You are on page 1of 10

INTRODUCTION/GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS conferring authority or discretion as to its execution to be exercised under and in pursuance of

the law. The first cannot be made; to the latter, no valid objection can be made.

A government instrumentality refers to any agency of the National Government not integrated
within the department framework, vested with special functions or jurisdiction by law, endowed The tests of a valid delegation of the power to promulgate administrative regulations, as well as of
with some if not all corporate powers, administering special funds, and enjoying operational legislative power in general, are the completeness test and the sufficient standard test.
autonomy usually through a charter.
Ideally, the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature so
that when it reaches the delegate, it will have nothing to do but to enforce it.
A chartered institution refers to any agency organized or operating under a special charter, and
vested by law with functions relating to specific constitutional policies or objectives. US vs. ANG TANG HO
DE LA LLANA vs. ALBA The Governor-General was authorized by statute to issue and promulgate, with the consent of the
Council of State, temporary rules and emergency measures for carrying out the purposes of the law,
If the administrative body was created by the Constitution itself, it can be altered or abolished only
whenever for any cause, conditions arise resulting in extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice
by constitutional amendment. But where the body was created only by statute, the legislature that
or corn. Pursuant to said authorization, the Governor-General issued regulations fixing ceiling
breathed life into it can amend or even repeal its charter, thereby resulting in its abolition, which is
justified if made in good faith and not attended by grave abuse of discretion. prices for the said cereals. The appellant, who was prosecuted for selling said cereals at prices
higher than the ceilings fixed by the Governor-General, challenged the law on the ground that it
POWERS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES constituted an invalid delegation of legislative power for failure to conform to the completeness
test. The Supreme Court, in sustaining his contention, declared:
As distinguished from legislative power: The discretion to determine what the law shall be is
exclusively legislative and cannot be delegated. What is employed in the promulgation of By its very terms, the promulgation of temporary rules and emergency measures is left to the
administrative regulations is not this kind of discretion but the discretion to determine how the law discretion of the Governor-General. The Legislature does not undertake to specify or define under
shall be enforced. what conditions or for what reasons the Governor-General shall issue the proclamation, but says
that it may be issued for any cause and leaves the question of what is any cause to the discretion
of the Governor-General. The Legislature does not also define what is an extraordinary increase in
The petitioner assailed as an invalid delegation of legislative authority a presidential decree vesting the price of palay, rice or other cereal. That is also left to the discretion of the Governor-General.
in said board the power to solicit or to enlist the support of other governmental agencies to enforce The law does not specify or define what such temporary and emergency measures shall remain in
its broad powers to regulate the video industry. The Supreme Court, in upholding the law, declared: force and effect, or when they shall take effect. All of these are left to the sole judgment and
discretion of the Governor-General. The law is thus incomplete as a legislation.
Neither can it be successfully argued that the decree contains an undue delegation of legislative
power. The grant in Section 11 of the decree of authority to the Board to solicit the direct assistance
of other agencies and units of the government and deputize, for a fixed and limited period, the
Additionally, the law must offer a sufficient standard to specify the limits of the delegates authority,
heads of personnel of such agencies and units to perform enforcement functions for the board is
announce the legislative policy, and specify the conditions under which it is to be implemented.
not a delegation of power to legislate but merely a conferment of authority or discretion as to its
Among the accepted sufficient standards are public interest, simplicity, economy and efficiency,
execution, enforcement and implementation. The true distinction between the delegation of
and public welfare.
power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and
We also mark, on top of all this, the questionable manner of the disposition of the confiscated authoritatively, finally and definitively, subject to such appeals or modes of review as may be
property as prescribed in the questioned executive order. It is there authorized that the seized provided by law. This function, to repeat, the Commission does not have.
property shall be distributed to charitable institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat
Inspection Commission may see fit, in the case of carabeef, and to deserving farmers through
dispersal as the Director of Animals may see fit, in the case of carabaos.The phrase may see fit is It must be stressed that, while it is a fundamental rule that an administrative agency has only such
an extremely generous and dangerous condition, if condition it is. It is laden with perilous powers as are expressly granted to it by law, it is likewise a settled rule that an administrative agency
opportunities for partiality and abuse, and even corruption. One searches in vain for the usual has also such powers as are necessarily implied in the exercise of its express powers.
standard and the reasonable guidelines, or better still, the limitations that said officers must
observe when they make their distribution. There is none. Their options are apparently RIZAL EMPIRE INSURANCE CORPORATION vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
boundless. Who shall be the fortunate beneficiaries of their generosity and by what criteria shall
It is an elementary rule in administrative law that administrative regulations and policies enacted
they be chosen? Only the officers named can supply the answer; they and they alone may choose
by administrative bodies to interpret the law which they are entrusted to enforce, have the force
the grantee as they see fit, and in their own exclusive discretion. Definitely, there is here a roving
of law, and are entitled to great respect.
commission, a wide and sweeping authority that is not canalized within banks that keep it from
overflowing; in short, a clearly profligate and therefore invalid delegation of legislative power.


