nobility of private respondents effort to
provide employment to physically impaired individuals and to make them more productive members
of society. However, we cannot allow it to elude the legal consequences of that effort, simply
because it now deems their employment irrelevant. The facts, viewed in light of the Labor Code and
the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, indubitably show that the petitioners, except sixteen of them,
should be deemed regular employees. As such, they have acquired legal rights that this Court is
duty-bound to protect and uphold, not as a matter of compassion but as a consequence of law and
justice.
The uniform employment contracts of the petitioners stipulated that they shall be trained for a period
of one month, after which the employer shall determine whether or not they should be allowed to

finish the 6-month term of the contract. Furthermore, the employer may terminate the contract at any
time for a just and reasonable cause. Unless renewed in writing by the employer, the contract shall
automatically expire at the end of the term.

The fact that the employees were qualified disabled persons necessarily removes the employment
contracts from the ambit of Article 80. Since the Magna Carta accords them the rights of qualified
able-bodied persons, they are thus covered by Article 280 of the Labor Code, which provides:

According to private respondent, the employment contracts were prepared in accordance with Article
80 of the Labor Code, which provides:

ART. 280. Regular and Casual Employment. -- The provisions of written agreement to the contrary
notwithstanding and regardless of the oral agreement of the parties, an employment shall be
deemed to be regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are usually
necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer, except where the employment
has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been
determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or services to be
performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season.

ART. 80. Employment agreement. Any employer who employs handicapped workers shall enter into
an employment agreement with them, which agreement shall include:
(a) The names and addresses of the handicapped workers to be employed;
(b) The rate to be paid the handicapped workers which shall be not less than seventy five (75%) per
cent of the applicable legal minimum wage;
(c) The duration of employment period; and
(d) The work to be performed by handicapped workers.
The employment agreement shall be subject to inspection by the Secretary of Labor or his duly
authorized representatives.
The stipulations in the employment contracts indubitably conform with the aforecited
provision. Succeeding events and the enactment of RA No. 7277 (the Magna Carta for Disabled
Persons),[13] however, justify the application of Article 280 of the Labor Code.
Respondent bank entered into the aforesaid contract with a total of 56 handicapped workers and
renewed the contracts of 37 of them. In fact, two of them worked from 1988 to 1993. Verily, the
renewal of the contracts of the handicapped workers and the hiring of others lead to the conclusion
that their tasks were beneficial and necessary to the bank. More important, these facts show that
they were qualified to perform the responsibilities of their positions. In other words, their disability did
not render them unqualified or unfit for the tasks assigned to them.
In this light, the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons mandates that a qualified disabled employee
should be given the same terms and conditions of employment as a qualified able-bodied
person. Section 5 of the Magna Carta provides:
Section 5. Equal Opportunity for Employment.No disabled person shall be denied access to
opportunities for suitable employment. A qualified disabled employee shall be subject to the same
terms and conditions of employment and the same compensation, privileges, benefits, fringe
benefits, incentives or allowances as a qualified able bodied person.

An employment shall be deemed to be casual if it is not covered by the preceding


paragraph: Provided, That, any employee who has rendered at least one year of service, whether
such service is continuous or broken, shall be considered as regular employee with respect to the
activity in which he is employed and his employment shall continue while such activity exists.
The test of whether an employee is regular was laid down in De Leon v. NLRC,[14] in which this Court
held:
The primary standard, therefore, of determining regular employment is the reasonable connection
between the particular activity performed by the employee in relation to the usual trade or business
of the employer. The test is whether the former is usually necessary or desirable in the usual
business or trade of the employer. The connection can be determined by considering the nature of
the work performed and its relation to the scheme of the particular business or trade in its
entirety. Also if the employee has been performing the job for at least one year, even if the
performance is not continuous and merely intermittent, the law deems repeated and continuing need
for its performance as sufficient evidence of the necessity if not indispensability of that activity to the
business. Hence, the employment is considered regular, but only with respect to such activity, and
while such activity exists.
Without a doubt, the task of counting and sorting bills is necessary and desirable to the business of
respondent bank. With the exception of sixteen of them, petitioners performed these tasks for more
than six months. Thus, the following twenty-seven petitioners should be deemed regular
employees: Marites Bernardo, Elvira Go Diamante, Rebecca E. David, David P. Pascual, Raquel
Estiller, Albert Hallare, Edmund M. Cortez, Joselito O. Agdon, George P. Ligutan Jr., Lilibeth Q.
Marmolejo, Jose E. Sales, Isabel Mamauag, Violeta G. Montes, Albino Tecson, Melody V. Gruela,
Bernadeth D. Agero, Cynthia de Vera, Lani R. Cortez, Ma. Isabel B. Concepcion, Margaret Cecilia
Canoza, Thelma Sebastian, Ma. Jeanette Cervantes, Jeannie Ramil, Rozaida Pascual, Pinky
Baloloa, Elizabeth Ventura and Grace S. Pardo.

As held by the Court, Articles 280 and 281 of the Labor Code put an end to the pernicious practice of
making permanent casuals of our lowly employees by the simple expedient of extending to them
probationary appointments, ad infinitum.[15] The contract signed by petitioners is akin to a
probationary employment, during which the bank determined the employees fitness for the
job. When the bank renewed the contract after the lapse of the six-month probationary period, the
employees thereby became regular employees.[16] No employer is allowed to determine indefinitely
the fitness of its employees.

Respondents reason for terminating the employment of petitioners is instructive. Because the
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) required that cash in the bank be turned over to the BSP during
business hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., respondent resorted to nighttime sorting and counting of
money. Thus, it reasons that this task could not be done by deaf mutes because of their physical
limitations as it is very risky for them to travel at night. [24] We find no basis for this
argument. Travelling at night involves risks to handicapped and able-bodied persons alike. This
excuse cannot justify the termination of their employment.

As regular employees, the twenty-seven petitioners are entitled to security of tenure; that is, their
services may be terminated only for a just or authorized cause. Because respondent failed to show
such cause,[17] these twenty-seven petitioners are deemed illegally dismissed and therefore entitled
to back wages and reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges. [18]Considering
the allegation of respondent that the job of money sorting is no longer available because it has been
assigned back to the tellers to whom it originally belonged,[19] petitioners are hereby awarded
separation pay in lieu of reinstatement.[20]

Other Grounds Cited by Respondent

Because the other sixteen worked only for six months, they are not deemed regular employees and
hence not entitled to the same benefits.
Applicability of the Brent Ruling

Respondent bank, citing Brent School v. Zamora[21] in which the Court upheld the validity of an
employment contract with a fixed term, argues that the parties entered into the contract on equal
footing. It adds that the petitioners had in fact an advantage, because they were backed by then
DSWD Secretary Mita Pardo de Tavera and Representative Arturo Borjal.
We are not persuaded. The term limit in the contract was premised on the fact that the petitioners
were disabled, and that the bank had to determine their fitness for the position. Indeed, its validity is
based on Article 80 of the Labor Code. But as noted earlier, petitioners proved themselves to
be qualified disabled persons who, under the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, are entitled to
terms and conditions of employment enjoyed by qualified able-bodied individuals; hence, Article 80
does not apply because petitioners are qualified for their positions. The validation of the limit
imposed on their contracts, imposed by reason of their disability, was a glaring instance of the very
mischief sought to be addressed by the new law.
Moreover, it must be emphasized that a contract of employment is impressed with public interest.
[22]
Provisions of applicable statutes are deemed written into the contract, and the parties are not at
liberty to insulate themselves and their relationships from the impact of labor laws and regulations by
simply contracting with each other.[23] Clearly, the agreement of the parties regarding the period of
employment cannot prevail over the provisions of the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, which
mandate that petitioners must be treated as qualified able-bodied employees.

Respondent argues that petitioners were merely accommodated employees. This fact does not
change the nature of their employment. As earlier noted, an employee is regular because of the
nature of work and the length of service, not because of the mode or even the reason for hiring
them.
Equally unavailing are private respondents arguments that it did not go out of its way to recruit
petitioners, and that its plantilla did not contain their positions. In L. T. Datu v. NLRC,[25] the Court
held that the determination of whether employment is casual or regular does not depend on the will
or word of the employer, and the procedure of hiring x x x but on the nature of the activities
performed by the employee, and to some extent, the length of performance and its continued
existence.
Private respondent argues that the petitioners were informed from the start that they could not
become regular employees. In fact, the bank adds, they agreed with the stipulation in the contract
regarding this point. Still, we are not persuaded. The well-settled rule is that the character of
employment is determined not by stipulations in the contract, but by the nature of the work
performed.[26] Otherwise, no employee can become regular by the simple expedient of incorporating
this condition in the contract of employment.
In this light, we iterate our ruling in Romares v. NLRC:[27]
Article 280 was emplaced in our statute books to prevent the circumvention of the employees right to
be secure in his tenure by indiscriminately and completely ruling out all written and oral agreements
inconsistent with the concept of regular employment defined therein. Where an employee has been
engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business of the
employer, such employee is deemed a regular employee and is entitled to security of tenure
notwithstanding the contrary provisions of his contract of employment.
xxxxxxxxx
At this juncture, the leading case of Brent School, Inc. v. Zamora proves instructive. As reaffirmed in
subsequent cases, this Court has upheld the legality of fixed-term employment. It ruled that the

decisive determinant in term employment should not be the activities that the employee is called
upon to perform but the day certain agreed upon the parties for the commencement and termination
of their employment relationship. But this Court went on to say that where from the circumstances it
is apparent that the periods have been imposed to preclude acquisition of tenurial security by the
employee, they should be struck down or disregarded as contrary to public policy and morals.
In rendering this Decision, the Court emphasizes not only the constitutional bias in favor of the
working class, but also the concern of the State for the plight of the disabled. The noble objectives of
Magna Carta for Disabled Persons are not based merely on charity or accommodation, but on
justice and the equal treatment of qualified persons, disabled or not. In the present case, the
handicap of petitioners (deaf-mutes) is not a hindrance to their work. The eloquent proof of this
statement is the repeated renewal of their employment contracts. Why then should they be
dismissed, simply because they are physically impaired? The Court believes, that, after showing
their fitness for the work assigned to them, they should be treated and granted the same rights like
any other regular employees.
In this light, we note the Office of the Solicitor Generals prayer joining the petitioners cause. [28]
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition is hereby GRANTED. The June 20, 1995 Decision
and the August 4, 1995 Resolution of the NLRC are REVERSED and SET ASIDE.Respondent Far
East Bank and Trust Company is hereby ORDERED to pay back wages and separation pay to each
of the following twenty-seven (27) petitioners, namely, Marites Bernardo, Elvira Go Diamante,
Rebecca E. David, David P. Pascual, Raquel Estiller, Albert Hallare, Edmund M. Cortez, Joselito O.
Agdon, George P. Ligutan Jr., Lilibeth Q. Marmolejo, Jose E. Sales, Isabel Mamauag, Violeta G.
Montes, Albino Tecson, Melody V. Gruela, Bernadeth D. Agero, Cynthia de Vera, Lani R. Cortez, Ma.
Isabel B. Concepcion, Margaret Cecilia Canoza, Thelma Sebastian, Ma. Jeanette Cervantes,
Jeannie Ramil, Rozaida Pascual, Pinky Baloloa, Elizabeth Ventura and Grace S. Pardo. The NLRC
is hereby directed to compute the exact amount due each of said employees, pursuant to existing
laws and regulations, within fifteen days from the finality of this Decision. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Romero, (Chairman), Vitug, Purisima, and Gonzaga-Reyes, JJ., concur.

FIRST DIVISION
[G.R. No. 47800. December 2, 1940.]
MAXIMO CALALANG, Petitioner, v. A. D. WILLIAMS, ET AL., Respondents.
Maximo Calalang in his own behalf.
Solicitor General Ozaeta and Assistant Solicitor General Amparo for respondents Williams,
Fragante and Bayan
City Fiscal Mabanag for the other respondents.
SYLLABUS
1. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; CONSTITUTIONALITY OF COMMONWEALTH ACT No. 648;
DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWER; AUTHORITY OF DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS AND
SECRETARY OF PUBLIC WORKS AND COMMUNICATIONS TO PROMULGATE RULES AND
REGULATIONS. The provisions of section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 648 do not confer
legislative power upon the Director of Public Works and the Secretary of Public Works and
Communications. The authority therein conferred upon them and under which they promulgated the
rules and regulations now complained of is not to determine what public policy demands but merely
to carry out the legislative policy laid down by the National Assembly in said Act, to wit, "to promote
safe transit upon, and avoid obstructions on, roads and streets designated as national roads by acts
of the National Assembly or by executive orders of the President of the Philippines" and to close
them temporarily to any or all classes of traffic "whenever the condition of the road or the traffic
thereon makes such action necessary or advisable in the public convenience and interest." The
delegated power, if at all, therefore, is not the determination of what the law shall be, but merely the
ascertainment of the facts and circumstances upon which the application of said law is to be
predicated. To promulgate rules and regulations on the use of national roads and to determine when
and how long a national road should be closed to traffic, in view of the condition of the road or the
traffic thereon and the requirements of public convenience and interest, is an administrative function
which cannot be directly discharged by the National Assembly. It must depend on the discretion of
some other government official to whom is confided the duty of determining whether the proper
occasion exists for executing the law. But it cannot be said that the exercise of such discretion is the
making of the law.
2. ID.; ID.; POLICE POWER; PERSONAL LIBERTY; GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY.
Commonwealth Act No. 548 was passed by the National Assembly in the exercise of the paramount
police power of the state. Said Act, by virtue of which the rules and regulations complained of were
promulgated, aims to promote safe transit upon and avoid obstructions on national roads, in the

interest and convenience of the public. In enacting said law, therefore, the National Assembly was
prompted by considerations of public convenience and welfare. It was inspired by a desire to relieve
congestion of traffic, which is, to say the least, a menace to public safety. Public welfare, then, lies at
the bottom of the enactment of said law, and the state in order to promote the general welfare may
interfere with personal liberty, with property, and with business and occupations. Persons and
property may be subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens, in order to secure the general
comfort, health, and prosperity of the state (U.S. v. Gomer Jesus, 31 Phil., 218). To this fundamental
aim of our Government the rights of the individual are subordinated. Liberty is a blessing without
which life is a misery, but liberty should not be made to prevail over authority because then society
will fall into anarchy. Neither should authority be made to prevail over liberty because then the
individual will fall into slavery. The citizen should achieve the required balance of liberty and
authority in his mind through education and, personal discipline, so that there may be established
the resultant equilibrium, which means peace and order and happiness for all. The moment greater
authority is conferred upon the government, logically so much is withdrawn from the residuum of
liberty which resides in the people. The paradox lies in the fact that the apparent curtailment of
liberty is precisely the very means of insuring its preservation.
3. ID.; ID.; SOCIAL JUSTICE. Social justice is "neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism,
nor anarchy," but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the
State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated.
Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government
of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through
the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of
the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extraconstitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the
time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex. Social justice, therefore, must be founded on
the recognition of the necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units of a society and
of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our
social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of
promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about "the greatest good to
the greatest number."
DECISION
LAUREL, J.:
Maximo Calalang, in his capacity as a private citizen and as a taxpayer of Manila, brought before
this court this petition for a writ of prohibition against the respondents, A. D. Williams, as Chairman
of the National Traffic Commission; Vicente Fragante, as Director of Public Works; Sergio Bayan, as
Acting Secretary of Public Works and Communications; Eulogio Rodriguez, as Mayor of the City of
Manila;
and
Juan
Dominguez,
as
Acting
Chief
of
Police
of
Manila.

