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EN BANC

LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:


BOY SCOUTS OF THE G.R. No. 177131
PHILIPPINES,
The jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit (COA) over the Boy Scouts of the Philippines
Petitioner, Present:
(BSP) is the subject matter of this controversy that reached us via petition for prohibition[1]
CORONA, C.J.,
filed by the BSP under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Court. In this petition, the BSP seeks
CARPIO,
CARPIO MORALES, that the COA be prohibited from implementing its June 18, 2002 Decision,[2] its February
VELASCO, JR., 21, 2007 Resolution,[3] as well as all other issuances arising therefrom, and that all of the
NACHURA,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, foregoing be rendered null and void. [4]
BRION,
PERALTA,
Antecedent Facts and Background of the Case
- versus - BERSAMIN,
DEL CASTILLO,
ABAD, This case arose when the COA issued Resolution No. 99-011[5] on August 19, 1999 (the
VILLARAMA, JR.,
COA Resolution), with the subject Defining the Commissions policy with respect to the
PEREZ,
MENDOZA, and audit of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. In its whereas clauses, the COA Resolution
SERENO, JJ. stated that the BSP was created as a public corporation under Commonwealth Act No. 111,
as amended by Presidential Decree No. 460 and Republic Act No. 7278; that in Boy Scouts
Promulgated: of the Philippines v. National Labor Relations Commission,[6] the Supreme Court ruled that
COMMISSION ON AUDIT,
the BSP, as constituted under its charter, was a government-controlled corporation within
Respondent. June 7, 2011
the meaning of Article IX(B)(2)(1) of the Constitution; and that the BSP is appropriately
regarded as a government instrumentality under the 1987 Administrative Code. [7] The COA
Resolution also cited its constitutional mandate under Section 2(1), Article IX (D). Finally,
the COA Resolution reads:

x--------------------------------------------------x NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing premises, the


COMMISSION PROPER HAS RESOLVED, AS IT DOES HEREBY RESOLVE, to
conduct an annual financial audit of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in accordance
with generally accepted auditing standards, and express an opinion on whether the
DECISION
financial statements which include the Balance Sheet, the Income Statement and the the appointment and confirmation power of the President of the
Statement of Cash Flows present fairly its financial position and results of operations. Philippines, as Chief Scout, over the members of the said Board.

xxxx The BSP believes that the cited case has been superseded by RA 7278.
Thereby weakening the cases conclusion that the BSP is a government-
BE IT RESOLVED FURTHERMORE, that for purposes of audit supervision, the controlled corporation (sic). The 1987 Administrative Code itself, of
Boy Scouts of the Philippines shall be classified among the government corporations which the BSP vs. NLRC relied on for some terms, defines
belonging to the Educational, Social, Scientific, Civic and Research Sector under the government-owned and controlled corporations as agencies organized
Corporate Audit Office I, to be audited, similar to the subsidiary corporations, by as stock or non-stock corporations which the BSP, under its present
employing the team audit approach.[8] (Emphases supplied.) charter, is not.

Also, the Government, like in other GOCCs, does not have funds
The BSP sought reconsideration of the COA Resolution in a letter[9] dated November 26, invested in the BSP. What RA 7278 only provides is that the
Government or any of its subdivisions, branches, offices, agencies and
1999 signed by the BSP National President Jejomar C. Binay, who is now the Vice
instrumentalities can from time to time donate and contribute funds to
President of the Republic, wherein he wrote: the BSP.

xxxx
It is the position of the BSP, with all due respect, that it is not subject to the Commissions
jurisdiction on the following grounds: Also the BSP respectfully believes that the BSP is not appropriately
regarded as a government instrumentality under the 1987
1. We reckon that the ruling in the case of Boy Scouts of the Administrative Code as stated in the COA resolution. As defined by
Philippines vs. National Labor Relations Commission, et al. (G.R. Section 2(10) of the said code, instrumentality refers to any agency of
No. 80767) classifying the BSP as a government-controlled the National Government, not integrated within the department
corporation is anchored on the substantial Government participation framework, vested with special functions or jurisdiction by law,
in the National Executive Board of the BSP. It is to be noted that the endowed with some if not all corporate powers, administering special
case was decided when the BSP Charter is defined by funds, and enjoying operational autonomy, usually through a charter.
Commonwealth Act No. 111 as amended by Presidential Decree
460. The BSP is not an entity administering special funds. It is not even
included in the DECS National Budget. x x x
However, may we humbly refer you to Republic Act No. 7278 which
amended the BSPs charter after the cited case was decided. The most It may be argued also that the BSP is not an agency of the Government.
salient of all amendments in RA No. 7278 is the alteration of the The 1987 Administrative Code, merely referred the BSP as an attached
composition of the National Executive Board of the BSP. agency of the DECS as distinguished from an actual line agency of
departments that are included in the National Budget. The BSP believes
The said RA virtually eliminated the substantial government that an attached agency is different from an agency. Agency, as defined
participation in the National Executive Board by removing: (i) the in Section 2(4) of the Administrative Code, is defined as any of the
President of the Philippines and executive secretaries, with the various units of the Government including a department, bureau, office,
exception of the Secretary of Education, as members thereof; and (ii)
instrumentality, government-owned or controlled corporation or local designated the BSP as one of the attached agencies of DECS. Being an attached agency,
government or distinct unit therein. however, it does not change its nature as a government-controlled corporation with original
charter and, necessarily, subject to COA audit jurisdiction. Besides, Section 2(1), Article
Under the above definition, the BSP is neither a unit of the IX-D of the Constitution provides that COA shall have the power, authority, and duty to
Government; a department which refers to an executive department as examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and
created by law (Section 2[7] of the Administrative Code); nor a bureau expenditures or uses of funds and property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to, the
which refers to any principal subdivision or unit of any department Government, or any of its subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities, including
(Section 2[8], Administrative Code).[10] government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters. [14]

Subsequently, requests for reconsideration of the COA Resolution were also made
Based on the Memorandum of the COA General Counsel, Director Sunico wrote:
separately by Robert P. Valdellon, Regional Scout Director, Western Visayas Region,
Iloilo City and Eugenio F. Capreso, Council Scout Executive of Calbayog City. [11]
In view of the points clarified by said Memorandum upholding COA Resolution No. 99-
011, we have to comply with the provisions of the latter, among which is to conduct an
In a letter[12] dated July 3, 2000, Director Crescencio S. Sunico, Corporate Audit Officer annual financial audit of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.[15]

(CAO) I of the COA, furnished the BSP with a copy of the Memorandum[13]dated June
20, 2000 of Atty. Santos M. Alquizalas, the COA General Counsel. In said Memorandum, In a letter dated November 20, 2000 signed by Director Amorsonia B. Escarda, CAO I, the

the COA General Counsel opined that Republic Act No. 7278 did not supersede the Courts COA informed the BSP that a preliminary survey of its organizational structure, operations

ruling in Boy Scouts of the Philippines v. National Labor Relations Commission, even and accounting system/records shall be conducted on November 21 to 22, 2000. [16]

though said law eliminated the substantial government participation in the selection of
members of the National Executive Board of the BSP. The Memorandum further provides: Upon the BSPs request, the audit was deferred for thirty (30) days. The BSP then filed a
Petition for Review with Prayer for Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining

Analysis of the said case disclosed that the substantial government participation is only one Order before the COA. This was denied by the COA in its questioned Decision, which
(1) of the three (3) grounds relied upon by the Court in the resolution of the case. Other held that the BSP is under its audit jurisdiction. The BSP moved for reconsideration but
considerations include the character of the BSPs purposes and functions which has a public
aspect and the statutory designation of the BSP as a public corporation. These grounds this was likewise denied under its questioned Resolution.[17]
have not been deleted by R.A. No. 7278. On the contrary, these were strengthened as
evidenced by the amendment made relative to BSPs purposes stated in Section 3 of R.A.
This led to the filing by the BSP of this petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction
No. 7278.
and temporary restraining order against the COA.
On the argument that BSP is not appropriately regarded as a government instrumentality
and agency of the government, such has already been answered and clarified. The Supreme
Court has elucidated this matter in the BSP case when it declared that BSP is regarded as, The Issue
both a government-controlled corporation with an original charter and as an instrumentality
of the Government. Likewise, it is not disputed that the Administrative Code of 1987
As stated earlier, the sole issue to be resolved in this case is whether the BSP falls under characterized as non-governmental, and hence, beyond the audit jurisdiction of the COA. It
the COAs audit jurisdiction. further claims that the designation by the Court of the BSP as a government agency or
instrumentality is mere obiter dictum.[20]

The BSP maintains that the provisions of Republic Act No. 7278 suggest that governance
of BSP has come to be overwhelmingly a private affair or nature, with government
The Parties Respective Arguments participation restricted to the seat of the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports.[21] It
cites Philippine Airlines Inc. v. Commission on Audit[22] wherein the Court declared that,
The BSP contends that Boy Scouts of the Philippines v. National Labor Relations PAL, having ceased to be a government-owned or controlled corporation is no longer
Commission is inapplicable for purposes of determining the audit jurisdiction of the COA under the audit jurisdiction of the COA.[23] Claiming that the amendments introduced by
as the issue therein was the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Commission over a Republic Act No. 7278 constituted a supervening event that changed the BSPs corporate
case for illegal dismissal and unfair labor practice filed by certain BSP employees. [18] identity in the same way that the governments privatization program changed PALs, the
BSP makes the case that the government no longer has control over it; thus, the COA
While the BSP concedes that its functions do relate to those that the government might cannot use the Boy Scouts of the Philippines v. National Labor Relations Commission as its
otherwise completely assume on its own, it avers that this alone was not determinative of basis for the exercise of its jurisdiction and the issuance of COA Resolution No. 99-011.[24]
the COAs audit jurisdiction over it. The BSP further avers that the Court in Boy Scouts of The BSP further claims as follows:
the Philippines v. National Labor Relations Commission simply stated x x x that in respect
of functions, the BSP is akin to a public corporation but this was not synonymous to It is not far-fetched, in fact, to concede that BSPs funds and assets
[19] are private in character. Unlike ordinary public corporations, such as
holding that the BSP is a government corporation or entity subject to audit by the COA.
provinces, cities, and municipalities, or government-owned and controlled
corporations, such as Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development
The BSP contends that Republic Act No. 7278 introduced crucial amendments to its Bank of the Philippines, the assets and funds of BSP are not derived from
any government grant. For its operations, BSP is not dependent in any way
charter; hence, the findings of the Court in Boy Scouts of the Philippines v. National Labor on any government appropriation; as a matter of fact, it has not even been
Relations Commission are no longer valid as the government has ceased to play a included in any appropriations for the government. To be sure, COA has not
alleged, in its Resolution No. 99-011 or in the Memorandum of its General
controlling influence in it. The BSP claims that the pronouncements of the Court therein
Counsel, that BSP received, receives or continues to receive assets and funds
must be taken only within the context of that case; that the Court had categorically found from any agency of the government. The foregoing simply point to the
that its assets were acquired from the Boy Scouts of America and not from the Philippine private nature of the funds and assets of petitioner BSP.

government, and that its operations are financed chiefly from membership dues of the Boy xxxx
Scouts themselves as well as from property rentals; and that the BSP may correctly be
As stated in petitioners third argument, BSPs assets and funds were undeniably sovereign functions enshrined under the Constitution and discussed by the
never acquired from the government. Its operations are not in any way
Court in Boy Scouts of the Philippines v. National Labor Relations Commission. The COA
financed by the government, as BSP has never been included in any
appropriations act for the government. Neither has the government invested contends that any attempt to classify the BSP as a private corporation would be
funds with BSP. BSP, has not been, at any time, a user of government incomprehensible since no less than the law which created it had designated it as a public
property or funds; nor have properties of the government been held in trust
by BSP. This is precisely the reason why, until this time, the COA has not corporation and its statutory mandate embraces performance of sovereign functions. [28]
attempted to subject BSP to its audit jurisdiction. x x x. [25]

The COA claims that the only reason why the BSP employees fell within the scope of the
To summarize its other arguments, the BSP contends that it is not a government-owned or Civil Service Commission even before the 1987 Constitution was the fact that it was a
controlled corporation; neither is it an instrumentality, agency, or subdivision of the government-owned or controlled corporation; that as an attached agency of the Department
government. of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), the BSP is an agency of the government; and
that the BSP is a chartered institution under Section 1(12) of the Revised Administrative
In its Comment,[26] the COA argues as follows: Code of 1987, embraced under the term government instrumentality. [29]

1. The BSP is a public corporation created under The COA concludes that being a government agency, the funds and property owned or held
Commonwealth Act No. 111 dated October 31, 1936, and by the BSP are subject to the audit authority of the COA pursuant to Section 2(1), Article
whose functions relate to the fostering of public virtues of
citizenship and patriotism and the general improvement of the IX (D) of the 1987 Constitution.
moral spirit and fiber of the youth. The manner of creation and
the purpose for which the BSP was created indubitably prove
In support of its arguments, the COA cites The Veterans Federation of the Philippines
that it is a government agency.
(VFP) v. Reyes,[30] wherein the Court held that among the reasons why the VFP is a public
2. Being a government agency, the funds and property owned
corporation is that its charter, Republic Act No. 2640, designates it as one. Furthermore,
or held in trust by the BSP are subject to the audit authority of
respondent Commission on Audit pursuant to Section 2 (1), the COA quotes the Court as saying in that case:
Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution.

3. Republic Act No. 7278 did not change the character of the In several cases, we have dealt with the issue of whether certain
BSP as a government-owned or controlled corporation and specific activities can be classified as sovereign functions. These cases,
government instrumentality.[27] which deal with activities not immediately apparent to be sovereign
functions, upheld the public sovereign nature of operations needed either to
promote social justice or to stimulate patriotic sentiments and love of
The COA maintains that the functions of the BSP that include, among others, the country.

teaching to the youth of patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, are xxxx
and concluding that the funds and property that it either owned or held in trust are not
Petitioner claims that its funds are not public funds because no
public funds and are not subject to the COAs audit jurisdiction.
budgetary appropriations or government funds have been released to the VFP
directly or indirectly from the DBM, and because VFP funds come from
membership dues and lease rentals earned from administering government Thereafter, considering the BSPs claim that it is a private corporation, this Court, in a
lands reserved for the VFP.
Resolution[34] dated July 20, 2010, required the parties to file, within a period of twenty
The fact that no budgetary appropriations have been released to the (20) days from receipt of said Resolution, their respective comments on the issue of
VFP does not prove that it is a private corporation. The DBM indeed did not
whether Commonwealth Act No. 111, as amended by Republic Act No. 7278, is
see it fit to propose budgetary appropriations to the VFP, having itself
believed that the VFP is a private corporation. If the DBM, however, is constitutional.
mistaken as to its conclusion regarding the nature of VFP's incorporation, its
previous assertions will not prevent future budgetary appropriations to the
VFP. The erroneous application of the law by public officers does not bar a In compliance with the Courts resolution, the parties filed their respective Comments.
subsequent correct application of the law.[31] (Citations omitted.)

In its Comment[35] dated October 22, 2010, the COA argues that the constitutionality of
The COA points out that the government is not precluded by law from extending financial Commonwealth Act No. 111, as amended, is not determinative of the resolution of the
support to the BSP and adding to its funds, and that as a government instrumentality which present controversy on the COAs audit jurisdiction over petitioner, and in fact, the
continues to perform a vital function imbued with public interest and reflective of the controversy may be resolved on other grounds; thus, the requisites before a judicial inquiry
governments policy to stimulate patriotic sentiments and love of country, the BSPs funds may be made, as set forth in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Court of Tax Appeals,[36]
from whatever source are public funds, and can be used solely for public purpose in have not been fully met.[37] Moreover, the COA maintains that behind every law lies the
pursuance of the provisions of Republic Act No. [7278]. [32] presumption of constitutionality.[38] The COA likewise argues that contrary to the BSPs
position, repeal of a law by implication is not favored. [39] Lastly, the COA claims that there
The COA claims that the fact that it has not yet audited the BSPs funds may not bar the was no violation of Section 16, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution with the creation or
subsequent exercise of its audit jurisdiction. declaration of the BSP as a government corporation. Citing Philippine Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Commission on Audit,[40] the COA further alleges:
The BSP filed its Reply[33] on August 29, 2007 maintaining that its statutory designation as
a public corporation and the public character of its purpose and functions are not The true criterion, therefore, to determine whether a corporation is
determinative of the COAs audit jurisdiction; reiterating its stand that Boy Scouts of the public or private is found in the totality of the relation of the corporation to
the State. If the corporation is created by the State as the latters own agency
Philippines v. National Labor Relations Commission is not applicable anymore because the or instrumentality to help it in carrying out its governmental functions, then
aspect of government ownership and control has been removed by Republic Act No. 7278; that corporation is considered public; otherwise, it is private. x x x. [41]
For its part, in its Comment[42] filed on December 3, 2010, the BSP submits that its charter,
Commonwealth Act No. 111, as amended by Republic Act No. 7278, is constitutional as it The BSP claims that assuming arguendo that it is a private corporation, its creation is not
does not violate Section 16, Article XII of the Constitution. The BSP alleges that while [it] contrary to the purpose of Section 16, Article XII of the Constitution; and that the evil
is not a public corporation within the purview of COAs audit jurisdiction, neither is it a sought to be avoided by said provision is inexistent in the enactment of the BSPs charter, [49]
private corporation created by special law falling within the ambit of the constitutional as, (i) it was not created for any pecuniary purpose; (ii) those who will primarily benefit
[43]
prohibition x x x. The BSP further alleges: from its creation are not its officers but its entire membership consisting of boys being
trained in scoutcraft all over the country; (iii) it caters to all boys who wish to join the
Petitioners purpose is embodied in Section 3 of C.A. No. 111, as organization without any distinction; and (iv) it does not limit its membership to a
amended by Section 1 of R.A. No. 7278, thus:
particular class or group of boys. Thus, the enactment of its charter confers no special

xxxx privilege to particular individuals, families, or groups; nor does it bring about the danger of
granting undue favors to certain groups to the prejudice of others or of the interest of the
A reading of the foregoing provision shows that petitioner was created
to advance the interest of the youth, specifically of young boys, and to mold country, which are the evils sought to be prevented by the constitutional provision
them into becoming good citizens. Ultimately, the creation of petitioner involved.[50]
redounds to the benefit, not only of those boys, but of the public good or
welfare. Hence, it can be said that petitioners purpose and functions are more
of a public rather than a private character. Petitioner caters to all boys who Finally, the BSP states that the presumption of constitutionality of a legislative enactment
wish to join the organization without any distinction. It does not limit its prevails absent any clear showing of its repugnancy to the Constitution.[51]
membership to a particular class of boys. Petitioners members are trained in
scoutcraft and taught patriotism, civic consciousness and responsibility,
courage, self-reliance, discipline and kindred virtues, and moral values, The Ruling of the Court
preparing them to become model citizens and outstanding leaders of the
country.[44]
After looking at the legislative history of its amended charter and carefully studying the
The BSP reiterates its stand that the public character of its purpose and functions do not applicable laws and the arguments of both parties, we find that the BSP is a public
place it within the ambit of the audit jurisdiction of the COA as it lacks the government corporation and its funds are subject to the COAs audit jurisdiction.
ownership or control that the Constitution requires before an entity may be subject of said
jurisdiction.[45] It avers that it merely stated in its Reply that the withdrawal of government The BSP Charter (Commonwealth Act No. 111, approved on October 31, 1936), entitled
control is akin to privatization, but it does not necessarily mean that petitioner is a private An Act to Create a Public Corporation to be Known as the Boy Scouts of the Philippines,
corporation.[46] The BSP claims that it has a unique characteristic which neither classifies it and to Define its Powers and Purposes created the BSP as a public corporation to serve the
as a purely public nor a purely private corporation; [47] that it is not a quasi-public following public interest or purpose:
corporation; and that it may belong to a different class altogether. [48]
Sec. 3. The purpose of this corporation shall be to promote through organization and Subsequently, on March 24, 1992, Republic Act No. 7278 further amended
cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do useful things for themselves and
Commonwealth Act No. 111 by strengthening the volunteer and democratic character of
others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to inculcate in them patriotism, civic consciousness
and responsibility, courage, self-reliance, discipline and kindred virtues, and moral values, the BSP and reducing government representation in its governing body, as follows:
using the method which are in common use by boy scouts.

Section 1. Sections 2 and 3 of Commonwealth Act. No. 111, as amended, is hereby


Presidential Decree No. 460, approved on May 17, 1974, amended Commonwealth Act amended to read as follows:

No. 111 and provided substantial changes in the BSP organizational structure. Pertinent
"Sec. 2. The said corporation shall have the powers of perpetual succession, to sue and be
provisions are quoted below: sued; to enter into contracts; to acquire, own, lease, convey and dispose of such real and
personal estate, land grants, rights and choses in action as shall be necessary for corporate
purposes, and to accept and receive funds, real and personal property by gift, devise,
Section II. Section 5 of the said Act is also amended to read as follows: bequest or other means, to conduct fund-raising activities; to adopt and use a seal, and the
same to alter and destroy; to have offices and conduct its business and affairs in
The governing body of the said corporation shall consist of a National Executive Board Metropolitan Manila and in the regions, provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays of
composed of (a) the President of the Philippines or his representative; (b) the charter and the Philippines, to make and adopt by-laws, rules and regulations not inconsistent with this
life members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines; (c) the Chairman of the Board of Act and the laws of the Philippines, and generally to do all such acts and things, including
Trustees of the Philippine Scouting Foundation; (d) the Regional Chairman of the Scout the establishment of regulations for the election of associates and successors, as may be
Regions of the Philippines; (e) the Secretary of Education and Culture, the Secretary of necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this Act and promote the purposes of said
Social Welfare, the Secretary of National Defense, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of corporation: Provided, That said corporation shall have no power to issue certificates of
Finance, the Secretary of Youth and Sports, and the Secretary of Local Government and stock or to declare or pay dividends, its objectives and purposes being solely of benevolent
Community Development; (f) an equal number of individuals from the private sector; (g) character and not for pecuniary profit of its members.
the National President of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines; (h) one Scout of Senior age
from each Scout Region to represent the boy membership; and (i) three representatives of "Sec. 3. The purpose of this corporation shall be to promote through organization and
the cultural minorities. Except for the Regional Chairman who shall be elected by the cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do useful things for themselves
Regional Scout Councils during their annual meetings, and the Scouts of their respective and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to inculcate in them patriotism, civic
regions, all members of the National Executive Board shall be either by appointment or consciousness and responsibility, courage, self-reliance, discipline and kindred
cooption, subject to ratification and confirmation by the Chief Scout, who shall be the virtues, and moral values, using the method which are in common use by boy scouts."
Head of State. Vacancies in the Executive Board shall be filled by a majority vote of the
remaining members, subject to ratification and confirmation by the Chief Scout. The by- Sec. 2. Section 4 of Commonwealth Act No. 111, as amended, is hereby repealed and in
laws may prescribe the number of members of the National Executive Board necessary to lieu thereof, Section 4 shall read as follows:
constitute a quorum of the board, which number may be less than a majority of the whole
number of the board. The National Executive Board shall have power to make and to "Sec. 4. The President of the Philippines shall be the Chief Scout of the Boy Scouts of
amend the by-laws, and, by a two-thirds vote of the whole board at a meeting called for this the Philippines."
purpose, may authorize and cause to be executed mortgages and liens upon the property of
the corporation. Sec. 3. Sections 5, 6, 7 and 8 of Commonwealth Act No. 111, as amended, are hereby
amended to read as follows:
"Sec. 5. The governing body of the said corporation shall consist of a National The BSP as a Public Corporation under Par. 2, Art. 2 of the Civil Code
Executive Board, the members of which shall be Filipino citizens of good moral character.
The Board shall be composed of the following:
There are three classes of juridical persons under Article 44 of the Civil Code and the BSP,

"(a) One (1) charter member of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines who shall be elected by as presently constituted under Republic Act No. 7278, falls under the second
the members of the National Council at its meeting called for this purpose; classification. Article 44 reads:

"(b) The regional chairmen of the scout regions who shall be elected by the representatives
of all the local scout councils of the region during its meeting called for this purpose: Art. 44. The following are juridical persons:
Provided, That a candidate for regional chairman need not be the chairman of a local scout
council;
(1) The State and its political subdivisions;
(2) Other corporations, institutions and entities for public interest or purpose created
"(c) The Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports;
by law; their personality begins as soon as they have been constituted according to
law;
"(d) The National President of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines;
(3) Corporations, partnerships and associations for private interest or purpose to which
the law grants a juridical personality, separate and distinct from that of each shareholder,
"(e) One (1) senior scout, each from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao areas, to be elected by
partner or member. (Emphases supplied.)
the senior scout delegates of the local scout councils to the scout youth forums in their
respective areas, in its meeting called for this purpose, to represent the boy scout
membership;
The BSP, which is a corporation created for a public interest or purpose, is subject to the
"(f) Twelve (12) regular members to be elected by the members of the National Council in law creating it under Article 45 of the Civil Code, which provides:
its meeting called for this purpose;

"(g) At least ten (10) but not more than fifteen (15) additional members from the private Art. 45. Juridical persons mentioned in Nos. 1 and 2 of the preceding article are
sector who shall be elected by the members of the National Executive Board referred to in governed by the laws creating or recognizing them.
the immediately preceding paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) at the organizational Private corporations are regulated by laws of general application on the subject.
meeting of the newly reconstituted National Executive Board which shall be held Partnerships and associations for private interest or purpose are governed by the provisions
immediately after the meeting of the National Council wherein the twelve (12) regular of this Code concerning partnerships. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
members and the one (1) charter member were elected.

xxxx The purpose of the BSP as stated in its amended charter shows that it was created in order
to implement a State policy declared in Article II, Section 13 of the Constitution, which
"Sec. 8. Any donation or contribution which from time to time may be made to the Boy
reads:
Scouts of the Philippines by the Government or any of its subdivisions, branches, offices,
agencies or instrumentalities or by a foreign government or by private, entities and
individuals shall be expended by the National Executive Board in pursuance of this Act.
ARTICLE II - DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES
Section 13. The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall BOOK IV
promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It
shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
public and civic affairs.
Chapter 7 ADMINISTRATIVE RELATIONSHIP

Evidently, the BSP, which was created by a special law to serve a public purpose in pursuit SEC. 38. Definition of Administrative Relationship. Unless otherwise expressly stated in
the Code or in other laws defining the special relationships of particular agencies,
of a constitutional mandate, comes within the class of public corporations defined by
administrative relationships shall be categorized and defined as follows:
paragraph 2, Article 44 of the Civil Code and governed by the law which creates it,
pursuant to Article 45 of the same Code. xxxx

(3) Attachment. (a) This refers to the lateral relationship between the department or its
The BSPs Classification Under the Administrative Code of 1987 equivalent and the attached agency or corporation for purposes of policy and program
coordination. The coordination may be accomplished by having the department
represented in the governing board of the attached agency or corporation, either as
The public, rather than private, character of the BSP is recognized by the fact that, along
chairman or as a member, with or without voting rights, if this is permitted by the
with the Girl Scouts of the Philippines, it is classified as an attached agency of the DECS charter; having the attached corporation or agency comply with a system of periodic
under Executive Order No. 292, or the Administrative Code of 1987, which states: reporting which shall reflect the progress of programs and projects; and having the
department or its equivalent provide general policies through its representative in the
board, which shall serve as the framework for the internal policies of the attached
TITLE VI EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS corporation or agency. (Emphasis ours.)