The President did not arbitrarily act or with grave abuse of discretion. The power involved is the Legislative regulation if further classified into the supplementary and the contingent. The
Presidents residual power to protect the general welfare of the people. It is found on the duty of supplementary regulation is intended to fill in the details of the law and to make explicit what is
the President, as steward of the people. only general. Its purpose is to enlarge upon a statute, subject only to the standards fixed therein,
to ensure its effective enforcement in accordance with the legislative will.
The contingent regulation is so called because it is issued upon the happening of a certain
Speaking on the power to adjudicate claimed to be possessed by the respondent, the Supreme
contingency which the administrative body is given the discretion to determine. In other words,
Court declared:
administrative agencies are allowed to ascertain the existence of particular contingencies and on
The Court declares the Commission on Human Rights to have no such power; and that it was not the basis thereof enforce or suspend the operation of a law.
meant by the fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country, or
duplicate or, much less, take over the functions of the latter.
The Supreme Court sustained a law prohibiting the importation of cattle which had caused a
The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicate power is that it may
rinderpest epidemic, but authorizing the Governor-General to lift the prohibition, with the consent
investigate, i.e., receive evidence and make findings of facts as regards claimed human rights
of the presiding officers of the legislature, if he should determine after a fact-finding investigation
violations involving civil and political rights. But fact-finding is not adjudication, and cannot be
there was no longer any threat of contagion from cattle. The lifting of the ban would have been
likened to the judicial function of a court justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. The
effected through a contingent regulation based on the prescribed contingency, to wit, the finding
function of receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial
that foreign cattle would no longer contaminate the local livestock.
function, properly speaking. To be considered such, the faculty of receiving evidence and making
factual conclusions in a controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to
those factual conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or determined
In the exercise of the powers delegated to it by the legislature, the administrative body acts as an regulation should be germane to the objects and purposes of the law and that it should conform
agent of the law-making body and so is bound to obey and implement the legislative will. In fact, it to the standards that the law prescribes.
cannot do otherwise. On the other hand, the administrative agency pertains to the executive
Administrative regulations adopted under legislative authority by a particular department must
department and so comes under the constitutional control of the President, which control generally
cannot be withdrawn or limited even by the legislature. be in harmony with the provisions of the law, and should be for the sole purpose of carrying into
effect its general provisions. By such regulations, of course, the law itself cannot be extended.
The rule-making power must be confined to details for regulating the mode or proceeding to carry
Involving an authorization granted by Congress in favor of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural into effect the law as it has been enacted. The power cannot be extended to amending or
Resources to promulgate rules and regulations concerning trawl fishing, which power was directly expanding the statutory requirements or to embrace matters not covered by the statute. Rules
exercised by President Ramon Magsaysay, the Supreme Court ruled as follows: that subvert the statute cannot be sanctioned.