It is alleged in the petition that the National Traffic Commission, in its resolution of July 17, 1940,
resolved to recommend to the Director of Public Works and to the Secretary of Public Works and
Communications that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited from passing along Rosario Street
extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmarias Street, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and
from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo
Street to Echague Street, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., from a period of one year from the date of the
opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic; that the Chairman of the National Traffic Commission, on
July 18, 1940 recommended to the Director of Public Works the adoption of the measure proposed
in the resolution aforementioned, in pursuance of the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 548
which authorizes said Director of Public Works, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works
and Communications, to promulgate rules and regulations to regulate and control the use of and
traffic on national roads; that on August 2, 1940, the Director of Public Works, in his first indorsement
to the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, recommended to the latter the approval of
the recommendation made by the Chairman of the National Traffic Commission as aforesaid, with
the modification that the closing of Rizal Avenue to traffic to animal-drawn vehicles be limited to the
portion thereof extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to Azcarraga Street; that on
August 10, 1940, the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, in his second indorsement
addressed to the Director of Public Works, approved the recommendation of the latter that Rosario
Street and Rizal Avenue be closed to traffic of animal-drawn vehicles, between the points and during
the hours as above indicated, for a period of one year from the date of the opening of the Colgante
Bridge to traffic; that the Mayor of Manila and the Acting Chief of Police of Manila have enforced and
caused to be enforced the rules and regulations thus adopted; that as a consequence of such
enforcement, all animal-drawn vehicles are not allowed to pass and pick up passengers in the
places above-mentioned to the detriment not only of their owners but of the riding public as well.
It is contended by the petitioner that Commonwealth Act No. 548 by which the Director of Public
Works, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, is authorized to
promulgate rules and regulations for the regulation and control of the use of and traffic on national
roads and streets is unconstitutional because it constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power.
This contention is untenable. As was observed by this court in Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro
(39 Phil, 660, 700), "The rule has nowhere been better stated than in the early Ohio case decided by
Judge Ranney, and since followed in a multitude of cases, namely: The true distinction therefore is
between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what
it shall be, and conferring an authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in
pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made.
(Cincinnati, W. & Z. R. Co. v. Commrs. Clinton County, 1 Ohio St., 88.) Discretion, as held by Chief
Justice Marshall in Wayman v. Southard (10 Wheat., 1) may be committed by the Legislature to an
executive department or official. The Legislature may make decisions of executive departments or
subordinate officials thereof, to whom it has committed the execution of certain acts, final on
questions of fact. (U.S. v. Kinkead, 248 Fed., 141.) The growing tendency in the decisions is to give
prominence
to
the
necessity
of
the
case."cralaw
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Section

of

Commonwealth

Act

No.

548

reads

as

follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"SECTION 1. To promote safe transit upon, and avoid obstructions on, roads and streets designated
as national roads by acts of the National Assembly or by executive orders of the President of the
Philippines, the Director of Public Works, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and
Communications, shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to regulate and control the
use of and traffic on such roads and streets. Such rules and regulations, with the approval of the
President, may contain provisions controlling or regulating the construction of buildings or other
structures within a reasonable distance from along the national roads. Such roads may be
temporarily closed to any or all classes of traffic by the Director of Public Works and his duly
authorized representatives whenever the condition of the road or the traffic thereon makes such
action necessary or advisable in the public convenience and interest, or for a specified period, with
the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications."cralaw virtua1aw library
The above provisions of law do not confer legislative power upon the Director of Public Works and
the Secretary of Public Works and Communications. The authority therein conferred upon them and
under which they promulgated the rules and regulations now complained of is not to determine what
public policy demands but merely to carry out the legislative policy laid down by the National
Assembly in said Act, to wit, "to promote safe transit upon and avoid obstructions on, roads and
streets designated as national roads by acts of the National Assembly or by executive orders of the
President of the Philippines" and to close them temporarily to any or all classes of traffic "whenever
the condition of the road or the traffic makes such action necessary or advisable in the public
convenience and interest." The delegated power, if at all, therefore, is not the determination of what
the law shall be, but merely the ascertainment of the facts and circumstances upon which the
application of said law is to be predicated. To promulgate rules and regulations on the use of
national roads and to determine when and how long a national road should be closed to traffic, in
view of the condition of the road or the traffic thereon and the requirements of public convenience
and interest, is an administrative function which cannot be directly discharged by the National
Assembly. It must depend on the discretion of some other government official to whom is confided
the duty of determining whether the proper occasion exists for executing the law. But it cannot be
said that the exercise of such discretion is the making of the law. As was said in Lockes Appeal (72
Pa. 491): "To assert that a law is less than a law, because it is made to depend on a future event or
act, is to rob the Legislature of the power to act wisely for the public welfare whenever a law is
passed relating to a state of affairs not yet developed, or to things future and impossible to fully
know." The proper distinction the court said was this: "The Legislature cannot delegate its power to
make the law; but it can make a law to delegate a power to determine some fact or state of things
upon which the law makes, or intends to make, its own action depend. To deny this would be to stop
the wheels of government. There are many things upon which wise and useful legislation must
depend which cannot be known to the law-making power, and, must, therefore, be a subject of
inquiry and determination outside of the halls of legislation." (Field v. Clark, 143 U. S. 649, 694; 36 L.

Ed.

294.)

In the case of People v. Rosenthal and Osmea, G.R. Nos. 46076 and 46077, promulgated June 12,
1939, and in Pangasinan Transportation v. The Public Service Commission, G.R. No. 47065,
promulgated June 26, 1940, this Court had occasion to observe that the principle of separation of
powers has been made to adapt itself to the complexities of modern governments, giving rise to the
adoption, within certain limits, of the principle of "subordinate legislation," not only in the United
States and England but in practically all modern governments. Accordingly, with the growing
complexity of modern life, the multiplication of the subjects of governmental regulations, and the
increased difficulty of administering the laws, the rigidity of the theory of separation of governmental
powers has, to a large extent, been relaxed by permitting the delegation of greater powers by the
legislative and vesting a larger amount of discretion in administrative and executive officials, not only
in the execution of the laws, but also in the promulgation of certain rules and regulations calculated
to
promote
public
interest.
The petitioner further contends that the rules and regulations promulgated by the respondents
pursuant to the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 548 constitute an unlawful interference with
legitimate business or trade and abridge the right to personal liberty and freedom of locomotion.
Commonwealth Act No. 548 was passed by the National Assembly in the exercise of the paramount
police
power
of
the
state.
Said Act, by virtue of which the rules and regulations complained of were promulgated, aims to
promote safe transit upon and avoid obstructions on national roads, in the interest and convenience
of the public. In enacting said law, therefore, the National Assembly was prompted by considerations
of public convenience and welfare. It was inspired by a desire to relieve congestion of traffic. which
is, to say the least, a menace to public safety. Public welfare, then, lies at the bottom of the
enactment of said law, and the state in order to promote the general welfare may interfere with
personal liberty, with property, and with business and occupations. Persons and property may be
subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens, in order to secure the general comfort, health, and
prosperity of the state (U.S. v. Gomez Jesus, 31 Phil., 218). To this fundamental aim of our
Government the rights of the individual are subordinated. Liberty is a blessing without which life is a
misery, but liberty should not be made to prevail over authority because then society will fall into
anarchy. Neither should authority be made to prevail over liberty because then the individual will fall
into slavery. The citizen should achieve the required balance of liberty and authority in his mind
through education and personal discipline, so that there may be established the resultant
equilibrium, which means peace and order and happiness for all. The moment greater authority is
conferred upon the government, logically so much is withdrawn from the residuum of liberty which
resides in the people. The paradox lies in the fact that the apparent curtailment of liberty is precisely
the
very
means
of
insuring
its
preservation.
The scope of police power keeps expanding as civilization advances. As was said in the case of

Dobbins v. Los Angeles (195 U.S. 223, 238; 49 L. ed. 169), "the right to exercise the police power is
a continuing one, and a business lawful today may in the future, because of the changed situation,
the growth of population or other causes, become a menace to the public health and welfare, and be
required to yield to the public good." And in People v. Pomar (46 Phil., 440), it was observed that
"advancing civilization is bringing within the police power of the state today things which were not
thought of as being within such power yesterday. The development of civilization, the rapidly
increasing population, the growth of public opinion, with an increasing desire on the part of the
masses and of the government to look after and care for the interests of the individuals of the state,
have brought within the police power many questions for regulation which formerly were not so
considered."cralaw
virtua1aw
library
The petitioner finally avers that the rules and regulations complained of infringe upon the
constitutional precept regarding the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and economic
security of all the people. The promotion of social justice, however, is to be achieved not through a
mistaken sympathy towards any given group. Social justice is "neither communism, nor despotism,
nor atomism, nor anarchy," but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and
economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at
least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the
adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent
elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the
interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures
legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of
all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex.
Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence
among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly
extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with the
fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all
persons, and of bringing about "the greatest good to the greatest number."cralaw virtua1aw library
In view of the foregoing, the writ of prohibition prayed for is hereby denied, with costs against the
petitioner.
So
ordered.
Avancea, C.J., Imperial, Diaz. and Horrilleno. JJ. concur.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

G.R. No. 112844 June 2, 1995


PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE SCHOOL, INC., represented by JUAN O. NOLASCO
III, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, EDELMIRO AMANTE,
RENATO CORONA, and the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND
SPORTS, respondents.

BELLOSILLO, JR., J.:


PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE SCHOOL, INC. (PMMSI), was established in Manila in 1950 to
train and produce competent marine officers. It offers a two-year course in Marine Engineering
(A.M.E.) and a four-year course in Marine Transportation (B.S.M.T.). In 1978 it established a branch
in Talon, Las Pias, Metro Manila. But we are here concerned only with the main school in Manila.
For several times prior to 1985 respondent Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS)
disapproved petitioner's requests for renewal permit/recognition. However, on 11 March 1986 the
DECS issued petitioner a renewal permit for SY 1985-1986. Later, petitioner applied for a summer
permit for 1986 which the DECS favorably indorsed to the Minister of Education in consideration of
the graduating students for summer. Thereafter the application was returned to Director Modesta
Boquiren of the DECS for evaluation and decision pursuant to the authority delegated to the Regions
under Department Order No. 22, series of 1975. Director Boquiren issued petitioner the summer
permit for 1986 based on the previously stated humanitarian reason but subject to the condition that
petitioner should not enroll students for the first semester of SY 1986-1987 until a permit therefor
was granted and that the enrollment list for the summer term be submitted immediately.
Sometime in 1986 the DECS received a complaint from Felixberto B. Galvez, president of
petitioner's Faculty Association, NAFLU-KMU, concerning the issuance of summer permit to
petitioner and of its holding of classes for courses not recognized by the Government. Galvez
requested that the matter be looked into as well as the possible revocation of petitioner's authority
due to persistent violation of the orders of the DECS.

In response, the DECS through Director Boquiren recommended that petitioner's summer permit be
revoked and that the school be closed effective SY 1986-1987 on the ground that: (a) petitioner did
not have a renewal permit/recognition for SY 1986-1987; (b) several communications were sent to
petitioner's head telling him not to operate without permit and to explain within seventy-two (72)
hours from receipt of Director Boquiren's letter dated 9 July 1986 why no drastic action should be
taken against it but said communication was never answered; and, (c) petitioner did not correct the
deficiencies indicated in the renewal permit for 1985-1986.
Accordingly, in a 3rd Indorsement dated 23 September 1986 the DECS through then Minister
Lourdes R. Quisumbing approved the following courses of action for petitioner: (a) the students in
the two courses who were graduating for SY 1986-1987 would be allowed to graduate even without
permit for said courses as a special case provided that they completed the requirements for
graduation and subject to prior issuance of Special Order; and, (b) the remaining students should be
allowed to transfer to other authorized schools.
In a letter dated 30 September 1986 Director Boquiren, informed petitioner of the aforementioned
courses of action and directed immediate implementation thereof.
On 9 April 1987 the DECS Inter-Agency Technical Committee (IATCOM) recommended renewal of
permits for the maritime courses offered by petitioner provided that a development plan for the
improvement of its buildings classrooms, laboratory rooms, library offices and other rooms be
formulated and implemented before the start of school year 1987-1988.
Despite lack of permit, petitioner continued to enroll students and offer courses in Marine
Engineering and Marine Transportation for SY 1987-1988. This prompted the DECS through
Director Hernando Dizon to write petitioner on 4 August 1988 directing it not to operate without
permit and inviting its attention to the provisions of the Private School Law 1 as reiterated in the
Education Act of 1982 2 which prohibits operation of unauthorized schools/courses.
On 28 October 1988 petitioner sent a letter to Director Dizon applying for permit/recognition to
conduct classes for the two (2) maritime courses retroactive from summer of 1987 up to SY 19881989 and informing him of its transfer to the 5th Floor of the Republic Supermarket Building, corner
Rizal Avenue and Soler St., Sta. Cruz, Manila.
On the basis of the favorable report of a supervisor of the Bureau of Higher Education who visited
the premises of petitioner on 14 November 1988, a director of said Bureau recommended renewal of
petitioner's permit. However, in a DECS-PAMI survey conducted by the DECS technical staff in
1988, petitioner scored only 32 points out of a possible 1,026 points for requirements in Nautical
Engineering, and only 207 points out of 905 points in Marine Engineering, way below the DECS
requirements.

Subsequent inspection of petitioner's premises by the Bureau of Higher Education-DECS Technical


Panel for Maritime Education (TPME) affirmed the findings of the DECS-PAMI survey. It found
petitioner deficient in terms of the minimum requirements as provided in DECS Order No. III, series
of 1987, which refers to the policies and standards for Maritime Education Plan. In a memorandum
dated 19 January 1989 addressed to DECS Director Nilo Rosas, it set forth the following
recommendations:

1. PMMS, Manila, has inadequate training facilities and equipment for BSMT Nautical Studies and
AME programs.

1. The PMMS administration may be given a last chance to put up at least 60% of the minimum
standard equipment for a period of about two months (January-March 1989).
2. The DECS with TPME will conduct a re-inspection sometime the first week of April to monitor the
progress of the requirements.

3. On 23 September 1986, the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports already issued a cease to
operate order to the school head of PMMS. The said indorsement letter also provided humanitarian
decision (reason?) which granted permit to PMMS as a special case, just to allow BSMT and AME
students to graduate and the remaining students were advised to transfer to authorized/recognized
schools.

3. No new and old students will be allowed to enroll during summer of 1989 and the subsequent
semesters pending issuance of a permit.

4. Labor dispute occurred in 1987. The conflict between the employees and employer is a
manifestation of mismanagement of school. 4

4. Therefore, issuance of a school permit for 1987-1988 to 1988-89 shall be held in abeyance
pending compliance of at least 60% of the requirements.

In a letter dated 27 April 1989 Director Rosas informed petitioner of the TPME report and
recommendations and invited it for a conference on 2 May 1989 before any major decision and
action would be made.

5. DECS higher authorities shall decide whether the graduating students for the second semester
1988-89 will be allowed to graduate and a retroactive school permit for the school years 1987-88,
1988-89 can be granted. 3
As recommended, the TPME Secretariat conducted a reinspection of petitioner's premises, then
submitted a report dated 18 April 1989 with the following new recommendations
1. Gradual phasing out of the BSMT Nautical Studies and Associate in Marine Engineering
programs. Under this scheme, no new enrollees should be accepted anymore for the 1st year BSMT
Nautical Studies and AME starting 1st semester of school year 1989-90.
2. If the school can come up with the DECS minimum standard within the phasing out period,
suspension order may be lifted.
3. If the school fails to meet the DECS minimum standard at the end of the phasing out period,
closure order will be issued.
4. No special permit for the BSMT Nautical Studies and AME courses should be granted as a special
case. However, during the phasing out period students may be allowed to graduate under PMMS,
Talon, Las Pias,
based on these considerations

2. The school has not acquired its own school site and building. The present school campus is not
conducive for training and is found to be very limited in space so that there is difficulty for school
development and expansion.

On 2 May 1989, the TPME Secretariat submitted another memorandum on its reinspection of
petitioner's premises made on 28 April 1989. Based on its findings that no substantial improvement
in terms of minimum requirements, equipment and training facilities since the January 1989
inspection was made, it reiterated the recommendations it submitted to the DECS Bureau of Higher
Education. For this reason, in the letter dated 25 May 1989 Director Rosas notified petitioner about
the aforementioned report and the DECS' decision that:
1. The BSMT Nautical Studies and Associate in Marine Engineering courses be gradually phased
out. Such being the case, the school shall no longer be allowed to accept 1st year students and new
enrollees starting 1st semester of school year 1989-90.
2. The second year and third year students may be allowed to remain until they graduate. However,
the school may opt to transfer these students to PMMS, Talon, Las Pias,
due to the following considerations:
1. The school's training equipment and instructional facilities are very far below the standards set by
DECS.
2. The school site and building are not owned by the school but only leased with contract of renewal
to be made annually.