Chapter 8 Attached Agencies


As an attached agency, the BSP enjoys operational autonomy, as long as policy and
SEC. 20. Attached Agencies. The following agencies are hereby attached to the program coordination is achieved by having at least one representative of government in
Department:
its governing board, which in the case of the BSP is the DECS Secretary. In this sense,
xxxx the BSP is not under government control or supervision and control. Still this characteristic
does not make the attached chartered agency a private corporation covered by the
(12) Boy Scouts of the Philippines;
constitutional proscription in question.
(13) Girl Scouts of the Philippines.

Art. XII, Sec. 16 of the Constitution refers to private corporations created by


The administrative relationship of an attached agency to the department is defined in the government for proprietary or economic/business purposes

Administrative Code of 1987 as follows:


At the outset, it should be noted that the provision of Section 16 in issue is found in Article ban private corporations created by special charters, which historically gave certain
individuals, families or groups special privileges denied to other citizens.[54] (Emphasis
XII of the Constitution, entitled National Economy and Patrimony. Section 1 of Article
added.)
XII is quoted as follows:

It may be gleaned from the above discussion that Article XII, Section 16 bans the creation
SECTION 1. The goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of
opportunities, income, and wealth; a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services of private corporations by special law. The said constitutional provision should not be
produced by the nation for the benefit of the people; and an expanding productivity as the construed so as to prohibit the creation of public corporations or a corporate agency or
key to raising the quality of life for all, especially the underprivileged.
instrumentality of the government intended to serve a public interest or purpose, which
The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural should not be measured on the basis of economic viability, but according to the public
development and agrarian reform, through industries that make full and efficient use of
interest or purpose it serves as envisioned by paragraph (2), of Article 44 of the Civil
human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign
markets. However, the State shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign Code and the pertinent provisions of the Administrative Code of 1987.
competition and trade practices.

In the pursuit of these goals, all sectors of the economy and all regions of the country shall The BSP is a Public Corporation Not Subject to the Test of Government Ownership
be given optimum opportunity to develop. Private enterprises, including corporations, or Control and Economic Viability
cooperatives, and similar collective organizations, shall be encouraged to broaden the base
of their ownership. The BSP is a public corporation or a government agency or instrumentality with juridical
personality, which does not fall within the constitutional prohibition in Article XII, Section
The scope and coverage of Section 16, Article XII of the Constitution can be seen from the 16, notwithstanding the amendments to its charter. Not all corporations, which are not
aforementioned declaration of state policies and goals which pertains to national economy government owned or controlled, are ipso facto to be considered private corporations as
and patrimony and the interests of the people in economic development. there exists another distinct class of corporations or chartered institutions which are
otherwise known as public corporations. These corporations are treated by law as agencies
Section 16, Article XII deals with the formation, organization, or regulation of private or instrumentalities of the government which are not subject to the tests of ownership or
corporations,[52] which should be done through a general law enacted by Congress, control and economic viability but to different criteria relating to their public
provides for an exception, that is: if the corporation is government owned or controlled; its purposes/interests or constitutional policies and objectives and their administrative
creation is in the interest of the common good; and it meets the test of economic viability. relationship to the government or any of its Departments or Offices.
The rationale behind Article XII, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution was explained in
Feliciano v. Commission on Audit,[53] in the following manner: Classification of Corporations Under Section 16, Article XII of the Constitution on
National Economy and Patrimony
The Constitution emphatically prohibits the creation of private corporations except by a
general law applicable to all citizens. The purpose of this constitutional provision is to
The dissenting opinion of Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio, citing a line of cases, insists We are fortified in this conclusion when we note that the Administrative Code of 1987
designates the BSP as one of the attached agencies of the Department of Education, Culture
that the Constitution recognizes only two classes of corporations: private corporations
and Sports ("DECS"). An "agency of the Government" is defined as referring to any of the
under a general law, and government-owned or controlled corporations created by special various units of the Government including a department, bureau, office, instrumentality,
charters. government-owned or -controlled corporation, or local government or distinct unit therein.
"Government instrumentality" is in turn defined in the 1987 Administrative Code in the
following manner:
We strongly disagree. Section 16, Article XII should not be construed so as to prohibit
Instrumentality - refers to any agency of the National Government, not integrated within
Congress from creating public corporations. In fact, Congress has enacted numerous laws
the department framework, vested with special functions or jurisdiction by law, endowed
creating public corporations or government agencies or instrumentalities vested with with some if not all corporate powers, administering special funds, and enjoying
corporate powers. Moreover, Section 16, Article XII, which relates to National Economy operational autonomy usually through a charter. This term includes regulatory agencies,
chartered institutions and government-owned or controlled corporations.
and Patrimony, could not have tied the hands of Congress in creating public corporations to
serve any of the constitutional policies or objectives. The same Code describes a "chartered institution" in the following terms:

In his dissent, Justice Carpio contends that this ponente introduces a totally different
Chartered institution - refers to any agency organized or operating under a special
species of corporation, which is neither a private corporation nor a government owned or charter, and vested by law with functions relating to specific constitutional policies or
objectives. This term includes the state universities and colleges, and the monetary
controlled corporation and, in so doing, is missing the fact that the BSP, which was created
authority of the State.
as a non-stock, non-profit corporation, can only be either a private corporation or a
government owned or controlled corporation. We believe that the BSP is appropriately regarded as "a government instrumentality" under
the 1987 Administrative Code.

Note that in Boy Scouts of the Philippines v. National Labor Relations Commission, the It thus appears that the BSP may be regarded as both a "government controlled
corporation with an original charter" and as an "instrumentality" of the Government
BSP, under its former charter, was regarded as both a government owned or controlled
within the meaning of Article IX (B) (2) (1) of the Constitution. x x x.[55] (Emphases
corporation with original charter and a public corporation. The said case pertinently stated: supplied.)

While the BSP may be seen to be a mixed type of entity, combining aspects of both The existence of public or government corporate or juridical entities or chartered
public and private entities, we believe that considering the character of its purposes and
institutions by legislative fiat distinct from private corporations and government owned or
its functions, the statutory designation of the BSP as "a public corporation" and the
substantial participation of the Government in the selection of members of the National controlled corporation is best exemplified by the 1987 Administrative Code cited above,
Executive Board of the BSP, the BSP, as presently constituted under its charter, is a
which we quote in part:
government-controlled corporation within the meaning of Article IX (B) (2) (1) of the
Constitution.
Sec. 2. General Terms Defined. Unless the specific words of the text, or the context as a
whole, or a particular statute, shall require a different meaning:
Economic Viability and Ownership and Control Tests Inapplicable to Public
xxxx Corporations

(10) "Instrumentality" refers to any agency of the National Government, not integrated
within the department framework, vested with special functions or jurisdiction by law,
As presently constituted, the BSP still remains an instrumentality of the national
endowed with some if not all corporate powers, administering special funds, and
enjoying operational autonomy, usually through a charter. This term includes government. It is a public corporation created by law for a public purpose, attached to the
regulatory agencies, chartered institutions and government-owned or controlled DECS pursuant to its Charter and the Administrative Code of 1987. It is not a private
corporations. 

corporation which is required to be owned or controlled by the government and be
xxxx economically viable to justify its existence under a special law.

(12) "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
The dissent of Justice Carpio also submits that by recognizing a new class of public
objectives. This term includes the state universities and colleges and the monetary
authority of the State. corporation(s) created by special charter that will not be subject to the test of economic
viability, the constitutional provision will be circumvented.
(13) "Government-owned or controlled corporation" refers to any agency organized as a
stock or non-stock corporation, vested with functions relating to public needs whether
governmental or proprietary in nature, and owned by the Government directly or However, a review of the Record of the 1986 Constitutional Convention reveals the intent
through its instrumentalities either wholly, or, where applicable as in the case of stock
of the framers of the highest law of our land to distinguish between government
corporations, to the extent of at least fifty-one (51) per cent of its capital stock: Provided,
That government-owned or controlled corporations may be further categorized by corporations performing governmental functions and corporations involved in
the Department of the Budget, the Civil Service Commission, and the Commission on business or proprietary functions:
Audit for purposes of the exercise and discharge of their respective powers, functions
and responsibilities with respect to such corporations. THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Foz is recognized.

MR. FOZ. Madam President, I support the proposal to insert ECONOMIC VIABILITY as
Assuming for the sake of argument that the BSP ceases to be owned or controlled by the one of the grounds for organizing government corporations. x x x.
government because of reduction of the number of representatives of the government in the
MR. OPLE. Madam President, the reason for this concern is really that when the
BSP Board, it does not follow that it also ceases to be a government instrumentality as it government creates a corporation, there is a sense in which this corporation becomes
still retains all the characteristics of the latter as an attached agency of the DECS under the exempt from the test of economic performance. We know what happened in the past. If a
government corporation loses, then it makes its claim upon the taxpayers money through
Administrative Code. Vesting corporate powers to an attached agency or instrumentality of
new equity infusions from the government and what is always invoked is the common
the government is not constitutionally prohibited and is allowed by the above-mentioned good. x x x
provisions of the Civil Code and the 1987 Administrative Code.
Therefore, when we insert the phrase ECONOMIC VIABILITY together with the common
good, this becomes a restraint on future enthusiasts for state capitalism to excuse
themselves from the responsibility of meeting the market test so that they become viable. x
x x. xxxx

xxxx MS. QUESADA. But would not the Commissioner say that the reason why many of the
government-owned or controlled corporations failed to come up with the economic test is
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Quesada is recognized. due to the management of these corporations, and not the idea itself of government
corporations? It is a problem of efficiency and effectiveness of management of these
MS. QUESADA. Madam President, may we be clarified by the committee on what is corporations which could be remedied, not by eliminating government corporations or the
meant by economic viability? idea of getting into state-owned corporations, but improving management which our
technocrats should be able to do, given the training and the experience.
THE PRESIDENT. Please proceed.
MR. OPLE. That is part of the economic viability, Madam President.
MR. MONSOD. Economic viability normally is determined by cost-benefit ratio that takes
into consideration all benefits, including economic external as well as internal benefits. MS. QUESADA. So, is the Commissioner saying then that the Filipinos will benefit more
These are what they call externalities in economics, so that these are not strictly financial if these government-controlled corporations were given to private hands, and that there will
criteria. Economic viability involves what we call economic returns or benefits of the be more goods and services that will be affordable and within the reach of the ordinary
country that are not quantifiable in financial terms. x x x. citizens?

xxxx MR. OPLE. Yes. There is nothing here, Madam President, that will prevent the
formation of a government corporation in accordance with a special charter given by
MS. QUESADA. So, would this particular formulation now really limit the entry of Congress. However, we are raising the standard a little bit so that, in the future,
government corporations into activities engaged in by corporations? corporations established by the government will meet the test of the common good
but within that framework we should also build a certain standard of economic
MR. MONSOD. Yes, because it is also consistent with the economic philosophy that viability.
this Commission approved that there should be minimum government participation
and intervention in the economy. xxxx

MS. QUESDA. Sometimes this Commission would just refer to Congress to provide the THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Padilla is recognized.
particular requirements when the government would get into corporations. But this time
around, we specifically mentioned economic viability. x x x. MR. PADILLA. This is an inquiry to the committee. With regard to corporations created
by a special charter for government-owned or controlled corporations, will these be in the
MR. VILLEGAS. Commissioner Ople will restate the reason for his introducing that pioneer fields or in places where the private enterprise does not or cannot enter? Or is this
amendment. so general that these government corporations can compete with private corporations
organized under a general law?
MR. OPLE. I am obliged to repeat what I said earlier in moving for this particular
amendment jointly with Commissioner Foz. During the past three decades, there had been MR. MONSOD. Madam President, x x x. There are two types of government
a proliferation of government corporations, very few of which have succeeded, and many corporations those that are involved in performing governmental functions, like garbage
of which are now earmarked by the Presidential Reorganization Commission for disposal, Manila waterworks, and so on; and those government corporations that are
liquidation because they failed the economic test. x x x. involved in business functions. As we said earlier, there are two criteria that should be
followed for corporations that want to go into business. First is for government
corporations to first prove that they can be efficient in the areas of their proper functions. The Boy Scouts of the Philippines has a long history of providing value formation to
This is one of the problems now because they go into all kinds of activities but are not even our young, and considering how huge the population of the young people is, at this
efficient in their proper functions. Secondly, they should not go into activities that the point in time, and also considering the importance of having an organization such as
private sector can do better. this that will inculcate moral uprightness among the young people, and further
considering that the development of these young people at that tender age of seven to
MR. PADILLA. There is no question about corporations performing governmental sixteen is vital in the development of the country producing good citizens, I believe
functions or functions that are impressed with public interest. But the question is with that we can make an exception of the Boy Scouting movement of the Philippines from this
regard to matters that are covered, perhaps not exhaustively, by private enterprise. It general prohibition against providing tax exemption and privileges. [57]
seems that under this provision the only qualification is economic viability and common
good, but shall government, through government-controlled corporations, compete with
private enterprise? Furthermore, this Court cannot agree with the dissenting opinion which equates the
changes introduced by Republic Act No. 7278 to the BSP Charter as clear manifestation of
MR. MONSOD. No, Madam President. As we said, the government should not engage in
activities that private enterprise is engaged in and can do better. x x x. [56] (Emphases the intent of Congress to return the BSP to the private sector. It was not the intent of
supplied.) Congress in enacting Republic Act No. 7278 to give up all interests in this basic youth
organization, which has been its partner in forming responsible citizens for decades.
Thus, the test of economic viability clearly does not apply to public corporations dealing
with governmental functions, to which category the BSP belongs. The discussion above In fact, as may be seen in the deliberation of the House Bills that eventually resulted to
conveys the constitutional intent not to apply this constitutional ban on the creation of Republic Act No. 7278, Congress worked closely with the BSP to rejuvenate the
public corporations where the economic viability test would be irrelevant. The said test organization, to bring it back to its former glory reached under its original charter,
would only apply if the corporation is engaged in some economic activity or business Commonwealth Act No. 111, and to correct the perceived ills introduced by the
function for the government. amendments to its Charter under Presidential Decree No. 460. The BSP suffered from low
morale and decrease in number because the Secretaries of the different departments in
It is undisputed that the BSP performs functions that are impressed with public interest. In government who were too busy to attend the meetings of the BSPs National Executive
fact, during the consideration of the Senate Bill that eventually became Republic Act No. Board (the Board) sent representatives who, as it turned out, changed from meeting to
7278, which amended the BSP Charter, one of the bills sponsors, Senator Joey Lina, meeting. Thus, the Scouting Councils established in the provinces and cities were not in
described the BSP as follows: touch with what was happening on the national level, but they were left to implement what
was decided by the Board.[58]
Senator Lina. Yes, I can only think of two organizations involving the masses of our
youth, Mr. President, that should be given this kind of a privilege the Boy Scouts of the
A portion of the legislators discussion is quoted below to clearly show their intent:
Philippines and the Girl Scouts of the Philippines. Outside of these two groups, I do not
think there are other groups similarly situated.
HON. DEL MAR. x x x I need not mention to you the value and the tremendous good mandate from, lets say, the government the Corporation Code of the Philippines and
that the Boy Scout Movement has done not only for the youth in particular but for the register with the SEC as non-profit non-stock corporation so that government
country in general. And that is why, if we look around, our past and present national intervention could be very very minimal. Maybe thats a rhetorical question, they may or
leaders, prominent men in the various fields of endeavor, public servants in they may not answer, ano. I dont know what would be the benefit of a charter or a mandate
government offices, and civic leaders in the communities all over the land, and not being provided for by way of legislation versus a registration with the SEC under the
only in our country but all over the world many if not most of them have at one time Corporation Code of the Philippines inasmuch as they dont get anything from the
or another been beneficiaries of the Scouting Movement. And so, it is along this line, government anyway insofar as direct funding. In fact, the only thing that they got from
Mr. Chairman, that we would like to have the early approval of this measure if only to pay government was intervention in their affairs. Maybe we can solicit some commentary
back what we owe much to the Scouting Movement. Now, going to the meat of the matter, comments from the resource persons. Incidentally, dont take that as an objection, Im not
Mr. Chairman, if I may just the Scouting Movement was enacted into law in October 31, objecting. Im all for the objectives of these two bills. It just occurred to me that since you
1936 under Commonwealth Act No. 111. x x x [W]e were acknowledged as the third have had very bad experience in the hands of government and you will always be open to
biggest scouting organization in the world x x x. And to our mind, Mr. Chairman, this such possible intervention even in the future as long as you have a legislative mandate or
erratic growth and this decrease in membership [number] is because of the bad policy your mandate or your charter coming from legislative action.
measures that were enunciated with the enactment or promulgation by the President before
of Presidential Decree No. 460 which we feel is the culprit of the ills that is flagging the xxxx
Boy Scout Movement today. And so, this is specifically what we are attacking, Mr.
Chairman, the disenfranchisement of the National Council in the election of the national MR. ESCUDERO: Mr. Chairman, there may be a disadvantage if the Boy Scouts of
board. x x x. And so, this is what we would like to be appraised of by the officers of the the Philippines will be required to register with the SEC. If we are registered with the
Boy [Scouts] of the Philippines whom we are also confident, have the best interest of the SEC, there could be a danger of proliferation of scout organization. Anybody can organize
Boy Scout Movement at heart and it is in this spirit, Mr. Chairman, that we see no and then register with the SEC. If there will be a proliferation of this, then the organization
impediment towards working together, the Boy Scout of the Philippines officers working will lose control of the entire organization. Another disadvantage, Mr. Chairman, anybody
together with the House of Representatives in coming out with a measure that will put back can file a complaint in the SEC against the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and the SEC may
the vigor and enthusiasm of the Boy Scout Movement. x x x. [59] (Emphasis ours.) suspend the operation or freeze the assets of the organization and hamper the operation of
the organization. I dont know, Mr. Chairman, how you look at it but there could be a
danger for anybody filing a complaint against the organization in the SEC and the SEC
The following is another excerpt from the discussion on the House version of the bill, in might suspend the registration permit of the organization and we will not be able to
operate.
the Committee on Government Enterprises:

HON. AQUINO: Well, that I think would be a problem that will not be exclusive to
HON. AQUINO: x x x Well, obviously, the two bills as well as the previous laws that have corporations registered with the SEC because even if you are government corporation,
created the Boy Scouts of the Philippines did not provide for any direct government court action may be taken against you in other judicial bodies because the SEC is simply
support by way of appropriation from the national budget to support the activities of this another quasi-judicial body. But, I think, the first point would be very interesting, the
organization. The point here is, and at the same time they have been subjected to a first point that you raised. In effect, what you are saying is that with the legislative
governmental intervention, which to their mind has been inimical to the objectives and to mandate creating your charter, in effect, you have been given some sort of a franchise
the institution per se, that is why they are seeking legislative fiat to restore back the original with this movement.
mandate that they had under Commonwealth Act 111. Such having been the experience
in the hands of government, meaning, there has been negative interference on their MR. ESCUDERO: Yes.
part and inasmuch as their mandate is coming from a legislative fiat, then shouldnt it HON. AQUINO: Exclusive franchise of that movement?
be, this rhetorical question, shouldnt it be better for this organization to seek a MR. ESCUDERO: Yes.
HON. AQUINO: Well, thats very well taken so I will proceed with other issues, Mr. is made at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the lis mota
Chairman. x x x.[60] (Emphases added.) of the case.[61] (Emphasis added.)

Therefore, even though the amended BSP charter did away with most of the governmental Thus, when it comes to the exercise of the power of judicial review, the constitutional issue
presence in the BSP Board, this was done to more strongly promote the BSPs objectives, should be the very lis mota, or threshold issue, of the case, and that it should be raised by
which were not supported under Presidential Decree No. 460. The BSP objectives, as either of the parties. These requirements would be ignored under the dissents rather
pointed out earlier, are consistent with the public purpose of the promotion of the well- overreaching view of how this case should have been decided. True, it was the Court that
being of the youth, the future leaders of the country. The amendments were not done with asked the parties to comment, but the Court cannot be the one to raise a constitutional
the view of changing the character of the BSP into a privatized corporation.The BSP issue. Thus, the Court chooses to once more exhibit restraint in the exercise of its power to
remains an agency attached to a department of the government, the DECS, and it was not at pass upon the validity of a law.
all stripped of its public character.
Re: the COAs Jurisdiction
The ownership and control test is likewise irrelevant for a public corporation like the BSP.
To reiterate, the relationship of the BSP, an attached agency, to the government, through Regarding the COAs jurisdiction over the BSP, Section 8 of its amended charter allows the
the DECS, is defined in the Revised Administrative Code of 1987. The BSP meets the BSP to receive contributions or donations from the government. Section 8 reads:
minimum statutory requirement of an attached government agency as the DECS Secretary Section 8. Any donation or contribution which from time to time may be made to the
Boy Scouts of the Philippines by the Government or any of its subdivisions, branches,
sits at the BSP Board ex officio, thus facilitating the policy and program coordination
offices, agencies or instrumentalities shall be expended by the Executive Board in
between the BSP and the DECS. pursuance of this Act.
Requisites for Declaration of Unconstitutionality Not Met in this Case

The sources of funds to maintain the BSP were identified before the House Committee on
The dissenting opinion of Justice Carpio improperly raised the issue of unconstitutionality
Government Enterprises while the bill was being deliberated, and the pertinent portion of
of certain provisions of the BSP Charter. Even if the parties were asked to Comment on the
the discussion is quoted below:
validity of the BSP charter by the Court, this alone does not comply with the requisites for
judicial review, which were clearly set forth in a recent case:
MR. ESCUDERO. Yes, Mr. Chairman. The question is the sources of funds of the
organization. First, Mr. Chairman, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines do not receive annual
When questions of constitutional significance are raised, the Court can exercise its power allotment from the government. The organization has to raise its own funds through fund
of judicial review only if the following requisites are present: (1) the existence of an drives and fund campaigns or fund raising activities. Aside from this, we have some
actual and appropriate case; (2) the existence of personal and substantial interest on revenue producing projects in the organization that gives us funds to support the operation.
the part of the party raising the constitutional question; (3) recourse to judicial review x x x From time to time, Mr. Chairman, when we have special activities we request for
assistance or financial assistance from government agencies, from private business and HON. AMATONG: There is no auditing being made because theres no money put in the
corporations, but this is only during special activities that the Boy Scouts of the Philippines organization, but how about donated funds to this organization? What are the remedies of
would conduct during the year. Otherwise, we have to raise our own funds to support the the donors of how will they know how their money are being spent?
organization.[62]
MR. ESCUDERO: May I answer, Mr. Chairman?

The nature of the funds of the BSP and the COAs audit jurisdiction were likewise brought THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, gentleman.
up in said congressional deliberations, to wit:
MR. ESCUDERO: The Boy Scouts of the Philippines has an external auditor and by the
charter we are required to submit a financial report at the end of each year to the National
HON. AQUINO: x x x Insofar as this organization being a government created Executive Board. So all the funds donated or otherwise is accounted for at the end of the
organization, in fact, a government corporation classified as such, are your funds or your year by our external auditor. In this case the SGV.[63]
finances subjected to the COA audit?