If under the law, the Secretary of Agriculture has authority to regulate or ban fishing by trawl, BAUTISTA vs. JUNIO
then the President of the Philippines may exercise the same power and authority because of the
The Supreme Court sustained a letter of instruction prohibiting private extra-heavy and heavy
following: (a) The President shall have control of all the executive departments , bureaus or
vehicles from using public streets on weekends and holidays but annulled as ultra vires the
offices, pursuant to Section 10(1), Article VII, of the Constitution; (b) Executive Orders may be
administrative regulation calling for the impounding of the offending vehicles. As the penalty
issued by the President under Section 63 of the Revised Administrative Code governing the
imposed by the law was only a fine and suspension of registration, the Court declared that the
general performance of duties by public employees or disposing of issues of general concern;
impounding of a vehicle finds no statutory justification.
and (c) Under Section 74 of the Revised Administrative Code, All executive functions of the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines shall be directly under the Executive Department, MACEDA vs. ENERGY REGULATION BOARD
subject to the supervision and control of the President of the Philippines in matters of general
policy. Upon the outbreak of the Persian Gulf conflict on Aug. 2, 1990, private respondents oil companies
filed with the ERB their respective applications for oil price increases. The ERB issued an order dated
PEOPLE vs. MACEREN Sept. 21, 1990 granting a provisional increase of Php 1.42 per liter. Petitioner Maceda filed a
petition to nullify said provisional increase. This was dismissed by the Supreme Court pursuant to
The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources was authorized to promulgate regulations to
EO 172, which grants ERBs authority to grant provisional increase even without prior hearing. On
carry into effect the provisions of the Fishing Law, which prohibited, among other acts, fishing using
Nov. 5, 1990, private respondents filed applications to further increase the prices of petroleum
obnoxious or poisonous substances. In the exercise of this authority, he issued, on recommendation
products. The ERB, in an order dated Nov. 23, 1990, outlined the procedure to be observed in the
of the Commissioner of Fisheries, a regulation prohibiting electro-fishing. The accused in this case
reception of evidence. Intending to act on an industry-wide basis, the ERB opted to have the
successfully challenged the regulation on the ground that it exceeded the powers conferred upon
evidence-in-chief to be placed on record first before cross-examination. Petitioner avers that the
the Secretary since the law did not prohibit fishing by electricity. It was argued that electricity was
procedure did not allow him substantial cross-examination, which results in the denial of due
neither poisonous nor obnoxious nor was it a substance but a form of energy. In sustaining the
accused, the Supreme Court noted that nowhere in the law was electro-fishing prohibited; hence,
the Secretary of Agriculture and the Commissioner of Fisheries were powerless to penalize it. The The Supreme Court agrees with the Solicitor General. The order of testimony both with respect to
Court said: the examination of the particular witness and to the general course of the trial is within the
discretion of the court. Such a relaxed procedure is especially true in administrative bodies, such as
Administrative agencies are clothed with rule-making powers because the law-making body
the ERB which in matters of rate or price fixing is considered as exercising a quasi-legislative, not
finds it impracticable, if not impossible, to anticipate and provide for the multifarious and
quasi-judicial, function. As such administrative agency, it is not bound by the strict or technical rules
complex situations that may be encountered in enforcing the law. All that is required is that the
of evidence governing court proceedings. In fact, Section 2, Rule I of the Rules of Practice and Section 6 simply authorizes the Director of Agriculture to do certain things, among them,
Procedure Governing Hearings before the ERB provides that: . . . [I]n the broader interest of justice, paragraph (c) to require that animals which are suffering from dangerous communicable diseases
the Board may, in any particular matter, except itself from these rules and apply such suitable or have been exposed thereto be placed in quarantine at such place and for such time as may be
procedure as shall promote the objectives of the Order. deemed by him necessary to prevent the spread of the disease. Nowhere in the law, however, is
the violation of the orders of the Bureau of Agriculture prohibited or made unlawful, nor is there
provided any punishment for a violation of such orders. Section 8 provides that any person violating
The function of prescribing rates by an administrative agency may be either a legislative or an any of the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than one
adjudicative function. If it were a legislative function, the grant of prior notice and hearing to the thousand pesos, or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both such fine and
affected parties is not a requirement of due process. As regards rates prescribed by an imprisonment, in the discretion of the court, for each offense. A violation of the orders of the
administrative agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial function, prior notice and hearing are Bureau of Agriculture, as authorized by paragraph (c), is not a violation of the provisions of the
essential to the validity of such rates. When the rules and/or rates laid down by an administrative Act. The orders of the Bureau of Agriculture, while they may possibly be said to have the force of
agency are meant to apply to all enterprises of a given kind throughout the country, they may law, are not statutes and particularly not penal statutes, and a violation of such orders is not a
partake of a legislative character. Where the rules and the rates imposed apply exclusively to a penal offense unless the statute itself somewhere makes a violation thereof unlawful and