3. The present location of the school does not warrant for expansion, development and
improvement.

letters dated 19 February 1990 and 9 May 1990 of Director Rosas and then DECS Secretary Isidro
D. Cario, respectively.

4. The present location of the school is not conducive for learning, it being located on the 5th floor of
a supermarket in the downtown section of the city.

Subsequently, petitioner moved to reconsider the phase-out order in its letter of 21 May 1990, which
request was denied by the DECS through Undersecretary Benjamin Tayabas in his letter of 1 June
1990. The letter reads

5. A cease to operate order was issued by Secretary Lourdes R. Quisumbing sometime in 1986,
which
order
was
violated
by
the
school. 5
In a letter dated 11 July 1989 the DECS through Secretary Quisumbing informed petitioner that it
had received reports that petitioner enrolled freshmen for its maritime programs which were ordered
phased out effective SY 1989-1990 per letter of Director Rosas dated 25 May 1989; called
petitioner's attention to the provision of Sec. 1, Rule 1, Part V, of the Implementing Rules of the
Education Act of 1982 which makes it punishable and subject to penalties the operation of a school
through the conduct or offering of Educational Programs or Courses of Studies/Training, without
prior government authorization and/or in violation of any of the terms and conditions of said permit or
recognition; directed that in accordance with the phase-out order, petitioner's Manila campus is
allowed to operate only the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of the authorized maritime programs which shall
be gradually phased out; and, required petitioner to comment on the reported unauthorized
enrollment.

With reference to your request to rescind an order to phase-out the maritime courses at PMMS,
Manila, please be informed that this Department sees no reason for such action as the conditions
obtaining in the school when the phase-out order was issued haven't shown any significant
improvement inspite of the fact that the PMMS had been given reasonable period to comply with the
minimum standard requirements prescribed by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports.
Maritime Education courses are highly specialized and require adequate training facilities and
equipment in order to ensure quality. However, the series of visits made by the staff of the BHE,
NCR, and members of the Technical Panel on Maritime Education revealed the following findings:
(a) On April 9, 1987 the Inter-Agency Technical Committee (IATCOM) recommended the renewal of
permits of the maritime courses, provided, that a development plan for the improvement of the
buildings, classrooms, laboratory rooms, library offices and other rooms shall be formulated and
implemented before the start of SY 1987-1988.

In its letter to the DECS dated 26 July 1989, petitioner moved for reconsideration stating that the
finding that it had not complied with the minimum requirements was due to the following: that as
early as 21 June 1989 it filed a letter requesting reconsideration of the letter dated 25 May 1989 of
Director Rosas; that since there was no reply it believed that the 25 May 1989 order was
reconsidered sub-silencio and that petitioner was allowed to enroll 1st year students for SY 19891990; and, that it had undertaken improvements in all of its facilities in compliance with DECS
requirements. In this regard, it requested another inspection of its premises.

(b) In 1988, the DECS-PAMI survey conducted by technical persons, revealed that PMMS, then
located at the 5th floor of the Republic Supermarket, obtained a general score of 32 out of 1,026
points for requirements in the Nautical course and 207 out of 905 points for the Marina Engineering
course. It is needless to say that these findings are way below the DECS requirements. Above all,
the school site was described as not conducive for offering maritime program due to its limited area.
Furthermore, the lease on the premises is not a long term lease (2 years), a condition which would
deter the school from fully developing the school site.

Pursuant to petitioner's request, another inspection of the Manila premises was conducted by the
TPME-Secretariat on 8 August 1989. However, petitioner only obtained a general rating of 31.17%
for Nautical Studies and 28.53% for Marine Engineering. Consequently, the inspection team
reiterated its previous recommendation to gradually phase out the maritime programs of petitioner's
Manila campus effective SY 1990-1991 and that no new freshman students be accepted beginning
SY 1990-1991.

(c) In January of 1989, the findings of the Secretariat for the Technical Panel for Maritime Education
(TPME) re-affirmed the findings of the DECS-PAMI Survey. Very few equipment were found for the
Maritime courses. You concurred with these findings in a dialogue with the Director of the Bureau of
Higher Education Secretariat. You appealed for another chance and requested for re-inspection
before the opening of SY 1989-1990.

Accordingly, in a letter dated 25 September 1989 the DECS through Secretary Quisumbing ordered
petitioner to discontinue its Maritime program in the Manila campus effective school year 1990-1991
and suggested that efforts be made towards the development of PMMS, Las Pias, which has a
great potential of being a good Maritime School. 6 The phase-out order was reiterated in subsequent

(d) As per agreement, on April 28, 1989 another re-inspection was made and it showed that the
school did not show any substantial improvement.
Then on May 25, 1989, Secretary Lourdes Quisumbing issued the phase-out order of our maritime
programs in Manila campus.

However, the Department again allowed PMMS, Manila, to operate the maritime courses for SY
1989-1990 despite the above phase-out order.
(e) Another evaluation of your school was conducted by technical people on August 8, 1989, as
requested. The findings revealed that your school obtained a general rating of 31.17% for Nautical
Studies and 28.53% for Marine Engineering.
The PMMS has been provided with the Policies and Standards for Maritime Education and, as
revealed by the foregoing facts, the series of inspection and evaluation were (sic) done by technical
persons who have expertise in the field of maritime education. Therefore, the requests relative to
these are not valid.
It is therefore with regrets that this Department cannot rescind its order to phase-out the Maritime
courses at PMMS, Manila and the school is admonished not to accept incoming first year students
starting school year 1990-1991. So that by school year 1992-1993, the maritime courses at the
Manila campus would be fully phased-out. . . . 7
It is suggested that PMMS concentrate its development plans in the Las Pias Campus which has a
great potential of being a good maritime school.
Not satisfied therewith, petitioner appealed the matter to respondent Office of the President.
During the pendency of the appeal the DECS thru Secretary Cario issued a Closure Order dated
27 August 1991
In view of the report which was confirmed by the evaluation team from the National Capital Region
DECS Regional Office, that Philippine Merchant Marine School (PMMS), Manila, has been
accepting freshman students of the maritime programs despite the phase-out order which was
issued last September 28, (sic) 1989 by former Secretary Lourdes R. Quisumbing and further
reiterated by the undersigned, dated May 9, 1990, the Department, hereby orders Closure of your
maritime programs of your school effective second semester school year 1991-1992, otherwise this
Department shall be constrained to institute the appropriate administrative, civil and criminal
proceedings against you and the other responsible officers of your school pursuant to Section 68,
Batas Pambansa Blg. 232. . . .
The transfer of the affected students shall be facilitated by the National Capital Region in
accordance with our Memorandum dated August 16, 1991, xerox copy of which is hereto attached
for your information.
For your guidance and strict compliance. 8

In a Letter dated 24 August 1992 petitioner sought reconsideration of the 27 August 1991 Closure
Order and at the same time requested that special orders be issued to its graduates for SY 19911992. In letters filed with the Office of the President dated 2 and 3 October 1992 petitioner alleged
compliance with DECS requirements. The letters were referred to the DECS for consideration.
On 10 November 1992 the Office of the President through respondent Executive Secretary Edelmiro
Amante rendered a Resolution dismissing petitioner's appeal. 9 It found no plausible reason to
disturb the action of the DECS Secretary in the light of the conspicuous fact that petitioner had
repeatedly failed to comply with the phase-out order since 1986. Moreover, the grounds advanced
by petitioner have already been passed upon by the DECS.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration praying that the case be remanded to the DECS for another
ocular inspection and evaluation of its alleged improved facilities. Petitioner anchored its motion on
the proposition that since it had made substantial improvements on school equipment and facilities
there existed no valid ground to deny them a permit to offer maritime courses. After another
circumspect review of the case, the Office of the President found no cogent reason to set aside its
previous resolution. It opined that
Mere alleged efforts to improve the facilities and equipments (sic) which were long due since 1986,
do not warrant the reversal of our previous resolution. It bears stressing as the records may show,
that the phase-out order of DECS was based not only on PMMSI's failure to provide adequate
equipment and facilities but also on PMMSI's failure to comply with the standard requirements
prescribed for a school site.
xxx xxx xxx
Apart from these, PMMSI's adamant refusal to comply with the orders of the DECS to phase out its
unauthorized courses is sufficient ground to uphold the order appealed from. Since 1986, PMMSI
has been applying for a permit to offer maritime courses but has been invariably denied for failure to
comply with the minimum requirements prescribed by DECS. Notwithstanding these denials, PMMSI
continues to offer maritime courses and to admit freshmen students in clear violation of Section 1,
Rule 1, of the Education Act of 1982 . . . .
xxx xxx xxx
PMMSI's refusal to comply with the phase-out order on the ground that the same is not yet final and
executory is untenable. While said phase-out may not be final and executory, there was no reason
for PMMSI to offer maritime courses without the requisite prior authority of the DECS. PMMSI
possessed no valid permit prior to the issuance of the phase-out. There was no authority to speak
of.10

Thus the motion was denied in the Resolution dated 12 January 1993 through respondent Assistant
Executive Secretary Renato Corona. 11
Petitioner assailed both resolutions of the Office of the President before respondent Court of
Appeals by way ofcertiorari. It alleged that the resolutions failed to meet the constitutional
requirement of due process because the basis for affirming the DECS phase-out and closure orders
was not sufficiently disclosed. Furthermore, its letters dated 2 and 3 October 1992 which presented
incontrovertible proof that it had introduced substantial improvements on its facilities for the past two
and a half years while its appeal was pending were not taken into account, thereby gravely abusing
its discretion.
Respondent Court of Appeals brushed aside the allegations of petitioner since
[T]he Office of the President, in the resolution dated November 10, 1992, appears to have restated
the report of the respondent DECS, meaning, that it adopted as its own the DECS' report, but that is
not a violation of the Constitution and the Rules of Court, in line with Alba Patio De Makati vs. Alba
Patio De Makati Employees Association, 128 SCRA 253, 264- 265 . . . Petitioner's latest attempt at
improving its facilities does not warrant a reversal of the phase-out order. For, in spite of the claim
that it spent on improvements, the basic problem remained as it still occupies the fifth floor of the
William Liao building, which is not conducive to learning and has a limited area for expansion and
development. 12
On 22 July 1993 the petition was dismissed.
was denied. 14

13

On 26 November 1993 the motion for reconsideration

Petitioner imputes error on respondent court: (1) in not setting aside the questioned resolutions and
orders of public respondents which were rendered without due process of law since (a) petitioner
was not afforded the right to fully present its case and submit evidence in support thereof; (b) public
respondents did not consider the evidence presented by petitioner; (c) public respondents' decisions
have no substantial evidence to support them; (d) public respondents' decisions did not disclose the
bases therefor; and, (2) in implementing the closure orders which had not become final and
executory.
Petitioner asseverates that the DECS denied its right to a hearing on the supposed deficiencies
which allegedly justified denial of its request for issuance of a renewal permit. Likewise, the DECS
denied petitioner the opportunity to correct such deficiencies. The Office of the President totally
ignored supervening events properly brought to its attention in the letters of petitioner dated 2 and 3
October 1992. It issued resolutions strictly on the basis of the DECS' representations which do not
amount to substantial evidence. The 10 November 1992 Resolution failed to sufficiently disclose the
basis for affirmation of the DECS' phase-out and closure orders. The 12 January 1993 Resolution
still refused to take into consideration petitioner's compliance with the DECS' requirements.
Petitioner did not violate the Education Act of 1992 because it was authorized to operate by virtue of

the provisional authorities issued by the DECS. The DECS orders were not final and executory
because petitioner challenged them and appropriately availed itself of the remedies available to it
under the law.
Before proceeding to resolve the merits of this case, we shall state briefly the concept regarding
establishment of schools. The educational operation of schools is subject to prior authorization of the
government and is effected by recognition. In the case of government-operated schools, whether
local, regional or national, recognition of educational programs and/or operations is deemed granted
simultaneously with establishment. In all other cases the rules and regulations governing recognition
are prescribed and enforced by the DECS, defining therein who are qualified to apply, providing for a
permit system, stating the conditions for the grant of recognition and for its cancellation and
withdrawal, and providing for related matters. 15 The requirement on prior government authorization
is pursuant to the State policy that educational programs and/or operations shall be of good quality
and therefore shall at least satisfy minimum standards with respect to curricula, teaching staff,
physical plant and facilities and of administrative or management viability. 16
Set against the records of the case, the assertion of petitioner that it was deprived of its right to a
hearing and any opportunity whatsoever to correct the alleged deficiencies readily collapses. The
earlier narration of facts clearly demonstrates that before the DECS issued the phase-out and
closure orders, petitioner was duly notified, warned and given several opportunities to correct its
deficiencies and to comply with pertinent orders and regulations.
Petitioner has gone all the way up to the Office of the President to seek a reversal of the phase-out
and closure orders. There is thus no reason to complain of lack of opportunity to explain its side as
well as to comply with the alleged deficiencies. 17 We agree with the observation of the Office of the
Solicitor General that
As long as the parties were given opportunity to be heard before judgment was rendered, the
demands of due process were sufficiently met (Lindo v. COMELEC, 194 SCRA 25). It should also be
noted that petitioner herein repeatedly sought reconsideration of the various orders of respondent
DECS and its motions were duly considered by respondent DECS to the extent of allowing and
granting its request for re-inspection of its premises. In connection therewith, it has been ruled that
the opportunity to be heard is the essence of procedural due process and that any defect is cured by
the filing of a motion for reconsideration (Medenilla v. Civil Service Commission, 194 SCRA 278). 18
Furthermore, the Office of the President properly ignored (in the sense that it did not find worthy of
consideration) the alleged supervening events, i.e., substantial improvements on school equipment
and facilities during the pendency of the case before said Office because the improvements should
have been undertaken starting 1986. Moreover, the phase-out and closure orders were based not
only on petitioner's deficiencies as a maritime institute but also on its continued operation without the
requisite authorization from the DECS and acceptance of freshman students in blatant violation of
the latter's orders and/or persistent warnings not to do so. Verily, there are sufficient grounds to

uphold the phase-out and closure orders of the DECS which were issued conformably with Sec. 28
of the Education Act of 1982 which provides:

component thereof, or any violation of the prescribed rules governing advertisements or


announcements of educational institutions.

Sec. 28. . . . . Punishable Violation. . . . Operation of schools and educational programs without
authorization, and/or operation thereof in violation of the terms of recognition, are hereby declared
punishable violations subject to the penalties provided in this Act.

Substantial evidence has been defined to be such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion. 19 A perusal of the questioned resolutions of the Office
of the President reveals that they are based on the records of the case which constitute substantial
evidence, proving distinctly not only petitioner's consistent failure to meet the DECS' minimum
standards for maritime institutes and correct its deficiencies but also its continued operation and
offering of maritime courses despite the lack of permit.

