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#41 KMU Labor Center vs.

Garcia AUTHOR: Pelayo


[G.R. 115381, Dec. 23, 1994] NOTES:
TOPIC: Associational Standing Focused on Standing (Syllabus)
PONENTE: Kapunan PBOAP - Provincial Bus Operators Association of the
Philippines.
LTFRB - Land Transportation Franchising and
Regulatory Board.

FACTS:
1. LTFRB Chairman Fernando issued DOTC Memorandum Order No. 90-395 allowing provincial bus
operators to charge passengers within a range of 15% and above and below the LTFRB official rate
of one year.
2. PBOAP filed an application for rate increase of eight and a half centavos (P0.085) per kilometer for
all types of provincial buses.
3. PBOAP reduced its proposed fare to of eight and a half centavos (P0.085) per kilometer for all types
of provincial buses.
4. LTFRB granted the fare rate increase.
5. DOTC Secretary Prado issued Department Order No. 92-587 defining the policy framework on the
regulation of transport services. [The control in pricing shall be liberalized to introduce price
competition complementary with the quality of service, subject to prior notice and public hearing.
Fares shall not be provisionally authorized without public hearing.]
6. PBOAP availed DOTC deregulation policy in which PBOAP announced a 20% fare increase effective
on March 16, 1994
7. KMU filed a petition before LTFRB opposing the increase in bus fares.
8. LTFRB dismissed KMUs petition for lack of merit.
9. PBOAP, DOTC Secretary Garcia, and LTFRB assert that KMU dont have the standing to maintain
the instant suit and claimed that it is within LTFRB and DOTCs authority to set fare range schemes
and to establish a presumption of public needs in applications for certificates of public convenience.

ISSUE(S):
1. WON KMU have locus standi in the case at bar?

HELD: Yes

RATIO:

1. YES. Citing Lamb v. Phipps, the SC ruled that judicial power is the power to hear and decide causes
pending between parties who have the right to sue in the courts of law and equity. Corollary to this
provision is the principle of locus standi of a party litigant. One who is directly affected by and whose
interest is immediate and substantial in the controversy has the standing to sue. The rule therefore requires
that a party must show a personal stake in the outcome of the case or an injury to himself that can be
redressed by a favorable decision so as to warrant an invocation of the court's jurisdiction and to justify the
exercise of the court's remedial powers in his behalf.

In the case at bench, petitioner, whose members had suffered and continue to suffer grave and irreparable
injury and damage from the implementation of the questioned memoranda, circulars and/or orders, has
shown that it has a clear legal right that was violated and continues to be violated with the enforcement of
the challenged memoranda, circulars and/or orders. KMU members, who avail of the use of buses, trains
and jeepneys everyday, are directly affected by the burdensome cost of arbitrary increase in passenger
fares. They are part of the millions of commuters who comprise the riding public. Certainly, their rights
must be protected, not neglected nor ignored.
Assuming arguendo that petitioner is not possessed of the standing to sue, this court is ready to brush aside
this barren procedural infirmity and recognize the legal standing of the petitioner in view of the
transcendental importance of the issues raised. And this act of liberality is not without judicial precedent.
As early as the Emergency Powers Cases, this Court had exercised its discretion and waived the
requirement of proper party.

CASE LAW/ DOCTRINE: The parties have suffered and continue to suffer, members of the KMU have been
affected by the fare hikes upon the avail of public transportation every day.

DISSENTING/CONCURRING OPINION(S):