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ADMIN LAW GENERAL POWERS AND ATTRIBUTES OF LGUS: CLOSURE AND OPENING OF ROADS

Title: Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Bel-Air G.R. No. 135962


Village Association, Inc. Date: March 27, 2000
Ponente: Puno, J.
METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, BEL-AIR VILLAGE ASSOCIATION, INC.,
petitioner respondent
FACTS
 MMDA is a government agency tasked with the delivery of basic services in Metro Manila. Bel-Air is a non-stock, non-
profit corporation whose members are homeowners of Bel-Air Village in Makati City. Bel-Air is the registered owner
of the Neptune Street, a road inside Bel-Air Village.
 December 30, 1995 Bel-Air received a notice from MMDA requesting Bel-Air to open Neptune St. to public vehicular
traffic. On the same day, MMDA apprised that the perimeter wall separating the subdivision from the adjacent
Kalayaan Avenue would be demolished.
 January 2, 1996, MMDA instituted a case for injunction against Bel-Air; and prayed for a TRO and preliminary injunction
enjoining Neptune St. and prohibiting the demolition of the perimeter wall. Court issued a TRO the next day.
 After due hearing, RTC denied the issuance of a preliminary injunction. MMDA question the denial and appealed to
the CA. CA conducted an ocular inspection of Neptune St. then issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the
MMDA proposed action.
 On January 27, 1997, appellate court rendered a decision finding MMDA no authority to order the opening of Neptune
St. It held that the authority is in the City Council of Makati by ordinance.
 The motion for reconsideration is denied hence this recourse.
 MMDA said it has the authority to open Neptune St. because it is an agent of the Government endowed with police
power in the delivery of basic services in Metro Manila. From the premise of police powers, it follow then that it need
not for an ordinance to be enacted first.
o Police power is an inherent attribute of sovereignty. Police power is lodged primarily in the National Legislature,
which the latter can delegate to the President and administrative boards, LGU or other lawmaking bodies.
o LGU is a political subdivision for local affairs. Which has a legislative body empowered to enact ordinances,
approved resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the province/city/municipality.
o Metro Manila is declared as a special development and administrative region in 1995. And the administration of
metro-wide basic services is under the MMDA. Which includes, transport and traffic management. It should be
noted that MMDA are limited to the acts: formulation, coordination, regulation, implementation, preparation,
management, monitoring, setting of policies and installation of a system and administration. MMDA was not
granted with legislative power.
ISSUE/S
Whether or not the MMDA has the mandate to open Neptune Street to public traffic pursuant to its regulatory and police
powers. NO
RATIO
 The basis for the proposed opening of Neptune Street is contained in the notice of December 22, 1995 sent by
petitioner to respondent BAVA, through its president. The notice does not cite any ordinance or law, either by the
Sangguniang Panlungsod of Makati City or by the MMDA, as the legal basis for the proposed opening of Neptune St.
 The MMDA is not the same entity as the MMC in Sangalang. Although the MMC is the forerunner of the present
MMDA, an examination of Presidential Decree (P. D.) No. 824, the charter of the MMC, shows that the latter possessed
greater powers which were not bestowed on the present MMDA.
 Under the 1987 Constitution, the local government units became primarily responsible for the governance of their
respective political subdivisions. The MMDA's jurisdiction was limited to addressing common problems involving basic
services that transcended local boundaries. It did not have legislative power.
 The Court held that the MMDA does not have the capacity to exercise police power. Police power is primarily lodged
in the National Legislature. However, police power may be delegated to government units. Petitioner herein is a
development authority and not a political government unit. Therefore, the MMDA cannot exercise police power
because it cannot be delegated to them. It is not a legislative unit of the government. Republic Act No. 7924 does not
empower the MMDA to enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the
inhabitants of Manila. There is no syllable in the said act that grants MMDA police power.
 It is an agency created for the purpose of laying down policies and coordinating with various national government
agencies, people’s organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector for the efficient and
expeditious delivery of basic services in the vast metropolitan area.
 LGU is a political subdivision for local affairs. Which has a legislative body empowered to enact ordinances, approved
resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the province/city/municipality.
 The MMDA is, as termed in the charter itself, "development authority." All its functions are administrative in nature.
The powers of the MMDA are limited to the following acts: formulation, coordination, regulation, implementation,
preparation, management, monitoring, setting of policies, installation of a system and administration. There is no
syllable in R.A. No. 7924 that grants the MMDA police power, let alone legislative power
 In sum, the MMDA has no power to enact ordinances for the welfare of the community. It is the LGUs, acting through
their respective legislative councils, that possess legislative power and police power.
 The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Makati City did not pass any ordinance or resolution ordering the opening of Neptune
Street, hence, its proposed opening by the MMDA is illegal.
RULING
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is DENIED. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 39549
are affirmed.
(SANTOS, 2B 2017-2018)