Secs. 68 and 69 of the same Act provide the penalties:


Sec. 68. Penalty Clause. Any person upon conviction for an act in violation of Section 28, Chapter
3, Title III, shall be punished with a fine of not less than two thousand pesos (P2,000.00) nor more
than ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) or imprisonment for a maximum period of two (2) years, or
both, in the discretion of the court.
If the act is committed by a school corporation, the school head together with the person or persons
responsible for the offense or violation shall be equally liable.
Sec. 69. Administrative Sanction. The Minister (Secretary) of Education, Culture and Sports may
prescribe and impose such administrative sanction as he may deem reasonable and appropriate in
the implementing rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this Act for any of the following
causes . . . . 5. Unauthorized operation of a school, or course, or any component thereof . . . .
The corresponding rules implementing Secs. 68 and 69 read
Sec. 1. Punishable Acts and Penalties. The operation of a school, through the conduct or offering
of educational programs or courses of studies/training without prior government authorization in the
form of permit or recognition as provided for in Rule III, PART III of these Rules, and/or in violation of
any of the terms and conditions of the said permit or recognition, have been declared punishable
violations of the Act, subject to the penalties provided therein.
Any person, therefore, upon conviction for an act constituting any of the foregoing punishable
violations, shall be punished with a fine of not less than Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) nor more
than Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00), or imprisonment for a maximum period of two (2) years, or
both, in the discretion of the Court: Provided, however, that when the act is committed by a school
corporation, the school head together with the person or persons responsible for the violation or
offense shall be deemed equally liable.
Sec. 2. Administrative Sanction. Without prejudice to the interest of students, teachers and
employees, and independently of the penalty imposed in Sec. 1 under this Rule, the Minister may
withdraw, suspend, revoke or cancel a school's authority to operate as an educational institution or
to conduct educational programs or courses of studies/training, for any of the following
causes, viz: . . . . e. Unauthorized operation of a school, or program or course of studies or

Contrary to the claim of petitioner, the 10 November 1992 Resolution of the Office of the President
sufficiently disclosed the basis for its affirmance of the DECS' phase-out and closure orders:
After a careful study, we are constrained to resolve that there exists no sufficient justification to
modify, alter or reverse the appealed order. We find no plausible reason to disturb the action of the
Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, more so in light of the conspicuous fact that PMMS has
repeatedly failed to comply with the phase out order since 1986. What is more, the grounds
advanced by PMMS have already been passed upon, and separately resolved by the office a quo. 20
Petitioner's persistent refusal to comply with the phase-out orders on the ground that the same were
not yet final and executory is untenable. As correctly held by the Office of the President
. . . . While said phase-out (orders) may not be final and executory, there was no reason for PMMSI
to offer maritime courses without, the requisite prior authority of the DECS. PMMSI possessed no
valid permit prior to the issuance of the phase-out. There was no authority to speak of. 21
By reason of the special knowledge and expertise of administrative departments over matters falling
under their jurisdiction, they are in a better position to pass judgment thereon and their findings of
fact in that regard are generally accorded respect, if not finality, by the courts. In the case at bench, it
is not the function of this Court nor any other court for that matter
. . . to review the decisions and orders of the Secretary on the issue of whether or not an educational
institution meets the norms and standards required for permission to operate and to continue
operating as such. On this question, no Court has the power or prerogative to substitute its opinion
for that of the Secretary. Indeed, it is obviously not expected that any Court would have the
competence to do so.
The only authority reposed in the Courts on the matter is the determination of whether or not the
Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports has acted within the scope of powers granted him by law
and the Constitution. As long as it appears that he has done so, any decision rendered by him
should not and will not be subject to review and reversal by any court.

Of course, if it should be made to appear to the Court that those powers were in a case exercised so
whimsically, capriciously, oppressively, despotically or arbitrarily as to call for peremptory correction
or stated otherwise, that the Secretary had acted with grave abuse of discretion, or had unlawfully
neglected the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty, or excluded
another from the use or enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled it becomes
the Court's duty to rectify such action through the extraordinary remedies of certiorari, prohibition,
or mandamus, whichever may properly apply. Yet even in these extreme instances, where a Court
finds that there has been abuse of powers by the Secretary and consequently nullifies and/or forbids
such an abuse of power, or commands whatever is needful to keep its exercise within bounds, the
Court, absent any compelling reason to do otherwise, should still leave to the Secretary the ultimate
determination of the issue of the satisfaction of fulfillment by an educational institution of the
standards set down for its legitimate operation, as to which it should not ordinarily substitute its own
judgment for that of said office. 22
There being no grave abuse of discretion committed by respondents representing the Office of the
President in issuing the Resolutions of 10 November 1992 and 12 January 1993, respondent Court
of Appeals did not err in sustaining the resolutions in question.
WHEREFORE , the petition is DENIED. The questioned Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 22
July 1993, as well as its Resolution of 26 November 1993, is AFFIRMED.
Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
Narvasa, C.J., Feliciano, Padilla, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan,
Mendoza and Francisco, JJ., concur.
Quiason, J., is on leave.

Republic of the Philippines

THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL VELASCO, JR.,

SUPREME COURT

GOVERNMENT, NACHURA,

Manila

Petitioners, REYES,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, and

EN BANC

- versus - BRION, JJ.


CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF
MANILA BAY, represented and

METROPOLITAN MANILA G.R. Nos. 171947-48

joined by DIVINA V. ILAS,

DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY,

SABINIANO ALBARRACIN,

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT

MANUEL SANTOS, JR., DINAH

AND NATURAL RESOURCES, Present:

DELA PEA, PAUL DENNIS

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,

QUINTERO, MA. VICTORIA

CULTURE AND SPORTS,[1] PUNO, C.J.,

LLENOS, DONNA CALOZA,

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, QUISUMBING,

FATIMA QUITAIN, VENICE

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, YNARES-SANTIAGO,

SEGARRA, FRITZIE TANGKIA,

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC CARPIO,

SARAH JOELLE LINTAG,

WORKS AND HIGHWAYS, AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,

HANNIBAL AUGUSTUS BOBIS,

DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND CORONA,

FELIMON SANTIAGUEL, and Promulgated:

MANAGEMENT, PHILIPPINE CARPIO MORALES,

JAIME AGUSTIN R. OPOSA,

COAST GUARD, PHILIPPINE AZCUNA,

Respondents. December 18, 2008

NATIONAL POLICE MARITIME TINGA,

x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x

GROUP, and DEPARTMENT OF CHICO-NAZARIO,

DECISION

law, specifically Presidential Decree No. (PD) 1152 or the Philippine Environment Code. This
environmental aberration, the complaint stated, stemmed from:

VELASCO, JR., J.:

x x x [The] reckless, wholesale, accumulated and ongoing acts of omission or commission [of the
defendants] resulting in the clear and present danger to public health and in the depletion and
contamination of the marine life of Manila Bay, [for which reason] ALL defendants must be held
jointly and/or solidarily liable and be collectively ordered to clean up Manila Bay and to restore its
water quality to class B waters fit for swimming, skin-diving, and other forms of contact recreation. [3]

The need to address environmental pollution, as a cause of climate change, has of late gained the
attention of the international community. Media have finally trained their sights on the ill effects of
pollution, the destruction of forests and other critical habitats, oil spills, and the unabated improper
disposal of garbage. And rightly so, for the magnitude of environmental destruction is now on a scale
few ever foresaw and the wound no longer simply heals by itself. [2] But amidst hard evidence and
clear signs of a climate crisis that need bold action, the voice of cynicism, naysayers, and
procrastinators can still be heard.

This case turns on government agencies and their officers who, by the nature of their respective
offices or by direct statutory command, are tasked to protect and preserve, at the first instance, our
internal waters, rivers, shores, and seas polluted by human activities. To most of these agencies and
their official complement, the pollution menace does not seem to carry the high national priority it
deserves, if their track records are to be the norm. Their cavalier attitude towards solving, if not
mitigating, the environmental pollution problem, is a sad commentary on bureaucratic efficiency and
commitment.

At the core of the case is the Manila Bay, a place with a proud historic past, once brimming with
marine life and, for so many decades in the past, a spot for different contact recreation activities, but
now a dirty and slowly dying expanse mainly because of the abject official indifference of people and
institutions that could have otherwise made a difference.

This case started when, on January 29, 1999, respondents Concerned Residents of Manila Bay filed
a complaint before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Imus, Cavite against several government
agencies, among them the petitioners, for the cleanup, rehabilitation, and protection of the Manila
Bay. Raffled to Branch 20 and docketed as Civil Case No. 1851-99 of the RTC, the complaint
alleged that the water quality of the Manila Bay had fallen way below the allowable standards set by

In their individual causes of action, respondents alleged that the continued neglect of petitioners in
abating the pollution of the Manila Bay constitutes a violation of, among others:

(1)

Respondents constitutional right to life, health, and a balanced ecology;

(2)

The Environment Code (PD 1152);

(3)

The Pollution Control Law (PD 984);

(4)

The Water Code (PD 1067);

(5)

The Sanitation Code (PD 856);

(6)

The Illegal Disposal of Wastes Decree (PD 825);

(7)

The Marine Pollution Law (PD 979);

(8)

Executive Order No. 192;

(9)

The Toxic and Hazardous Wastes Law (Republic Act No. 6969);

(10)

Civil Code provisions on nuisance and human relations;

(11)

The Trust Doctrine and the Principle of Guardianship; and

(12)

International Law

In particular:
Inter alia, respondents, as plaintiffs a quo, prayed that petitioners be ordered to clean
the Manila Bay and submit to the RTC a concerted concrete plan of action for the purpose.
Defendant MWSS is directed to install, operate and maintain adequate [sewerage] treatment
facilities in strategic places under its jurisdiction and increase their capacities.
The trial of the case started off with a hearing at the Manila Yacht Club followed by an ocular
inspection of the Manila Bay. Renato T. Cruz, the Chief of the Water Quality Management Section,
Environmental Management Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),
testifying for petitioners, stated that water samples collected from different beaches around the
Manila Bay showed that the amount of fecal coliform content ranged from 50,000 to 80,000 most
probable number (MPN)/ml when what DENR Administrative Order No. 34-90 prescribed as a safe
level for bathing and other forms of contact recreational activities, or the SB level, is one not
exceeding 200 MPN/100 ml.[4]

Rebecca de Vera, for Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and in behalf of
other petitioners, testified about the MWSS efforts to reduce pollution along the Manila Bay through
the Manila Second Sewerage Project. For its part, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) presented, as
part of its evidence, its memorandum circulars on the study being conducted on ship-generated
waste treatment and disposal, and its Linis Dagat (Clean the Ocean) project for the cleaning of
wastes accumulated or washed to shore.

Defendant LWUA, to see to it that the water districts under its wings, provide, construct and operate
sewage facilities for the proper disposal of waste.

Defendant DENR, which is the lead agency in cleaning up Manila Bay, to install, operate and
maintain waste facilities to rid the bay of toxic and hazardous substances.

Defendant PPA, to prevent and also to treat the discharge not only of ship-generated wastes but
also of other solid and liquid wastes from docking vessels that contribute to the pollution of the bay.

Defendant MMDA, to establish, operate and maintain an adequate and appropriate sanitary landfill
and/or adequate solid waste and liquid disposal as well as other alternative garbage disposal system
such as re-use or recycling of wastes.

The RTC Ordered Petitioners to Clean Up and Rehabilitate Manila Bay

[5]

On September 13, 2002, the RTC rendered a Decision in favor of respondents. The dispositive
portion reads:

WHEREFORE, finding merit in the complaint, judgment is hereby rendered ordering the
abovenamed defendant-government agencies, jointly and solidarily, to clean up and rehabilitate
Manila Bay and restore its waters to SB classification to make it fit for swimming, skin-diving and
other forms of contact recreation. To attain this, defendant-agencies, with defendant DENR as the
lead agency, are directed, within six (6) months from receipt hereof, to act and perform their
respective duties by devising a consolidated, coordinated and concerted scheme of action for the
rehabilitation and restoration of the bay.

Defendant DA, through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, to revitalize the marine life
in Manila Bay and restock its waters with indigenous fish and other aquatic animals.

Defendant DBM, to provide and set aside an adequate budget solely for the purpose of cleaning up
and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

Defendant DPWH, to remove and demolish structures and other nuisances that obstruct the free
flow of waters to the bay. These nuisances discharge solid and liquid wastes which eventually end
up in Manila Bay. As the construction and engineering arm of the government, DPWH is ordered to

actively participate in removing debris, such as carcass of sunken vessels, and other nonbiodegradable garbage in the bay.

Defendant DOH, to closely supervise and monitor the operations of septic and sludge companies
and require them to have proper facilities for the treatment and disposal of fecal sludge and sewage
coming from septic tanks.

Petitioners, before the CA, were one in arguing in the main that the pertinent provisions of the
Environment Code (PD 1152) relate only to the cleaning of specific pollution incidents and do not
cover cleaning in general. And apart from raising concerns about the lack of funds appropriated for
cleaning purposes, petitioners also asserted that the cleaning of the Manila Bay is not a ministerial
act which can be compelled by mandamus.

The CA Sustained the RTC


Defendant DECS, to inculcate in the minds and hearts of the people through education the
importance of preserving and protecting the environment.

By a Decision[6] of September 28, 2005, the CA denied petitioners appeal and affirmed the Decision
of the RTC in toto, stressing that the trial courts decision did not require petitioners to do tasks
outside of their usual basic functions under existing laws. [7]

Defendant Philippine Coast Guard and the PNP Maritime Group, to protect at all costs
the Manila Bay from all forms of illegal fishing.
Petitioners are now before this Court praying for the allowance of their Rule 45 petition on the
following ground and supporting arguments:
No pronouncement as to damages and costs.

SO ORDERED.
The MWSS, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), and PPA filed before the Court of Appeals
(CA) individual Notices of Appeal which were eventually consolidated and docketed as CA-G.R. CV
No. 76528.

On the other hand, the DENR, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Metropolitan
Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine National Police
(PNP) Maritime Group, and five other executive departments and agencies filed directly with this
Court a petition for reviewunder Rule 45. The Court, in a Resolution of December 9, 2002, sent the
said petition to the CA for consolidation with the consolidated appeals of MWSS, LWUA, and PPA,
docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 74944.

THE [CA] DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE NOT HERETOFORE PASSED UPON BY THE
HONORABLE COURT, I.E., IT AFFIRMED THE TRIAL COURTS DECISION DECLARING THAT
SECTION 20 OF [PD] 1152 REQUIRES CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO REMOVE
ALL POLLUTANTS SPILLED AND DISCHARGED IN THE WATER SUCH AS FECAL COLIFORMS.

ARGUMENTS

I
[SECTIONS] 17 AND 20 OF [PD] 1152 RELATE ONLY TO THE CLEANING OF SPECIFIC
POLLUTION INCIDENTS AND [DO] NOT COVER CLEANING IN GENERAL

II
THE CLEANING OR REHABILITATION OF THE MANILA BAY IS NOT A MINISTERIAL ACT OF
PETITIONERS THAT CAN BE COMPELLED BY MANDAMUS.

decisions, including choosing where a landfill should be located by undertaking feasibility studies
and cost estimates, all of which entail the exercise of discretion.

The issues before us are two-fold. First, do Sections 17 and 20 of PD 1152 under the
headings, Upgrading of Water Quality and Clean-up Operations, envisage a cleanup in general or
are they limited only to the cleanup of specific pollution incidents? And second, can petitioners be
compelled by mandamus to clean up and rehabilitate the Manila Bay?

On August 12, 2008, the Court conducted and heard the parties on oral arguments.

Respondents, on the other hand, counter that the statutory command is clear and that petitioners
duty to comply with and act according to the clear mandate of the law does not require the exercise
of discretion. According to respondents, petitioners, the MMDA in particular, are without discretion,
for example, to choose which bodies of water they are to clean up, or which discharge or spill they
are to contain. By the same token, respondents maintain that petitioners are bereft of discretion on
whether or not to alleviate the problem of solid and liquid waste disposal; in other words, it is the
MMDAs ministerial duty to attend to such services.

Our Ruling

We agree with respondents.

We shall first dwell on the propriety of the issuance of mandamus under the premises.

First off, we wish to state that petitioners obligation to perform their duties as defined by law, on one
hand, and how they are to carry out such duties, on the other, are two different concepts. While the
implementation of the MMDAs mandated tasks may entail a decision-making process, the
enforcement of the law or the very act of doing what the law exacts to be done is ministerial in
nature and may be compelled by mandamus. We said so in Social Justice Society v. Atienza[11] in
which the Court directed the City of Manila to enforce, as a matter of ministerial duty, its Ordinance
No. 8027 directing the three big local oil players to cease and desist from operating their business in
the so-called Pandacan Terminals within six months from the effectivity of the ordinance. But to
illustrate with respect to the instant case, the MMDAs duty to put up an adequate and appropriate
sanitary landfill and solid waste and liquid disposal as well as other alternative garbage disposal
systems is ministerial, its duty being a statutory imposition. The MMDAs duty in this regard is spelled
out in Sec. 3(c) of Republic Act No. (RA) 7924 creating the MMDA. This section defines and
delineates the scope of the MMDAs waste disposal services to include:

The Cleaning or Rehabilitation of Manila Bay


Can be Compelled by Mandamus

Generally, the writ of mandamus lies to require the execution of a ministerial duty.[8] A ministerial duty
is one that requires neither the exercise of official discretion nor judgment. [9] It connotes an act in
which nothing is left to the discretion of the person executing it. It is a simple, definite duty arising
under conditions admitted or proved to exist and imposed by law.[10] Mandamus is available to
compel action, when refused, on matters involving discretion, but not to direct the exercise of
judgment or discretion one way or the other.