MR. ESCUDERO: Mr. Chairman, we are not. Our funds is not subjected. We dont fall Historically, therefore, the BSP had been subjected to government audit in so far as public
under the jurisdiction of the COA. funds had been infused thereto. However, this practice should not preclude the exercise of
HON. AQUINO: All right, but before were you?
the audit jurisdiction of COA, clearly set forth under the Constitution, which pertinently
MR. ESCUDERO: No, Mr. Chairman.
MR. JESUS: May I? As historical backgrounder, Commonwealth Act 111 was written by provides:
then Secretary Jorge Vargas and before and up to the middle of the Martial Law years, the
BSP was receiving a subsidy in the form of an annual a one draw from the Sweepstakes.
And, this was the case also with the Girl Scouts at the Anti-TB, but then this was and the
Boy Scouts then because of this funding partly from government was being subjected Section 2. (1) The Commission on Audit shall have the power, authority, and duty to
to audit in the contributions being made in the part of the Sweepstakes. But this was examine, audit, and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and
removed later during the Martial Law years with the creation of the Human Settlements expenditures or uses of funds and property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining
Commission. So the situation right now is that the Boy Scouts does not receive any funding to, the Government, or any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities,
from government, but then in the case of the local councils and this legislative charter, so including government-owned and controlled corporations with original charters, and
to speak, enables the local councils even the national headquarters in view of the provisions on a post-audit basis: (a) constitutional bodies, commissions and offices that have been
in the existing law to receive donations from the government or any of its instrumentalities, granted fiscal autonomy under this Constitution; (b) autonomous state colleges and
which would be difficult if the Boy Scouts is registered as a private corporation with the universities; (c) other government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters
Securities and Exchange Commission. Government bodies would be estopped from making and their subsidiaries; and (d) such non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity,
donations to the Boy Scouts, which at present is not the case because there is the Boy directly or indirectly, from or through the Government, which are required by law of the
Scouts charter, this Commonwealth Act 111 as amended by PD 463. granting institution to submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity. x x x. [64]

xxxx
HON. AMATONG: Mr. Chairman, in connection with that. Since the BSP, under its amended charter, continues to be a public corporation or a

THE CHAIRMAN: Yeah, Gentleman from Zamboanga. government instrumentality, we come to the inevitable conclusion that it is subject to the
exercise by the COA of its audit jurisdiction in the manner consistent with the provisions of
the BSP Charter.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition for prohibition is DISMISSED.

SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines President to constitute immediately the Regional Consultative Commission as
SUPREME COURT mandated by the Commission.
Manila You are requested to invite some members of the Pampook Assembly of your
EN BANC respective assembly on November 1 to 15, 1987, with venue at the Congress of
G.R. No. 80391 February 28, 1989 the Philippines. Your presence, unstinted support and cooperation is (sic)
SULTAN ALIMBUSAR P. LIMBONA, petitioner, indispensable.
vs. 5. Consistent with the said invitation, petitioner sent a telegram to Acting Secretary
CONTE MANGELIN, SALIC ALI, SALINDATO ALI, PILIMPINAS CONDING, Johnny Alimbuyao of the Assembly to wire all Assemblymen that there shall be no
ACMAD TOMAWIS, GERRY TOMAWIS, JESUS ORTIZ, ANTONIO DELA session in November as "our presence in the house committee hearing of
FUENTE, DIEGO PALOMARES, JR., RAUL DAGALANGIT, and BIMBO Congress take (sic) precedence over any pending business in batasang pampook
SINSUAT, respondents. ... ."
Ambrosio Padilla, Mempin & Reyes Law Offices for petitioner petitioner. 6. In compliance with the aforesaid instruction of the petitioner, Acting Secretary
Makabangkit B. Lanto for respondents. Alimbuyao sent to the members of the Assembly the following telegram:
TRANSMITTING FOR YOUR INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE TELEGRAM
SARMIENTO, J.: RECEIVED FROM SPEAKER LIMBONA QUOTE CONGRESSMAN JIMMY
The acts of the Sangguniang Pampook of Region XII are assailed in this petition. MATALAM CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON MUSLIM AFFAIRS
The antecedent facts are as follows: REQUESTED ME TO ASSIST SAID COMMITTEE IN THE DISCUSSION OF THE
1. On September 24, 1986, petitioner Sultan Alimbusar Limbona was appointed as PROPOSED AUTONOMY ORGANIC NOV. 1ST TO 15. HENCE WERE ALL
a member of the Sangguniang Pampook, Regional Autonomous Government, ASSEMBLYMEN THAT THERE SHALL BE NO SESSION IN NOVEMBER AS
Region XII, representing Lanao del Sur. OUR PRESENCE IN THE HOUSE COMMITTEE HEARING OF CONGRESS
2. On March 12, 1987 petitioner was elected Speaker of the Regional Legislative TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER ANY PENDING BUSINESS IN BATASANG
Assembly or Batasang Pampook of Central Mindanao (Assembly for brevity). PAMPOOK OF MATALAM FOLLOWS UNQUOTE REGARDS.
3. Said Assembly is composed of eighteen (18) members. Two of said members, 7. On November 2, 1987, the Assembly held session in defiance of petitioner's
respondents Acmad Tomawis and Pakil Dagalangit, filed on March 23, 1987 with advice, with the following assemblymen present:
the Commission on Elections their respective certificates of candidacy in the May 1. Sali, Salic
11, 1987 congressional elections for the district of Lanao del Sur but they later 2. Conding, Pilipinas (sic)
withdrew from the aforesaid election and thereafter resumed again their positions 3. Dagalangit, Rakil
as members of the Assembly. 4. Dela Fuente, Antonio
4. On October 21, 1987 Congressman Datu Guimid Matalam, Chairman of the 5. Mangelen, Conte
Committee on Muslim Affairs of the House of Representatives, invited Mr. Xavier 6. Ortiz, Jesus
Razul, Pampook Speaker of Region XI, Zamboanga City and the petitioner in his 7. Palomares, Diego
capacity as Speaker of the Assembly, Region XII, in a letter which reads: 8. Sinsuat, Bimbo
The Committee on Muslim Affairs well undertake consultations and dialogues with 9. Tomawis, Acmad
local government officials, civic, religious organizations and traditional leaders on 10. Tomawis, Jerry
the recent and present political developments and other issues affecting Regions After declaring the presence of a quorum, the Speaker Pro-Tempore was
IX and XII. authorized to preside in the session. On Motion to declare the seat of the Speaker
The result of the conference, consultations and dialogues would hopefully chart the vacant, all Assemblymen in attendance voted in the affirmative, hence, the chair
autonomous governments of the two regions as envisioned and may prod the declared said seat of the Speaker vacant. 8. On November 5, 1987, the session of
the Assembly resumed with the following Assemblymen present:
1. Mangelen Conte-Presiding Officer Pending further proceedings, this Court, on January 19, 1988, received a
2. Ali Salic resolution filed by the Sangguniang Pampook, "EXPECTING ALIMBUSAR P.
3. Ali Salindatu LIMBONA FROM MEMBERSHIP OF THE SANGGUNIANG PAMPOOK
4. Aratuc, Malik AUTONOMOUS REGION XII," 3 on the grounds, among other things, that the
5. Cajelo, Rene petitioner "had caused to be prepared and signed by him paying [sic] the salaries
6. Conding, Pilipinas (sic) and emoluments of Odin Abdula, who was considered resigned after filing his
7. Dagalangit, Rakil Certificate of Candidacy for Congressmen for the First District of Maguindanao in
8. Dela Fuente, Antonio the last May 11, elections. . . and nothing in the record of the Assembly will show
9. Ortiz, Jesus that any request for reinstatement by Abdula was ever made . . ." 4 and that "such
10 Palomares, Diego action of Mr. Lim bona in paying Abdula his salaries and emoluments without
11. Quijano, Jesus authority from the Assembly . . . constituted a usurpation of the power of the
12. Sinsuat, Bimbo Assembly," 5 that the petitioner "had recently caused withdrawal of so much
13. Tomawis, Acmad amount of cash from the Assembly resulting to the non-payment of the salaries
14. Tomawis, Jerry and emoluments of some Assembly [sic]," 6 and that he had "filed a case before
An excerpt from the debates and proceeding of said session reads: the Supreme Court against some members of the Assembly on question which
HON. DAGALANGIT: Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members of the House, with the should have been resolved within the confines of the Assembly," 7 for which the
presence of our colleagues who have come to attend the session today, I move to respondents now submit that the petition had become "moot and academic". 8
call the names of the new comers in order for them to cast their votes on the The first question, evidently, is whether or not the expulsion of the petitioner
previous motion to declare the position of the Speaker vacant. But before doing so, (pending litigation) has made the case moot and academic.
I move also that the designation of the Speaker Pro Tempore as the Presiding We do not agree that the case has been rendered moot and academic by reason
Officer and Mr. Johnny Evangelists as Acting Secretary in the session last simply of the expulsion resolution so issued. For, if the petitioner's expulsion was
November 2, 1987 be reconfirmed in today's session. done purposely to make this petition moot and academic, and to preempt the
HON. SALIC ALI: I second the motions. Court, it will not make it academic.
PRESIDING OFFICER: Any comment or objections on the two motions On the ground of the immutable principle of due process alone, we hold that the
presented? Me chair hears none and the said motions are approved. ... expulsion in question is of no force and effect. In the first place, there is no
Twelve (12) members voted in favor of the motion to declare the seat of the showing that the Sanggunian had conducted an investigation, and whether or not
Speaker vacant; one abstained and none voted against. 1 the petitioner had been heard in his defense, assuming that there was an
Accordingly, the petitioner prays for judgment as follows: investigation, or otherwise given the opportunity to do so. On the other hand, what
WHEREFORE, petitioner respectfully prays that- appears in the records is an admission by the Assembly (at least, the respondents)
(a) This Petition be given due course; that "since November, 1987 up to this writing, the petitioner has not set foot at the
(b) Pending hearing, a restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction be Sangguniang Pampook." 9 "To be sure, the private respondents aver that "[t]he
issued enjoining respondents from proceeding with their session to be held on Assemblymen, in a conciliatory gesture, wanted him to come to Cotabato City," 10
November 5, 1987, and on any day thereafter; but that was "so that their differences could be threshed out and settled."
(c) After hearing, judgment be rendered declaring the proceedings held by 11Certainly, that avowed wanting or desire to thresh out and settle, no matter how

respondents of their session on November 2, 1987 as null and void; conciliatory it may be cannot be a substitute for the notice and hearing
(d) Holding the election of petitioner as Speaker of said Legislative Assembly contemplated by law.
or Batasan Pampook, Region XII held on March 12, 1987 valid and subsisting, and While we have held that due process, as the term is known in administrative law,
(e) Making the injunction permanent. does not absolutely require notice and that a party need only be given the
Petitioner likewise prays for such other relief as may be just and equitable. 2 opportunity to be heard, 12 it does not appear herein that the petitioner had, to
begin with, been made aware that he had in fact stood charged of graft and (3) Foreign trade;
corruption before his collegues. It cannot be said therefore that he was accorded (4) Currency, monetary affairs, foreign exchange, banking and quasi-banking, and
any opportunity to rebut their accusations. As it stands, then, the charges now external borrowing,
levelled amount to mere accusations that cannot warrant expulsion. (5) Disposition, exploration, development, exploitation or utilization of all
In the second place, (the resolution) appears strongly to be a bare act of vendetta natural resources;
by the other Assemblymen against the petitioner arising from what the former (6) Air and sea transport
perceive to be abduracy on the part of the latter. Indeed, it (the resolution) speaks (7) Postal matters and telecommunications;
of "a case [having been filed] [by the petitioner] before the Supreme Court . . . on (8) Customs and quarantine;
question which should have been resolved within the confines of the Assemblyman (9) Immigration and deportation;
act which some members claimed unnecessarily and unduly assails their integrity (10) Citizenship and naturalization;
and character as representative of the people" 13 an act that cannot possibly justify (11) National economic, social and educational planning; and
expulsion. Access to judicial remedies is guaranteed by the Constitution, 14 and, (12) General auditing. 21
unless the recourse amounts to malicious prosecution, no one may be punished In relation to the central government, it provides that "[t]he President shall have the
for seeking redress in the courts. power of general supervision and control over the Autonomous Regions ..." 22
We therefore order reinstatement, with the caution that should the past acts of the Now, autonomy is either decentralization of administration or decentralization of
petitioner indeed warrant his removal, the Assembly is enjoined, should it still be power. There is decentralization of administration when the central government
so minded, to commence proper proceedings therefor in line with the most delegates administrative powers to political subdivisions in order to broaden the
elementary requirements of due process. And while it is within the discretion of the base of government power and in the process to make local governments "more
members of the Sanggunian to punish their erring colleagues, their acts are responsive and accountable," 23 "and ensure their fullest development as self-
nonetheless subject to the moderating band of this Court in the event that such reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the pursuit of
discretion is exercised with grave abuse. national development and social progress." 24 At the same time, it relieves the
It is, to be sure, said that precisely because the Sangguniang Pampook(s) are central government of the burden of managing local affairs and enables it to
"autonomous," the courts may not rightfully intervene in their affairs, much less concentrate on national concerns. The President exercises "general supervision" 25
strike down their acts. We come, therefore, to the second issue: Are the so-called over them, but only to "ensure that local affairs are administered according to law."
autonomous governments of Mindanao, as they are now constituted, subject to the 26 He has no control over their acts in the sense that he can substitute their