particular party, based upon a finding of fact, then its function is quasi-judicial in character. Is penalizes it.
Department Order No. 37 issued by the DECS in the exercise of its legislative function? We believe
so. The assailed Department Order prescribes the maximum school fees that may be charged by all
private schools in the country for school year 1987 to 1988. This being so, prior notice and hearing Where a rule or regulation has a provision not expressly stated or contained in the statute being
are not essential to the validity of its issuance. implemented, that provision does not necessarily contradict the statute. A legislative rule is in the
nature of subordinate legislation, designed to implement a primary legislation by providing the
details thereof. All that is required is that the regulation should be germane to the objects and
An administrative agency issuing regulations may not enlarge, alter or restrict the provisions of the purposes of the law; that the regulation be not in contradiction to but in conformity with the
law it administers, and it cannot engraft additional requirements not contemplated by the standards prescribed by the law.
legislature. Moreover, all such issuances must not override, but must remain consistent and in
harmony with, the law they seek to apply and implement. Administrative rules and regulations are
intended to carry out, neither to supplant nor to modify, the law. The petitioner contends, among others, that the establishment of a National Computerized
Identification Reference System requires a legislative act. Therefore, A.O. No. 38 of the President is
an unconstitutional usurpation of the legislate powers of the Congress.
The petitioners assailed a regulation phasing out taxicabs more than six years old as an invalid
The Supreme Court ruled for the petitioner and explained that the President has the authority to
exercise of the police power. The Supreme Court declared the regulation reasonable, holding that
assume directly the functions of the executive department, bureau and office, or interfere with the
its purpose was to promote the convenience and comfort and protect the safety of the passengers.
discretion of the officials. Corollary to this power of control, the President also has the duty of
US vs. PANLILIO supervising the enforcement of laws for the maintenance of general peace and public order. Thus,
the President is granted administrative power.
An administrative regulation punishing the transport of quarantined animals without the
permission of the Secretary of Agriculture was held invalid for lack of statutory basis. The Supreme Administrative power is concerned with the work of applying policies and enforcing orders as
Court ruled that the accused could not be convicted under this regulation because determined by proper governmental organs. It enables the President to fix a uniform standard of
administrative efficiency and check the official conduct of his agents. To this end, he can issue
administrative order, rules and regulations. EO No. 292 defines administrative orders as an electricity used only in their own respective units. In reversing this ruling, the Supreme Court held
ordinance issued by the President, which relates to specific aspects in the administrative operation that the tenants complaints give rise to a question that is purely civil in character that is to be
of government. It must be in harmony with the law and should be for the sole purpose of adjudged under the applicable provisions of the Civil Code (not the Public Service Act) and not by
implementing the law and carrying out the legislative policy. the respondent regulatory board which has no jurisdiction, but by the regular courts of general
AO No. 38 redefines the parameters of some basic rights of our citizenry vis--vis the State as well
as the line separating the administrative power of the President and the legislative power of GLOBE WIRELESS LTD. vs. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISION
Congress. It ought to be evident that it deals with a subject that should be covered by law.
The Supreme Court rejected the claim of the Public Service Commission that it properly imposed an
PSDSA vs. DE JESUS administrative fine on the petitioner, which, as found by the Court, did not violate any term or
condition of any certificate or any order, decision or regulation of said Commission. Had there been
such a violation, the Commission would have been authorized to impose the fine assailed in this
The issuance and enforcement by the Secretaries of DBM, CSC and DOH of the questioned joint case. It was shown, however, that the petitioner operated under a legislative franchise, so there
circulars were done in the exercise of their quasi-legislative and administrative functions. It was in was no terms or conditions of any certificate by the Commission to violate. Neither was there any
the nature of subordinate legislation, promulgated by them in their exercise of delegated power. order, decision and regulation from the Commission applicable to petitioner that the latter had
Quasi-legislative power is exercised by administrative agencies through the promulgation of rules allegedly violated, disobeyed or disregarded. The Court explained
and regulations within the confines of the granting statute and the doctrine of non-delegation of
Too basic in administrative law to need citation of jurisprudence is the rule that the jurisdiction
powers from the separation of the branches of the government.
and powers of administrative agencies, like the Public Service Commission, are limited to those
A review of RA No. 7305 and its Revised IRR reveals that the law dos not similarly impose such expressly granted or necessarily implied from those granted in the legislation creating such body;
condition on the grant of longevity pay to PHWs in the government service. As such, the DBM-CSC and any order without or beyond such jurisdiction is void and ineffective. The order under
Joint Circular effectively created a new imposition which was not otherwise stipulated in the law it consideration (imposing an administrative fine) belonged to this category.
sought to interpret.