Petitioners maintain that the MMDAs duty to take measures and maintain adequate solid waste and
liquid disposal systems necessarily involves policy evaluation and the exercise of judgment on the
part of the agency concerned. They argue that the MMDA, in carrying out its mandate, has to make

Solid waste disposal and management which include formulation and implementation of policies,
standards, programs and projects for proper and sanitary waste disposal. It shall likewise include
the establishment and operation of sanitary land fill and related facilities and the
implementation of other alternative programs intended to reduce, reuse and recycle solid waste.
(Emphasis added.)

The MMDA is duty-bound to comply with Sec. 41 of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act
(RA 9003) which prescribes the minimum criteria for the establishment of sanitary landfills and Sec.
42 which provides the minimum operating requirements that each site operator shall maintain in the
operation of a sanitary landfill. Complementing Sec. 41 are Secs. 36 and 37 of RA 9003,[12] enjoining
the MMDA and local government units, among others, after the effectivity of the law on February 15,
2001, from using and operating open dumps for solid waste and disallowing, five years after such
effectivity, the use of controlled dumps.

The MMDAs duty in the area of solid waste disposal, as may be noted, is set forth not only in the
Environment Code (PD 1152) and RA 9003, but in its charter as well. This duty of putting up a
proper waste disposal system cannot be characterized as discretionary, for, as earlier stated,
discretion presupposes the power or right given by law to public functionaries to act officially
according to their judgment or conscience.[13] A discretionary duty is one that allows a person to
exercise judgment and choose to perform or not to perform.[14] Any suggestion that the MMDA has
the option whether or not to perform its solid waste disposal-related duties ought to be dismissed for
want of legal basis.

A perusal of other petitioners respective charters or like enabling statutes and pertinent laws would
yield this conclusion: these government agencies are enjoined, as a matter of statutory obligation, to
perform certain functions relating directly or indirectly to the cleanup, rehabilitation, protection, and
preservation of the Manila Bay. They are precluded from choosing not to perform these duties.
Consider:

(1) The DENR, under Executive Order No. (EO) 192,[15] is the primary agency responsible for the
conservation, management, development, and proper use of the countrys environment and natural
resources. Sec. 19 of the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 (RA 9275), on the other hand,
designates the DENR as the primary government agency responsible for its enforcement and
implementation, more particularly over all aspects of water quality management. On water pollution,
the DENR, under the Acts Sec. 19(k), exercises jurisdiction over all aspects of water pollution,
determine[s] its location, magnitude, extent, severity, causes and effects and other pertinent
information on pollution, and [takes] measures, using available methods and technologies, to
prevent and abate such pollution.

The DENR, under RA 9275, is also tasked to prepare a National Water Quality Status Report, an
Integrated Water Quality Management Framework, and a 10-year Water Quality Management Area
Action Plan which is nationwide in scope covering the Manila Bay and adjoining areas. Sec. 19 of
RA 9275 provides:

Sec. 19 Lead Agency.The [DENR] shall be the primary government agency responsible for the
implementation and enforcement of this Act x x x unless otherwise provided herein. As such, it shall
have the following functions, powers and responsibilities:
a)
Prepare a National Water Quality Status report within twenty-four (24) months from the
effectivity of this Act: Provided, That the Department shall thereafter review or revise and publish
annually, or as the need arises, said report;

b)
Prepare an Integrated Water Quality Management Framework within twelve (12) months
following the completion of the status report;

c)
Prepare a ten (10) year Water Quality Management Area Action Plan within 12 months
following the completion of the framework for each designated water management area. Such action
plan shall be reviewed by the water quality management area governing board every five (5) years
or as need arises.

The DENR has prepared the status report for the period 2001 to 2005 and is in the process of
completing the preparation of the Integrated Water Quality Management Framework. [16] Within
twelve (12) months thereafter, it has to submit a final Water Quality Management Area Action Plan.
[17]
Again, like the MMDA, the DENR should be made to accomplish the tasks assigned to it under
RA 9275.
Parenthetically, during the oral arguments, the DENR Secretary manifested that the DENR, with the
assistance of and in partnership with various government agencies and non-government
organizations, has completed, as of December 2005, the final draft of a comprehensive action plan
with estimated budget and time frame, denominated as Operation Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal
Strategy, for the rehabilitation, restoration, and rehabilitation of the Manila Bay.

The completion of the said action plan and even the implementation of some of its phases should
more than ever prod the concerned agencies to fast track what are assigned them under existing
laws.

(2) The MWSS, under Sec. 3 of RA 6234,[18] is vested with jurisdiction, supervision, and control over
all waterworks and sewerage systems in the territory comprising what is now the cities of Metro
Manila and several towns of the provinces of Rizal and Cavite, and charged with the duty:

(5) The DPWH, as the engineering and construction arm of the national government, is tasked under
EO 292[23] to provide integrated planning, design, and construction services for, among others, flood
control and water resource development systems in accordance with national development
objectives and approved government plans and specifications.

In Metro Manila, however, the MMDA is authorized by Sec. 3(d), RA 7924 to perform metro-wide
services relating to flood control and sewerage management which include the formulation and
implementation of policies, standards, programs and projects for an integrated flood control,
drainage and sewerage system.

(g) To construct, maintain, and operate such sanitary sewerages as may be necessary for the proper
sanitation and other uses of the cities and towns comprising the System; x x x

(3) The LWUA under PD 198 has the power of supervision and control over local water districts. It
can prescribe the minimum standards and regulations for the operations of these districts and shall
monitor and evaluate local water standards. The LWUA can direct these districts to construct,
operate, and furnish facilities and services for the collection, treatment, and disposal of sewerage,
waste, and storm water. Additionally, under RA 9275, the LWUA, as attached agency of the DPWH,
is tasked with providing sewerage and sanitation facilities, inclusive of the setting up of efficient and
safe collection, treatment, and sewage disposal system in the different parts of the country.[19] In
relation to the instant petition, the LWUA is mandated to provide sewerage and sanitation facilities in
Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan to prevent pollution in the Manila Bay.
(4) The Department of Agriculture (DA), pursuant to the Administrative Code of 1987 (EO 292), [20] is
designated as the agency tasked to promulgate and enforce all laws and issuances respecting the
conservation and proper utilization of agricultural and fishery resources. Furthermore, the DA, under
the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 (RA 8550), is, in coordination with local government units
(LGUs) and other concerned sectors, in charge of establishing a monitoring, control, and
surveillance system to ensure that fisheries and aquatic resources in Philippine waters are
judiciously utilized and managed on a sustainable basis.[21] Likewise under RA 9275, the DA is
charged with coordinating with the PCG and DENR for the enforcement of water quality standards in
marine waters.[22] More specifically, its Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) under
Sec. 22(c) of RA 9275 shall primarily be responsible for the prevention and control of water pollution
for the development, management, and conservation of the fisheries and aquatic resources.

On July 9, 2002, a Memorandum of Agreement was entered into between the DPWH and MMDA,
whereby MMDA was made the agency primarily responsible for flood control in Metro Manila. For
the rest of the country, DPWH shall remain as the implementing agency for flood control
services. The mandate of the MMDA and DPWH on flood control and drainage services shall include
the removal of structures, constructions, and encroachments built along rivers, waterways,
and esteros(drainages) in violation of RA 7279, PD 1067, and other pertinent laws.

(6) The PCG, in accordance with Sec. 5(p) of PD 601, or the Revised Coast Guard Law of 1974, and
Sec. 6 of PD 979,[24] or the Marine Pollution Decree of 1976, shall have the primary responsibility of
enforcing laws, rules, and regulations governing marine pollution within the territorial waters of
the Philippines. It shall promulgate its own rules and regulations in accordance with the national
rules and policies set by the National Pollution Control Commission upon consultation with the latter
for the effective implementation and enforcement of PD 979. It shall, under Sec. 4 of the law,
apprehend violators who:

a. discharge, dump x x x harmful substances from or out of any ship, vessel, barge, or any other
floating craft, or other man-made structures at sea, by any method, means or manner, into or upon
the territorial and inland navigable waters of the Philippines;

b. throw, discharge or deposit, dump, or cause, suffer or procure to be thrown, discharged, or


deposited either from or out of any ship, barge, or other floating craft or vessel of any kind, or from
the shore, wharf, manufacturing establishment, or mill of any kind, any refuse matter of any kind or

description whatever other than that flowing from streets and sewers and passing therefrom in a
liquid state into tributary of any navigable water from which the same shall float or be washed into
such navigable water; and

c. deposit x x x material of any kind in any place on the bank of any navigable water or on the bank
of any tributary of any navigable water, where the same shall be liable to be washed into such
navigable water, either by ordinary or high tides, or by storms or floods, or otherwise, whereby
navigation shall or may be impeded or obstructed or increase the level of pollution of such water.

(7) When RA 6975 or the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Act of 1990 was
signed into law on December 13, 1990, the PNP Maritime Group was tasked to perform all police
functions over the Philippine territorial waters and rivers. Under Sec. 86, RA 6975, the police
functions of the PCG shall be taken over by the PNP when the latter acquires the capability to
perform such functions. Since the PNP Maritime Group has not yet attained the capability to assume
and perform the police functions of PCG over marine pollution, the PCG and PNP Maritime Group
shall coordinate with regard to the enforcement of laws, rules, and regulations governing marine
pollution within the territorial waters of the Philippines. This was made clear in Sec. 124, RA 8550 or
the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, in which both the PCG and PNP Maritime Group were
authorized to enforce said law and other fishery laws, rules, and regulations. [25]

(8) In accordance with Sec. 2 of EO 513, the PPA is mandated to establish, develop, regulate,
manage and operate a rationalized national port system in support of trade and national
development.[26] Moreover, Sec. 6-c of EO 513 states that the PPA has police authority within the

ports administered by it as may be necessary to carry out its powers and functions and attain its
purposes and objectives, without prejudice to the exercise of the functions of the Bureau of Customs
and other law enforcement bodies within the area. Such police authority shall include the following:

b) To regulate the entry to, exit from, and movement within the port, of persons and vehicles, as well
as movement within the port of watercraft.[27]
Lastly, as a member of the International Marine Organization and a signatory to the International
Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, as amended by MARPOL 73/78,
[28]
the Philippines, through the PPA, must ensure the provision of adequate reception facilities at
ports and terminals for the reception of sewage from the ships docking in Philippine ports. Thus, the
PPA is tasked to adopt such measures as are necessary to prevent the discharge and dumping of
solid and liquid wastes and other ship-generated wastes into the Manila Bay waters from vessels
docked at ports and apprehend the violators. When the vessels are not docked at ports but within
Philippine territorial waters, it is the PCG and PNP Maritime Group that have jurisdiction over said
vessels.
(9) The MMDA, as earlier indicated, is duty-bound to put up and maintain adequate sanitary landfill
and solid waste and liquid disposal system as well as other alternative garbage disposal systems. It
is primarily responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of RA 9003, which
would necessary include its penal provisions, within its area of jurisdiction. [29]
Among the prohibited acts under Sec. 48, Chapter VI of RA 9003 that are frequently violated are
dumping of waste matters in public places, such as roads, canals oresteros, open burning of solid
waste, squatting in open dumps and landfills, open dumping, burying of biodegradable or nonbiodegradable materials in flood-prone areas, establishment or operation of open dumps as enjoined
in RA 9003, and operation of waste management facilities without an environmental compliance
certificate.
Under Sec. 28 of the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (RA 7279), eviction or demolition
may be allowed when persons or entities occupy danger areas such as esteros, railroad tracks,
garbage dumps, riverbanks, shorelines, waterways, and other public places such as sidewalks,
roads, parks and playgrounds. The MMDA, as lead agency, in coordination with the DPWH, LGUs,
and concerned agencies, can dismantle and remove all structures, constructions, and other
encroachments built in breach of RA 7279 and other pertinent laws along the rivers, waterways,
and esteros in Metro Manila. With respect to rivers, waterways, andesteros in Bulacan, Bataan,
Pampanga, Cavite, and Laguna that discharge wastewater directly or eventually into the Manila Bay,
the DILG shall direct the concerned LGUs to implement the demolition and removal of such
structures, constructions, and other encroachments built in violation of RA 7279 and other applicable
laws in coordination with the DPWH and concerned agencies.

xxxx
(10) The Department of Health (DOH), under Article 76 of PD 1067 (the Water Code), is tasked to
promulgate rules and regulations for the establishment of waste disposal areas that affect the source
of a water supply or a reservoir for domestic or municipal use. And under Sec. 8 of RA 9275, the

DOH, in coordination with the DENR, DPWH, and other concerned agencies, shall formulate
guidelines and standards for the collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage and the
establishment and operation of a centralized sewage treatment system. In areas not considered as
highly urbanized cities, septage or a mix sewerage-septage management system shall be employed.

Now, as to the crux of the petition. Do Secs. 17 and 20 of the Environment Code encompass the
cleanup of water pollution in general, not just specific pollution incidents?

In accordance with Sec. 72[30] of PD 856, the Code of Sanitation of the Philippines, and Sec.
5.1.1[31] of Chapter XVII of its implementing rules, the DOH is also ordered to ensure the regulation
and monitoring of the proper disposal of wastes by private sludge companies through the strict
enforcement of the requirement to obtain an environmental sanitation clearance of sludge collection
treatment and disposal before these companies are issued their environmental sanitation permit.

Secs. 17 and 20 of the Environment Code

(11) The Department of Education (DepEd), under the Philippine Environment Code (PD 1152), is
mandated to integrate subjects on environmental education in its school curricula at all levels.
[32]
Under Sec. 118 of RA 8550, the DepEd, in collaboration with the DA, Commission on Higher
Education, and Philippine Information Agency, shall launch and pursue a nationwide educational
campaign to promote the development, management, conservation, and proper use of the
environment. Under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003), on the other hand, it is
directed to strengthen the integration of environmental concerns in school curricula at all levels, with
an emphasis on waste management principles.[33]

Section 17. Upgrading of Water Quality.Where the quality of water has deteriorated to a degree
where its state will adversely affect its best usage, the government agencies concerned shall take
such measures as may be necessary to upgrade the quality of such water to meet the prescribed
water quality standards.

(12) The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is tasked under Sec. 2, Title XVII of the
Administrative Code of 1987 to ensure the efficient and sound utilization of government funds and
revenues so as to effectively achieve the countrys development objectives. [34]
One of the countrys development objectives is enshrined in RA 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water
Act of 2004. This law stresses that the State shall pursue a policy of economic growth in a manner
consistent with the protection, preservation, and revival of the quality of our fresh, brackish, and
marine waters. It also provides that it is the policy of the government, among others, to streamline
processes and procedures in the prevention, control, and abatement of pollution mechanisms for the
protection of water resources; to promote environmental strategies and use of appropriate economic
instruments and of control mechanisms for the protection of water resources; to formulate a holistic
national program of water quality management that recognizes that issues related to this
management cannot be separated from concerns about water sources and ecological protection,
water supply, public health, and quality of life; and to provide a comprehensive management
program for water pollution focusing on pollution prevention.
Thus, the DBM shall then endeavor to provide an adequate budget to attain the noble objectives of
RA 9275 in line with the countrys development objectives.
All told, the aforementioned enabling laws and issuances are in themselves clear, categorical, and
complete as to what are the obligations and mandate of each agency/petitioner under the law. We
need not belabor the issue that their tasks include the cleanup of the Manila Bay.

Include Cleaning in General


The disputed sections are quoted as follows:

Section 20. Clean-up Operations.It shall be the responsibility of the polluter to contain, remove and
clean-up water pollution incidents at his own expense. In case of his failure to do so, the government
agencies concerned shall undertake containment, removal and clean-up operations and expenses
incurred in said operations shall be charged against the persons and/or entities responsible for such
pollution.
When the Clean Water Act (RA 9275) took effect, its Sec. 16 on the subject, Cleanup Operations,
amended the counterpart provision (Sec. 20) of the Environment Code (PD 1152). Sec. 17 of PD
1152 continues, however, to be operational.
The amendatory Sec. 16 of RA 9275 reads:
SEC. 16. Cleanup Operations.Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 15 and 26 hereof, any
person who causes pollution in or pollutes water bodies in excess of the applicable and prevailing
standards shall be responsible to contain, remove and clean up any pollution incident at his own
expense to the extent that the same water bodies have been rendered unfit for utilization and
beneficial use: Provided, That in the event emergency cleanup operations are necessary and the
polluter fails to immediately undertake the same, the [DENR] in coordination with other government
agencies concerned, shall undertake containment, removal and cleanup operations. Expenses
incurred in said operations shall be reimbursed by the persons found to have caused such pollution
under proper administrative determination x x x. Reimbursements of the cost incurred shall be made
to the Water Quality Management Fund or to such other funds where said disbursements were
sourced.