jurisdiction of the national courts? In other words, what is the extent of self- judgments with his own. 27
government given to the two autonomous governments of Region IX and XII? Decentralization of power, on the other hand, involves an abdication of political
The autonomous governments of Mindanao were organized in Regions IX and XII power in the favor of local governments units declare to be autonomous . In that
by Presidential Decree No. 1618 15 promulgated on July 25, 1979. Among other case, the autonomous government is free to chart its own destiny and shape its
things, the Decree established "internal autonomy" 16 in the two regions "[w]ithin future with minimum intervention from central authorities. According to a
the framework of the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of constitutional author, decentralization of power amounts to "self-immolation," since
the Philippines and its Constitution," 17 with legislative and executive machinery to in that event, the autonomous government becomes accountable not to the central
exercise the powers and responsibilities 18specified therein. authorities but to its constituency. 28
It requires the autonomous regional governments to "undertake all internal But the question of whether or not the grant of autonomy Muslim Mindanao under
administrative matters for the respective regions," 19 except to "act on matters the 1987 Constitution involves, truly, an effort to decentralize power rather than
which are within the jurisdiction and competence of the National Government," 20 mere administration is a question foreign to this petition, since what is involved
"which include, but are not limited to, the following: herein is a local government unit constituted prior to the ratification of the present
(1) National defense and security; Constitution. Hence, the Court will not resolve that controversy now, in this case,
(2) Foreign relations;
since no controversy in fact exists. We will resolve it at the proper time and in the (3) Agricultural, commercial and industrial programs for the Autonomous
proper case. Region;
Under the 1987 Constitution, local government units enjoy autonomy in these two (4) Infrastructure development for the Autonomous Region;
senses, thus: (5) Urban and rural planning for the Autonomous Region;
Section 1. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the (6) Taxation and other revenue-raising measures as provided for in this Decree;
Philippines are the provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays. Here shall be (7) Maintenance, operation and administration of schools established by the
autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao ,and the Cordilleras as hereinafter Autonomous Region;
provided. 29 (8) Establishment, operation and maintenance of health, welfare and other social
Sec. 2. The territorial and political subdivisions shall enjoy local autonomy. 30 services, programs and facilities;
xxx xxx xxx (9) Preservation and development of customs, traditions, languages and culture
See. 15. Mere shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in indigenous to the Autonomous Region; and
the Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical (10) Such other matters as may be authorized by law,including the enactment
areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic of such measures as may be necessary for the promotion of the general welfare of
and social structures, and other relevant characteristics within the framework of the people in the Autonomous Region.
this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the The President shall exercise such powers as may be necessary to assure that
Republic of the Philippines. 31 enactment and acts of the Sangguniang Pampook and the Lupong
An autonomous government that enjoys autonomy of the latter category [CONST. Tagapagpaganap ng Pook are in compliance with this Decree, national legislation,
(1987), art. X, sec. 15.] is subject alone to the decree of the organic act creating it policies, plans and programs.
and accepted principles on the effects and limits of "autonomy." On the other hand, The Sangguniang Pampook shall maintain liaison with the Batasang Pambansa. 34
an autonomous government of the former class is, as we noted, under the Hence, we assume jurisdiction. And if we can make an inquiry in the validity of the
supervision of the national government acting through the President (and the expulsion in question, with more reason can we review the petitioner's removal as
Department of Local Government). 32 If the Sangguniang Pampook (of Region XII), Speaker.
then, is autonomous in the latter sense, its acts are, debatably beyond the domain Briefly, the petitioner assails the legality of his ouster as Speaker on the grounds
of this Court in perhaps the same way that the internal acts, say, of the Congress that: (1) the Sanggunian, in convening on November 2 and 5, 1987 (for the sole
of the Philippines are beyond our jurisdiction. But if it is autonomous in the former purpose of declaring the office of the Speaker vacant), did so in violation of the
category only, it comes unarguably under our jurisdiction. An examination of the Rules of the Sangguniang Pampook since the Assembly was then on recess; and
very Presidential Decree creating the autonomous governments of Mindanao (2) assuming that it was valid, his ouster was ineffective nevertheless for lack of
persuades us that they were never meant to exercise autonomy in the second quorum.
sense, that is, in which the central government commits an act of self-immolation. Upon the facts presented, we hold that the November 2 and 5, 1987 sessions were
Presidential Decree No. 1618, in the first place, mandates that "[t]he President invalid. It is true that under Section 31 of the Region XII Sanggunian Rules,
shall have the power of general supervision and control over Autonomous "[s]essions shall not be suspended or adjourned except by direction of the
Regions."33 In the second place, the Sangguniang Pampook, their legislative arm, Sangguniang Pampook," 35 but it provides likewise that "the Speaker may, on
is made to discharge chiefly administrative services, thus: [sic] his discretion, declare a recess of "short intervals." 36 Of course, there is
SEC. 7. Powers of the Sangguniang Pampook. The Sangguniang Pampook shall disagreement between the protagonists as to whether or not the recess called by
exercise local legislative powers over regional affairs within the framework of the petitioner effective November 1 through 15, 1987 is the "recess of short
national development plans, policies and goals, in the following areas: intervals" referred to; the petitioner says that it is while the respondents insist that,
(1) Organization of regional administrative system; to all intents and purposes, it was an adjournment and that "recess" as used by
(2) Economic, social and cultural development of the Autonomous Region; their Rules only refers to "a recess when arguments get heated up so that
protagonists in a debate can talk things out informally and obviate dissenssion [sic]
and disunity. 37 The Court agrees with the respondents on this regard, since
clearly, the Rules speak of "short intervals." Secondly, the Court likewise agrees
that the Speaker could not have validly called a recess since the Assembly had yet
to convene on November 1, the date session opens under the same Rules. 38
Hence, there can be no recess to speak of that could possibly interrupt any
session. But while this opinion is in accord with the respondents' own, we still
invalidate the twin sessions in question, since at the time the petitioner called the
"recess," it was not a settled matter whether or not he could. do so. In the second
place, the invitation tendered by the Committee on Muslim Affairs of the House of
Representatives provided a plausible reason for the intermission sought. Thirdly,
assuming that a valid recess could not be called, it does not appear that the
respondents called his attention to this mistake. What appears is that instead, they
opened the sessions themselves behind his back in an apparent act of mutiny.
Under the circumstances, we find equity on his side. For this reason, we uphold
the "recess" called on the ground of good faith.
It does not appear to us, moreover, that the petitioner had resorted to the aforesaid
"recess" in order to forestall the Assembly from bringing about his ouster. This is
not apparent from the pleadings before us. We are convinced that the invitation
was what precipitated it.
In holding that the "recess" in question is valid, we are not to be taken as
establishing a precedent, since, as we said, a recess can not be validly declared
without a session having been first opened. In upholding the petitioner herein, we
are not giving him a carte blanche to order recesses in the future in violation of the
Rules, or otherwise to prevent the lawful meetings thereof.
Neither are we, by this disposition, discouraging the Sanggunian from reorganizing
itself pursuant to its lawful prerogatives. Certainly, it can do so at the proper time.
In the event that be petitioner should initiate obstructive moves, the Court is certain
that it is armed with enough coercive remedies to thwart them. 39
In view hereof, we find no need in dwelling on the issue of quorum.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is GRANTED. The Sangguniang
Pampook, Region XII, is ENJOINED to (1) REINSTATE the petitioner as Member,
Sangguniang Pampook, Region XII; and (2) REINSTATE him as Speaker thereof.
No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines Article VIII and Section 3 (2) of Article XIV, of the present Constitution (p. 3,
SUPREME COURT Second Amended Petition; p. 21, Rollo).
Manila The procedural issue is whether petitioners, as taxpayers and practicing lawyers
EN BANC (petitioner Basco being also the Chairman of the Committee on Laws of the City
Council of Manila), can question and seek the annulment of PD 1869 on the
G.R. No. 91649 May 14, 1991 alleged grounds mentioned above.
ATTORNEYS HUMBERTO BASCO, EDILBERTO BALCE, SOCRATES The Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was created by
MARANAN AND LORENZO SANCHEZ,petitioners, virtue of P.D. 1067-A dated January 1, 1977 and was granted a franchise under
vs. P.D. 1067-B also dated January 1, 1977 "to establish, operate and maintain
PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENTS AND GAMING CORPORATION (PAGCOR), gambling casinos on land or water within the territorial jurisdiction of the
respondent. Philippines." Its operation was originally conducted in the well known floating
H.B. Basco & Associates for petitioners. casino "Philippine Tourist." The operation was considered a success for it proved
Valmonte Law Offices collaborating counsel for petitioners. to be a potential source of revenue to fund infrastructure and socio-economic
Aguirre, Laborte and Capule for respondent PAGCOR. projects, thus, P.D. 1399 was passed on June 2, 1978 for PAGCOR to fully attain
this objective.
PARAS, J.: Subsequently, on July 11, 1983, PAGCOR was created under P.D. 1869 to enable
A TV ad proudly announces: the Government to regulate and centralize all games of chance authorized by
"The new PAGCOR — responding through responsible gaming." existing franchise or permitted by law, under the following declared policy —
But the petitioners think otherwise, that is why, they filed the instant petition Sec. 1. Declaration of Policy. — It is hereby declared to be the policy of the State
seeking to annul the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to centralize and integrate all games of chance not heretofore authorized by
Charter — PD 1869, because it is allegedly contrary to morals, public policy and existing franchises or permitted by law in order to attain the following objectives:
order, and because — (a) To centralize and integrate the right and authority to operate and conduct
A. It constitutes a waiver of a right prejudicial to a third person with a right games of chance into one corporate entity to be controlled, administered and
recognized by law. It waived the Manila City government's right to impose taxes supervised by the Government.
and license fees, which is recognized by law; (b) To establish and operate clubs and casinos, for amusement and
B. For the same reason stated in the immediately preceding paragraph, the recreation, including sports gaming pools, (basketball, football, lotteries, etc.) and
law has intruded into the local government's right to impose local taxes and license such other forms of amusement and recreation including games of chance, which
fees. This, in contravention of the constitutionally enshrined principle of local may be allowed by law within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines and which
autonomy; will: (1) generate sources of additional revenue to fund infrastructure and socio-
C. It violates the equal protection clause of the constitution in that it legalizes civic projects, such as flood control programs, beautification, sewerage and
PAGCOR — conducted gambling, while most other forms of gambling are sewage projects, Tulungan ng Bayan Centers, Nutritional Programs, Population
outlawed, together with prostitution, drug trafficking and other vices; Control and such other essential public services; (2) create recreation and
D. It violates the avowed trend of the Cory government away from integrated facilities which will expand and improve the country's existing tourist
monopolistic and crony economy, and toward free enterprise and privatization. (p. attractions; and (3) minimize, if not totally eradicate, all the evils, malpractices and
2, Amended Petition; p. 7, Rollo) corruptions that are normally prevalent on the conduct and operation of gambling
In their Second Amended Petition, petitioners also claim that PD 1869 is contrary clubs and casinos without direct government involvement. (Section 1, P.D. 1869)
to the declared national policy of the "new restored democracy" and the people's To attain these objectives PAGCOR is given territorial jurisdiction all over the
will as expressed in the 1987 Constitution. The decree is said to have a "gambling Philippines. Under its Charter's repealing clause, all laws, decrees, executive
objective" and therefore is contrary to Sections 11, 12 and 13 of Article II, Sec. 1 of
orders, rules and regulations, inconsistent therewith, are accordingly repealed, alleging unconstitutionality must prove its invalidity beyond a reasonable doubt;
amended or modified. that a law may work hardship does not render it unconstitutional; that if any
It is reported that PAGCOR is the third largest source of government revenue, next reasonable basis may be conceived which supports the statute, it will be upheld
to the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs. In 1989 alone, and the challenger must negate all possible basis; that the courts are not
PAGCOR earned P3.43 Billion, and directly remitted to the National Government a concerned with the wisdom, justice, policy or expediency of a statute and that a
total of P2.5 Billion in form of franchise tax, government's income share, the liberal interpretation of the constitution in favor of the constitutionality of legislation
President's Social Fund and Host Cities' share. In addition, PAGCOR sponsored should be adopted. (Danner v. Hass, 194 N.W. 2nd534, 539; Spurbeck v. Statton,
other socio-cultural and charitable projects on its own or in cooperation with 106 N.W. 2nd 660, 663; 59 SCRA 66; see also e.g. Salas v. Jarencio, 46 SCRA
various governmental agencies, and other private associations and organizations. 734, 739 [1970]; Peralta v. Commission on Elections, 82 SCRA 30, 55 [1978]; and
In its 3 1/2 years of operation under the present administration, PAGCOR remitted Heirs of Ordona v. Reyes, 125 SCRA 220, 241-242 [1983] cited in Citizens
to the government a total of P6.2 Billion. As of December 31, 1989, PAGCOR was Alliance for Consumer Protection v. Energy Regulatory Board, 162 SCRA 521,
employing 4,494 employees in its nine (9) casinos nationwide, directly supporting 540)
the livelihood of Four Thousand Four Hundred Ninety-Four (4,494) families. Of course, there is first, the procedural issue. The respondents are questioning the
But the petitioners, are questioning the validity of P.D. No. 1869. They allege that legal personality of petitioners to file the instant petition.
the same is "null and void" for being "contrary to morals, public policy and public Considering however the importance to the public of the case at bar, and in
order," monopolistic and tends toward "crony economy", and is violative of the keeping with the Court's duty, under the 1987 Constitution, to determine whether
equal protection clause and local autonomy as well as for running counter to the or not the other branches of government have kept themselves within the limits of
state policies enunciated in Sections 11 (Personal Dignity and Human Rights), 12 the Constitution and the laws and that they have not abused the discretion given to
(Family) and 13 (Role of Youth) of Article II, Section 1 (Social Justice) of Article XIII them, the Court has brushed aside technicalities of procedure and has taken
and Section 2 (Educational Values) of Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution. cognizance of this petition. (Kapatiran ng mga Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan ng
This challenge to P.D. No. 1869 deserves a searching and thorough scrutiny and Pilipinas Inc. v. Tan, 163 SCRA 371)
the most deliberate consideration by the Court, involving as it does the exercise of With particular regard to the requirement of proper party as applied in the cases
what has been described as "the highest and most delicate function which belongs before us, We hold that the same is satisfied by the petitioners and intervenors
to the judicial department of the government." (State v. Manuel, 20 N.C. 144; because each of them has sustained or is in danger of sustaining an immediate
Lozano v. Martinez, 146 SCRA 323). injury as a result of the acts or measures complained of. And even if, strictly
As We enter upon the task of passing on the validity of an act of a co-equal and speaking they are not covered by the definition, it is still within the wide discretion
coordinate branch of the government We need not be reminded of the time- of the Court to waive the requirement and so remove the impediment to its
honored principle, deeply ingrained in our jurisprudence, that a statute is presumed addressing and resolving the serious constitutional questions raised.
to be valid. Every presumption must be indulged in favor of its constitutionality. In the first Emergency Powers Cases, ordinary citizens and taxpayers were
This is not to say that We approach Our task with diffidence or timidity. Where it is allowed to question the constitutionality of several executive orders issued by
clear that the legislature or the executive for that matter, has over-stepped the President Quirino although they were involving only an indirect and general
limits of its authority under the constitution, We should not hesitate to wield the axe interest shared in common with the public. The Court dismissed the objection that
and let it fall heavily, as fall it must, on the offending statute (Lozano v. Martinez, they were not proper parties and ruled that "the transcendental importance to the
supra). public of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely,
In Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union, et al, 59 SCRA 54, the Court thru brushing aside, if we must technicalities of procedure." We have since then applied
Mr. Justice Zaldivar underscored the — the exception in many other cases. (Association of Small Landowners in the
. . . thoroughly established principle which must be followed in all cases where Philippines, Inc. v. Sec. of Agrarian Reform, 175 SCRA 343).
questions of constitutionality as obtain in the instant cases are involved. All Having disposed of the procedural issue, We will now discuss the substantive
presumptions are indulged in favor of constitutionality; one who attacks a statute issues raised.
Gambling in all its forms, unless allowed by law, is generally prohibited. But the Petitioners contend that P.D. 1869 constitutes a waiver of the right of the City of
prohibition of gambling does not mean that the Government cannot regulate it in Manila to impose taxes and legal fees; that the exemption clause in P.D. 1869 is
the exercise of its police power. violative of the principle of local autonomy. They must be referring to Section 13
The concept of police power is well-established in this jurisdiction. It has been par. (2) of P.D. 1869 which exempts PAGCOR, as the franchise holder from
defined as the "state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal paying any "tax of any kind or form, income or otherwise, as well as fees, charges
liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare." (Edu v. Ericta, 35 or levies of whatever nature, whether National or Local."
SCRA 481, 487) As defined, it consists of (1) an imposition or restraint upon liberty (2) Income and other taxes. — a) Franchise Holder: No tax of any kind or
or property, (2) in order to foster the common good. It is not capable of an exact form, income or otherwise as well as fees, charges or levies of whatever nature,
definition but has been, purposely, veiled in general terms to underscore its all- whether National or Local, shall be assessed and collected under this franchise
comprehensive embrace. (Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. v. from the Corporation; nor shall any form or tax or charge attach in any way to the
Drilon, 163 SCRA 386). earnings of the Corporation, except a franchise tax of five (5%) percent of the
Its scope, ever-expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to anticipate gross revenues or earnings derived by the Corporation from its operations under
the future where it could be done, provides enough room for an efficient and this franchise. Such tax shall be due and payable quarterly to the National
flexible response to conditions and circumstances thus assuming the greatest Government and shall be in lieu of all kinds of taxes, levies, fees or assessments
benefits. (Edu v. Ericta, supra) of any kind, nature or description, levied, established or collected by any municipal,
It finds no specific Constitutional grant for the plain reason that it does not owe its provincial or national government authority (Section 13 [2]).
origin to the charter. Along with the taxing power and eminent domain, it is inborn Their contention stated hereinabove is without merit for the following reasons:
in the very fact of statehood and sovereignty. It is a fundamental attribute of (a) The City of Manila, being a mere Municipal corporation has no inherent
government that has enabled it to perform the most vital functions of governance. right to impose taxes (Icard v. City of Baguio, 83 Phil. 870; City of Iloilo v.
Marshall, to whom the expression has been credited, refers to it succinctly as the Villanueva, 105 Phil. 337; Santos v. Municipality of Caloocan, 7 SCRA 643). Thus,
plenary power of the state "to govern its citizens". (Tribe, American Constitutional "the Charter or statute must plainly show an intent to confer that power or the
Law, 323, 1978). The police power of the State is a power co-extensive with self- municipality cannot assume it" (Medina v. City of Baguio, 12 SCRA 62). Its "power
protection and is most aptly termed the "law of overwhelming necessity." (Rubi v. to tax" therefore must always yield to a legislative act which is superior having
Provincial Board of Mindoro, 39 Phil. 660, 708) It is "the most essential, insistent, been passed upon by the state itself which has the "inherent power to tax"
and illimitable of powers." (Smith Bell & Co. v. National, 40 Phil. 136) It is a (Bernas, the Revised [1973] Philippine Constitution, Vol. 1, 1983 ed. p. 445).
dynamic force that enables the state to meet the agencies of the winds of change. (b) The Charter of the City of Manila is subject to control by Congress. It
What was the reason behind the enactment of P.D. 1869? should be stressed that "municipal corporations are mere creatures of Congress"
P.D. 1869 was enacted pursuant to the policy of the government to "regulate and (Unson v. Lacson, G.R. No. 7909, January 18, 1957) which has the power to
centralize thru an appropriate institution all games of chance authorized by existing "create and abolish municipal corporations" due to its "general legislative powers"
franchise or permitted by law" (1st whereas clause, PD 1869). As was (Asuncion v. Yriantes, 28 Phil. 67; Merdanillo v. Orandia, 5 SCRA 541). Congress,
subsequently proved, regulating and centralizing gambling operations in one therefore, has the power of control over Local governments (Hebron v. Reyes,
corporate entity — the PAGCOR, was beneficial not just to the Government but to G.R. No. 9124, July 2, 1950). And if Congress can grant the City of Manila the
society in general. It is a reliable source of much needed revenue for the cash power to tax certain matters, it can also provide for exemptions or even take back
strapped Government. It provided funds for social impact projects and subjected the power.
gambling to "close scrutiny, regulation, supervision and control of the Government" (c) The City of Manila's power to impose license fees on gambling, has long
(4th Whereas Clause, PD 1869). With the creation of PAGCOR and the direct been revoked. As early as 1975, the power of local governments to regulate
intervention of the Government, the evil practices and corruptions that go with gambling thru the grant of "franchise, licenses or permits" was withdrawn by P.D.
gambling will be minimized if not totally eradicated. Public welfare, then, lies at the No. 771 and was vested exclusively on the National Government, thus:
bottom of the enactment of PD 1896.
Sec. 1. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the authority of the instrumentalities of the United States (Johnson v. Maryland, 254 US 51) and it
chartered cities and other local governments to issue license, permit or other form can be agreed that no state or political subdivision can regulate a federal
of franchise to operate, maintain and establish horse and dog race tracks, jai-alai instrumentality in such a way as to prevent it from consummating its federal
and other forms of gambling is hereby revoked. responsibilities, or even to seriously burden it in the accomplishment of them.
Sec. 2. Hereafter, all permits or franchises to operate, maintain and establish, (Antieau, Modern Constitutional Law, Vol. 2, p. 140, emphasis supplied)
horse and dog race tracks, jai-alai and other forms of gambling shall be issued by Otherwise, mere creatures of the State can defeat National policies thru
the national government upon proper application and verification of the extermination of what local authorities may perceive to be undesirable activities or
qualification of the applicant . . . enterprise using the power to tax as "a tool for regulation" (U.S. v. Sanchez, 340
Therefore, only the National Government has the power to issue "licenses or US 42).
permits" for the operation of gambling. Necessarily, the power to demand or collect The power to tax which was called by Justice Marshall as the "power to destroy"
license fees which is a consequence of the issuance of "licenses or permits" is no (Mc Culloch v. Maryland, supra) cannot be allowed to defeat an instrumentality or
longer vested in the City of Manila. creation of the very entity which has the inherent power to wield it.
(d) Local governments have no power to tax instrumentalities of the National (e) Petitioners also argue that the Local Autonomy Clause of the Constitution
Government. PAGCOR is a government owned or controlled corporation with an will be violated by P.D. 1869. This is a pointless argument. Article X of the 1987
original charter, PD 1869. All of its shares of stocks are owned by the National Constitution (on Local Autonomy) provides:
Government. In addition to its corporate powers (Sec. 3, Title II, PD 1869) it also Sec. 5. Each local government unit shall have the power to create its own source
exercises regulatory powers thus: of revenue and to levy taxes, fees, and other charges subject to such guidelines
Sec. 9. Regulatory Power. — The Corporation shall maintain a Registry of the and limitation as the congress may provide, consistent with the basic policy on
affiliated entities, and shall exercise all the powers, authority and the local autonomy. Such taxes, fees and charges shall accrue exclusively to the local
responsibilities vested in the Securities and Exchange Commission over such government. (emphasis supplied)
affiliating entities mentioned under the preceding section, including, but not limited The power of local government to "impose taxes and fees" is always subject to
to amendments of Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, changes in corporate "limitations" which Congress may provide by law. Since PD 1869 remains an
term, structure, capitalization and other matters concerning the operation of the "operative" law until "amended, repealed or revoked" (Sec. 3, Art. XVIII, 1987
affiliated entities, the provisions of the Corporation Code of the Philippines to the Constitution), its "exemption clause" remains as an exception to the exercise of the
contrary notwithstanding, except only with respect to original incorporation. power of local governments to impose taxes and fees. It cannot therefore be
PAGCOR has a dual role, to operate and to regulate gambling casinos. The latter violative but rather is consistent with the principle of local autonomy.
role is governmental, which places it in the category of an agency or Besides, the principle of local autonomy under the 1987 Constitution simply means
instrumentality of the Government. Being an instrumentality of the Government, "decentralization" (III Records of the 1987 Constitutional Commission, pp. 435-
PAGCOR should be and actually is exempt from local taxes. Otherwise, its 436, as cited in Bernas, The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Vol. II,
operation might be burdened, impeded or subjected to control by a mere Local First Ed., 1988, p. 374). It does not make local governments sovereign within the
government. state or an "imperium in imperio."
The states have no power by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden or in Local Government has been described as a political subdivision of a nation or
any manner control the operation of constitutional laws enacted by Congress to state which is constituted by law and has substantial control of local affairs. In a
carry into execution the powers vested in the federal government. (MC Culloch v. unitary system of government, such as the government under the Philippine
Marland, 4 Wheat 316, 4 L Ed. 579) Constitution, local governments can only be an intra sovereign subdivision of one
This doctrine emanates from the "supremacy" of the National Government over sovereign nation, it cannot be an imperium in imperio. Local government in such a
local governments. system can only mean a measure of decentralization of the function of
Justice Holmes, speaking for the Supreme Court, made reference to the entire government. (emphasis supplied)
absence of power on the part of the States to touch, in that way (taxation) at least,
As to what state powers should be "decentralized" and what may be delegated to If the law presumably hits the evil where it is most felt, it is not to be overthrown
local government units remains a matter of policy, which concerns wisdom. It is because there are other instances to which it might have been applied. (Gomez v.
therefore a political question. (Citizens Alliance for Consumer Protection v. Energy Palomar, 25 SCRA 827)
Regulatory Board, 162 SCRA 539). The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment does not mean that all
What is settled is that the matter of regulating, taxing or otherwise dealing with occupations called by the same name must be treated the same way; the state
gambling is a State concern and hence, it is the sole prerogative of the State to may do what it can to prevent which is deemed as evil and stop short of those
retain it or delegate it to local governments. cases in which harm to the few concerned is not less than the harm to the public
As gambling is usually an offense against the State, legislative grant or express that would insure if the rule laid down were made mathematically exact.
charter power is generally necessary to empower the local corporation to deal with (Dominican Hotel v. Arizona, 249 US 2651).
the subject. . . . In the absence of express grant of power to enact, ordinance Anent petitioners' claim that PD 1869 is contrary to the "avowed trend of the Cory
provisions on this subject which are inconsistent with the state laws are void. Government away from monopolies and crony economy and toward free
(Ligan v. Gadsden, Ala App. 107 So. 733 Ex-Parte Solomon, 9, Cals. 440, 27 PAC enterprise and privatization" suffice it to state that this is not a ground for this Court
757 following in re Ah You, 88 Cal. 99, 25 PAC 974, 22 Am St. Rep. 280, 11 LRA to nullify P.D. 1869. If, indeed, PD 1869 runs counter to the government's policies
480, as cited in Mc Quinllan Vol. 3 Ibid, p. 548, emphasis supplied) then it is for the Executive Department to recommend to Congress its repeal or
Petitioners next contend that P.D. 1869 violates the equal protection clause of the amendment.
Constitution, because "it legalized PAGCOR — conducted gambling, while most The judiciary does not settle policy issues. The Court can only declare what the
gambling are outlawed together with prostitution, drug trafficking and other vices" law is and not what the law should be.1âwphi1 Under our system of government,
(p. 82, Rollo). policy issues are within the domain of the political branches of government and of
We, likewise, find no valid ground to sustain this contention. The petitioners' the people themselves as the repository of all state power. (Valmonte v. Belmonte,
posture ignores the well-accepted meaning of the clause "equal protection of the Jr., 170 SCRA 256).
laws." The clause does not preclude classification of individuals who may be On the issue of "monopoly," however, the Constitution provides that:
accorded different treatment under the law as long as the classification is not Sec. 19. The State shall regulate or prohibit monopolies when public
unreasonable or arbitrary (Itchong v. Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155). A law does not interest so requires. No combinations in restraint of trade or unfair competition
have to operate in equal force on all persons or things to be conformable to Article shall be allowed. (Art. XII, National Economy and Patrimony)
III, Section 1 of the Constitution (DECS v. San Diego, G.R. No. 89572, December It should be noted that, as the provision is worded, monopolies are not necessarily
21, 1989). prohibited by the Constitution. The state must still decide whether public interest