Like the subpoena power, the power to punish for contempt is essentially judicial and cannot be
QUASI-JUDICIAL POWER claimed as an inherent right by the administrative body. To be validly exercised, it must be expressly
conferred upon the body and, additionally, must be used only in connection with its quasi-judicial as
SYQUIA vs. BOARD OF POWER AND WATER WORKS distinguished from its purely administrative and routinary functions.

Several tenants of a residential building complained to the respondent administrative body that the GUEVARRA vs. COMELEC
petitioner, owner of the apartments they were leasing, was billing them for electrical consumption
in excess of the authorized Meralco rates. The petitioner argued that she was charging them not Even if the contempt power was expressly granted, the respondent administrative body could not
only for the consumption in their individual apartments but also for the fuel adjustments and the exercise it over a journalist who had insinuated in a news report certain irregularities in connection
electricity used in common areas, the servants quarters and the elevator, which additional costs with the purchase by the respondent Commission of ballot boxes. The Supreme Court held that the
had been distributed pro rata among all the tenants of the building. The respondent board held power was not exercisable because the acquisition of election paraphernalia did not call for the
that the additional charges were unlawful sine the tenants should be required to pay for the discharge of quasi-judicial functions by the administrative body.
SECRETARY OF JUSTICE vs. LANTION (6) The Court of Industrial Relations or any of its judges, therefore, must act on its own
independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy, and not simply accept the
Individuals are entitled to be notified of any pending case affecting their interests; and upon notice,
views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision.
they may claim the right to appear therein, present their side and refute the position of the
(7) The Court of Industrial Relations should, in all controversial questions, render its decision in
opposing parties.
such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues involved, and
the reasons for the decisions rendered. The performance of the duty is inseparable from the
authority conferred upon it.
Due process must be observed for the requirements of fair play are not applicable to judicial