As may be noted, the amendment to Sec. 20 of the Environment Code is more apparent than real
since the amendment, insofar as it is relevant to this case, merely consists in the designation of the
DENR as lead agency in the cleanup operations.
Petitioners contend at every turn that Secs. 17 and 20 of the Environment Code concern
themselves only with the matter of cleaning up in specific pollution incidents, as opposed to cleanup
in general. They aver that the twin provisions would have to be read alongside the succeeding Sec.
62(g) and (h), which defines the terms cleanup operations and accidental spills, as follows:
g. Clean-up Operations [refer] to activities conducted in removing the pollutants discharged or
spilled in water to restore it to pre-spill condition.
h.
Accidental Spills [refer] to spills of oil or other hazardous substances in water that
result from accidents such as collisions and groundings.
Petitioners proffer the argument that Secs. 17 and 20 of PD 1152 merely direct the government
agencies concerned to undertake containment, removal, and cleaning operations of a specific
polluted portion or portions of the body of water concerned. They maintain that the application of
said Sec. 20 is limited only to water pollution incidents, which are situations that presuppose the
occurrence of specific, isolated pollution events requiring the corresponding containment, removal,
and cleaning operations. Pushing the point further, they argue that the aforequoted Sec. 62(g)
requires cleanup operations to restore the body of water to pre-spill condition, which means that
there must have been a specific incident of either intentional or accidental spillage of oil or other
hazardous substances, as mentioned in Sec. 62(h).
As a counterpoint, respondents argue that petitioners erroneously read Sec. 62(g) as delimiting the
application of Sec. 20 to the containment, removal, and cleanup operations for accidental spills only.
Contrary to petitioners posture, respondents assert that Sec. 62(g), in fact, even expanded the
coverage of Sec. 20. Respondents explain that without its Sec. 62(g), PD 1152 may have indeed
covered only pollution accumulating from the day-to-day operations of businesses around
the ManilaBay and other sources of pollution that slowly accumulated in the bay. Respondents,
however, emphasize that Sec. 62(g), far from being a delimiting provision, in fact even enlarged the
operational scope of Sec. 20, by including accidental spills as among the water pollution incidents
contemplated in Sec. 17 in relation to Sec. 20 of PD 1152.
To respondents, petitioners parochial view on environmental issues, coupled with their narrow
reading of their respective mandated roles, has contributed to the worsening water quality of
the Manila Bay. Assuming, respondents assert, that petitioners are correct in saying that the cleanup
coverage of Sec. 20 of PD 1152 is constricted by the definition of the phrase cleanup operations
embodied in Sec. 62(g), Sec. 17 is not hobbled by such limiting definition. As pointed out, the
phrases cleanup operations and accidental spills do not appear in said Sec. 17, not even in the
chapter where said section is found.

Respondents are correct. For one thing, said Sec. 17 does not in any way state that the government
agencies concerned ought to confine themselves to the containment, removal, and cleaning
operations when a specific pollution incident occurs. On the contrary, Sec. 17 requires them to act
even in the absence of a specific pollution incident, as long as water quality has deteriorated to a
degree where its state will adversely affect its best usage. This section, to stress, commands
concerned government agencies, when appropriate, to take such measures as may be necessary to
meet the prescribed water quality standards. In fine, the underlying duty to upgrade the quality of
water is not conditional on the occurrence of any pollution incident.
For another, a perusal of Sec. 20 of the Environment Code, as couched, indicates that it is properly
applicable to a specific situation in which the pollution is caused by polluters who fail to clean up the
mess they left behind. In such instance, the concerned government agencies shall undertake the
cleanup work for the polluters account. Petitioners assertion, that they have to perform cleanup
operations in the Manila Bay only when there is a water pollution incident and the erring polluters do
not undertake the containment, removal, and cleanup operations, is quite off mark. As earlier
discussed, the complementary Sec. 17 of the Environment Code comes into play and the specific
duties of the agencies to clean up come in even if there are no pollution incidents staring at
them. Petitioners, thus, cannot plausibly invoke and hide behind Sec. 20 of PD 1152 or Sec. 16 of
RA 9275 on the pretext that their cleanup mandate depends on the happening of a specific pollution
incident. In this regard, what the CA said with respect to the impasse over Secs. 17 and 20 of PD
1152 is at once valid as it is practical. The appellate court wrote: PD 1152 aims to introduce a
comprehensive program of environmental protection and management. This is better served by
making Secs. 17 & 20 of general application rather than limiting them to specific pollution incidents.
[35]

Granting arguendo that petitioners position thus described vis--vis the implementation of Sec. 20 is
correct, they seem to have overlooked the fact that the pollution of the Manila Bay is of such
magnitude and scope that it is well-nigh impossible to draw the line between a specific and a general
pollution incident. And such impossibility extends to pinpointing with reasonable certainty who the
polluters are. We note that Sec. 20 of PD 1152 mentions water pollution incidents which may be
caused by polluters in the waters of the Manila Bay itself or by polluters in adjoining lands and in
water bodies or waterways that empty into the bay. Sec. 16 of RA 9275, on the other hand,
specifically adverts to any person who causes pollution in or pollutes water bodies, which may refer
to an individual or an establishment that pollutes the land mass near the Manila Bay or the
waterways, such that the contaminants eventually end up in the bay. In this situation, the water
pollution incidents are so numerous and involve nameless and faceless polluters that they can
validly be categorized as beyond the specific pollution incident level.
Not to be ignored of course is the reality that the government agencies concerned are so
undermanned that it would be almost impossible to apprehend the numerous polluters of
the Manila Bay. It may perhaps not be amiss to say that the apprehension, if any, of
the Manila Bay polluters has been few and far between. Hence, practically nobody has been

required to contain, remove, or clean up a given water pollution incident. In this kind of setting, it
behooves the Government to step in and undertake cleanup operations. Thus, Sec. 16 of RA 9275,
previously Sec. 20 of PD 1152, covers for all intents and purposes a general cleanup situation.
The cleanup and/or restoration of the Manila Bay is only an aspect and the initial stage of the longterm solution. The preservation of the water quality of the bay after the rehabilitation process is as
important as the cleaning phase. It is imperative then that the wastes and contaminants found in the
rivers, inland bays, and other bodies of water be stopped from reaching the Manila Bay. Otherwise,
any cleanup effort would just be a futile, cosmetic exercise, for, in no time at all,
the Manila Bay water quality would again deteriorate below the ideal minimum standards set by PD
1152, RA 9275, and other relevant laws. It thus behooves the Court to put the heads of the
petitioner-department-agencies and the bureaus and offices under them on continuing notice about,
and to enjoin them to perform, their mandates and duties towards cleaning up the Manila Bay and
preserving the quality of its water to the ideal level. Under what other judicial discipline describes as
continuing mandamus,[36] the Court may, under extraordinary circumstances, issue directives with
the end in view of ensuring that its decision would not be set to naught by administrative inaction or
indifference. In India, the doctrine of continuing mandamus was used to enforce directives of the
court to clean up the length of the Ganges River from industrial and municipal pollution.[37]
The Court can take judicial notice of the presence of shanties and other unauthorized structures
which do not have septic tanks along the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers, the National Capital
Region (NCR) (Paraaque-Zapote, Las Pias) Rivers, the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros
Rivers, the Meycuayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) Rivers, the Talisay (Bataan) River, the Imus
(Cavite) River, the Laguna De Bay, and other minor rivers and connecting waterways, river banks,
and esteroswhich discharge their waters, with all the accompanying filth, dirt, and garbage, into the
major rivers and eventually the Manila Bay. If there is one factor responsible for the pollution of the
major river systems and the Manila Bay, these unauthorized structures would be on top of the
list. And if the issue of illegal or unauthorized structures is not seriously addressed with sustained
resolve, then practically all efforts to cleanse these important bodies of water would be for
naught. The DENR Secretary said as much.[38]

Judicial notice may likewise be taken of factories and other industrial establishments standing along
or near the banks of the Pasig River, other major rivers, and connecting waterways. But while they
may not be treated as unauthorized constructions, some of these establishments undoubtedly
contribute to the pollution of thePasig River and waterways. The DILG and the concerned LGUs,
have, accordingly, the duty to see to it that non-complying industrial establishments set up, within a
reasonable period, the necessary waste water treatment facilities and infrastructure to prevent their
industrial discharge, including their sewage waters, from flowing into the Pasig River, other major
rivers, and connecting waterways. After such period, non-complying establishments shall be shut
down or asked to transfer their operations.
At this juncture, and if only to dramatize the urgency of the need for petitioners-agencies to comply
with their statutory tasks, we cite the Asian Development Bank-commissioned study on the garbage
problem in Metro Manila, the results of which are embodied in the The Garbage Book. As there
reported, the garbage crisis in the metropolitan area is as alarming as it is shocking. Some highlights
of the report:

1. As early as 2003, three land-filled dumpsites in Metro Manila - the Payatas, Catmon and
Rodriquez dumpsites - generate an alarming quantity of lead and leachate or liquid run-off. Leachate
are toxic liquids that flow along the surface and seep into the earth and poison the surface and
groundwater that are used for drinking, aquatic life, and the environment.
2. The high level of fecal coliform confirms the presence of a large amount of human waste in the
dump sites and surrounding areas, which is presumably generated by households that lack
alternatives to sanitation. To say that Manila Bay needs rehabilitation is an understatement.
3. Most of the deadly leachate, lead and other dangerous contaminants and possibly strains of
pathogens seeps untreated into ground water and runs into the Marikina andPasig River systems
and Manila Bay.[40]

Giving urgent dimension to the necessity of removing these illegal structures is Art. 51 of PD 1067
or the Water Code,[39] which prohibits the building of structures within a given length along banks of
rivers and other waterways. Art. 51 reads:

Given the above perspective, sufficient sanitary landfills should now more than ever be established
as prescribed by the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003). Particular note should be
taken of the blatant violations by some LGUs and possibly the MMDA of Sec. 37, reproduced below:

The banks of rivers and streams and the shores of the seas and lakes throughout their entire
length and within a zone of three (3) meters in urban areas, twenty (20) meters in agricultural
areas and forty (40) meters in forest areas, along their margins, are subject to the easement of
public use in the interest of recreation, navigation, floatage, fishing and salvage. No person
shall be allowed to stay in this zone longer than what is necessary for recreation, navigation,
floatage, fishing or salvage or to build structures of any kind. (Emphasis added.)

Sec. 37. Prohibition against the Use of Open Dumps for Solid Waste.No open dumps shall be
established and operated, nor any practice or disposal of solid waste by any person, including LGUs
which [constitute] the use of open dumps for solid waste, be allowed after the effectivity of this Act:
Provided, further that no controlled dumps shall be allowed (5) years following the effectivity of
this Act. (Emphasis added.)

RA 9003 took effect on February 15, 2001 and the adverted grace period of five (5) years which
ended on February 21, 2006 has come and gone, but no single sanitary landfill which strictly
complies with the prescribed standards under RA 9003 has yet been set up.
In addition, there are rampant and repeated violations of Sec. 48 of RA 9003, like littering, dumping
of waste matters in roads, canals, esteros, and other public places, operation of open dumps, open
burning of solid waste, and the like. Some sludge companies which do not have proper disposal
facilities simply discharge sludge into the Metro Manila sewerage system that ends up in
the Manila Bay. Equally unabated are violations of Sec. 27 of RA 9275, which enjoins the pollution of
water bodies, groundwater pollution, disposal of infectious wastes from vessels, and unauthorized
transport or dumping into sea waters of sewage or solid waste and of Secs. 4 and 102 of RA 8550
which proscribes the introduction by human or machine of substances to the aquatic environment
including dumping/disposal of waste and other marine litters, discharge of petroleum or residual
products of petroleum of carbonaceous materials/substances [and other] radioactive, noxious or
harmful liquid, gaseous or solid substances, from any water, land or air transport or other humanmade structure.
In the light of the ongoing environmental degradation, the Court wishes to emphasize the extreme
necessity for all concerned executive departments and agencies to immediately act and discharge
their respective official duties and obligations. Indeed, time is of the essence; hence, there is a need
to set timetables for the performance and completion of the tasks, some of them as defined for them
by law and the nature of their respective offices and mandates.
The importance of the Manila Bay as a sea resource, playground, and as a historical landmark
cannot be over-emphasized. It is not yet too late in the day to restore the Manila Bay to its former
splendor and bring back the plants and sea life that once thrived in its blue waters. But the tasks
ahead, daunting as they may be, could only be accomplished if those mandated, with the help and
cooperation of all civic-minded individuals, would put their minds to these tasks and take
responsibility. This means that the State, through petitioners, has to take the lead in the preservation
and protection of the Manila Bay.
The era of delays, procrastination, and ad hoc measures is over. Petitioners must transcend their
limitations, real or imaginary, and buckle down to work before the problem at hand becomes
unmanageable. Thus, we must reiterate that different government agencies and instrumentalities
cannot shirk from their mandates; they must perform their basic functions in cleaning up and
rehabilitating the Manila Bay. We are disturbed by petitioners hiding behind two untenable claims:
(1) that there ought to be a specific pollution incident before they are required to act; and (2) that the
cleanup of the bay is a discretionary duty.
RA 9003 is a sweeping piece of legislation enacted to radically transform and improve waste
management. It implements Sec. 16, Art. II of the 1987 Constitution, which explicitly provides that

the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in
accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
So it was that in Oposa v. Factoran, Jr. the Court stated that the right to a balanced and healthful
ecology need not even be written in the Constitution for it is assumed, like other civil and political
rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, to exist from the inception of mankind and it is an issue of
transcendental importance with intergenerational implications.[41] Even assuming the absence of a
categorical legal provision specifically prodding petitioners to clean up the bay, they and the men
and women representing them cannot escape their obligation to future generations of Filipinos to
keep the waters of the Manila Bay clean and clear as humanly as possible. Anything less would be a
betrayal of the trust reposed in them.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The September 28, 2005 Decision of the CA in CA-G.R. CV
No. 76528 and SP No. 74944 and the September 13, 2002 Decision of the RTC in Civil Case No.
1851-99 are AFFIRMED but with MODIFICATIONS in view of subsequent developments or
supervening events in the case.The fallo of the RTC Decision shall now read:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered ordering the abovenamed defendant-government
agencies to clean up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay, and restore and maintain its waters to
SB level (Class B sea waters per Water Classification Tables under DENR Administrative Order No.
34 [1990]) to make them fit for swimming, skin-diving, and other forms of contact recreation.
In particular:
(1) Pursuant to Sec. 4 of EO 192, assigning the DENR as the primary agency responsible for the
conservation, management, development, and proper use of the countrys environment and natural
resources, and Sec. 19 of RA 9275, designating the DENR as the primary government agency
responsible for its enforcement and implementation, the DENR is directed to fully implement
its Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy for the rehabilitation, restoration, and
conservation of the Manila Bay at the earliest possible time. It is ordered to call regular coordination
meetings with concerned government departments and agencies to ensure the successful
implementation of the aforesaid plan of action in accordance with its indicated completion schedules.
(2) Pursuant to Title XII (Local Government) of the Administrative Code of 1987 and Sec. 25 of the
Local Government Code of 1991, [42] the DILG, in exercising the Presidents power of general
supervision and its duty to promulgate guidelines in establishing waste management programs
under Sec. 43 of the Philippine Environment Code (PD 1152), shall direct all LGUs in Metro Manila,
Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan to inspect all factories, commercial
establishments, and private homes along the banks of the major river systems in their respective
areas of jurisdiction, such as but not limited to the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers, the NCR
(Paraaque-Zapote, Las Pias) Rivers, the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros Rivers, the
Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) Rivers, the Talisay (Bataan) River, the Imus (Cavite) River,