The "equal protection clause" does not prohibit the Legislature from establishing demands that monopolies be regulated or prohibited. Again, this is a matter of
classes of individuals or objects upon which different rules shall operate (Laurel v. policy for the Legislature to decide.
Misa, 43 O.G. 2847). The Constitution does not require situations which are On petitioners' allegation that P.D. 1869 violates Sections 11 (Personality Dignity)
different in fact or opinion to be treated in law as though they were the same 12 (Family) and 13 (Role of Youth) of Article II; Section 13 (Social Justice) of
(Gomez v. Palomar, 25 SCRA 827). Article XIII and Section 2 (Educational Values) of Article XIV of the 1987
Just how P.D. 1869 in legalizing gambling conducted by PAGCOR is violative of Constitution, suffice it to state also that these are merely statements of principles
the equal protection is not clearly explained in the petition. The mere fact that and, policies. As such, they are basically not self-executing, meaning a law should
some gambling activities like cockfighting (P.D 449) horse racing (R.A. 306 as be passed by Congress to clearly define and effectuate such principles.
amended by RA 983), sweepstakes, lotteries and races (RA 1169 as amended by In general, therefore, the 1935 provisions were not intended to be self-executing
B.P. 42) are legalized under certain conditions, while others are prohibited, does principles ready for enforcement through the courts. They were rather directives
not render the applicable laws, P.D. 1869 for one, unconstitutional. addressed to the executive and the legislature. If the executive and the legislature
failed to heed the directives of the articles the available remedy was not judicial or
political. The electorate could express their displeasure with the failure of the
executive and the legislature through the language of the ballot. (Bernas, Vol. II, p. WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
2) SO ORDERED.
Every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality (Yu Cong Eng v.
Trinidad, 47 Phil. 387; Salas v. Jarencio, 48 SCRA 734; Peralta v. Comelec, 82
SCRA 30; Abbas v. Comelec, 179 SCRA 287). Therefore, for PD 1869 to be
nullified, it must be shown that there is a clear and unequivocal breach of the
Constitution, not merely a doubtful and equivocal one. In other words, the grounds
for nullity must be clear and beyond reasonable doubt. (Peralta v. Comelec, supra)
Those who petition this Court to declare a law, or parts thereof, unconstitutional
must clearly establish the basis for such a declaration. Otherwise, their petition
must fail. Based on the grounds raised by petitioners to challenge the
constitutionality of P.D. 1869, the Court finds that petitioners have failed to
overcome the presumption. The dismissal of this petition is therefore, inevitable.
But as to whether P.D. 1869 remains a wise legislation considering the issues of
"morality, monopoly, trend to free enterprise, privatization as well as the state
principles on social justice, role of youth and educational values" being raised, is
up for Congress to determine.
As this Court held in Citizens' Alliance for Consumer Protection v. Energy
Regulatory Board, 162 SCRA 521 —
Presidential Decree No. 1956, as amended by Executive Order No. 137 has, in
any case, in its favor the presumption of validity and constitutionality which
petitioners Valmonte and the KMU have not overturned. Petitioners have not
undertaken to identify the provisions in the Constitution which they claim to have
been violated by that statute. This Court, however, is not compelled to speculate
and to imagine how the assailed legislation may possibly offend some provision of
the Constitution. The Court notes, further, in this respect that petitioners have in
the main put in question the wisdom, justice and expediency of the establishment
of the OPSF, issues which are not properly addressed to this Court and which this
Court may not constitutionally pass upon. Those issues should be addressed
rather to the political departments of government: the President and the Congress.
Parenthetically, We wish to state that gambling is generally immoral, and this is
precisely so when the gambling resorted to is excessive. This excessiveness
necessarily depends not only on the financial resources of the gambler and his
family but also on his mental, social, and spiritual outlook on life. However, the
mere fact that some persons may have lost their material fortunes, mental control,
physical health, or even their lives does not necessarily mean that the same are
directly attributable to gambling. Gambling may have been the antecedent, but
certainly not necessarily the cause. For the same consequences could have been
preceded by an overdose of food, drink, exercise, work, and even sex.
SECOND DIVISION implementing or enforcing Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T. 1995; (2) an order requiring
[G.R. No. 129093. August 30, 2001] Hon. Municipal Mayor Calixto R. Cataquiz to issue a business permit for the
HON. JOSE D. LINA, JR., SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF LAGUNA, and operation of a lotto outlet; and (3) an order annulling or declaring as invalid
HON. CALIXTO CATAQUIZ, petitioners, vs. HON. FRANCISCO DIZON PAO Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T. 1995.
and TONY CALVENTO, respondents. On February 10, 1997, the respondent judge, Francisco Dizon Pao, promulgated
DECISION his decision enjoining the petitioners from implementing or enforcing resolution or
QUISUMBING, J.: Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T. 1995. The dispositive portion of said decision reads:
For our resolution is a petition for review on certiorari seeking the reversal of the WHEREFORE, premises considered, defendants, their agents and representatives
decision[1] dated February 10, 1997 of the Regional Trial Court of San Pedro, are hereby enjoined from implementing or enforcing resolution or kapasiyahan blg.
Laguna, Branch 93, enjoining petitioners from implementing or enforcing 508, T. 1995 of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Laguna prohibiting the
Kapasiyahan Bilang 508, Taon 1995, of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna operation of the lotto in the province of Laguna.
and its subsequent Order[2] dated April 21, 1997 denying petitioners motion for SO ORDERED.[4]
reconsideration. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration which was subsequently denied in an
On December 29, 1995, respondent Tony Calvento was appointed agent by the Order dated April 21, 1997, which reads:
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to install Terminal OM 20 for the Acting on the Motion for Reconsideration filed by defendants Jose D. Lina, Jr. and
operation of lotto. He asked Mayor Calixto Cataquiz, Mayor of San Pedro, Laguna, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna, thru counsel, with the opposition filed
for a mayors permit to open the lotto outlet. This was denied by Mayor Cataquiz in by plaintiffs counsel and the comment thereto filed by counsel for the defendants
a letter dated February 19, 1996. The ground for said denial was an ordinance which were duly noted, the Court hereby denies the motion for lack of merit.
passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna entitled Kapasiyahan Blg. SO ORDERED.[5]
508, T. 1995 which was issued on September 18, 1995. The ordinance reads: On May 23, 1997, petitioners filed this petition alleging that the following errors
ISANG KAPASIYAHAN TINUTUTULAN ANG MGA ILLEGAL GAMBLING LALO were committed by the respondent trial court:
NA ANG LOTTO SA LALAWIGAN NG LAGUNA I
SAPAGKAT, ang sugal dito sa lalawigan ng Laguna ay talamak na; THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ENJOINING THE PETITIONERS FROM
SAPAGKAT, ang sugal ay nagdudulot ng masasamang impluwensiya lalot higit sa IMPLEMENTING KAPASIYAHAN BLG. 508, T. 1995 OF THE SANGGUNIANG
mga kabataan; PANLALAWIGAN OF LAGUNA PROHIBITING THE OPERATION OF THE
KUNG KAYAT DAHIL DITO, at sa mungkahi nina Kgg. Kgd. Juan M. Unico at Kgg. LOTTO IN THE PROVINCE OF LAGUNA.
Kgd. Gat-Ala A. Alatiit, pinangalawahan ni Kgg. Kgd. Meliton C. Larano at buong II
pagkakaisang sinangayunan ng lahat ng dumalo sa pulong; THE TRIAL COURT FAILED TO APPRECIATE THE ARGUMENT POSITED BY
IPINASIYA, na tutulan gaya ng dito ay mahigpit na TINUTUTULAN ang ano mang THE PETITIONERS THAT BEFORE ANY GOVERNMENT PROJECT OR
uri ng sugal dito sa lalawigan ng Laguna lalot higit ang Lotto; PROGRAM MAY BE IMPLEMENTED BY THE NATIONAL AGENCIES OR
IPINASIYA PA RIN na hilingin tulad ng dito ay hinihiling sa Panlalawigang pinuno OFFICES, PRIOR CONSULTATION AND APPROVAL BY THE LOCAL
ng Philippine National Police (PNP) Col. [illegible] na mahigpit na pag-ibayuhin ang GOVERNMENT UNITS CONCERNED AND OTHER CONCERNED SECTORS IS
pagsugpo sa lahat ng uri ng illegal na sugal sa buong lalawigan ng Laguna lalo na REQUIRED.
ang Jueteng.[3] Petitioners contend that the assailed resolution is a valid policy declaration of the
As a result of this resolution of denial, respondent Calvento filed a complaint for Provincial Government of Laguna of its vehement objection to the operation of lotto
declaratory relief with prayer for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining and all forms of gambling. It is likewise a valid exercise of the provincial
order. In the said complaint, respondent Calvento asked the Regional Trial Court governments police power under the General Welfare Clause of Republic Act
of San Pedro Laguna, Branch 93, for the following reliefs: (1) a preliminary 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991. [6] They also
injunction or temporary restraining order, ordering the defendants to refrain from maintain that respondents lotto operation is illegal because no prior consultations
and approval by the local government were sought before it was implemented 5.7. The terms of the Resolution and the validity thereof are express and clear.
contrary to the express provisions of Sections 2 (c) and 27 of R.A. 7160. [7] The Resolution is a policy declaration of the Provincial Government of Laguna of
For his part, respondent Calvento argues that the questioned resolution is, in its vehement opposition and/or objection to the operation of and/or all forms of
effect, a curtailment of the power of the state since in this case the national gambling including the Lotto operation in the Province of Laguna.[12]
legislature itself had already declared lotto as legal and permitted its operations As a policy statement expressing the local governments objection to the lotto, such
around the country.[8] As for the allegation that no prior consultations and approval resolution is valid. This is part of the local governments autonomy to air its views
were sought from the sangguniang panlalawigan of Laguna, respondent Calvento which may be contrary to that of the national governments. However, this freedom
contends this is not mandatory since such a requirement is merely stated as a to exercise contrary views does not mean that local governments may actually
declaration of policy and not a self-executing provision of the Local Government enact ordinances that go against laws duly enacted by Congress. Given this
Code of 1991.[9] He also states that his operation of the lotto system is legal premise, the assailed resolution in this case could not and should not be
because of the authority given to him by the PCSO, which in turn had been interpreted as a measure or ordinance prohibiting the operation of lotto.
granted a franchise to operate the lotto by Congress.[10] The game of lotto is a game of chance duly authorized by the national government
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), for the State, contends that the through an Act of Congress. Republic Act 1169, as amended by Batas Pambansa
Provincial Government of Laguna has no power to prohibit a form of gambling Blg. 42, is the law which grants a franchise to the PCSO and allows it to operate
which has been authorized by the national government.[11] He argues that this is the lotteries. The pertinent provision reads:
based on the principle that ordinances should not contravene statutes as municipal Section 1. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.- The Philippine Charity
governments are merely agents of the national government. The local councils Sweepstakes Office, hereinafter designated the Office, shall be the principal
exercise only delegated legislative powers which have been conferred on them by government agency for raising and providing for funds for health programs,
Congress. This being the case, these councils, as delegates, cannot be superior to medical assistance and services and charities of national character, and as such
the principal or exercise powers higher than those of the latter. The OSG also adds shall have the general powers conferred in section thirteen of Act Numbered One
that the question of whether gambling should be permitted is for Congress to thousand four hundred fifty-nine, as amended, and shall have the authority:
determine, taking into account national and local interests. Since Congress has A. To hold and conduct charity sweepstakes races, lotteries, and other similar
allowed the PCSO to operate lotteries which PCSO seeks to conduct in Laguna, activities, in such frequency and manner, as shall be determined, and subject to
pursuant to its legislative grant of authority, the provinces Sangguniang such rules and regulations as shall be promulgated by the Board of Directors.
Panlalawigan cannot nullify the exercise of said authority by preventing something This statute remains valid today. While lotto is clearly a game of chance, the
already allowed by Congress. national government deems it wise and proper to permit it. Hence, the
The issues to be resolved now are the following: (1) whether Kapasiyahan Blg. Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna, a local government unit, cannot issue a
508, T. 1995 of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna and the denial of a resolution or an ordinance that would seek to prohibit permits. Stated otherwise,
mayors permit based thereon are valid; and (2) whether prior consultations and what the national legislature expressly allows by law, such as lotto, a provincial
approval by the concerned Sanggunian are needed before a lotto system can be board may not disallow by ordinance or resolution.
operated in a given local government unit. In our system of government, the power of local government units to legislate and
The entire controversy stemmed from the refusal of Mayor Cataquiz to issue a enact ordinances and resolutions is merely a delegated power coming from
mayors permit for the operation of a lotto outlet in favor of private respondent. Congress. As held in Tatel vs. Virac,[13]ordinances should not contravene an
According to the mayor, he based his decision on an existing ordinance prohibiting existing statute enacted by Congress. The reasons for this is obvious, as
the operation of lotto in the province of Laguna. The ordinance, however, merely elucidated in Magtajas v. Pryce Properties Corp.[14]
states the objection of the council to the said game. It is but a mere policy Municipal governments are only agents of the national government. Local councils
statement on the part of the local council, which is not self-executing. Nor could it exercise only delegated legislative powers conferred upon them by Congress as
serve as a valid ground to prohibit the operation of the lotto system in the province the national lawmaking body. The delegate cannot be superior to the principal or
of Laguna. Even petitioners admit as much when they stated in their petition that: exercise powers higher than those of the latter. It is a heresy to suggest that the
local government units can undo the acts of Congress, from which they have As for the second issue, we hold that petitioners erred in declaring that Sections 2
derived their power in the first place, and negate by mere ordinance the mandate (c) and 27 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code
of the statute. of 1991, apply mandatorily in the setting up of lotto outlets around the country.
Municipal corporations owe their origin to, and derive their powers and rights These provisions state:
wholly from the legislature. It breathes into them the breath of life, without which Section 2. Declaration of Policy. x x x
they cannot exist. As it creates, so it may destroy. As it may destroy, it may (c) It is likewise the policy of the State to require all national agencies and offices
abridge and control. Unless there is some constitutional limitation on the right, the to conduct periodic consultations with appropriate local government units, non-
legislature might, by a single act, and if we can suppose it capable of so great a governmental and peoples organizations, and other concerned sectors of the
folly and so great a wrong, sweep from existence all of the municipal corporations community before any project or program is implemented in their respective
in the state, and the corporation could not prevent it. We know of no limitation on jurisdictions.
the right so far as the corporation themselves are concerned. They are, so to Section 27. Prior Consultations Required. No project or program shall be
phrase it, the mere tenants at will of the legislature (citing Clinton vs. Ceder implemented by government authorities unless the consultations mentioned in
Rapids, etc. Railroad Co., 24 Iowa 455). Section 2 (c) and 26 hereof are complied with, and prior approval of the
Nothing in the present constitutional provision enhancing local autonomy dictates a sanggunian concerned is obtained; Provided, that occupants in areas where such
different conclusion. projects are to be implemented shall not be evicted unless appropriate relocation
The basic relationship between the national legislature and the local government sites have been provided, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
units has not been enfeebled by the new provisions in the Constitution From a careful reading of said provisions, we find that these apply only to national
strengthening the policy of local autonomy. Without meaning to detract from that programs and/or projects which are to be implemented in a particular local
policy, we here confirm that Congress retains control of the local government units community. Lotto is neither a program nor a project of the national government, but
although in significantly reduced degree now than under our previous of a charitable institution, the PCSO. Though sanctioned by the national
Constitutions. The power to create still includes the power to destroy. The power to government, it is far fetched to say that lotto falls within the contemplation of
grant still includes the power to withhold or recall. True, there are certain notable Sections 2 (c) and 27 of the Local Government Code.
innovations in the Constitution, like the direct conferment on the local government Section 27 of the Code should be read in conjunction with Section 26 thereof. [17]
units of the power to tax (citing Art. X, Sec. 5, Constitution), which cannot now be Section 26 reads:
withdrawn by mere statute. By and large, however, the national legislature is still Section 26. Duty of National Government Agencies in the Maintenance of
the principal of the local government units, which cannot defy its will or modify or Ecological Balance. It shall be the duty of every national agency or government-
violate it.[15] owned or controlled corporation authorizing or involved in the planning and
Ours is still a unitary form of government, not a federal state. Being so, any form of implementation of any project or program that may cause pollution, climatic
autonomy granted to local governments will necessarily be limited and confined change, depletion of non-renewable resources, loss of crop land, range-land, or
within the extent allowed by the central authority. Besides, the principle of local forest cover, and extinction of animal or plant species, to consult with the local
autonomy under the 1987 Constitution simply means decentralization. It does not government units, nongovernmental organizations, and other sectors concerned
make local governments sovereign within the state or an imperium in imperio.[16] and explain the goals and objectives of the project or program, its impact upon the
To conclude our resolution of the first issue, respondent mayor of San Pedro, people and the community in terms of environmental or ecological balance, and
cannot avail of Kapasiyahan Bilang 508, Taon 1995, of the Provincial Board of the measures that will be undertaken to prevent or minimize the adverse effects
Laguna as justification to prohibit lotto in his municipality. For said resolution is thereof.
nothing but an expression of the local legislative unit concerned. The Boards Thus, the projects and programs mentioned in Section 27 should be interpreted to
enactment, like spring water, could not rise above its source of power, the national mean projects and programs whose effects are among those enumerated in
legislature. Section 26 and 27, to wit, those that: (1) may cause pollution; (2) may bring about
climatic change; (3) may cause the depletion of non-renewable resources; (4) may
result in loss of crop land, range-land, or forest cover; (5) may eradicate certain
animal or plant species from the face of the planet; and (6) other projects or
programs that may call for the eviction of a particular group of people residing in
the locality where these will be implemented. Obviously, none of these effects will
be produced by the introduction of lotto in the province of Laguna.
Moreover, the argument regarding lack of consultation raised by petitioners is
clearly an afterthought on their part. There is no indication in the letter of Mayor
Cataquiz that this was one of the reasons for his refusal to issue a permit. That
refusal was predicated solely but erroneously on the provisions of Kapasiyahan
Blg. 508, Taon 1995, of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna.
In sum, we find no reversible error in the RTC decision enjoining Mayor Cataquiz
from enforcing or implementing the Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T. 1995, of the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna. That resolution expresses merely a policy
statement of the Laguna provincial board. It possesses no binding legal force nor
requires any act of implementation. It provides no sufficient legal basis for
respondent mayors refusal to issue the permit sought by private respondent in
connection with a legitimate business activity authorized by a law passed by
Congress.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Order of the Regional
Trial Court of San Pedro, Laguna enjoining the petitioners from implementing or
enforcing Resolution or Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T. 1995, of the Provincial Board of
Laguna is hereby AFFIRMED. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines of representatives appointed by the President from a list of nominees from multi-
SUPREME COURT sectoral bodies. The organic act shall define the basic structure of government for
Manila the region consisting of the executive department and legislative assembly, both of
EN BANC which shall be elective and representative of the constituent political units. The
G.R. No. 79956 January 29, 1990 organic acts shall likewise provide for special courts with personal, family and
CORDILLERA BROAD COALITION, petitioner, property law jurisdiction consistent with the provisions of this Constitution and
vs. national laws.
COMMISSION ON AUDIT, respondent. The creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved by
G.R. No. 82217 January 29, 1990 majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the
LILIA YARANON and BONA BAUTISTA, assisted by their spouses, BRAULIO purpose, provided that only provinces, cities, and geographic areas voting
D. YARANON and DEMETRIO D. BAUTISTA, JR., respectively; JAMES BRETT favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region.
and SINAI C. HAMADA, petitioners, Sec. 19. The first Congress elected under this Constitution shall, within eighteen
vs. months from the time of organization of both Houses, pass the organic acts for the
THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT, HON. CATALINO MACARAIG, Executive autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras.
Secretary, HON. VICENTE JAYME, Secretary of Finance, HON. GUILLERMO Sec. 20. Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of this
N. CARAGUE, Secretary of Budget and Management, and HON. ROSALINA S. Constitution and national laws, the organic act of autonomous regions shall
CAJUCOM, OIC National Treasurer, respondents. provide for legislative powers over:
(1) Administrative organization;
CORTES, J.: (2) Creation of sources of revenues;
In these consolidated petitions, the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 220, (3) Ancestral domain and natural resources;
dated July 15, 1987, which created the (Cordillera Administrative Region, is (4) Personal, family and property relations;
assailed on the primary ground that it pre-empts the enactment of an organic act (5) Regional urban and rural planning development;
by the Congress and the creation of' the autonomous region in the Cordilleras (6) Economic, social and tourism development ;
conditional on the approval of the act through a plebiscite. (7) Educational policies;
Relative to the creation of autonomous regions, the constitution, in Article X, (8) Preservation and development of the cultural heritage; and
provides: (9) Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the
AUTONOMOUS REGIONS general welfare of the people of the region.
Sec. 15. There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in Sec. 21. The preservation of peace and order within the regions shall be the
the Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical responsibility of the local police agencies which shall be organized, maintained,
areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic supervised, and utilized in accordance with applicable laws. The defense and
and social structures, and other relevant characteristics within the framework of security of the regions shall be the responsibility of the National Government.
this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the A study of E.O. No. 220 would be incomplete Without reference to its historical
Republic of the Philippines. background.
SEC. 16. The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous In April 1986, just after the EDSA Revolution, Fr. Conrado M. Balweg, S.V.D.,
regions to ensure that laws are faithfully executed. broke off on ideological grounds from the Communist Party of the Philippines
Sec. 17. All powers, functions, and responsibilities not granted Constitution or by (CPP) and its military arm the New People's Army. (NPA).
law to the autonomous regions shall be vested in the National Government. After President Aquino was installed into office by People Power, she advocated a
Sec. 18. The Congress shall enact an organic act for each autonomous region with policy of national reconciliation. She called on all revolutionary forces to a peace
the assistance and participation of the regional consultative commission composed dialogue. The CPLA heeded this call of the President. After the preliminary
negotiations, President Aquino and some members of her Cabinet flew to Mt. Data such time as the autonomous regional government is established and organized
in the Mountain Province on September 13, 1986 and signed with Fr. Conrado M. [sec. 17].
Balweg (As Commander of the CPLA and Ama Mario Yag-ao (as President of Explaining the rationale for the issuance of E.O. No. 220, its last "Whereas" clause
Cordillera Bodong Administration, the civil government of the CPLA a ceasefire provides:
agreement that signified the cessation of hostilities (WHEREAS No. 7, E.O. 220). WHEREAS, pending the convening of the first Congress and the enactment of the
The parties arrived at an agreement in principle: the Cordillera people shall not organic act for a Cordillera autonomous region, there is an urgent need, in the
undertake their demands through armed and violent struggle but by peaceful interest of national security and public order, for the President to reorganize
means, such as political negotiations. The negotiations shall be a continuing immediately the existing administrative structure in the Cordilleras to suit it to the
process until the demands of the Cordillera people shall have been substantially existing political realities therein and the Government's legitimate concerns in the
granted. areas, without attempting to pre-empt the constitutional duty of the first Congress
On March 27, 1987, Ambassador Pelaez [Acting as Chief Negotiator of the to undertake the creation of an autonomous region on a permanent basis.
government], in pursuance of the September 13, 1986 agreement, flew to the During the pendency of this case, Republic Act No. 6766 entitled "An Act Providing
Mansion House, Baguio City, and signed with Fr. Balweg (as Chairman of the for an Organic Act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region," was enacted and
Cordillera panel) a joint agreement, paragraphs 2 and 3 of which state: signed into law. The Act recognizes the CAR and the offices and agencies created
Par. 2- Work together in drafting an Executive Order to create a preparatory body under E.O. No. 220 and its transitory nature is reinforced in Art. XXI of R.A. No.
that could perform policy-making and administrative functions and undertake 6766, to wit:
consultations and studies leading to a draft organic act for the Cordilleras. SEC. 3. The Cordillera Executive Board, the Cordillera Region Assembly as well
Par. 3- Have representatives from the Cordillera panel join the study group of the as all offices and agencies created under Execute Order No. 220 shall cease to
R.P. Panel in drafting the Executive Order. exist immediately upon the ratification of this Organic Act.
Pursuant to the above joint agreement, E.O. 220 was drafted by a panel of the All funds, properties and assets of the Cordillera Executive Board and the
Philippine government and of the representatives of the Cordillera people. Cordillera Regional Assembly shall automatically be transferred to the Cordillera
On July 15, 1987, President Corazon C. Aquino signed the joint draft into law, Autonomous Government.
known now as E.O. 220. [Rejoinder G.R. No. 82217, pp. 2-3]. I
Executive Order No. 220, issued by the President in the exercise of her legislative It is well-settled in our jurisprudence that respect for the inherent and stated
powers under Art. XVIII, sec. 6 of the 1987 Constitution, created the Cordillera powers and prerogatives of the law-making body, as well as faithful adherence to
Administrative Region (CAR) , which covers the provinces of Abra, Benguet, the principle of separation of powers, require that its enactment be accorded the
Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Mountain Province and the City of Baguio [secs. 1 presumption of constitutionality. Thus, in any challenge to the constitutionality of a
and 2]. It was created to accelerate economic and social growth in the region and statute, the burden of clearly and unequivocally proving its unconstitutionality
to prepare for the establishment of the autonomous region in the Cordilleras [sec. always rests upon the challenger. Conversely, failure to so prove will necessarily
3]. Its main function is to coordinate the planning and implementation of programs defeat the challenge.
and services in the region, particularly, to coordinate with the local government We shall be guided by these principles in considering these consolidated petitions.
units as well as with the executive departments of the National Government in the In these cases, petitioners principally argue that by issuing E.O. No. 220 the
supervision of field offices and in identifying, planning, monitoring, and accepting President, in the exercise of her legislative powers prior to the convening of the
projects and activities in the region [sec. 5]. It shall also monitor the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution, has virtually pre-empted Congress
implementation of all ongoing national and local government projects in the region from its mandated task of enacting an organic act and created an autonomous
[sec. 20]. The CAR shall have a Cordillera Regional Assembly as a policy- region in the Cordilleras. We have carefully studied the Constitution and E.O. No.
formulating body and a Cordillera Executive Board as an implementing arm [secs. 220 and we have come to the conclusion that petitioners' assertions are
7, 8 and 10]. The CAR and the Assembly and Executive Board shall exist until unfounded. Events subsequent to the issuance of E.O. No. 220 also bear out this
conclusion.
1. A reading of E.O. No. 220 will easily reveal that what it actually envisions representative assembly, to convene yearly only for a five-day regular session,
is the consolidation and coordination of the delivery of services of line departments tasked with, among others, identifying priority projects and development programs
and agencies of the National Government in the areas covered by the [sec. 9]. To serve as an implementing body, it created the Cordillera Executive
administrative region as a step preparatory to the grant of autonomy to the Board composed of the Mayor of Baguio City, provincial governors and
Cordilleras. It does not create the autonomous region contemplated in the representatives of the Cordillera Bodong Administration, ethno-linguistic groups
Constitution. It merely provides for transitory measures in anticipation of the and non-governmental organizations as regular members and all regional directors
enactment of an organic act and the creation of an autonomous region. In short, it of the line departments of the National Government as ex-officio members and
prepares the ground for autonomy. This does not necessarily conflict with the headed by an Executive Director [secs. 10 and 11]. The bodies created by E.O.
provisions of the Constitution on autonomous regions, as we shall show later. No. 220 do not supplant the existing local governmental structure, nor are they
The Constitution outlines a complex procedure for the creation of an autonomous autonomous government agencies. They merely constitute the mechanism for an
region in the Cordilleras. A regional consultative commission shall first be created. "umbrella" that brings together the existing local governments, the agencies of the
The President shall then appoint the members of a regional consultative National Government, the ethno-linguistic groups or tribes, and non-governmental
commission from a list of nominees from multi-sectoral bodies. The commission organizations in a concerted effort to spur development in the Cordilleras.
shall assist the Congress in preparing the organic act for the autonomous region. The creation of the CAR for purposes of administrative coordination is underscored