ANG TIBAY vs. COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS The 1st of the enumerated rights pertains to the substantive rights of a party at the hearing stage.
The 2nd to 6th are reinforcements of the right to a hearing and are the inviolable rights at the
The following are the cardinal rights or principles to be observed in administrative proceedings: deliberative stage, as the as the decision maker decides on the evidence presented during the
hearing. Finally, the last requirement, relating to form and substance of the decision of a quasi-
(1) The first of these rights is the right to a hearing which includes the right of the party interested
judicial body is in conformity with substance to the constitutional requirement that a decision must
or affected to present his own case and submit evidence in support thereof. In the language
state distinctly the facts and the law upon which it is based.
of Chief Justice Hughes, the liberty and property of the citizen shall be protected by the
rudimentary requirements of fair play.
(2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present his case and to adduce evidence
tending to establish the rights which he asserts but the tribunal must consider the evidence JUDICIAL REVIEW
presented. In the language of the Court, the right to adduce evidence, without the
The doctrine of primary jurisdiction simply calls for the determination of administrative questions,
corresponding duty on the part of the board to consider it, is vain. Such right is conspicuously which are ordinarily questions of fact, by administrative agencies rather than courts of justice.
futile if the person or persons to whom the evidence presented can thrust it aside without
notice or consideration. ABEJO vs. DELA CRUZ
(3) While the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation to decide right, it does imply a
In this era of clogged court dockets, the need for specialized administrative boards or commissions
necessity which cannot be disregarded, namely, that of having something to support its
with the special knowledge, experience and capability to hear and determine promptly disputes on
decision. A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a nullity. This principle emanates
technical matters or essentially factual matters, subject to judicial review in case of grave abuse of
from the more fundamental principle that the genius of constitutional government is contrary
discretion, has become well night indispensable. Between the power lodged in an administrative
to the vesting of unlimited power anymore. Law is both a grant and limitation on power.
body and a court, the unmistakable trend has been to refer it to the former.
(4) Not only must there be evidence to support a finding our conclusion, but the evidence must
be substantial. Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla. It means such relevant BERNARDO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
(5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at least Administrative decisions on matters within the jurisdiction of administrative bodies are entitled to
contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected. Only by confining the respect and can only be set aside on proof of grave abuse of discretion, fraud or error of law.
administrative tribunal to the evidence disclosed to the parties can the latter be protected in
their right to know and meet the case against them.
The issue was the validity of a Memorandum of Agreement which was sought to be rescinded in a
suit before the Regional Trial Court, which clearly had jurisdiction over the subject. The trial court
ordered the rescission. The Court of Appeals however, reversed said order, declaring that the trial The underlying principle of the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies rests on the
court had no jurisdiction over the action considering that under P.D. No. 1206, it is the Bureau of presumption that the administrative agency, if afforded a complete chance to pass upon the matter,
Energy Development that has the power to decide controversies relative to the exploration, will decide the same correctly.
exploitation and development of coal blocks. The Supreme Court modified said ruling in this wise:
In recent years, it has been the jurisprudential trend to apply the doctrine of primary jurisdiction
The Supreme Court explained this doctrine as follows:
in many cases involving matters that demand the special competence of administrative agencies. It
may occur that the Court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of a particular case, which means that This Court in a long line of cases has consistently held that before a party is allowed to seek the
the matter involved is juridical in character. However, if the case is such that its determination intervention of the court, it is a pre-condition that he should have availed of all the means of
requires the expertise, specialized skills and knowledge of the proper administrative bodies administrative processes afforded him. Hence, if a remedy within the administrative machinery
because technical matters or intricate questions of facts are involved, then relief must first be can still be resorted to by giving the administrative officer concerned every opportunity to decide
obtained in an administrative proceeding before a remedy will supplied by the courts even on a matter that comes within his jurisdiction then such remedy should be exhausted first before
though the matter is within the proper jurisdiction of a court. This is the doctrine of primary courts judicial power can be sought. The premature intervention of courts is fatal to ones cause
jurisdiction. It applies where a claim is originally cognizable in the courts, and comes into play of action. Accordingly, absent any finding of waiver or estoppel, the case is susceptible of dismissal
whenever enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues which, under a regulatory for lack of cause of action. This doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies was not without
scheme, have been placed within the special competence of an administrative body; in such case, its practical and legal reasons, for one thing, availment of administrative remedy entails lesser
the judicial process is suspended pending referral of such issues to the administrative body for its expenses and provides for a speedier disposition of controversies. It is no less true to state that the
view. courts of justice for reasons of comity and convenience will shy away from a dispute until the system
of administrative redress has been completed and complied with so as to give the administrative
Clearly, the doctrine of primary jurisdiction finds application in this case since the question of what
agency concerned every opportunity to correct its error and to dispose of the case. However, we
coal areas should be exploited and developed and which entity should be granted coal operating
are not amiss to reiterate that the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies as tested
contracts over said areas involves a technical determination by the BED as the administrative
by a battery of cases is not an ironclad rule. This doctrine is a relative one and its flexibility is
agency in possession of the specialized expertise to act on the matter.
called upon by the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial settings of a
case. Hence, it is disregarded (1) when there is a violation of due process, (2) when the issue
involved is purely a legal question, (3) when the administrative action is patently illegal
There is no question that a statute may vest exclusive original jurisdiction in an administrative
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, (4) when there is estoppel on the part of the
agency over certain disputes and controversies falling within the agencys special expertise.
administrative agency concerned, (5) when there is irreparable injury, (6) when the respondent
GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION is a department secretary whose acts as an alter ego of the President bears the implied and
assumed approval of the latter, (7) when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies would
When the law bestows upon a government body the jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving be unreasonable, (8) when it would amount to a nullification of a claim, (9) when the subject
specific matters, it is to be presumed that such jurisdiction is exclusive, unless it be proved that matter is a private land in land case proceedings, (10) when the rule does not provide a plain,
another body is likewise vested with the same jurisdiction, in which case, both bodies have speedy and adequate remedy, and (11) when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of
concurrent jurisdiction over the matter. judicial intervention.