the Laguna De Bay, and other minor rivers and waterways that eventually discharge water into the
Manila Bay; and the lands abutting the bay, to determine whether they have wastewater treatment
facilities or hygienic septic tanks as prescribed by existing laws, ordinances, and rules and
regulations. If none be found, these LGUs shall be ordered to require non-complying establishments
and homes to set up said facilities or septic tanks within a reasonable time to prevent industrial
wastes, sewage water, and human wastes from flowing into these rivers, waterways, esteros, and
the Manila Bay, under pain of closure or imposition of fines and other sanctions.
(3) As mandated by Sec. 8 of RA 9275, [43] the MWSS is directed to provide, install, operate, and
maintain the necessary adequate waste water treatment facilities in Metro Manila, Rizal, and Cavite
where needed at the earliest possible time.
(4) Pursuant to RA 9275,[44] the LWUA, through the local water districts and in coordination with the
DENR, is ordered to provide, install, operate, and maintain sewerage and sanitation facilities and the
efficient and safe collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage in the provinces of Laguna, Cavite,
Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan where needed at the earliest possible time.
(5) Pursuant to Sec. 65 of RA 8550, [45] the DA, through the BFAR, is ordered to improve and restore
the marine life of the Manila Bay. It is also directed to assist the LGUs in Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite,
Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan in developing, using recognized methods, the fisheries
and aquatic resources in theManila Bay.
(6) The PCG, pursuant to Secs. 4 and 6 of PD 979, and the PNP Maritime Group, in accordance
with Sec. 124 of RA 8550, in coordination with each other, shall apprehend violators of PD 979, RA
8550, and other existing laws and regulations designed to prevent marine pollution in
the Manila Bay.
(7) Pursuant to Secs. 2 and 6-c of EO 513 [46] and the International Convention for the Prevention of
Pollution from Ships, the PPA is ordered to immediately adopt such measures to prevent the
discharge and dumping of solid and liquid wastes and other ship-generated wastes into
the Manila Bay waters from vessels docked at ports and apprehend the violators.
(8) The MMDA, as the lead agency and implementor of programs and projects for flood control
projects and drainage services in Metro Manila, in coordination with the DPWH, DILG, affected
LGUs, PNP Maritime Group, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and
other agencies, shall dismantle and remove all structures, constructions, and other encroachments
established or built in violation of RA 7279, and other applicable laws along the Pasig-Marikina-San
Juan Rivers, the NCR (Paraaque-Zapote, Las Pias) Rivers, the Navotas-Malabon-TullahanTenejeros Rivers, and connecting waterways and esteros in Metro Manila. The DPWH, as the
principal implementor of programs and projects for flood control services in the rest of the country
more particularly in Bulacan, Bataan, Pampanga, Cavite, and Laguna, in coordination with the DILG,
affected LGUs, PNP Maritime Group, HUDCC, and other concerned government agencies, shall

remove and demolish all structures, constructions, and other encroachments built in breach of RA
7279 and other applicable laws along the Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) Rivers, the
Talisay (Bataan) River, the Imus (Cavite) River, the Laguna De Bay, and other rivers, connecting
waterways, and esteros that discharge wastewater into the Manila Bay.
In addition, the MMDA is ordered to establish, operate, and maintain a sanitary landfill, as
prescribed by RA 9003, within a period of one (1) year from finality of this Decision. On matters
within its territorial jurisdiction and in connection with the discharge of its duties on the maintenance
of sanitary landfills and like undertakings, it is also ordered to cause the apprehension and filing of
the appropriate criminal cases against violators of the respective penal provisions of RA 9003,
[47]
Sec. 27 of RA 9275 (the Clean Water Act), and other existing laws on pollution.
(9) The DOH shall, as directed by Art. 76 of PD 1067 and Sec. 8 of RA 9275, within one (1) year
from finality of this Decision, determine if all licensed septic and sludge companies have the proper
facilities for the treatment and disposal of fecal sludge and sewage coming from septic tanks. The
DOH shall give the companies, if found to be non-complying, a reasonable time within which to set
up the necessary facilities under pain of cancellation of its environmental sanitation clearance.

(10) Pursuant to Sec. 53 of PD 1152, [48] Sec. 118 of RA 8550, and Sec. 56 of RA 9003, [49] the DepEd
shall integrate lessons on pollution prevention, waste management, environmental protection, and
like subjects in the school curricula of all levels to inculcate in the minds and hearts of students and,
through them, their parents and friends, the importance of their duty toward achieving and
maintaining a balanced and healthful ecosystem in the Manila Bay and the entire Philippine
archipelago.
(11) The DBM shall consider incorporating an adequate budget in the General Appropriations Act of
2010 and succeeding years to cover the expenses relating to the cleanup, restoration, and
preservation of the water quality of the Manila Bay, in line with the countrys development objective to
attain economic growth in a manner consistent with the protection, preservation, and revival of our
marine waters.
(12) The heads of petitioners-agencies MMDA, DENR, DepEd, DOH, DA, DPWH, DBM, PCG, PNP
Maritime Group, DILG, and also of MWSS, LWUA, and PPA,in line with the principle of continuing
mandamus, shall, from finality of this Decision, each submit to the Court a quarterly progressive
report of the activities undertaken in accordance with this Decision.
No costs.
SO ORDERED.

DIGESTS
MMDA v. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay
Chester Cabalza recommends his visitors to please read the original & full text of the case cited.
Xie xie!
G.R. Nos. 171947-48 December 18, 2008
METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND
NATURAL RESOURCES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS, DEPARTMENT
OF HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND
HIGHWAYS, DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD,
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE MARITIME GROUP, and DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND
LOCAL GOVERNMENT, petitioners,
vs.
CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF MANILA BAY, represented and joined by DIVINA V. ILAS, SABINIANO
ALBARRACIN, MANUEL SANTOS, JR., DINAH DELA PEA, PAUL DENNIS QUINTERO, MA.
VICTORIA LLENOS, DONNA CALOZA, FATIMA QUITAIN, VENICE SEGARRA, FRITZIE TANGKIA,
SARAH JOELLE LINTAG, HANNIBAL AUGUSTUS BOBIS, FELIMON SANTIAGUEL, and JAIME
AGUSTIN R. OPOSA, respondents.
EN BANC
The need to address environmental pollution, as a cause of climate change, has of late gained the
attention of the international community. Media have finally trained their sights on the ill effects of pollution,
the destruction of forests and other critical habitats, oil spills, and the unabated improper disposal of
garbage. And rightly so, for the magnitude of environmental destruction is now on a scale few ever
foresaw and the wound no longer simply heals by itself. But amidst hard evidence and clear signs of a
climate crisis that need bold action, the voice of cynicism, naysayers, and procrastinators can still be
heard.
This case turns on government agencies and their officers who, by the nature of their respective offices or
by direct statutory command, are tasked to protect and preserve, at the first instance, our internal waters,
rivers, shores, and seas polluted by human activities. To most of these agencies and their official
complement, the pollution menace does not seem to carry the high national priority it deserves, if their
track records are to be the norm. Their cavalier attitude towards solving, if not mitigating, the
environmental pollution problem, is a sad commentary on bureaucratic efficiency and commitment.
At the core of the case is the Manila Bay, a place with a proud historic past, once brimming with marine life
and, for so many decades in the past, a spot for different contact recreation activities, but now a dirty and
slowly dying expanse mainly because of the abject official indifference of people and institutions that could
have otherwise made a difference.
Facts:
On January 29, 1999, respondents Concerned Residents of Manila Bay filed a complaint before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Imus, Cavite against several government agencies, for the cleanup,
rehabilitation, and protection of the Manila Bay.

The complaint alleged that the water quality of the Manila Bay had fallen way below the allowable
standards set by law, specifically Presidential Decree No. (PD) 1152 or the Philippine Environment Code.
In their individual causes of action, respondents alleged that the continued neglect of petitioners in abating
the pollution of the Manila Bay constitutes a violation of, among others:
(1) Respondents constitutional right to life, health, and a balanced ecology;
(2) The Environment Code (PD 1152);
(3) The Pollution Control Law (PD 984);
(4) The Water Code (PD 1067);
(5) The Sanitation Code (PD 856);
(6) The Illegal Disposal of Wastes Decree (PD 825);
(7) The Marine Pollution Law (PD 979);
(8) Executive Order No. 192;
(9) The Toxic and Hazardous Wastes Law (Republic Act No. 6969);
(10) Civil Code provisions on nuisance and human relations;
(11) The Trust Doctrine and the Principle of Guardianship; and
(12) International Law
Inter alia, respondents, as plaintiffs a quo, prayed that petitioners be ordered to clean the Manila Bay and
submit to the RTC a concerted concrete plan of action for the purpose.
Issues:
a) Whether or not pertinent provisions of the Environment Code (PD 1152) relate only to the cleaning of
specific pollution incidents and do not cover cleaning in general.
b) Whether or not the cleaning of the Manila Bay is not a ministerial act which can be compelled by
mandamus.
Held:
Regional Trial Courts Order to Clean Up and Rehabilitate Manila Bay
On September 13, 2002, the RTC rendered a Decision in favor of respondents. Finding merit in the
complaint, the Court ordered defendant-government agencies, jointly and solidarily, to clean up and
rehabilitate Manila Bay and restore its waters to SB classification to make it fit for swimming, skin-diving
and other forms of contact recreation.

To attain this, defendant-agencies, with defendant DENR as the lead agency, are directed, within six (6)
months from receipt hereof, to act and perform their respective duties by devising a consolidated,
coordinated and concerted scheme of action for the rehabilitation and restoration of the bay.
In particular:
Defendant MWSS is directed to install, operate and maintain adequate [sewerage] treatment facilities in
strategic places under its jurisdiction and increase their capacities.
Defendant LWUA, to see to it that the water districts under its wings, provide, construct and operate
sewage facilities for the proper disposal of waste.
Defendant DENR, which is the lead agency in cleaning up Manila Bay, to install, operate and maintain
waste facilities to rid the bay of toxic and hazardous substances.
Defendant PPA, to prevent and also to treat the discharge not only of ship-generated wastes but also of
other solid and liquid wastes from docking vessels that contribute to the pollution of the bay.
Defendant MMDA, to establish, operate and maintain an adequate and appropriate sanitary landfill and/or
adequate solid waste and liquid disposal as well as other alternative garbage disposal system such as reuse or recycling of wastes.
Defendant DA, through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, to revitalize the marine life in
Manila Bay and restock its waters with indigenous fish and other aquatic animals.
Defendant DBM, to provide and set aside an adequate budget solely for the purpose of cleaning up and
rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
Defendant DPWH, to remove and demolish structures and other nuisances that obstruct the free flow of
waters to the bay. These nuisances discharge solid and liquid wastes which eventually end up in Manila
Bay. As the construction and engineering arm of the government, DPWH is ordered to actively participate
in removing debris, such as carcass of sunken vessels, and other non-biodegradable garbage in the bay.
Defendant DOH, to closely supervise and monitor the operations of septic and sludge companies and
require them to have proper facilities for the treatment and disposal of fecal sludge and sewage coming
from septic tanks.
Defendant DECS, to inculcate in the minds and hearts of the people through education the importance of
preserving and protecting the environment.
Defendant Philippine Coast Guard and the PNP Maritime Group, to protect at all costs the Manila Bay from
all forms of illegal fishing.
The Court of Appeals Sustained the RTCs Decision
The MWSS, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), and PPA filed before the Court of Appeals (CA)
individual Notices of Appeal. On the other hand, the DENR, Department of Public Works and Highways
(DPWH), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine
National Police (PNP) Maritime Group, and five other executive departments and agencies filed directly
with this Court a petition for review under Rule 45.

In the light of the ongoing environmental degradation, the Court wishes to emphasize the extreme
necessity for all concerned executive departments and agencies to immediately act and discharge their
respective official duties and obligations. Indeed, time is of the essence; hence, there is a need to set
timetables for the performance and completion of the tasks, some of them as defined for them by law and
the nature of their respective offices and mandates.
The importance of the Manila Bay as a sea resource, playground, and as a historical landmark cannot be
over-emphasized. It is not yet too late in the day to restore the Manila Bay to its former splendor and bring
back the plants and sea life that once thrived in its blue waters. But the tasks ahead, daunting as they may
be, could only be accomplished if those mandated, with the help and cooperation of all civic-minded
individuals, would put their minds to these tasks and take responsibility. This means that the State, through
petitioners, has to take the lead in the preservation and protection of the Manila Bay.
So it was that in Oposa v. Factoran, Jr. the Court stated that the right to a balanced and healthful ecology
need not even be written in the Constitution for it is assumed, like other civil and political rights guaranteed
in the Bill of Rights, to exist from the inception of mankind and it is an issue of transcendental importance
with intergenerational implications. Even assuming the absence of a categorical legal provision specifically
prodding petitioners to clean up the bay, they and the men and women representing them cannot escape
their obligation to future generations of Filipinos to keep the waters of the Manila Bay clean and clear as
humanly as possible. Anything less would be a betrayal of the trust reposed in them.
By a Decision of September 28, 2005, the CA denied petitioners appeal and affirmed the Decision of the
RTC in toto, stressing that the trial courts decision did not require petitioners to do tasks outside of their
usual basic functions under existing laws.

MAXIMO CALALANG vs A. D. WILLIAMS, ET AL.,

Held:

G.R. No. 47800 December 2, 1940

1) No. The promulgation of the Act aims to promote safe transit upon and avoid obstructions on national
roads in the interest and convenience of the public. In enacting said law, the National Assembly was
prompted by considerations of public convenience and welfare. It was inspired by the desire to relieve
congestion of traffic, which is a menace to the public safety. Public welfare lies at the bottom of the
promulgation of the said law and the state in order to promote the general welfare may interfere with
personal liberty, with property, and with business and occupations. Persons and property may be subject to
all kinds of restraints and burdens in order to secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity of the
State. To this fundamental aims of the government, the rights of the individual are subordinated. Liberty is
a blessing which should not be made to prevail over authority because society will fall into anarchy. Neither
should authority be made to prevail over liberty because then the individual will fall into slavery. The
paradox lies in the fact that the apparent curtailment of liberty is precisely the very means of insuring its
preserving.

Doctrine: Social Justice


LAUREL, J.:
Facts:
The National Traffic Commission, in its resolution of July 17, 1940, resolved to recommend to the Director
of the Public Works and to the Secretary of Public Works and Communications that animaldrawn vehicles be prohibited from passing along the following for a period of one year from the date of the
opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic:
1) Rosario Street extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmarias
Street from 7:30Am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 530 pm; and
2) along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to
Echague Street from 7 am to 11pm
The Chairman of the National Traffic Commission on July 18, 1940 recommended to the Director of Public
Works with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works the adoption of
thethemeasure proposed in the resolution aforementioned in pursuance of the provisions of theCommonw
ealth Act No. 548 which authorizes said Director with the approval from the
Secretary of the Public Works and Communication to promulgate rules and regulations to regulate and
control the use of and traffic on national roads.
On August 2, 1940, the Director recommended to the Secretary the approval of the recommendations
made by the Chairman of the National Traffic Commission with modifications. The Secretary of Public
Works approved the recommendations on August 10,1940. The Mayor of Manila and the Acting Chief of
Police of Manila have enforced and caused to be enforced the rules and regulation. As a consequence, all
animal-drawn vehicles are not allowed to pass and pick up passengers in the places above mentioned to
the detriment not only of their owners but of the riding public as well.
Issues:
1) Whether the rules and regulations promulgated by the respondents pursuant to the provisions of
Commonwealth Act NO. 548 constitute an unlawful inference with legitimate business or trade and
abridged the right to personal liberty and freedom of locomotion?
2) Whether the rules and regulations complained of infringe upon the constitutional precept regarding
the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all the people?

2) No. Social justice is neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy, but the
humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its
rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the
promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to
insure economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper
economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally,
through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of
powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principles of salus populi
estsuprema lex.
Social justice must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence among divers and
diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as
a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective
of the state of promoting health, comfort and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about the greatest good
to the greatest number.

Case: Bernardo v NLRC, G.R. No. 122917, July 12, 1999


ANG NANGYARI:
Ang kasong ito ay inihain ng 43 empleyadong may kapansanan ng dating Far East Bank and Trust
Company. Sila ay tinanggal sa trabaho ng Far East sa kadahilanang ang posisyong kanilang hinahawakan
ay hindi na kinakailangan para sa pang araw-araw na operasyon ng bangko.