The organic act shall be passed by the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution by the mandate of E.O. No. 220 for the President and appropriate national
within eighteen months from the time of its organization and enacted into law. departments and agencies to make available sources of funds for priority
Thereafter there shall be held a plebiscite for the approval of the organic act [Art. development programs and projects recommended by the CAR [sec. 21] and the
X, sec. 18]. Only then, after its approval in the plebiscite, shall the autonomous power given to the President to call upon the appropriate executive departments
region be created. and agencies of the National Government to assist the CAR [sec. 24].
Undoubtedly, all of these will take time. The President, in 1987 still exercising 3. Subsequent to the issuance of E.O. No. 220, the Congress, after it was
legislative powers, as the first Congress had not yet convened, saw it fit to provide convened, enacted Republic Act No. 6658 which created the Cordillera Regional
for some measures to address the urgent needs of the Cordilleras in the meantime Consultative Commission. The President then appointed its members. The
that the organic act had not yet been passed and the autonomous region created. commission prepared a draft organic act which became the basis for the
These measures we find in E.O. No. 220. The steps taken by the President are deliberations of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The result was
obviously perceived by petitioners, particularly petitioner Yaranon who views E.O. Republic Act No. 6766, the organic act for the Cordillera autonomous region, which
No. 220 as capitulation to the Cordillera People's Liberation Army (CPLA) of was signed into law on October 23, 1989. A plebiscite for the approval of the
Balweg, as unsound, but the Court cannot inquire into the wisdom of the measures organic act, to be conducted shortly, shall complete the process outlined in the
taken by the President, We can only inquire into whether or not the measures Constitution.
violate the Constitution. But as we have seen earlier, they do not. In the meantime, E.O. No. 220 had been in force and effect for more than two
2. Moreover, the transitory nature of the CAR does not necessarily mean that years and we find that, despite E.O. No. 220, the autonomous region in the
it is, as petitioner Cordillera Broad Coalition asserts, "the interim autonomous Cordilleras is still to be created, showing the lack of basis of petitioners' assertion.
region in the Cordilleras" [Petition, G.R. No. 79956, p. 25]. Events have shown that petitioners' fear that E.O. No. 220 was a "shortcut" for the
The Constitution provides for a basic structure of government in the autonomous creation of the autonomous region in the Cordilleras was totally unfounded.
region composed of an elective executive and legislature and special courts with Clearly, petitioners' principal challenge has failed.
personal, family and property law jurisdiction [Art. X, sec. 18]. Using this as a II
guide, we find that E.O. No. 220 did not establish an autonomous regional A collateral issue raised by petitioners is the nature of the CAR: whether or not it is
government. It created a region, covering a specified area, for administrative a territorial and political subdivision. The Constitution provides in Article X:
purposes with the main objective of coordinating the planning and implementation Section 1. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the
of programs and services [secs. 2 and 5]. To determine policy, it created a Philippines are the provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays. There shall be
autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as hereinafter linguistic groups and non-governmental organizations in bringing about the desired
provided. objectives and the appropriation of funds solely for that purpose.
xxx xxx xxx 2. Then, considering the control and supervision exercised by the President over
Sec. 10. No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, the CAR and the offices created under E.O. No. 220, and considering further the
merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with indispensable participation of the line departments of the National Government, the
the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a CAR may be considered more than anything else as a regional coordinating
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. agency of the National Government, similar to the regional development councils
We have seen earlier that the CAR is not the autonomous region in the Cordilleras which the President may create under the Constitution [Art. X, sec. 14]. These
contemplated by the Constitution, Thus, we now address petitioners' assertion that councils are "composed of local government officials, regional heads of
E. 0. No. 220 contravenes the Constitution by creating a new territorial and political departments and other government offices, and representatives from non-
subdivision. governmental organizations within the region for purposes of administrative
After carefully considering the provisions of E.O. No. 220, we find that it did not decentralization to strengthen the autonomy of the units therein and to accelerate
create a new territorial and political subdivision or merge existing ones into a larger the economic and social growth and development of the units in the region." [Ibid.]
subdivision. In this wise, the CAR may be considered as a more sophisticated version of the
1. Firstly, the CAR is not a public corporation or a territorial and political regional development council.
subdivision. It does not have a separate juridical personality, unlike provinces, III
cities and municipalities. Neither is it vested with the powers that are normally Finally, petitioners incidentally argue that the creation of the CAR contravened the
granted to public corporations, e.g. the power to sue and be sued, the power to constitutional guarantee of the local autonomy for the provinces (Abra, Benguet,
own and dispose of property, the power to create its own sources of revenue, etc. Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Mountain Province) and city (Baguio City) which
As stated earlier, the CAR was created primarily to coordinate the planning and compose the CAR.
implementation of programs and services in the covered areas. We find first a need to clear up petitioners' apparent misconception of the concept
The creation of administrative regions for the purpose of expediting the delivery of of local autonomy.
services is nothing new.1âwphi1 The Integrated Reorganization Plan of 1972, It must be clarified that the constitutional guarantee of local autonomy in the
which was made as part of the law of the land by virtue of Presidential Decree No. Constitution [Art. X, sec. 2] refers to the administrative autonomy of local
1, established eleven (11) regions, later increased to twelve (12), with definite government units or, cast in more technical language, the decentralization of
regional centers and required departments and agencies of the Executive Branch government authority [Villegas v. Subido, G.R. No. L-31004, January 8, 1971, 37
of the National Government to set up field offices therein. The functions of the SCRA 1]. Local autonomy is not unique to the 1987 Constitution, it being
regional offices to be established pursuant to the Reorganization Plan are: (1) to guaranteed also under the 1973 Constitution [Art. II, sec. 10]. And while there was
implement laws, policies, plans, programs, rules and regulations of the department no express guarantee under the 1935 Constitution, the Congress enacted the
or agency in the regional areas; (2) to provide economical, efficient and effective Local Autonomy Act (R.A. No. 2264) and the Decentralization Act (R.A. No. 5185),
service to the people in the area; (3) to coordinate with regional offices of other which ushered the irreversible march towards further enlargement of local
departments, bureaus and agencies in the area; (4) to coordinate with local autonomy in the country [Villegas v. Subido, supra.]
government units in the area; and (5) to perform such other functions as may be On the other hand, the creation of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and
provided by law. [See Part II, chap. III, art. 1, of the Reorganization Plan]. the Cordilleras, which is peculiar to the 1987 Constitution contemplates the grant
We can readily see that the CAR is in the same genre as the administrative of political autonomy and not just administrative autonomy these regions. Thus, the
regions created under the Reorganization Plan, albeit under E.O. No. 220 the provision in the Constitution for an autonomous regional government with a basic
operation of the CAR requires the participation not only of the line departments structure consisting of an executive department and a legislative assembly and
and agencies of the National Government but also the local governments, ethno- special courts with personal, family and property law jurisdiction in each of the
autonomous regions [Art. X, sec. 18].
As we have said earlier, the CAR is a mere transitory coordinating agency that
would prepare the stage for political autonomy for the Cordilleras. It fills in the
resulting gap in the process of transforming a group of adjacent territorial and
political subdivisions already enjoying local or administrative autonomy into an
autonomous region vested with political autonomy.
Anent petitioners' objection, we note the obvious failure to show how the creation
of the CAR has actually diminished the local autonomy of the covered provinces
and city. It cannot be over-emphasized that pure speculation and a resort to
probabilities are insufficient to cause the invalidation of E.O. No. 220.
WHEREFORE, the petitions are DISMISSED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines 5. To encourage parents to invest in their children's (and their own) future
SUPREME COURT 6. To encourage parent's participation in the growth and development of young
Manila children, as well as involvement in the community. 6
EN BANC This government intervention scheme, also conveniently referred to as CCTP,
G.R. No. 195770 July 17, 2012 "provides cash grant to extreme poor households to allow the members of the
AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR., SERGIO TADEO and NELSON ALCANTARA, families to meet certain human development goals."7
Petitioners, Eligible households that are selected from priority target areas consisting of the
vs. poorest provinces classified by the National Statistical Coordination Board
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA and SECRETARY CORAZON (NCSB)8 are granted a health assistance of P500.00/month, or P6,000.00/year,
JULIANO-SOLIMAN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE and and an educational assistance of P300.00/month for 10 months, or a total of
DEVELOPMENT (DSWD), Respondents. P3,000.00/year, for each child but up to a maximum of three children per family. 9
DECISION Thus, after an assessment on the appropriate assistance package, a household
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.: beneficiary could receive from the government an annual subsidy for its basic
The Case needs up to an amount of P15,000.00, under the following conditionalities:
For the Court’s consideration in this Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition is the a) Pregnant women must get pre natal care starting from the 1st trimester, child
constitutionality of certain provisions of Republic Act No. 10147 or the General birth is attended by skilled/trained professional, get post natal care thereafter
Appropriations Act (GAA) of 20111 which provides a P21 Billion budget allocation b) Parents/guardians must attend family planning sessions/mother's class, Parent
for the Conditional Cash Transfer Program (CCTP) headed by the Department of Effectiveness Service and others
Social Welfare & Development (DSWD). Petitioners seek to enjoin respondents c) Children 0-5 years of age get regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines
Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa and DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano- d) Children 3-5 years old must attend day care program/pre-school
Soliman from implementing the said program on the ground that it amounts to a e) Children 6-14 years of age are enrolled in schools and attend at least 85% of
"recentralization" of government functions that have already been devolved from the time10
the national government to the local government units. Under A.O. No. 16, s. 2008, the DSWD also institutionalized a coordinated inter-
The Facts agency network among the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of
In 2007, the DSWD embarked on a poverty reduction strategy with the poorest of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National
the poor as target beneficiaries.2Dubbed "Ahon Pamilyang Pilipino," it was pre-pilot Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and the local government units (LGUs),
tested in the municipalities of Sibagat and Esperanza in Agusan del Sur; the identifying specific roles and functions in order to ensure effective and efficient
municipalities of Lopez Jaena and Bonifacio in Misamis Occidental, the Caraga implementation of the CCTP. As the DSWD takes on the role of lead implementing
Region; and the cities of Pasay and Caloocan3 upon the release of the amount of agency that must "oversee and coordinate the implementation, monitoring and
P50 Million Pesos under a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) issued by the evaluation of the program," the concerned LGU as partner agency is particularly
Department of Budget and Management.4 tasked to –
On July 16, 2008, the DSWD issued Administrative Order No. 16, series of 2008 a. Ensure availability of the supply side on health and education in the target
(A.O. No. 16, s. 2008),5 setting the implementing guidelines for the project areas.
renamed "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program" (4Ps), upon the following stated b. Provide necessary technical assistance for Program implementation
objectives, to wit: c. Coordinate the implementation/operationalization of sectoral activities at the
1. To improve preventive health care of pregnant women and young children City/Municipal level to better execute Program objectives and functions
2. To increase enrollment/attendance of children at elementary level d. Coordinate with various concerned government agencies at the local level,
3. To reduce incidence of child labor sectoral representatives and NGO to ensure effective Program implementation
4. To raise consumption of poor households on nutrient dense foods
e. Prepare reports on issues and concerns regarding Program implementation and contrary to the precepts of local autonomy and the avowed policy of
submit to the Regional Advisory Committee, and decentralization.
f. Hold monthly committee meetings11 Our Ruling
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)12 executed by the DSWD with each The Constitution declares it a policy of the State to ensure the autonomy of local
participating LGU outlines in detail the obligation of both parties during the governments14 and even devotes a full article on the subject of local governance 15
intended five-year implementation of the CCTP. which includes the following pertinent provisions:
Congress, for its part, sought to ensure the success of the CCTP by providing it Section 3. The Congress shall enact a local government code which shall provide
with funding under the GAA of 2008 in the amount of Two Hundred Ninety-Eight for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted
Million Five Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (P298,550,000.00). This budget through a system of decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall, initiative,
allocation increased tremendously to P5 Billion Pesos in 2009, with the amount and referendum, allocate among the different local government units their powers,
doubling to P10 Billion Pesos in 2010. But the biggest allotment given to the CCTP responsibilities, and resources, and provide for the qualifications, election,
was in the GAA of 2011 at Twenty One Billion One Hundred Ninety-Four Million appointment and removal, term, salaries, powers and functions and duties of local
One Hundred Seventeen Thousand Pesos (P21,194,117,000.00).13 1âwphi1 officials, and all other matters relating to the organization and operation of the local
Petitioner Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., a former Senator, joined by Sergio Tadeo, units.
incumbent President of the Association of Barangay Captains of Cabanatuan City, xxx
Nueva Ecija, and Nelson Alcantara, incumbent Barangay Captain of Barangay Sta. Section 14. The President shall provide for regional development councils or other
Monica, Quezon City, challenges before the Court the disbursement of public similar bodies composed of local government officials, regional heads of
funds and the implementation of the CCTP which are alleged to have encroached departments and other government offices, and representatives from non-
into the local autonomy of the LGUs. governmental organizations within the regions for purposes of administrative
The Issue decentralization to strengthen the autonomy of the units therein and to accelerate
THE P21 BILLION CCTP BUDGET ALLOCATION UNDER THE DSWD IN THE the economic and social growth and development of the units in the region.
GAA FY 2011 VIOLATES ART. II, SEC. 25 & ART. X, SEC. 3 OF THE 1987 (Underscoring supplied)
CONSTITUTION IN RELATION TO SEC. 17 OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT In order to fully secure to the LGUs the genuine and meaningful autonomy that
CODE OF 1991 BY PROVIDING FOR THE RECENTRALIZATION OF THE would develop them into self-reliant communities and effective partners in the
NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IN THE DELIVERY OF BASIC SERVICES ALREADY attainment of national goals,16 Section 17 of the Local Government Code vested
DEVOLVED TO THE LGUS. upon the LGUs the duties and functions pertaining to the delivery of basic services
Petitioners admit that the wisdom of adopting the CCTP as a poverty reduction and facilities, as follows:
strategy for the Philippines is with the legislature. They take exception, however, to SECTION 17. Basic Services and Facilities. –
the manner by which it is being implemented, that is, primarily through a national (a) Local government units shall endeavor to be self-reliant and shall continue
agency like DSWD instead of the LGUs to which the responsibility and functions of exercising the powers and discharging the duties and functions currently vested
delivering social welfare, agriculture and health care services have been devolved upon them. They shall also discharge the functions and responsibilities of national
pursuant to Section 17 of Republic Act No. 7160, also known as the Local agencies and offices devolved to them pursuant to this Code. Local government
Government Code of 1991, in relation to Section 25, Article II & Section 3, Article X units shall likewise exercise such other powers and discharge such other functions
of the 1987 Constitution. and responsibilities as are necessary, appropriate, or incidental to efficient and
Petitioners assert that giving the DSWD full control over the identification of effective provision of the basic services and facilities enumerated herein.
beneficiaries and the manner by which services are to be delivered or (b) Such basic services and facilities include, but are not limited to, x x x.
conditionalities are to be complied with, instead of allocating the P21 Billion CCTP While the aforementioned provision charges the LGUs to take on the functions and
Budget directly to the LGUs that would have enhanced its delivery of basic responsibilities that have already been devolved upon them from the national
services, results in the "recentralization" of basic government functions, which is agencies on the aspect of providing for basic services and facilities in their
respective jurisdictions, paragraph (c) of the same provision provides a categorical the other extreme, which would amount to a decentralization of power explicated in
exception of cases involving nationally-funded projects, facilities, programs and Limbona v. Mangelin21 as beyond our constitutional concept of autonomy, thus:
services, thus: Now, autonomy is either decentralization of administration or decentralization of
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) hereof, public works and power.1âwphi1 There is decentralization of administration when the central
infrastructure projects and other facilities, programs and services funded by the government delegates administrative powers to political subdivisions in order to
National Government under the annual General Appropriations Act, other special broaden the base of government power and in the process to make local
laws, pertinent executive orders, and those wholly or partially funded from foreign governments ‘more responsive and accountable’ and ‘ensure their fullest
sources, are not covered under this Section, except in those cases where the local development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in
government unit concerned is duly designated as the implementing agency for the pursuit of national development and social progress.’ At the same time, it
such projects, facilities, programs and services. (Underscoring supplied) relieves the central government of the burden of managing local affairs and
The essence of this express reservation of power by the national government is enables it to concentrate on national concerns. The President exercises ‘general
that, unless an LGU is particularly designated as the implementing agency, it has supervision’ over them, but only to ‘ensure that local affairs are administered
no power over a program for which funding has been provided by the national according to law.’ He has no control over their acts in the sense that he can
government under the annual general appropriations act, even if the program substitute their judgments with his own.
involves the delivery of basic services within the jurisdiction of the LGU. Decentralization of power, on the other hand, involves an abdication of political
The Court held in Ganzon v. Court of Appeals17 that while it is through a system of power in the [sic] favor of local governments [sic] units declared to be autonomous.
decentralization that the State shall promote a more responsive and accountable In that case, the autonomous government is free to chart its own destiny and
local government structure, the concept of local autonomy does not imply the shape its future with minimum intervention from central authorities. According to a
conversion of local government units into "mini-states."18 We explained that, with constitutional author, decentralization of power amounts to ‘self-immolation,’ since
local autonomy, the Constitution did nothing more than "to break up the monopoly in that event, the autonomous government becomes accountable not to the central
of the national government over the affairs of the local government" and, thus, did authorities but to its constituency.22
not intend to sever "the relation of partnership and interdependence between the Indeed, a complete relinquishment of central government powers on the matter of
central administration and local government units."19 In Pimentel v. Aguirre,20 the providing basic facilities and services cannot be implied as the Local Government
Court defined the extent of the local government's autonomy in terms of its Code itself weighs against it. The national government is, thus, not precluded from
partnership with the national government in the pursuit of common national goals, taking a direct hand in the formulation and implementation of national development
referring to such key concepts as integration and coordination. Thus: programs especially where it is implemented locally in coordination with the LGUs
Under the Philippine concept of local autonomy, the national government has not concerned.
completely relinquished all its powers over local governments, including Every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality, and to justify its
autonomous regions. Only administrative powers over local affairs are delegated to nullification, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not
political subdivisions. The purpose of the delegation is to make governance more a doubtful and argumentative one.23 Petitioners have failed to discharge the
directly responsive and effective at the local levels. In turn, economic, political and burden of proving the invalidity of the provisions under the GAA of 2011. The
social development at the smaller political units are expected to propel social and allocation of a P21 billion budget for an intervention program formulated by the
economic growth and development. But to enable the country to develop as a national government itself but implemented in partnership with the local
whole, the programs and policies effected locally must be integrated and government units to achieve the common national goal development and social
coordinated towards a common national goal. Thus, policy-setting for the entire progress can by no means be an encroachment upon the autonomy of local
country still lies in the President and Congress. governments.
Certainly, to yield unreserved power of governance to the local government unit as WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby DISMISSED.
to preclude any and all involvement by the national government in programs SO ORDERED.
implemented in the local level would be to shift the tide of monopolistic power to
Republic of the Philippines MUNICIPALITY OF JALA-JALA and/or MAYOR WALFREDO M. DE LA VEGA,
SUPREME COURT respondents.
Manila LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner,
FIRST DIVISION vs.
COURT OF APPEALS; HON. JUDGE ARTURO A. MARAVE, PRESIDING
G.R. Nos. 120865-71 December 7, 1995 JUDGE, BRANCH 78, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MORONG, RIZAL; AGP
LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner, FISH VENTURES, INC., represented by its PRESIDENT ALFONSO PUYAT;
vs. MUNICIPALITY OF JALA-JALA and/or MAYOR WALFREDO M. DE LA VEGA,
COURT OF APPEALS; HON. JUDGE HERCULANO TECH, PRESIDING respondents.
JUDGE, BRANCH 70, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF BINANGONAN RIZAL; LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner,
FLEET DEVELOPMENT, INC. and CARLITO ARROYO; THE MUNICIPALITY vs.
OF BINANGONAN and/or MAYOR ISIDRO B. PACIS, respondents. COURT OF APPEALS; HON. JUDGE EUGENIO S. LABITORIA, PRESIDING
LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner, JUDGE, BRANCH 161, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF PASIG, METRO
vs. MANILA; SEA MAR TRADING CO. INC.; EASTERN LAGOON FISHING CORP.;
COURT OF APPEALS; HON. JUDGE AURELIO C. TRAMPE, PRESIDING MINAMAR FISHING CORP.; MUNICIPALITY OF BINANGONAN and/or MAYOR
JUDGE, BRANCH 163, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF PASIG; MANILA ISIDRO B. PACIS, respondents.
MARINE LIFE BUSINESS RESOURCES, INC. represented by, MR. TOBIAS
REYNALD M. TIANGCO; MUNICIPALITY OF TAGUIG, METRO MANILA and/or HERMOSISIMA, JR., J.:
MAYOR RICARDO D. PAPA, JR., respondents. It is difficult for a man, scavenging on the garbage dump created by affluence and
LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner, profligate consumption and extravagance of the rich or fishing in the murky waters
vs. of the Pasig River and the Laguna Lake or making a clearing in the forest so that
COURT OF APPEALS; HON. JUDGE ALEJANDRO A. MARQUEZ, PRESIDING he can produce food for his family, to understand why protecting birds, fish, and
JUDGE, BRANCH 79, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MORONG, RIZAL; trees is more important than protecting him and keeping his family alive.
GREENFIELD VENTURES INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION and How do we strike a balance between environmental protection, on the one hand,
R. J. ORION DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION; MUNICIPALITY OF JALA-JALA and the individual personal interests of people, on the other?
and/or MAYOR WALFREDO M. DE LA VEGA, respondents. Towards environmental protection and ecology, navigational safety, and
LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner, sustainable development, Republic Act No. 4850 created the "Laguna Lake
vs. Development Authority." This Government Agency is supposed to carry out and
COURT OF APPEALS; HON. JUDGE MANUEL S. PADOLINA, PRESIDING effectuate the aforesaid declared policy, so as to accelerate the development and
JUDGE, BRANCH 162, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF PASIG, METRO balanced growth of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces, cities
MANILA; IRMA FISHING & TRADING CORP.; ARTM FISHING CORP.; BDR and towns, in the act clearly named, within the context of the national and regional
CORPORATION, MIRT CORPORATION and TRIM CORPORATION; plans and policies for social and economic development.
MUNICIPALITY OF BINANGONAN and/or MAYOR ISIDRO B. PACIS, Presidential Decree No. 813 of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos amended
respondents. certain sections of Republic Act No. 4850 because of the concern for the rapid
LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner, expansion of Metropolitan Manila, the suburbs and the lakeshore towns of Laguna
vs. de Bay, combined with current and prospective uses of the lake for municipal-
COURT OF APPEALS; HON. JUDGE ARTURO A. MARAVE, PRESIDING industrial water supply, irrigation, fisheries, and the like. Concern on the part of the
JUDGE, BRANCH 78, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MORONG, RIZAL; BLUE Government and the general public over: — the environment impact of
LAGOON FISHING CORP. and ALCRIS CHICKEN GROWERS, INC.; development on the water quality and ecology of the lake and its related river
systems; the inflow of polluted water from the Pasig River, industrial, domestic and proportion as may be determined by the President of the Philippines upon
agricultural wastes from developed areas around the lake; the increasing recommendation of the Authority's Board: Provided, further, That the Authority's
urbanization which induced the deterioration of the lake, since water quality studies Board may determine new areas of fishery development or activities which it may
have shown that the lake will deteriorate further if steps are not taken to check the place under the supervision of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
same; and the floods in Metropolitan Manila area and the lakeshore towns which taking into account the overall development plans and programs for Laguna de
will influence the hydraulic system of Laguna de Bay, since any scheme of Bay and related bodies of water: Provided, finally, That the Authority shall subject
controlling the floods will necessarily involve the lake and its river systems, — to the approval of the President of the Philippines promulgate such rules and
likewise gave impetus to the creation of the Authority. regulations which shall govern fisheries development activities in Laguna de Bay
Section 1 of Republic Act No. 4850 was amended to read as follows: which shall take into consideration among others the following: socio-economic
Sec. 1. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared to be the national policy to amelioration of bonafide resident fishermen whether individually or collectively in
promote, and accelerate the development and balanced growth of the Laguna the form of cooperatives, lakeshore town development, a master plan for fishpen
Lake area and the surrounding provinces, cities and towns hereinafter referred to construction and operation, communal fishing ground for lake shore town
as the region, within the context of the national and regional plans and policies for residents, and preference to lake shore town residents in hiring laborer for fishery
social and economic development and to carry out the development of the Laguna projects;
Lake region with due regard and adequate provisions for environmental (l) To require the cities and municipalities embraced within the region to pass
management and control, preservation of the quality of human life and ecological appropriate zoning ordinances and other regulatory measures necessary to carry
systems, and the prevention of undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and out the objectives of the Authority and enforce the same with the assistance of the
pollution.1 Authority;
Special powers of the Authority, pertinent to the issues in this case, include: (m) The provisions of existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding, to exercise
Sec. 3. Section 4 of the same Act is hereby further amended by adding thereto water rights over public waters within the Laguna de Bay region whenever
seven new paragraphs to be known as paragraphs (j), (k), (l), (m), (n), (o), and (p) necessary to carry out the Authority's projects;
which shall read as follows: (n) To act in coordination with existing governmental agencies in establishing
xxx xxx xxx water quality standards for industrial, agricultural and municipal waste discharges
(j) The provisions of existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding, to engage into the lake and to cooperate with said existing agencies of the government of the
in fish production and other aqua-culture projects in Laguna de Bay and other Philippines in enforcing such standards, or to separately pursue enforcement and
bodies of water within its jurisdiction and in pursuance thereof to conduct studies penalty actions as provided for in Section 4 (d) and Section 39-A of this Act:
and make experiments, whenever necessary, with the collaboration and Provided, That in case of conflict on the appropriate water quality standard to be
assistance of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, with the end in view enforced such conflict shall be resolved thru the NEDA Board.2
of improving present techniques and practices. Provided, that until modified, To more effectively perform the role of the Authority under Republic Act No. 4850,
altered or amended by the procedure provided in the following sub-paragraph, the as though Presidential Decree No. 813 were not thought to be completely
present laws, rules and permits or authorizations remain in force; effective, the Chief Executive, feeling that the land and waters of the Laguna Lake
(k) For the purpose of effectively regulating and monitoring activities in Region are limited natural resources requiring judicious management to their
Laguna de Bay, the Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue new permit optimal utilization to insure renewability and to preserve the ecological balance, the
for the use of the lake waters for any projects or activities in or affecting the said competing options for the use of such resources and conflicting jurisdictions over
lake including navigation, construction, and operation of fishpens, fish enclosures, such uses having created undue constraints on the institutional capabilities of the
fish corrals and the like, and to impose necessary safeguards for lake quality Authority in the light of the limited powers vested in it by its charter, Executive
control and management and to collect necessary fees for said activities and Order No. 927 further defined and enlarged the functions and powers of the
projects: Provided, That the fees collected for fisheries may be shared between the Authority and named and enumerated the towns, cities and provinces
Authority and other government agencies and political sub-divisions in such encompassed by the term "Laguna de Bay Region".
Also, pertinent to the issues in this case are the following provisions of Executive located at and below such elevation are public lands which form part of the bed of
Order No. 927 which include in particular the sharing of fees: said lake.
Sec 2. Water Rights Over Laguna de Bay and Other Bodies of Water within the Then came Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991. The
Lake Region: To effectively regulate and monitor activities in the Laguna de Bay municipalities in the Laguna Lake Region interpreted the provisions of this law to
region, the Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue permit for the use of mean that the newly passed law gave municipal governments the exclusive
all surface water for any projects or activities in or affecting the said region jurisdiction to issue fishing privileges within their municipal waters because R.A.
including navigation, construction, and operation of fishpens, fish enclosures, fish 7160 provides:
corrals and the like. Sec. 149. Fishery Rentals, Fees and Charges.
For the purpose of this Executive Order, the term "Laguna de Bay Region" shall (a) Municipalities shall have the exclusive authority to grant fishery privileges
refer to the Provinces of Rizal and Laguna; the Cities of San Pablo, Pasay, in the municipal waters and impose rental fees or charges therefor in accordance
Caloocan, Quezon, Manila and Tagaytay; the towns of Tanauan, Sto. Tomas and with the provisions of this Section.
Malvar in Batangas Province; the towns of Silang and Carmona in Cavite Province; (b) The Sangguniang Bayan may:
the town of Lucban in Quezon Province; and the towns of Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, (1) Grant fishing privileges to erect fish corrals, oyster, mussel or other
Muntinlupa, and Pateros in Metro Manila. aquatic beds or bangus fry areas, within a definite zone of the municipal waters, as
Sec 3. Collection of Fees. The Authority is hereby empowered to collect fees for determined by it; . . . .
the use of the lake water and its tributaries for all beneficial purposes including but (2) Grant privilege to gather, take or catch bangus fry, prawn fry or kawag-
not limited to fisheries, recreation, municipal, industrial, agricultural, navigation, kawag or fry of other species and fish from the municipal waters by nets, traps or
irrigation, and waste disposal purpose; Provided, that the rates of the fees to be other fishing gears to marginal fishermen free from any rental fee, charges or any
collected, and the sharing with other government agencies and political other imposition whatsoever.
subdivisions, if necessary, shall be subject to the approval of the President of the xxx xxx xxx
Philippines upon recommendation of the Authority's Board, except fishpen fee, Sec. 447. Power, Duties, Functions and Compensation. . . . .
which will be shared in the following manner; 20 percent of the fee shall go to the xxx xxx xxx
lakeshore local governments, 5 percent shall go to the Project Development Fund (XI) Subject to the provisions of Book II of this Code, grant exclusive privileges
which shall be administered by a Council and the remaining 75 percent shall of constructing fish corrals or fishpens, or the taking or catching of bangus fry,
constitute the share of LLDA. However, after the implementation within the three- prawn fry or kawag-kawag or fry of any species or fish within the municipal waters.
year period of the Laguna Lake Fishery Zoning and Management Plan, the sharing xxx xxx xxx
will be modified as follows: 35 percent of the fishpen fee goes to the lakeshore Municipal governments thereupon assumed the authority to issue fishing privileges
local governments, 5 percent goes to the Project Development Fund and the and fishpen permits. Big fishpen operators took advantage of the occasion to
remaining 60 percent shall be retained by LLDA; Provided, however, that the share establish fishpens and fishcages to the consternation of the Authority. Unregulated
of LLDA shall form part of its corporate funds and shall not be remitted to the fishpens and fishcages, as of July, 1995, occupied almost one-third of the entire
National Treasury as an exception to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. lake water surface area, increasing the occupation drastically from 7,000 hectares
1234. (Emphasis supplied) in 1990 to almost 21,000 hectares in 1995. The Mayor's permit to construct
It is important to note that Section 29 of Presidential Decree No. 813 defined the fishpens and fishcages were all undertaken in violation of the policies adopted by
term "Laguna Lake" in this manner: the Authority on fishpen zoning and the Laguna Lake carrying capacity.
Sec 41. Definition of Terms. To be sure, the implementation by the lakeshore municipalities of separate
(11) Laguna Lake or Lake. Whenever Laguna Lake or lake is used in this Act, independent policies in the operation of fishpens and fishcages within their claimed
the same shall refer to Laguna de Bay which is that area covered by the lake water territorial municipal waters in the lake and their indiscriminate grant of fishpen
when it is at the average annual maximum lake level of elevation 12.50 meters, as permits have already saturated the lake area with fishpens, thereby aggravating
referred to a datum 10.00 meters below mean lower low water (M.L.L.W). Lands the current environmental problems and ecological stress of Laguna Lake.
In view of the foregoing circumstances, the Authority served notice to the general Prohibition, Injunction and Damages, Regional Trial Court, Branch 78, Morong,
public that: Rizal, filed by Blue Lagoon and Alcris Chicken Growers, Inc.; (f) Civil Case No.
In compliance with the instructions of His Excellency PRESIDENT FIDEL V. 554-, for Certiorari and Prohibition, Regional Trial Court, Branch 79, Morong, Rizal,
RAMOS given on June 23, 1993 at Pila, Laguna pursuant to Republic Act 4850 as filed by Greenfields Ventures Industrial Corp. and R.J. Orion Development Corp.;
amended by Presidential Decree 813 and Executive Order 927 series of 1983 and and (g) Civil Case No. 64124, for Injunction, Regional Trial Court, Branch 15,
in line with the policies and programs of the Presidential Task Force on Illegal Pasig, filed by SEA-MAR Trading Co., Inc. and Eastern Lagoon Fishing Corp. and
Fishpens and Illegal Fishing, the general public is hereby notified that: Minamar Fishing Corporation.
1. All fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures in the Laguna de The Authority filed motions to dismiss the cases against it on jurisdictional
Bay Region, which were not registered or to which no application for registration grounds. The motions to dismiss were invariably denied. Meanwhile, temporary
and/or permit has been filed with Laguna Lake Development Authority as of March restraining order/writs of preliminary mandatory injunction were issued in Civil
31, 1993 are hereby declared outrightly as illegal. Cases Nos. 64124, 759 and 566 enjoining the Authority from demolishing the
2. All fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures so declared as fishpens and similar structures in question.
illegal shall be subject to demolition which shall be undertaken by the Presidential Hence, the herein petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction, G.R. Nos.
Task Force for Illegal Fishpen and Illegal Fishing. 120865-71, were filed by the Authority with this court. Impleaded as parties-
3. Owners of fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures declared respondents are concerned regional trial courts and respective private parties, and
as illegal shall, without prejudice to demolition of their structures be criminally the municipalities and/or respective Mayors of Binangonan, Taguig and Jala-jala,
charged in accordance with Section 39-A of Republic Act 4850 as amended by who issued permits for the construction and operation of fishpens in Laguna de
P.D. 813 for violation of the same laws. Violations of these laws carries a penalty Bay. The Authority sought the following reliefs, viz.:
of imprisonment of not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding Five Thousand (A) Nullification of the temporary restraining order/writs of preliminary
Pesos or both at the discretion of the court. injunction issued in Civil Cases Nos. 64125, 759 and 566;
All operators of fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures declared as (B) Permanent prohibition against the regional trial courts from exercising
illegal in accordance with the foregoing Notice shall have one (1) month on or jurisdiction over cases involving the Authority which is a co-equal body;
before 27 October 1993 to show cause before the LLDA why their said fishpens, (C) Judicial pronouncement that R.A. 7610 (Local Government Code of 1991)
fishcages and other aqua-culture structures should not be demolished/dismantled. did not repeal, alter or modify the provisions of R.A. 4850, as amended,
One month, thereafter, the Authority sent notices to the concerned owners of the empowering the Authority to issue permits for fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-
illegally constructed fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures advising culture structures in Laguna de Bay and that, the Authority the government agency
them to dismantle their respective structures within 10 days from receipt thereof, vested with exclusive authority to issue said permits.
otherwise, demolition shall be effected. By this Court's resolution of May 2, 1994, the Authority's consolidated petitions
Reacting thereto, the affected fishpen owners filed injunction cases against the were referred to the Court of Appeals.
Authority before various regional trial courts, to wit: (a) Civil Case No. 759-B, for In a Decision, dated June 29, 1995, the Court of Appeals dismissed the Authority's
Prohibition, Injunction and Damages, Regional Trial Court, Branch 70, consolidated petitions, the Court of Appeals holding that: (A) LLDA is not among
Binangonan, Rizal, filed by Fleet Development, Inc. and Carlito Arroyo; (b) Civil those quasi-judicial agencies of government whose decision or order are
Case No. 64049, for Injunction, Regional Trial Court, Branch 162, Pasig, filed by appealable only to the Court of Appeals; (B) the LLDA charter does vest LLDA with
IRMA Fishing and Trading Corp., ARTM Fishing Corp., BDR Corp., MIRT Corp. quasi-judicial functions insofar as fishpens are concerned; (C) the provisions of the
and TRIM Corp.; (c) Civil Case No. 566, for Declaratory Relief and Injunction, LLDA charter insofar as fishing privileges in Laguna de Bay are concerned had
Regional Trial Court, Branch 163, Pasig, filed by Manila Marine Life Business been repealed by the Local Government Code of 1991; (D) in view of the aforesaid
Resources, Inc. and Tobias Reynaldo M. Tianco; (d) Civil Case No. 556-M, for repeal, the power to grant permits devolved to and is now vested with their
Prohibition, Injunction and Damages, Regional Trial Court, Branch 78, Morong, respective local government units concerned.
Rizal, filed by AGP Fishing Ventures, Inc.; (e) Civil Case No. 522-M, for
Not satisfied with the Court of Appeals decision, the Authority has returned to this It has to be conceded that the charter of the Laguna Lake Development Authority
Court charging the following errors: constitutes a special law. Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of
1. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS PROBABLY COMMITTED AN 1991, is a general law. It is basic in statutory construction that the enactment of a
ERROR WHEN IT RULED THAT THE LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT later legislation which is a general law cannot be construed to have repealed a
AUTHORITY IS NOT A QUASI-JUDICIAL AGENCY. special law. It is a well-settled rule in this jurisdiction that "a special statute,
2. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS provided for a particular case or class of cases, is not repealed by a subsequent
ERROR WHEN IT RULED THAT R.A. 4850 AS AMENDED BY P.D. 813 AND statute, general in its terms, provisions and application, unless the intent to repeal
E.O. 927 SERIES OF 1983 HAS BEEN REPEALED BY REPUBLIC ACT 7160. or alter is manifest, although the terms of the general law are broad enough to
THE SAID RULING IS CONTRARY TO ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLES AND include the cases embraced in the special law."3
JURISPRUDENCE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION. Where there is a conflict between a general law and a special statute, the special
3. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS statute should prevail since it evinces the legislative intent more clearly than the
ERROR WHEN IT RULED THAT THE POWER TO ISSUE FISHPEN PERMITS IN general statute. The special law is to be taken as an exception to the general law
LAGUNA DE BAY HAS BEEN DEVOLVED TO CONCERNED (LAKESHORE) in the absence of special circumstances forcing a contrary conclusion. This is
LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS. because implied repeals are not favored and as much as possible, effect must be
We take a simplistic view of the controversy. Actually, the main and only issue given to all enactments of the legislature. A special law cannot be repealed,
posed is: Which agency of the Government — the Laguna Lake Development amended or altered by a subsequent general law by mere implication. 4
Authority or the towns and municipalities comprising the region — should exercise Thus, it has to be concluded that the charter of the Authority should prevail over
jurisdiction over the Laguna Lake and its environs insofar as the issuance of the Local Government Code of 1991.
permits for fishery privileges is concerned? Considering the reasons behind the establishment of the Authority, which are
Section 4 (k) of the charter of the Laguna Lake Development Authority, Republic environmental protection, navigational safety, and sustainable development, there
Act No. 4850, the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 813, and Section 2 of is every indication that the legislative intent is for the Authority to proceed with its
Executive Order No. 927, cited above, specifically provide that the Laguna Lake mission.
Development Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for the use We are on all fours with the manifestation of petitioner Laguna Lake Development
of all surface water for any projects or activities in or affecting the said region, Authority that "Laguna de Bay, like any other single body of water has its own
including navigation, construction, and operation of fishpens, fish enclosures, fish unique natural ecosystem. The 900 km² lake surface water, the eight (8) major
corrals and the like. On the other hand, Republic Act No. 7160, the Local river tributaries and several other smaller rivers that drain into the lake, the 2,920
Government Code of 1991, has granted to the municipalities the exclusive km² basin or watershed transcending the boundaries of Laguna and Rizal
authority to grant fishery privileges in municipal waters. The Sangguniang Bayan provinces, greater portion of Metro Manila, parts of Cavite, Batangas, and Quezon
may grant fishery privileges to erect fish corrals, oyster, mussels or other aquatic provinces, constitute one integrated delicate natural ecosystem that needs to be
beds or bangus fry area within a definite zone of the municipal waters. protected with uniform set of policies; if we are to be serious in our aims of
We hold that the provisions of Republic Act No. 7160 do not necessarily repeal the attaining sustainable development. This is an exhaustible natural resource — a
aforementioned laws creating the Laguna Lake Development Authority and very limited one — which requires judicious management and optimal utilization to
granting the latter water rights authority over Laguna de Bay and the lake region. ensure renewability and preserve its ecological integrity and balance."
The Local Government Code of 1991 does not contain any express provision "Managing the lake resources would mean the implementation of a national policy
which categorically expressly repeal the charter of the Authority. It has to be geared towards the protection, conservation, balanced growth and sustainable
conceded that there was no intent on the part of the legislature to repeal Republic development of the region with due regard to the inter-generational use of its
Act No. 4850 and its amendments. The repeal of laws should be made clear and resources by the inhabitants in this part of the earth. The authors of Republic Act
expressed. 4850 have foreseen this need when they passed this LLDA law — the special law
designed to govern the management of our Laguna de Bay lake resources."
"Laguna de Bay therefore cannot be subjected to fragmented concepts of Laguna and the cities of San Pablo, Manila, Pasay, Quezon and Caloocan with
management policies where lakeshore local government units exercise exclusive due regard and adequate provisions for environmental management and control,
dominion over specific portions of the lake water. The garbage thrown or sewage preservation of the quality of human life and ecological systems, and the
discharged into the lake, abstraction of water therefrom or construction of fishpens prevention of undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution. Under
by enclosing its certain area, affect not only that specific portion but the entire 900 such a broad grant of power and authority, the LLDA, by virtue of its special
km² of lake water. The implementation of a cohesive and integrated lake water charter, obviously has the responsibility to protect the inhabitants of the Laguna
resource management policy, therefore, is necessary to conserve, protect and Lake region from the deleterious effects of pollutants emanating from the
sustainably develop Laguna de Bay."5 discharge of wastes from the surrounding areas. In carrying out the
The power of the local government units to issue fishing privileges was clearly aforementioned declared policy, the LLDA is mandated, among others, to pass
granted for revenue purposes. This is evident from the fact that Section 149 of the upon and approve or disapprove all plans, programs, and projects proposed by
New Local Government Code empowering local governments to issue fishing local government offices/agencies within the region, public corporations, and
permits is embodied in Chapter 2, Book II, of Republic Act No. 7160 under the private persons or enterprises where such plans, programs and/or projects are
heading, "Specific Provisions On The Taxing And Other Revenue Raising Power related to those of the LLDA for the development of the region.
Of Local Government Units." xxx xxx xxx
On the other hand, the power of the Authority to grant permits for fishpens, . . . . While it is a fundamental rule that an administrative agency has only such
fishcages and other aqua-culture structures is for the purpose of effectively powers as are expressly granted to it by law, it is likewise a settled rule that an
regulating and monitoring activities in the Laguna de Bay region (Section 2, administrative agency has also such powers as are necessarily implied in the
Executive Order No. 927) and for lake quality control and management. 6 It does exercise of its express powers. In the exercise, therefore, of its express powers
partake of the nature of police power which is the most pervasive, the least under its charter, as a regulatory and quasi-judicial body with respect to pollution
limitable and the most demanding of all State powers including the power of cases in the Laguna Lake region, the authority of the LLDA to issue a "cease and
taxation. Accordingly, the charter of the Authority which embodies a valid exercise desist order" is, perforce, implied. Otherwise, it may well be reduced to a
of police power should prevail over the Local Government Code of 1991 on "toothless" paper agency.
matters affecting Laguna de Bay. there is no question that the Authority has express powers as a regulatory and
There should be no quarrel over permit fees for fishpens, fishcages and other quasi-judicial body in respect to pollution cases with authority to issue a "cease
aqua-culture structures in the Laguna de Bay area. Section 3 of Executive Order and desist order" and on matters affecting the construction of illegal fishpens,
No. 927 provides for the proper sharing of fees collected. fishcages and other aqua-culture structures in Laguna de Bay. The Authority's
In respect to the question as to whether the Authority is a quasi-judicial agency or pretense, however, that it is co-equal to the Regional Trial Courts such that all
not, it is our holding that, considering the provisions of Section 4 of Republic Act actions against it may only be instituted before the Court of Appeals cannot be
No. 4850 and Section 4 of Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, and the ruling sustained. On actions necessitating the resolution of legal questions affecting the
of this Court in Laguna Lake Development Authority vs. Court of Appeals, 231 powers of the Authority as provided for in its charter, the Regional Trial Courts
SCRA 304, 306, which we quote: have jurisdiction.
xxx xxx xxx In view of the foregoing, this Court holds that Section 149 of Republic Act No.
As a general rule, the adjudication of pollution cases generally pertains to the 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, has not repealed
Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB), except in cases where the special law the provisions of the charter of the Laguna Lake Development Authority, Republic
provides for another forum. It must be recognized in this regard that the LLDA, as Act No. 4850, as amended. Thus, the Authority has the exclusive jurisdiction to
a specialized administrative agency, is specifically mandated under Republic Act issue permits for the enjoyment of fishery privileges in Laguna de Bay to the
No. 4850 and its amendatory laws to carry out and make effective the declared exclusion of municipalities situated therein and the authority to exercise such
national policy of promoting and accelerating the development and balanced powers as are by its charter vested on it.
growth of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces of Rizal and
Removal from the Authority of the aforesaid licensing authority will render nugatory
its avowed purpose of protecting and developing the Laguna Lake Region.
Otherwise stated, the abrogation of this power would render useless its reason for
being and will in effect denigrate, if not abolish, the Laguna Lake Development
Authority. This, the Local Government Code of 1991 had never intended to do.
WHEREFORE, the petitions for prohibition, certiorari and injunction are hereby
granted, insofar as they relate to the authority of the Laguna Lake Development
Authority to grant fishing privileges within the Laguna Lake Region.
The restraining orders and/or writs of injunction issued by Judge Arturo Marave,
RTC, Branch 78, Morong, Rizal; Judge Herculano Tech, RTC, Branch 70,
Binangonan, Rizal; and Judge Aurelio Trampe, RTC, Branch 163, Pasig, Metro
Manila, are hereby declared null and void and ordered set aside for having been
issued with grave abuse of discretion.
The Municipal Mayors of the Laguna Lake Region are hereby prohibited from
issuing permits to construct and operate fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-
culture structures within the Laguna Lake Region, their previous issuances being
declared null and void. Thus, the fishing permits issued by Mayors Isidro B. Pacis,
Municipality of Binangonan; Ricardo D. Papa, Municipality of Taguig; and Walfredo
M. de la Vega, Municipality of Jala-jala, specifically, are likewise declared null and
void and ordered cancelled.
The fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures put up by operators by
virtue of permits issued by Municipal Mayors within the Laguna Lake Region,
specifically, permits issued to Fleet Development, Inc. and Carlito Arroyo; Manila
Marine Life Business Resources, Inc., represented by, Mr. Tobias Reynald M.
Tiangco; Greenfield Ventures Industrial Development Corporation and R.J. Orion
Development Corporation; IRMA Fishing And Trading Corporation, ARTM Fishing
Corporation, BDR Corporation, Mirt Corporation and Trim Corporation; Blue
Lagoon Fishing Corporation and ALCRIS Chicken Growers, Inc.; AGP Fish
Ventures, Inc., represented by its President Alfonso Puyat; SEA MAR Trading Co.,
Inc., Eastern Lagoon Fishing Corporation, and MINAMAR Fishing Corporation, are
hereby declared illegal structures subject to demolition by the Laguna Lake
Development Authority.
SO ORDERED.
FIRST DIVISION On January 2, 1996, respondent instituted against petitioner before the Regional
[G.R. No. 135962. March 27, 2000] Trial Court, Branch 136, Makati City, Civil Case No. 96-001 for injunction.
METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner, vs. BEL- Respondent prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and
AIR VILLAGE ASSOCIATION, INC., respondent. preliminary injunction enjoining the opening of Neptune Street and prohibiting the
DECISION demolition of the perimeter wall. The trial court issued a temporary restraining
PUNO, J.: order the following day.
Not infrequently, the government is tempted to take legal shortcuts to solve urgent On January 23, 1996, after due hearing, the trial court denied issuance of a
problems of the people. But even when government is armed with the best of preliminary injunction.[2] Respondent questioned the denial before the Court of
intention, we cannot allow it to run roughshod over the rule of law. Again, we let Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 39549. The appellate court conducted an ocular
the hammer fall and fall hard on the illegal attempt of the MMDA to open for public inspection of Neptune Street[3] and on February 13, 1996, it issued a writ of
use a private road in a private subdivision. While we hold that the general welfare preliminary injunction enjoining the implementation of the MMDAs proposed
should be promoted, we stress that it should not be achieved at the expense of the action.[4]
rule of law. h Y On January 28, 1997, the appellate court rendered a Decision on the merits of the
Petitioner MMDA is a government agency tasked with the delivery of basic case finding that the MMDA has no authority to order the opening of Neptune
services in Metro Manila. Respondent Bel-Air Village Association, Inc. (BAVA) is a Street, a private subdivision road and cause the demolition of its perimeter walls. It
non-stock, non-profit corporation whose members are homeowners in Bel-Air held that the authority is lodged in the City Council of Makati by ordinance. The
Village, a private subdivision in Makati City. Respondent BAVA is the registered decision disposed of as follows: Jurissc
owner of Neptune Street, a road inside Bel-Air Village. "WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED; the challenged Order dated January
On December 30, 1995, respondent received from petitioner, through its 23, 1995, in Civil Case No. 96-001, is SET ASIDE and the Writ of Preliminary
Chairman, a notice dated December 22, 1995 requesting respondent to open Injunction issued on February 13, 1996 is hereby made permanent.
Neptune Street to public vehicular traffic starting January 2, 1996. The notice "For want of sustainable substantiation, the Motion to Cite Roberto L. del Rosario
reads: Court in contempt is denied.[5]
"SUBJECT: NOTICE of the Opening of Neptune Street to Traffic "No pronouncement as to costs.
"Dear President Lindo, "SO ORDERED."[6]
"Please be informed that pursuant to the mandate of the MMDA law or Republic The Motion for Reconsideration of the decision was denied on September 28,
Act No. 7924 which requires the Authority to rationalize the use of roads and/or 1998. Hence, this recourse. Jksm
thoroughfares for the safe and convenient movement of persons, Neptune Street Petitioner MMDA raises the following questions:
shall be opened to vehicular traffic effective January 2, 1996. "I
"In view whereof, the undersigned requests you to voluntarily open the points of HAS THE METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (MMDA) THE
entry and exit on said street. MANDATE TO OPEN NEPTUNE STREET TO PUBLIC TRAFFIC PURSUANT TO
"Thank you for your cooperation and whatever assistance that may be extended ITS REGULATORY AND POLICE POWERS?
by your association to the MMDA personnel who will be directing traffic in the area. II
"Finally, we are furnishing you with a copy of the handwritten instruction of the IS THE PASSAGE OF AN ORDINANCE A CONDITION PRECEDENT BEFORE
President on the matter. THE MMDA MAY ORDER THE OPENING OF SUBDIVISION ROADS TO PUBLIC
"Very truly yours, TRAFFIC?
PROSPERO I. ORETA III
Chairman"[1] IS RESPONDENT BEL-AIR VILLAGE ASSOCIATION, INC. ESTOPPED FROM
On the same day, respondent was apprised that the perimeter wall separating the DENYING OR ASSAILING THE AUTHORITY OF THE MMDA TO OPEN THE
subdivision from the adjacent Kalayaan Avenue would be demolished. Sppedsc SUBJECT STREET? Jlexj
V A local government is a "political subdivision of a nation or state which is
WAS RESPONDENT DEPRIVED OF DUE PROCESS DESPITE THE SEVERAL constituted by law and has substantial control of local affairs." [16] The Local
MEETINGS HELD BETWEEN MMDA AND THE AFFECTED BEL-AIR Government Code of 1991 defines a local government unit as a "body politic and
RESIDENTS AND BAVA OFFICERS? corporate"[17]-- one endowed with powers as a political subdivision of the National
V Government and as a corporate entity representing the inhabitants of its
HAS RESPONDENT COME TO COURT WITH UNCLEAN HANDS?"[7] territory.[18] Local government units are the provinces, cities, municipalities and
Neptune Street is owned by respondent BAVA. It is a private road inside Bel-Air barangays.[19] They are also the territorial and political subdivisions of the state. [20]
Village, a private residential subdivision in the heart of the financial and Our Congress delegated police power to the local government units in the
commercial district of Makati City. It runs parallel to Kalayaan Avenue, a national Local Government Code of 1991. This delegation is found in Section 16 of the
road open to the general public. Dividing the two (2) streets is a concrete perimeter same Code, known as the general welfare clause, viz: Chief
wall approximately fifteen (15) feet high. The western end of Neptune Street "Sec. 16. General Welfare.Every local government unit shall exercise the powers
intersects Nicanor Garcia, formerly Reposo Street, a subdivision road open to expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers
public vehicular traffic, while its eastern end intersects Makati Avenue, a national necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and
road. Both ends of Neptune Street are guarded by iron gates. Edp mis those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare. Within their
Petitioner MMDA claims that it has the authority to open Neptune Street to public respective territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support,
traffic because it is an agent of the state endowed with police power in the delivery among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health
of basic services in Metro Manila. One of these basic services is traffic and safety, enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and
management which involves the regulation of the use of thoroughfares to insure support the development of appropriate and self-reliant scientific and technological
the safety, convenience and welfare of the general public. It is alleged that the capabilities, improve public morals, enhance economic prosperity and social
police power of MMDA was affirmed by this Court in the consolidated cases of justice, promote full employment among their residents, maintain peace and order,
Sangalang v. Intermediate Appellate Court.[8] From the premise that it has police and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants."[21]
power, it is now urged that there is no need for the City of Makati to enact an Local government units exercise police power through their respective
ordinance opening Neptune street to the public.[9] legislative bodies. The legislative body of the provincial government is the
Police power is an inherent attribute of sovereignty. It has been defined as the sangguniang panlalawigan, that of the city government is the sangguniang
power vested by the Constitution in the legislature to make, ordain, and establish panlungsod, that of the municipal government is the sangguniang bayan, and
all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and ordinances, either that of the barangay is the sangguniang barangay. The Local Government Code
with penalties or without, not repugnant to the Constitution, as they shall judge to of 1991 empowers the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod
be for the good and welfare of the commonwealth, and for the subjects of the and sangguniang bayan to "enact ordinances, approve resolutions and
same.[10] The power is plenary and its scope is vast and pervasive, reaching and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the [province, city or municipality, as
justifying measures for public health, public safety, public morals, and the general the case may be], and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of the Code and in the
welfare.[11] proper exercise of the corporate powers of the [province, city municipality]
It bears stressing that police power is lodged primarily in the National provided under the Code x x x."[22] The same Code gives the sangguniang
Legislature.[12] It cannot be exercised by any group or body of individuals not barangay the power to "enact ordinances as may be necessary to discharge the
possessing legislative power.[13] The National Legislature, however, may delegate responsibilities conferred upon it by law or ordinance and to promote the general
this power to the President and administrative boards as well as the lawmaking welfare of the inhabitants thereon."[23]
bodies of municipal corporations or local government units.[14]Once delegated, the Metropolitan or Metro Manila is a body composed of several local
agents can exercise only such legislative powers as are conferred on them by the government units - i.e., twelve (12) cities and five (5) municipalities, namely, the
national lawmaking body.[15] cities of Caloocan, Manila, Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon,
Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Marikina, Paranaque and Valenzuela, and the
municipalities of Malabon, , Navotas, , Pateros, San Juan and Taguig. With the Council. For this purpose, MMDA can create appropriate project management
passage of Republic Act (R. A.) No. 7924[24] in 1995, Metropolitan Manila was offices;
declared as a "special development and administrative region" and the (d) Coordinate and monitor the implementation of such plans, programs and
Administration of "metro-wide" basic services affecting the region placed projects in Metro Manila; identify bottlenecks and adopt solutions to problems of
under "a development authority" referred to as the MMDA.[25] implementation;
"Metro-wide services" are those "services which have metro-wide impact and (e) The MMDA shall set the policies concerning traffic in Metro Manila, and
transcend local political boundaries or entail huge expenditures such that it would shall coordinate and regulate the implementation of all programs and
not be viable for said services to be provided by the individual local government projects concerning traffic management, specifically pertaining to
units comprising Metro Manila."[26] There are seven (7) basic metro-wide services enforcement, engineering and education. Upon request, it shall be extended
and the scope of these services cover the following: (1) development planning; (2) assistance and cooperation, including but not limited to, assignment of
transport and traffic management; (3) solid waste disposal and management; (4) personnel, by all other government agencies and offices concerned;
flood control and sewerage management; (5) urban renewal, zoning and land use (f) Install and administer a single ticketing system, fix, impose and collect
planning, and shelter services; (6) health and sanitation, urban protection and fines and penalties for all kinds of violations of traffic rules and regulations,
pollution control; and (7) public safety. The basic service of transport and traffic whether moving or non-moving in nature, and confiscate and suspend or
management includes the following: Lexjuris revoke drivers licenses in the enforcement of such traffic laws and
"(b) Transport and traffic management which include the formulation, regulations, the provisions of RA 4136 and PD 1605 to the contrary
coordination, and monitoring of policies, standards, programs and projects notwithstanding. For this purpose, the Authority shall impose all traffic laws
to rationalize the existing transport operations, infrastructure requirements, and regulations in Metro Manila, through its traffic operation center, and may
the use of thoroughfares, and promotion of safe and convenient movement deputize members of the PNP, traffic enforcers of local government units,
of persons and goods; provision for the mass transport system and the duly licensed security guards, or members of non-governmental
institution of a system to regulate road users; administration and organizations to whom may be delegated certain authority, subject to such
implementation of all traffic enforcement operations, traffic engineering conditions and requirements as the Authority may impose; and
services and traffic education programs, including the institution of a single (g) Perform other related functions required to achieve the objectives of the
ticketing system in Metropolitan Manila;"[27] MMDA, including the undertaking of delivery of basic services to the local
In the delivery of the seven (7) basic services, the MMDA has the following government units, when deemed necessary subject to prior coordination with and
powers and functions: Esm consent of the local government unit concerned." Jurismis
"Sec. 5. Functions and powers of the Metro Manila Development Authority.The The implementation of the MMDAs plans, programs and projects is undertaken
MMDA shall: by the local government units, national government agencies, accredited peoples
(a) Formulate, coordinate and regulate the implementation of medium and long- organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector as well as
term plans and programs for the delivery of metro-wide services, land use and by the MMDA itself. For this purpose, the MMDA has the power to enter into
physical development within Metropolitan Manila, consistent with national contracts, memoranda of agreement and other cooperative arrangements with
development objectives and priorities; these bodies for the delivery of the required services within Metro Manila.[28]
(b) Prepare, coordinate and regulate the implementation of medium-term The governing board of the MMDA is the Metro Manila Council. The Council is
investment programs for metro-wide services which shall indicate sources and composed of the mayors of the component 12 cities and 5 municipalities, the
uses of funds for priority programs and projects, and which shall include the president of the Metro Manila Vice-Mayors League and the president of the Metro
packaging of projects and presentation to funding institutions; Esmsc Manila Councilors League.[29] The Council is headed by a Chairman who is
(c) Undertake and manage on its own metro-wide programs and projects for the appointed by the President and vested with the rank of cabinet member. As the
delivery of specific services under its jurisdiction, subject to the approval of the policy-making body of the MMDA, the Metro Manila Council approves metro-wide
plans, programs and projects, and issues the necessary rules and regulations for
the implementation of said plans; it approves the annual budget of the MMDA and "development authority."[30] It is an agency created for the purpose of laying down
promulgates the rules and regulations for the delivery of basic services, collection policies and coordinating with the various national government agencies, peoples
of service and regulatory fees, fines and penalties. These functions are particularly organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector for the
enumerated as follows: LEX efficient and expeditious delivery of basic services in the vast metropolitan area.
"Sec. 6. Functions of the Metro Manila Council. - All its functions are administrative in nature and these are actually summed up
(a) The Council shall be the policy-making body of the MMDA; in the charter itself, viz:
(b) It shall approve metro-wide plans, programs and projects and issue rules and "Sec. 2. Creation of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. -- x x x.
regulations deemed necessary by the MMDA to carry out the purposes of this Act; The MMDA shall perform planning, monitoring and coordinative functions, and
(c) It may increase the rate of allowances and per diems of the members of the in the process exercise regulatory and supervisory authority over the delivery of
Council to be effective during the term of the succeeding Council. It shall fix the metro-wide services within Metro Manila, without diminution of the autonomy of the
compensation of the officers and personnel of the MMDA, and approve the annual local government units concerning purely local matters."[31]
budget thereof for submission to the Department of Budget and Management Petitioner cannot seek refuge in the cases of Sangalang v. Intermediate
(DBM); Appellate Court[32] where we upheld a zoning ordinance issued by the Metro
(d) It shall promulgate rules and regulations and set policies and standards for Manila Commission (MMC), the predecessor of the MMDA, as an exercise of
metro-wide application governing the delivery of basic services, prescribe and police power. The first Sangalang decision was on the merits of the petition, [33]
collect service and regulatory fees, and impose and collect fines and penalties." Jj while the second decision denied reconsideration of the first case and in addition
sc discussed the case of Yabut v. Court of Appeals.[34]
Clearly, the scope of the MMDAs function is limited to the delivery of the seven (7) Sangalang v. IAC involved five (5) consolidated petitions filed by respondent
basic services. One of these is transport and traffic management which includes BAVA and three residents of Bel-Air Village against other residents of the Village
the formulation and monitoring of policies, standards and projects to rationalize the and the Ayala Corporation, formerly the Makati Development Corporation, as the
existing transport operations, infrastructure requirements, the use of thoroughfares developer of the subdivision. The petitioners sought to enforce certain restrictive
and promotion of the safe movement of persons and goods. It also covers the easements in the deeds of sale over their respective lots in the subdivision. These
mass transport system and the institution of a system of road regulation, the were the prohibition on the setting up of commercial and advertising signs on the
administration of all traffic enforcement operations, traffic engineering services and lots, and the condition that the lots be used only for residential purposes.
traffic education programs, including the institution of a single ticketing system in Petitioners alleged that respondents, who were residents along Jupiter Street of
Metro Manila for traffic violations. Under this service, the MMDA is expressly the subdivision, converted their residences into commercial establishments in
authorized "to set the policies concerning traffic" and "coordinate and regulate the violation of the "deed restrictions," and that respondent Ayala Corporation ushered
implementation of all traffic management programs." In addition, the MMDA may in the full commercialization" of Jupiter Street by tearing down the perimeter wall
"install and administer a single ticketing system," fix, impose and collect fines and that separated the commercial from the residential section of the village. [35]
penalties for all traffic violations. Ca-lrsc The petitions were dismissed based on Ordinance No. 81 of the Municipal Council
It will be noted that the powers of the MMDA are limited to the following acts: of Makati and Ordinance No. 81-01 of the Metro Manila Commission (MMC).
formulation, coordination, regulation, implementation, preparation, management, Municipal Ordinance No. 81 classified Bel-Air Village as a Class A Residential
monitoring, setting of policies, installation of a system and administration. There is Zone, with its boundary in the south extending to the center line of Jupiter Street.
no syllable in R. A. No. 7924 that grants the MMDA police power, let alone The Municipal Ordinance was adopted by the MMC under the Comprehensive
legislative power. Even the Metro Manila Council has not been delegated any Zoning Ordinance for the National Capital Region and promulgated as MMC
legislative power. Unlike the legislative bodies of the local government units, there Ordinance No. 81-01. Bel-Air Village was indicated therein as bounded by Jupiter
is no provision in R. A. No. 7924 that empowers the MMDA or its Council to "enact Street and the block adjacent thereto was classified as a High Intensity
ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare" of Commercial Zone.[36]
the inhabitants of Metro Manila. The MMDA is, as termed in the charter itself, a
We ruled that since both Ordinances recognized Jupiter Street as the boundary Metropolitan Manila was first created in 1975 by Presidential Decree (P.D.) No.
between Bel-Air Village and the commercial district, Jupiter Street was not for the 824. It comprised the Greater Manila Area composed of the contiguous four (4)
exclusive benefit of Bel-Air residents. We also held that the perimeter wall on said cities of Manila, Quezon, Pasay and Caloocan, and the thirteen (13) municipalities
street was constructed not to separate the residential from the commercial blocks of Makati, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Las Pinas, Malabon, Navotas, Pasig, Pateros,
but simply for security reasons, hence, in tearing down said wall, Ayala Paranaque, Marikina, Muntinlupa and Taguig in the province of Rizal, and
Corporation did not violate the "deed restrictions" in the deeds of sale. Scc-alr Valenzuela in the province of Bulacan.[40] Metropolitan Manila was created as a
We upheld the ordinances, specifically MMC Ordinance No. 81-01, as a legitimate response to the finding that the rapid growth of population and the increase of
exercise of police power.[37] The power of the MMC and the Makati Municipal social and economic requirements in these areas demand a call for simultaneous
Council to enact zoning ordinances for the general welfare prevailed over the and unified development; that the public services rendered by the respective local
"deed restrictions". governments could be administered more efficiently and economically if integrated
In the second Sangalang/Yabut decision, we held that the opening of Jupiter under a system of central planning; and this coordination, "especially in the
Street was warranted by the demands of the common good in terms of "traffic maintenance of peace and order and the eradication of social and economic ills
decongestion and public convenience." Jupiter was opened by the Municipal that fanned the flames of rebellion and discontent [were] part of reform measures
Mayor to alleviate traffic congestion along the public streets adjacent to the under Martial Law essential to the safety and security of the State."[41]
Village.[38] The same reason was given for the opening to public vehicular traffic of Metropolitan Manila was established as a "public corporation" with the
Orbit Street, a road inside the same village. The destruction of the gate in Orbit following powers: Calrs-pped
Street was also made under the police power of the municipal government. The "Section 1. Creation of the Metropolitan Manila.There is hereby created a public
gate, like the perimeter wall along Jupiter, was a public nuisance because it corporation, to be known as the Metropolitan Manila, vested with powers and
hindered and impaired the use of property, hence, its summary abatement by the attributes of a corporation including the power to make contracts, sue and
mayor was proper and legal.[39] be sued, acquire, purchase, expropriate, hold, transfer and dispose of
Contrary to petitioners claim, the two Sangalang cases do not apply to the property and such other powers as are necessary to carry out its purposes.
case at bar. Firstly, both involved zoning ordinances passed by the municipal The Corporation shall be administered by a Commission created under this
council of Makati and the MMC. In the instant case, the basis for the proposed Decree."[42]
opening of Neptune Street is contained in the notice of December 22, 1995 sent by The administration of Metropolitan Manila was placed under the Metro Manila
petitioner to respondent BAVA, through its president. The notice does not cite any Commission (MMC) vested with the following powers:
ordinance or law, either by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Makati City or by the "Sec. 4. Powers and Functions of the Commission. - The Commission shall have
MMDA, as the legal basis for the proposed opening of Neptune Street. Petitioner the following powers and functions:
MMDA simply relied on its authority under its charter "to rationalize the use of 1. To act as a central government to establish and administer programs and
roads and/or thoroughfares for the safe and convenient movement of persons." provide services common to the area;
Rationalizing the use of roads and thoroughfares is one of the acts that fall within 2. To levy and collect taxes and special assessments, borrow and expend money
the scope of transport and traffic management. By no stretch of the imagination, and issue bonds, revenue certificates, and other obligations of indebtedness.
however, can this be interpreted as an express or implied grant of ordinance- Existing tax measures should, however, continue to be operative until otherwise
making power, much less police power. Misjuris modified or repealed by the Commission;
Secondly, the MMDA is not the same entity as the MMC in Sangalang. 3. To charge and collect fees for the use of public service facilities;
Although the MMC is the forerunner of the present MMDA, an examination of 4. To appropriate money for the operation of the metropolitan government and
Presidential Decree (P. D.) No. 824, the charter of the MMC, shows that the review appropriations for the city and municipal units within its jurisdiction with
latter possessed greater powers which were not bestowed on the present authority to disapprove the same if found to be not in accordance with the
MMDA. Jjlex established policies of the Commission, without prejudice to any contractual
obligation of the local government units involved existing at the time of approval of "Sec. 9. Until otherwise provided, the governments of the four cities and thirteen
this Decree; municipalities in the Metropolitan Manila shall continue to exist in their present
5. To review, amend, revise or repeal all ordinances, resolutions and acts of form except as may be inconsistent with this Decree. The members of the
cities and municipalities within Metropolitan Manila; existing city and municipal councils in Metropolitan Manila shall, upon
6. To enact or approve ordinances, resolutions and to fix penalties for any promulgation of this Decree, and until December 31, 1975, become members
violation thereof which shall not exceed a fine of P10,000.00 or imprisonment of the Sangguniang Bayan which is hereby created for every city and
of six years or both such fine and imprisonment for a single offense; municipality of Metropolitan Manila.
7. To perform general administrative, executive and policy-making functions; In addition, the Sangguniang Bayan shall be composed of as many barangay
8. To establish a fire control operation center, which shall direct the fire services of captains as may be determined and chosen by the Commission, and such number
the city and municipal governments in the metropolitan area; of representatives from other sectors of the society as may be appointed by the
9. To establish a garbage disposal operation center, which shall direct garbage President upon recommendation of the Commission.
collection and disposal in the metropolitan area; x x x.
10. To establish and operate a transport and traffic center, which shall direct traffic The Sangguniang Bayan may recommend to the Commission ordinances,
activities; Jjjuris resolutions or such measures as it may adopt; Provided, that no such
11. To coordinate and monitor governmental and private activities pertaining to ordinance, resolution or measure shall become effective, until after its
essential services such as transportation, flood control and drainage, water supply approval by the Commission; and Provided further, that the power to impose
and sewerage, social, health and environmental services, housing, park taxes and other levies, the power to appropriate money and the power to
development, and others; pass ordinances or resolutions with penal sanctions shall be vested
12. To insure and monitor the undertaking of a comprehensive social, economic exclusively in the Commission."
and physical planning and development of the area; The creation of the MMC also carried with it the creation of the Sangguniang
13. To study the feasibility of increasing barangay participation in the affairs of their Bayan. This was composed of the members of the component city and municipal
respective local governments and to propose to the President of the Philippines councils, barangay captains chosen by the MMC and sectoral representatives
definite programs and policies for implementation; appointed by the President. The Sangguniang Bayan had the power to
14. To submit within thirty (30) days after the close of each fiscal year an annual recommend to the MMC the adoption of ordinances, resolutions or measures. It
report to the President of the Philippines and to submit a periodic report whenever was the MMC itself, however, that possessed legislative powers. All
deemed necessary; and ordinances, resolutions and measures recommended by the Sangguniang Bayan
15. To perform such other tasks as may be assigned or directed by the President were subject to the MMCs approval. Moreover, the power to impose taxes and
of the Philippines." Sc jj other levies, the power to appropriate money, and the power to pass ordinances or
The MMC was the "central government" of Metro Manila for the purpose of resolutions with penal sanctions were vested exclusively in the MMC. Sce-dp
establishing and administering programs providing services common to the area. Thus, Metropolitan Manila had a "central government," i.e., the MMC which
As a "central government" it had the power to levy and collect taxes and special fully possessed legislative and police powers. Whatever legislative powers
assessments, the power to charge and collect fees; the power to appropriate the component cities and municipalities had were all subject to review and
money for its operation, and at the same time, review appropriations for the city approval by the MMC.
and municipal units within its jurisdiction. It was bestowed the power to enact or After President Corazon Aquino assumed power, there was a clamor to restore
approve ordinances, resolutions and fix penalties for violation of such ordinances the autonomy of the local government units in Metro Manila. Hence, Sections 1
and resolutions. It also had the power to review, amend, revise or repeal all and 2 of Article X of the 1987 Constitution provided: Sj cj
ordinances, resolutions and acts of any of the four (4) cities and thirteen (13) "Section 1. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the
municipalities comprising Metro Manila. Philippines are the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays. There shall be
P. D. No. 824 further provided: autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as herein provided.
Section 2. The territorial and political subdivisions shall enjoy local autonomy." power was merely to provide the local government units technical assistance in the
The Constitution, however, recognized the necessity of creating metropolitan preparation of local development plans. Any semblance of legislative power it had
regions not only in the existing National Capital Region but also in potential was confined to a "review [of] legislation proposed by the local legislative
equivalents in the Visayas and Mindanao.[43] Section 11 of the same Article X thus assemblies to ensure consistency among local governments and with the
provided: comprehensive development plan of Metro Manila," and to "advise the local
"Section 11. The Congress may, by law, create special metropolitan political governments accordingly."[49]
subdivisions, subject to a plebiscite as set forth in Section 10 hereof. The When R.A. No. 7924 took effect, Metropolitan Manila became a "special
component cities and municipalities shall retain their basic autonomy and shall be development and administrative region" and the MMDA a "special
entitled to their own local executives and legislative assemblies. The jurisdiction of development authority" whose functions were "without prejudice to the
the metropolitan authority that will thereby be created shall be limited to basic autonomy of the affected local government units." The character of the
services requiring coordination." MMDA was clearly defined in the legislative debates enacting its charter.
The Constitution itself expressly provides that Congress may, by law, create R. A. No. 7924 originated as House Bill No. 14170/ 11116 and was introduced by
"special metropolitan political subdivisions" which shall be subject to approval by a several legislators led by Dante Tinga, Roilo Golez and Feliciano Belmonte. It was
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected; the presented to the House of Representatives by the Committee on Local
jurisdiction of this subdivision shall be limited to basic services requiring Governments chaired by Congressman Ciriaco R. Alfelor. The bill was a product of
coordination; and the cities and municipalities comprising this subdivision shall Committee consultations with the local government units in the National Capital
retain their basic autonomy and their own local executive and legislative Region (NCR), with former Chairmen of the MMC and MMA,[50] and career officials
assemblies.[44] Pending enactment of this law, the Transitory Provisions of the of said agencies. When the bill was first taken up by the Committee on Local
Constitution gave the President of the Philippines the power to constitute the Governments, the following debate took place:
Metropolitan Authority, viz: "THE CHAIRMAN [Hon. Ciriaco Alfelor]: Okay, Let me explain. This has been
"Section 8. Until otherwise provided by Congress, the President may constitute the debated a long time ago, you know. Its a special we can create a special
Metropolitan Authority to be composed of the heads of all local government units metropolitan political subdivision. Supreme
comprising the Metropolitan Manila area."[45] Actually, there are only six (6) political subdivisions provided for in the Constitution:
In 1990, President Aquino issued Executive Order (E. O.) No. 392 and barangay, municipality, city, province, and we have the Autonomous Region of
constituted the Metropolitan Manila Authority (MMA). The powers and Mindanao and we have the Cordillera. So we have 6. Now.
functions of the MMC were devolved to the MMA. [46] It ought to be stressed, HON. [Elias] LOPEZ: May I interrupt, Mr. Chairman. In the case of the
however, that not all powers and functions of the MMC were passed to the Autonomous Region, that is also specifically mandated by the Constitution.
MMA. The MMAs power was limited to the "delivery of basic urban services THE CHAIRMAN: Thats correct. But it is considered to be a political subdivision.
requiring coordination in Metropolitan Manila."[47] The MMAs governing body, What is the meaning of a political subdivision? Meaning to say, that it has its
the Metropolitan Manila Council, although composed of the mayors of the own government, it has its own political personality, it has the power to tax,
component cities and municipalities, was merely given the power of: (1) and all governmental powers: police power and everything. All right.
formulation of policies on the delivery of basic services requiring Authority is different; because it does not have its own government. It is only
coordination and consolidation; and (2) promulgation of resolutions and a council, it is an organization of political subdivision, powers, no, which is
other issuances, approval of a code of basic services and the exercise of its not imbued with any political power. Esmmis
rule-making power.[48] If you go over Section 6, where the powers and functions of the Metro Manila
Under the 1987 Constitution, the local government units became primarily Development Authority, it is purely coordinative. And it provides here that
responsible for the governance of their respective political subdivisions. The the council is policy-making. All right.
MMAs jurisdiction was limited to addressing common problems involving basic
services that transcended local boundaries. It did not have legislative power. Its
Under the Constitution is a Metropolitan Authority with coordinative power. HON. [Feliciano] BELMONTE: Yes, I believe so, your Honor. When we say that it
Meaning to say, it coordinates all of the different basic services which have to be has the policies, its very clear that those policies must be followed. Otherwise,
delivered to the constituency. All right. whats the use of empowering it to come out with policies. Now, the policies may be
There is now a problem. Each local government unit is given its respective as a in the form of a resolution or it may be in the form of a ordinance. The term
political subdivision. Kalookan has its powers, as provided for and protected and "ordinance" in this case really gives it more teeth, your honor. Otherwise, we are
guaranteed by the Constitution. All right, the exercise. However, in the exercise of going to see a situation where you have the power to adopt the policy but you
that power, it might be deleterious and disadvantageous to other local government cannot really make it stick as in the case now, and I think here is Chairman Bunye.
units. So, we are forming an authority where all of these will be members and then I think he will agree that that is the case now. Youve got the power to set a policy,
set up a policy in order that the basic services can be effectively coordinated. All the body wants to follow your policy, then we say lets call it an ordinance and see if
right. justice they will not follow it.
Of course, we cannot deny that the MMDA has to survive. We have to THE CHAIRMAN: Thats very nice. I like that. However, there is a constitutional
provide some funds, resources. But it does not possess any political power. impediment. You are making this MMDA a political subdivision. The creation
We do not elect the Governor. We do not have the power to tax. As a matter of of the MMDA would be subject to a plebiscite. That is what Im trying to avoid.
fact, I was trying to intimate to the author that it must have the power to sue and be Ive been trying to avoid this kind of predicament. Under the Constitution it
sued because it coordinates. All right. It coordinates practically all these basic states: if it is a political subdivision, once it is created it has to be subject to
services so that the flow and the distribution of the basic services will be a plebiscite. Im trying to make this as administrative. Thats why we place the
continuous. Like traffic, we cannot deny that. Its before our eyes. Sewerage, flood Chairman as a cabinet rank.
control, water system, peace and order, we cannot deny these. Its right on our HON. BELMONTE: All right, Mr. Chairman, okay, what you are saying there is .
face. We have to look for a solution. What would be the right solution? All right, we THE CHAIRMAN: In setting up ordinances, it is a political exercise. Believe
envision that there should be a coordinating agency and it is called an authority. All me.
right, if you do not want to call it an authority, its alright. We may call it a council or HON. [Elias] LOPEZ: Mr. Chairman, it can be changed into issuances of rules
maybe a management agency. and regulations. That would be it shall also be enforced. Jksm
x x x."[51] HON. BELMONTE: Okay, I will .
Clearly, the MMDA is not a political unit of government. The power delegated HON. LOPEZ: And you can also say that violation of such rule, you impose a
to the MMDA is that given to the Metro Manila Council to promulgate sanction. But you know, ordinance has a different legal connotation.
administrative rules and regulations in the implementation of the MMDAs functions. HON. BELMONTE: All right. I defer to that opinion, your Honor. sc
There is no grant of authority to enact ordinances and regulations for the THE CHAIRMAN: So instead of ordinances, say rules and regulations.
general welfare of the inhabitants of the metropolis. This was explicitly stated HON. BELMONTE: Or resolutions. Actually, they are actually considering
in the last Committee deliberations prior to the bills presentation to Congress. resolutions now.
Thus: Ed-p THE CHAIRMAN: Rules and resolutions.
"THE CHAIRMAN: Yeah, but we have to go over the suggested revision. I think HON. BELMONTE: Rules, regulations and resolutions."[52]
this was already approved before, but it was reconsidered in view of the proposals, The draft of H. B. No. 14170/ 11116 was presented by the Committee to the House
set-up, to make the MMDA stronger. Okay, so if there is no objection to paragraph of Representatives. The explanatory note to the bill stated that the proposed
"f" And then next is paragraph "b," under Section 6. "It shall approve metro-wide MMDA is a "development authority" which is a "national agency, not a political
plans, programs and projects and issue ordinances or resolutions deemed government unit."[53] The explanatory note was adopted as the sponsorship speech
necessary by the MMDA to carry out the purposes of this Act." Do you have of the Committee on Local Governments. No interpellations or debates were made
the powers? Does the MMDA because that takes the form of a local on the floor and no amendments introduced. The bill was approved on second
government unit, a political subdivision. reading on the same day it was presented.[54]
When the bill was forwarded to the Senate, several amendments were made.
These amendments, however, did not affect the nature of the MMDA as originally
conceived in the House of Representatives.[55]
It is thus beyond doubt that the MMDA is not a local government unit or a
public corporation endowed with legislative power. It is not even a "special
metropolitan political subdivision" as contemplated in Section 11, Article X of the
Constitution. The creation of a "special metropolitan political subdivision" requires
the approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units
directly affected.[56] R. A. No. 7924 was not submitted to the inhabitants of Metro
Manila in a plebiscite. The Chairman of the MMDA is not an official elected by the
people, but appointed by the President with the rank and privileges of a cabinet
member. In fact, part of his function is to perform such other duties as may be
assigned to him by the President,[57] whereas in local government units, the
President merely exercises supervisory authority. This emphasizes the
administrative character of the MMDA. Newmiso
Clearly then, the MMC under P. D. No. 824 is not the same entity as the
MMDA under R. A. No. 7924. Unlike the MMC, the MMDA has no power to
enact ordinances for the welfare of the community. It is the local government
units, acting through their respective legislative councils, that possess legislative
power and police power. In the case at bar, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of
Makati City did not pass any ordinance or resolution ordering the opening of
Neptune Street, hence, its proposed opening by petitioner MMDA is illegal and the
respondent Court of Appeals did not err in so ruling. We desist from ruling on the
other issues as they are unnecessary. Esmso
We stress that this decision does not make light of the MMDAs noble efforts to
solve the chaotic traffic condition in Metro Manila. Everyday, traffic jams and traffic
bottlenecks plague the metropolis. Even our once sprawling boulevards and
avenues are now crammed with cars while city streets are clogged with motorists
and pedestrians. Traffic has become a social malaise affecting our peoples
productivity and the efficient delivery of goods and services in the country. The
MMDA was created to put some order in the metropolitan transportation system
but unfortunately the powers granted by its charter are limited. Its good intentions
cannot justify the opening for public use of a private street in a private subdivision
without any legal warrant. The promotion of the general welfare is not antithetical
to the preservation of the rule of law. Sdjad
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. Sppedsc
SO ORDERED.