The petitioner filed a petition for mandamus to compel the head of the Government Service
Insurance System to reveal certain documents, pursuant to his constitutional right to information,
without first exhausting all means of administrative redress. In granting his petition, the Supreme not exhausted the administrative remedies available to him. The prudent thing for respondent
Court declared: judge to have done was to dismiss the replevin suit outright.

Among the settled principles in administrative law is that before a party can be allowed to resort ARROW TRANSPORTATION CORPORATION vs. BOARD OF TRANSPORTATION
to the courts, he is expected to have exhausted all means of administrative redress available under
The Supreme Court allowed resort to judicial action notwithstanding that the provisional permit to
the law. The courts for reasons of law, comity and convenience will not entertain a case unless the
operate issued by the respondent to another company was still pending reconsideration. It declared
available administrative remedies have been resorted to and the appropriate authorities have been
that the Court was impelled to go into the merits of the controversy at this stage, not only
given opportunity to act and correct the errors committed in the administrative forum. The
because of the importance of the issue raised but also because of the strong public interest in
principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies is subject to settled exceptions, among which
having the matter settled. As was set forth in E.O. No. 101 which prescribes the procedure to be
is when only a question of law is involved. The issue raised by petitioners, which requires the
followed by respondent Board, it is the policy of the State, as swiftly as possible, to improve the
interpretation of the scope of the constitutional right to information, is one which can be passed
deplorable condition of vehicular traffic, obtain maximum utilization of existing public motor
upon by the regular courts more competently than the GSIS or its Board of Trustees, involving as it
vehicles and eradicate the harmful and unlawful trade of clandestine operators, as well as update
does a purely legal question. Thus, the exception of this case from the application of the general
the standards of those carrying such business, making it imperative to provide, among other
rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies is warranted.
urgently needed measures, more expeditious methods in prescribing, redefining, or modifying the
MANGUBAT vs. OSMEA lines and mode of operation of public utility motor vehicles that now or thereafter may operate in
this country.
The services of petitioners, who were civil service eligible, were summarily terminated on the
ground that their positions in the police department were primarily confidential and the new mayor
had no confidence in them. In sustaining their direct resort to judicial action without exhausting
Of special interest is the question of whether or not a decision of the Cabinet member has to be
administrative remedies, the Supreme Court declared:
appealed first to the President before it may be brought to a court of justice. Jurisprudence on this
When, from the very beginning, the action of the city mayor is patently illegal; when the mayor matter has been seemingly indecisive. In an early case1, the Court held that appeal to the President
has acted without jurisdiction, or has committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of was not necessary because the Cabinet member was after all his alter ego and, under the doctrine
jurisdiction; when his act is clearly and obviously devoid of any color of authority, as in the case of political agency, the acts of the secretary are the acts of the President.
at bar, the employee adversely affected may forthwith seek the protection of the judicial
department notwithstanding his failure to appeal the order of dismissal to the department head.
As to failure to exhaust administrative remedies, the rule is well-settled that this requirement
does not apply where the respondent is a department secretary whose acts, as an alter ego of
To our mind, these allegations would have been sufficient to alert respondent judge that the the President, bear the implied approval of the latter, unless actually disapproved by him. This
DENR has custody of the seized items and that administrative proceedings may have already been doctrine of qualified political agency ensures speedy access to the courts when most needed.
commenced concerning the shipment. Under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, courts cannot There was no need then to appeal the decision to the office of the President; recourse to the courts
take cognizance of cases pending before administrative agencies of special competence. Note, could be had immediately. Moreover, the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies also
too, that the plaintiff in the replevin suit who seeks to recover the shipment from the DENR had yields to other exceptions, such as when the question involved is purely legal, as in the instant case,

Demaisip vs. Court of Appeals
or where the questioned act is patently illegal, arbitrary or oppressive. Such is the claim of is irregular; when palpable errors are committed; or when a grave abuse of discretion, arbitrariness,
petitioners which, as hereinafter shown, is correct. or capriciousness is manifest.


The failure to exhaust administrative remedies does not affect the jurisdiction of the court and Speaking on the department secretary as an alter ego of the President, the Supreme Court declared
merely results in the lack of a cause of action which may be invoked in a motion to dismiss. If the the following:
ground to dismiss the court action is not properly or seasonably invoked, the court may proceed to
To begin with, one need only refer to the fundamentally accepted principle in Constitutional Law
hear the case.
that the President has control of all executive departments, bureaus, and offices to lay at rest
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CO. vs. HERVILLA petitioner's contention on the matter.