Sa kadahilanang ang pagtanggal sa kanila ng Far East ay walang lehitimong rason, sila ay binibigyan ng
karapatan para sa backwages o sweldong hindi nabigay magmula ng sila ay matanggal hanggang sa
pagbibigay ng hatol sa kaso at separation pay. Bagamat 43 ang naghabla, 27 lang ang binigyan ng korte
ng estadong regular employee sa kadahilangan ang 16 na naghabla ay hindi pa naglilingkod ng mahigit sa
6 na buwan ng sila ay matanggal.
G.R. No. 122917 MARITES BERNARDO et al. vs. NLRCTHIRD DIVISION / PANGANIBAN,

Nagumpisang kumuha ng mga empleyagong pipi at bingi ang Far East noong taong 1988, nagpatuloy ito
hanggang taong 1993. Ayon sa Far East ang pagkuha ng mga empleyadong may kapansanan ay sa
kadahilanan na din ng pakiusap ng ilang mga taong nagnanais na tulungan ang mga nasabing empleyado.
Ang mga petitioner sa kasong ito ay lumagda sa isang kontrata na tinalaga ng Far East na Employment
Contract for Handicapped Workers. Nakasaad sa nasabing kontrata na sila ay kinukuhang empleyado ng
Far East bilang money sorters at counters. Nakasaad din sa kontratang pinirmahan nila na ang kanilang
karapatan bilang empleyado ng bangko ay base lamang sa kung ano ang pinirmahan nila at nakasaad sa
kontrata at wala ng iba. Maliban dito, nakasaad din na bilang isang accommodated or ipinakiusap
lamang na empleyado ng banko, ang kanilang estado ay hindi kapareha ng isang regular na empleyado.
Dahil dito, di gaya ng isang regular na empleyado wala silang karapatan sa separation pay at iba pang
benepisyong tinatamasa ng isang regular na empleyado gaya ng seguridad sa hanapbuhay o ng
karapatang hindi matanggal sa trabaho ng walang dahilan.
TANONG:
Kung maaari ba silang maging regular na empleyado na may kaukulang benepisyo?
SAGOT:
Oo, ang isang empleyadong naglingkod ng mahigit sa anim na buwan sa isang posisyong kinakailangan at
kanais-nais para sa kumpanya ay itinuturing ng batas na regular na empleyado bagamat ang kontratang
pinirmahan nila ay nagsasabi na ang kanyang estado ay probationary employee lamang.
Ang anumang nakasulat sa batas at sa Labor Code ng Pilipinas ay itinuturing din na nakasulat sa bawat
kontratang pinipirmahan ng isang empleyado. Sa kadahilanang ito, bagamat nasusulat sa kontratang
pinirmahan ng isang accommodation employee na sya ay isang probationary employee lamang at hindi
maaaring maging regular na empleyado matapos maglingkod ng mahigit sa anim na buwan sya ay
ituturing na ng batas na regular na empleyado.
Ayon sa RA 7277 o ang Magna Carta for Disabled Persons ang isang qualified diabled person ay
kailangang bigyan ng parehong karapatan sa isang qualified abled person.
Anuman ang rason sa pagtanggap sa isang empleyado, maging awa man ito o dahil lamang sa
pinagbigyan ang hiling ng isang tao, ang nasabing empleyado ay magiging regular pa din base sa klase
ng trabahong kanyang ginagampanan at sa haba ng panahon ng kanyang paglilingkod sa kumpanya.
Bilang mga money sorter at counter ang pagiging pipi at bingi ng mga naghablang empleyado ay hindi
naging hadlang upang magampanan nila ng maayos ang kanilang tungkulin, sa gayun karapat-dapat
lamang na sila ay mabigyan ng benepisyong karapat-dapat sa isang regular na empleyado.

J.
Daylo, Jerome Dela CruzJuly 12, 1999 Series: 7FACTS:
The 43 petitioners are deaf-mutes who were hired on various periods from 1988 to 1993 by respondent
Far EastBank and Trust Co. as Money Sorters and Counters through a uniformly worded agreement called
"Employment Contractfor Handicapped Workers". The said agreement provides for the manner of how
they are hired and be rehired, the amountof their wages (P118.00 per day), period of employment (5 days
a week, 8 hours a day, training for 1 month, 6 monthsperiod) and the manner and methods of how their
works are to be done (Sort out bills according to color; Count eachdenomination per hundred, either
manually or with the aid of a counting machine; Wrap and label bills per hundred; Putthe wrapped bills into
bundles; and Submit bundled bills to the bank teller for verification.) Many of their employmentswere
renewed every six months. Claiming that they should be considered as regular employees they filed a
complaint for illegal dismissal and recovery of various benefits.
Labor arbiters decision: complaint is dismissed for lack of merit (the terms of the contract shall be the law
between the
parties.). Affirmed by the NLRC (Art. 280 is not controlling herein but Art. 80) (the Magna Carta for
Disabled Persons wasnot applicable, "considering the prevailing circumstances of the case.") and denied
motion for reconsideration.
ISSUES:
Does petitioners considered as regular employees?
LAW:
Art.78 & 80 of the Labor Code and the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.
RULING: Yes.
The petition is meritorious. However, only the employees, who worked for more than six months and
whosecontracts were renewed are deemed regular. Hence, their dismissal from employment was
illegal.The stipulations in the employment contracts indubitably conform with Article 80, however, the
application of Article 280 of the Labor Code is justified because of the advent of RA No. 7277 (the Magna
Carta for Disabled Persons) whichmandates that a qualified disabled employee should be given the same

terms and conditions of employment as a qualifiedable-bodied person (compensation, privileges, benefits,


fringe benefits, incentives or allowances) 27 of the petitioners areconsidered regular employees by
provision of law regardless of any agreement between the parties as embodied in article280 in relation to
article 281 of the Labor Code.The test is whether the former is usually necessary or desirable in the usual
business or trade of the employer. Hence, theemployment is considered regular, but only with respect to
such activity, and while such activity exist. Without a doubt, thetask of counting and sorting bills is
necessary and desirable to the business of respondent bank.When the bank renewed the contract after
the lapse of the six-month probationary period, the employees thereby becameregular employees. No
employer is allowed to determine indefinitely the fitness of its employees. Those who have workedfor only
6 months and employments were not renewed are not considered regular employees.
OPINION:
The Court correctly finds that 27 of the handicapped workers are regular employees. The test is whether
theactivity is usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. The
employment is consideredregular, but only with respect to such activity, and while such activity exist.
Without a doubt, the task of counting andsorting bills is necessary and desirable to the business of
respondent bank. As regular employees, the twenty-sevenpetitioners are entitled to security of tenure; that
is, their services may be terminated only for a just or authorized cause.
JMM PROMOTION AND MANAGEMENT, INC. v. CA 260 SCRA 319 August 5, 1996 (CASE DIGEST)
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II
JMM PROMOTION AND MANAGEMENT, INC., and KARY INTERNATIONAL INC., petitioner, v.
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. MA. NIEVES CONFESSOR, then Secretary of the
Department of Labor and Employment, HON. JOSE BRILLANTES, in his capacity as acting
Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment and HON. FELICISIMO JOSON, in his
capacity as Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, respondents.
G.R. No. 120095. August 5, 1996
KAPUNAN, J.:
FACTS:
The Federation of Entertainment Talent Managers of the Philippines (FETMOP for brevity) filed a class suit
on January 27, 1995 assailing that the Department Order No. 3 which establishes various procedures and
requirements for screening performing artists under a new system of training, testing, certification and
deployment of the former and other related issuance, principally contending that the said orders,
1.)violated the constitutional right to travel; 2.) abridged existing contracts for employment; and 3.)
deprived individual artists of their licenses without due process of law. FETMOP also averred that the
issuance of the Artist Record Book (ARB) was discriminatory and illegal and in gross violation of the

constitutional right to life liberty and property. FETMOP prayed for the issuance of the writ of preliminary
injunction against the orders.

JMM Promotion and Management, Inc. (JMM for brevity) and Kary International, Inc. (Kary for brevity) filed
a motion for intervention in the civil case which was granted by the trial court on February 15, 1995.
However, on February 21, 1995, the trial court issued an order denying petitioner's prayer for writ of
preliminary injunction and dismissed the compliant. An appeal was made to the trial court regarding its
decision but it was also however, dismissed. As a consequences, ARB requirement was issed. The Court
of Appeals upheld the trial court's decision and concluded that the said issuance constituted a valid
exercise of Police power.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the the said issuance is a valid exercise of Police Power.
RULING:
Yes, the ARB requirement and questioned Department Order related to its issuance were issued by the
Secretary of Labor pursuant to a valid exercise of Police Power by the State. The proper regulation of a
profession, calling, business or trade has always been upheld as a legitimate subject of a valid exercise of
police power by the state particularly when their conduct afffects either the execution of a
legitimate governmental functions, the preservation of the State, the public health and welfare and public
morals. According to the maxim sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas (use your property in such a fashion
so as to not disturb others) it must of course be within the legitimate range of legislative action to define
the mode and manner in which every one may so use his own property so as not to pose injury to himself
or others.
In any case, where the liberty curtailed affects at most the right of property, the permissible scope of
regulatory measures is certainly much wider. To pretend that licensing or accreditation requirements
violates due process clause is to ignore the settled practice, under the mantle of the police power, of
regulating entry to the practice of various trades or profession. Professional leaving for abroad are required
to pass rigid written and practical exams before they are deemed fit to practice their trade. It is not claimed
that these requirements pose an unwarranted deprivation of a property right under the due process clause.
So long as professionals and other workers meet reasonable regulatory standards no such deprivation
exists.
FACTS: Due to the death of one Maricris Sioson in 1991, Cory banned the deployment of performing
artists to Japan and other destinations. This was relaxed however with the introduction of the
Entertainment Industry Advisory Council which later proposed a plan to POEA to screen and train
performing artists seeking to go abroad. In pursuant to the proposal POEA and the secretary of DOLE
sought a 4 step plan to realize the plan which included an Artists Record Book which a performing artist
must acquire prior to being deployed abroad. The Federation of Talent Managers of the Philippines

assailed the validity of the said regulation as it violated the right to travel, abridge existing contracts and
rights and deprives artists of their individual rights. JMM intervened to bolster the cause of FETMOP. The
lower court ruled in favor of EIAC.

disabilities without discrimination of any kind.

ISSUE: Whether or not the regulation by EIAC is valid.

Everyone is equal before and under the law. Everyone is entitled to the equal protection and benefit of the
law without discrimination.

HELD: The SC ruled in favor of the lower court. The regulation is a valid exercise of police power. Police
power concerns government enactments which precisely interfere with personal liberty or property in order
to promote the general welfare or the common good. As the assailed Department Order enjoys a
presumed validity, it follows that the burden rests upon petitioners to demonstrate that the said order,
particularly, its ARB requirement, does not enhance the public welfare or was exercised arbitrarily or
unreasonably. The welfare of Filipino performing artists, particularly the women was paramount in the
issuance of Department Order No. 3. Short of a total and absolute ban against the deployment of
performing artists to high risk destinations, a measure which would only drive recruitment further
underground, the new scheme at the very least rationalizes the method of screening performing artists by
requiring reasonable educational and artistic skills from them and limits deployment to only those
individuals adequately prepared for the unpredictable demands of employment as artists abroad. It cannot
be gainsaid that this scheme at least lessens the room for exploitation by unscrupulous individuals and
agencies.

Article 5: Equality and non-discrimination

Article 6: Women with disabilities


Women and girls with disabilities experience multiple discrimination. Countries must take all appropriate
measures to ensure that women with disabilities are able to fully enjoy the rights and freedoms set out in
the Convention.
Article 7: Children with disabilities
Children with disabilities have the same human rights as all other children. The best interests of the child
must be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children with disabilities. Children with disabilities
have the right to express their views on all matters affecting them
Article 8: Awareness-raising

A summary of the articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Article 1: Purpose
The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and
fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities.People with disabilities include those who have longterm physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may
hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
Article 2: Definitions
This article defines some of the key terms used in the Convention including communication; language;
discrimination on the basis of disability; reasonable accommodation and universal design.
Article 3: General principles
The Convention is based on the principles of respect for dignity; non-discrimination; participation and
inclusion; respect for difference; equality of opportunity; accessibility; equality between men and women;
and respect for children.

Countries must raise awareness of the rights, capabilities and contributions of people with disabilities.
Countries must challenge stereotypes and prejudices relating to people with disabilities through
campaigning, education, media and awareness-raising programmes.
Article 9: Accessibility
People with disabilities have the right to access all aspects of society on an equal basis with others
including the physical environment, transportation, information and communications, and other facilities
and services provided to the public.
Article 10: Right to life
People with disabilities have the right to life. Countries must take all necessary measures to ensure that
people with disabilities are able to effectively enjoy this right on an equal basis with others.
Article 11: Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies
Countries must take all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of all persons with
disabilities in situations of risk, including armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.

Article 4: General obligations


Article 12: Equal recognition before the law
Countries must take a range of measures, with the active involvement of people with disabilities, to ensure
and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with

People with disabilities have the right to recognition as persons before the law. People with disabilities
have legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.Countries must take appropriate
measures to provide support to people with disabilities so that they can effectively exercise their legal
capacity.

Countries must take effective and appropriate measures to ensure personal mobility for people with
disabilities in the manner and time of their choice, and at affordable cost. People with disabilities also have
the right to access quality mobility aids, assistive technologies and forms of live assistance and
intermediaries.

Article 13: Access to justice

Article 21: Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information

People with disabilities have the right to effective access to justice on an equal basis with others, including
through the provision of appropriate accommodations.

People with disabilities have the right to express themselves, including the freedom to give and receive
information and ideas through all forms of communication, including through accessible formats and
technologies, sign languages, Braille, augmentative and alternative communication, mass media and all
other accessible means of communication.

Article 14: Liberty and security of person


People with disabilities have the right to liberty and security of person on an equal basis with others.
Existence of disability alone cannot be used to justify deprivation of liberty.
Article 15: Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman ordegrading treatment or punishment
People with disabilities have the right to be free from torture and from cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment. No one shall be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without his or
her free consent.
Article 16: Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
People with disabilities have the right to be protected from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse,
including their gender based aspects, within and outside the home.
Article 17: Protecting the integrity of the person
Every person with disabilities has a right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity on an equal
basis with others.

Article 22: Respect for privacy


People with disabilities have the right to privacy. Information about people with disabilities including
personal information and information about their health should be protected.
Article 23: Respect for home and the family
People with disabilities have the right to marry and to found a family. Countries must provide effective and
appropriate support to people with disabilities in bringing up children, and provide alternative care to
children with disabilities where the immediate family is unable to care for them.
Article 24: Education
People with disabilities have a right to education without discrimination. Countries must ensure that people
with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary and secondary education in their own
community.Countries must also provide reasonable accommodation and individualised support to
maximise academic and social development.
Article 25: Health

Article 18: Liberty of movement and nationality


People with disabilities have the right to a nationality. Children with disabilities have the right to a name
and to know and be cared for by their parents.

People with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without
discrimination. Countries must take all appropriate measures, including measures that are gendersensitive, to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the same range, quality and standard of
health care that is available to everyone else,and which are close to peoples own communities.

Article 19: Living independently and being included in the community


Article 26: Habilitation and rehabilitation
People with disabilities have the right to live independently in the community. Countries must ensure that
people with disabilities have the opportunity to choose where they live and with whom they live, and that
they are provided with the support necessary to do this.

Countries must take effective and appropriate measures to enable people with disabilities to develop,
attain and maintain maximum ability, independence and participation through the provision of habilitation
and rehabilitation services and programmes.

Article 20: Personal mobility


Article 27: Work and employment

People with disabilities have the right to work, including the right to work in an environment that is open,
inclusive and accessible. Countries must take appropriate steps to promote employment opportunities and
career advancement for people with disabilities.

People with disabilities have the right to take part in cultural life on an equal basis with others, including
access to cultural materials, performances and services, and to recreational, leisure and sporting activities.
Article 31: Statistics and data collection

Article 28: Adequate standard of living and social protection


People with disabilities have the right to an adequate standard of living including food, water, clothing and
housing, and to effective social protection including poverty reduction and public housing programmes.

Countries must collect information about people with disabilities, with the active involvement of people with
disabilities, so that they can better understand the barriers they experience and make the Convention
rights real.

Article 29: Participation in political and public life

Articles 32-50

People with disabilities have the right to participate in politics and in public affairs, as well as to vote and to
be elected.

Articles 32-50 explain how countries which are bound by the Convention must give it full effect. They also
explain the responsibility of countries to report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities on how they are putting the Convention into effect.

Article 30: Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport