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Topic:

Carlos Balacuit, Lamberto Tan and Sergio Yu Carcel vs CFI Agusan del Norte and Butuan City
and City of Butuan
GR No. L-38429, 30 June 1988
Gancayco, J.

Facts:
 The case involves Ordinance 640 penalizing any person or entity for requiring children
between 7 and 12 to pay full price for tickets intended for adults.
 Petitioners, managers of Maya and Dalisay Theaters, Crown Theater and Diamond
theater, respectively, filed a complaint praying that the ordinance be declared
unconstitutional and unenforceable.
 A restraining order was issued to refrain respondents from enforcing said ordinance.
 Respondents filed their answer stating the validity of ordinance.
 CFI ruled in favor of respondents upholding the constitutionality of the ordinance in
question.
 Petitioners filed an MR which was denied in a resolution.

Issue:
WON the Ordinance is ultra vires and an invalid exercise of police power

Held:
Yes

Ratio:
 It is already settled that the operation of theaters, cinematographs and other places
of public exhibition are subject to regulation by the municipal council in the exercise
of delegated police power by the local government.
 The Court agrees with petitioners that the ordinance is not justified by any necessity for
public interest. The police power legislation must be firmly grounded on public interest
and welfare, and a reasonable relation must exist between purposes and means.
 The evident purpose of the ordinance is to help ease the burden of cost on the part of
parents who have to shell out the same amount of money for the admission of their
children, as they would for themselves,
 There is nothing pernicious in demanding equal price for both children and adults. The
petitioners are merely conducting their legitimate businesses. The object of every
business entrepreneur is to make a profit out of his venture. There is nothing immoral or
injurious in charging the same price for both children and adults. In fact, no person is
under compulsion to purchase a ticket. It is a totally voluntary act on the part of the
purchaser if he buys a ticket to such performances.
 While it is true that a business may be regulated, it is equally true that such regulation
must be within the bounds of reason, that is, the regulatory ordinance must be
reasonable, and its provisions cannot be oppressive amounting to an arbitrary
interference with the business or calling subject of regulation. A lawful business or
calling may not, under the guise of regulation, be unreasonably interfered with even
by the exercise of police power.
 A police measure for the regulation of the conduct, control and operation of a business
should not encroach upon the legitimate and lawful exercise by the citizens of their
property rights. The right of the owner to fix a price at which his property shall be sold
or used is an inherent attribute of the property itself and, as such, within the protection
of the due process clause.
 The exercise of police power by the local government is valid unless it contravenes the
fundamental law of the land, or an act of the legislature, or unless it is against public
policy or is unreasonable, oppressive, partial, discriminating or in derogation of a
common right.