It is now well settled that the administration and disposition of public lands are committed by law This presidential power of control over the executive branch of government extends over all
to the Director of Lands primarily, and, ultimately, to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural executive officers from Cabinet Secretary to the lowliest clerk and has been held by us, in the
Resources. The jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands is confined to the determination of the respective landmark case of Mondano vs. Silvosa, to mean the power of [the President] to alter or modify or
rights of rival claimants to public lands or to cases which involve disposition and alienation of public nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to
lands. The jurisdiction of courts in possessory actions involving public lands is limited to the substitute the judgment of the former with that of the latter. It is said to be at the very heart of
determination of who has the actual, physical possession or occupation of the land in question (in the meaning of Chief Executive.
forcible entry cases, before municipal courts) or, the better right of possession (in accion
Equally well accepted, as a corollary rule to the control powers of the President, is the Doctrine of
publiciana, in cases before Courts of First Instance, now Regional Trial Courts) x x x [R]ecords do
Qualified Political Agency. As the President cannot be expected to exercise his control powers all
not show that private respondent Wilfredo Hervilla ever filed a motion for reconsideration of the
at the same time and in person, he will have to delegate some of them to his Cabinet members.
decision of the Director of Lands issuing free patent over the lands in dispute in favor of
Under this doctrine, which recognizes the establishment of a single executive, all executive and
petitioners' predecessor-in-interest. Neither did he appeal said decision to the Secretary of
administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department, the heads of the various
Agriculture and Natural Resources, nor did he appeal to the office of the President of the
executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive, and, except in cases where
Philippines. In short, Hervilla failed to exhaust administrative remedies, a flaw which, to our
the Chief Executive is required by the Constitution or law to act in person on the exigencies of the
mind, is fatal to a court review. The decision of the Director of Lands has now become final. The
situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious executive and administrative functions of
Courts may no longer interfere with such decision.
the Chief Executive are performed by and through the executive departments, and the acts of the
Secretaries of such departments, performed and promulgated in the regular course of business,
unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive presumptively the acts of the Chief
Two kinds of questions are reviewable by the courts of justice, to wit, the question of fact and the Executive.
question of law.
Courts have no supervisory power over proceedings and actions of administrative departments of
This Court has repeatedly ruled that judicial review of the decision of an administrative official is
the government. This is generally true with respect to acts involving the exercise of judgement or
of course subject to certain guide posts laid down in many decided cases. Thus, for instance, findings
discretion, and findings of fact. Findings of fact by an administrative board or officials, following a
of fact in such decision should not be disturbed if supported by substantial evidence, but review is
hearing are binding upon courts and will not be disturbed except where the boar or official has gone
justified when there has been a denial of due process, or mistake of law or fraud, collusion or
arbitrary action in the administrative proceeding, where the procedure which led to factual findings
beyond his statutory authority, exercised unconstitutional powers or clearly acted arbitrarily and
without regard to his duty or with grave abuse of discretion.


Certain universally accepted axioms govern judicial review through the extraordinary actions
of certiorari or prohibition of determinations of administrative officers or agencies: first, that
before said actions may be entertained in the courts of justice, it must be shown that all the
administrative remedies prescribed by law or ordinance have been exhausted; and second, that
the administrative decision may properly be annulled or set aside only upon a clear showing that
the administrative official or tribunal has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave
abuse of discretion.


An administrative fine was imposed upon a vessel for carrying unmanifested cargo but without
giving the ship authorities a hearing. The Supreme Court sustained the resort to judicial action
without first appealing the collectors decision to the Commissioner of Customs, saying that such
appeal was not a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law as would
prevent petitioners from taking the present action, for it is undisputed that respondent collector
has acted in utter disregard of the principle of due process.


COMELECs letter threatening the filling of the election offense against petitioners is already an
actionable infringement of his right to speech. The impending threat of criminal litigation is enough
to curtail petitioners speech. Exhaustion of administrative remedies as COMELEC suggested
prolongs the violation of their freedom of speech. Political speech enjoys preferred protection
within our constitutional order.