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Dean Hilario Justino F. Morales

Bar Review Lecturer
Lex Patriae, Suprema Legis, Villasis Law Center, Great Minds, PhilJust
Magnificus Juris, CPRS, MLQU, Lex, Powerhaus, Premiere, SLU BarCom


An administrative agency is a body, other than the courts and the legislature, endowed with quasi-legislative
and quasi-judicial powers for the purpose of enabling it to carry out laws entrusted to it for enforcement or execution.
Manner of Creation
1. by constitutional provisions (Office of the President, COMELEC, COA, CSC);
2. by legislative enactment (NLRC, SEC, NAPOLCOM); and
3. by authority of law (EIIB, TFA).
The President can validly reorganize his office even without congressional authority because the
Administrative Code of 1987 (EO 292) has empowered the President continuing authority to reorganize his office in
order to achieve economy and efficiency.
The equal protection clause was violated when the Philippine Truth Commission singled out only the
officials and employees of the Arroyo Administration but not the other officials of previous administrations who are
similarly situated. (Biraogo v. Philippine Truth Commission of 2010, GR No. 192935, December 10, 2010)
Nature and scope of the power
The legislative power has been described generally as the power to make , alter and repeal laws. The
details and manner of carrying out the law are left to the administrative agency charged with its implementation – in
this sense, the rules and regulations promulgated by an administrative agency are the product of delegated power to
create new or additional legal provisions that will have the effect of law. Quasi-legislative power is exercised by
administrative agencies through the promulgation of rules and regulations within the confines of the granting statute
and the doctrine of non-delegation of certain powers flowing from the separation of the great branches of the
government. (Abellar vs. CSC, 442 SCRA 507) The grant of express power to formulate implementing rules and
regulations must necessarily include the power to amend, revise, alter or repeal the same. (Yazaki vs. Torres
Manufacturing, Inc. vs. 493 SCRA 86)
Administrative agencies have no discretion to determine what the law shall be. They have merely the
authority to fix details in execution or enforcement of a policy set out in the law itself.
Kinds of administrative rules and regulations
1. Legislative regulation
a. Supplementary or detailed legislation, e.g., Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code.
LEGISLATIVE REGULATION affects the substantial rights of the general public and has the force
and effect of a law.
b. Contingent regulation
2. Interpretative legislation or internal rules, e.g., BIR Circulars
INTERPRETATIVE RULE merely clarifies the meaning of a pre-existing law by inferring its
implication. the court may review the correctness of the interpretation of the law given by the administrative
body, and substitute its own view of what is correct to that of the administrative body. It does not have to be
published because it is not a law itself.
INTERNAL RULE is only an instruction from a higher officer to a lower officer within the same
office concerning the rules and guidelines to be followed by subordinates in the performance of their duties.
It has no effect of law because no clear legal right which can be invoked by a third person emanates from it.
It does not have to be published to be effective.
Subordinate Legislation
This is the power of administrative agency to promulgate rules and regulations with force and effect of a law
on matters of their own specialization. Administrative authorities are vested with the power to make rules and
regulations because it is impracticable for lawmakers to provide general regulations for various varying details of
management. (PNOC vs. CA, 457 SCRA 32) As subordinate legislation, the power to make rules and regulations so
passed by administrative agencies are only of the nature of implementing rules and regulations, which are tested by
their conformity to the standards set by, and their ability to carry out the legislative intent contained in the primary law.
Requisites for valid exercise of rule-making power
1. the rule must be issued under the authority of law or its promulgation must be authorized by the legislature;
2. the administrative issuance must be within the scope and purview of the law; or authority given by the
Section 5(a) of the Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of the 13th month Pay Law is void,
because it unduly expanded the concept of basic salary as defined in PD 851. Basic salary is the rate of pay
for a standard work period exclusive of additional payment as bonuses and overtime. The DOLE order
included the commission paid its sales representatives in the computation of the 13th pay due them. (Boie-
Takeda Chemicals, Inc. vs. De la Serna, 228 SCRA 329)
3. the rule must be promulgated in accordance with the prescribed procedure, including public participation,
filing and publication; Interpretative rules and those merely internal in nature are not required to be
published and filed with the UP Law Center. (ASTEC v. ERC, GR No. 192117, September 18, 2012) As a
general rule, prior notice and hearing are not essential to the validity of rules and regulations promulgated to
govern future conduct. (Abella vs. CSC, 442 SCRA 507); and
4. the rules must be reasonable (KMU vs. Director-General, NEDA, GR No.167798, April 19, 2006) .
Additional requisites if rules contain penal sanctions
1. Law itself must declare as punishable the violation of administrative rule or regulation (People vs. Maceren,
79, SCRA 450); and
2. Law should define or fix penalty therefor.
In Perez vs. LPG Refillers Association of the Philippines, 492 SCRA 638, the Supreme Court cited two
requisites for an administrative regulations to have force and effect of penal law, to wit:
1. the violation of the administrative regulation must be made a crime by the delegating statute itself,
2. the penalty for such violation must be provided by the statute itself.
Publication, filing and effectivity
a. Publication is essential to the effectivity of any law or regulation as a requirement of due process.
Publication is required as a condition precedent to the effectivity of a law to inform the public of the contents
of the law or rules and regulations before their rights and interests are affected by the same. (Philippine
International Trading Corp. vs. COA, 309 SCRA 177)
b. What must be published: rules and regulation of administrative agencies which have the force and effect of
law. All legislative rules and regulations, not only those of penal character, must be published. (Tanada vs.
Tuvera, 146 SCRA 446)
c. Where published: Either in the Official Gazette or newspaper of general circulation. (EO 200, amending Art.
2 of the Civil Code) Hence, DBM-CCC No. 10 which was issued by the DBM pursuant to Sec. 23 of RA
6758 is of no force and effect due to the absence of publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of
general circulation. (PITC vs. COA, supra)
d. How published: In full, not just the title but the entire rule, if it is to serve the purpose of due process.
e. Filing: administrative rules and regulations must be filed with the National Administrative Register (UP Law
Center) as required by Sections 3(1) and 4, Chapter 2, Book VII, EO 292.
f. Effectivity: If a rule or regulation does not provide for a date of effectivity, it shall become effective 15 days
after publication. If it provides otherwise, then the period provided applies, but in no case before publication.
Exception: in cases of imminent danger to public health, safety and welfare, the existence of which must be
expressed in a statement accompanying the rule.
Necessity of Publication. Considering that POEA Administrative Circular No. 2 Series of 1983, which
enumerated the allowable fees which may be collected from applicants, has not yet been published or filed with the
National Administrative Register, the same is ineffective and may not be enforced. An Administrative Circular that
was never filed with the NAR cannot be used as basis for the imposition of administrative sanctions. The fact that
POEA Administrative Circular No. 2 is addressed only to specified group-namely private employment agencies or
authority holders, does not take it away from the ambit of the ruling in Tanada vs. Tuvera, 136 SCRA 27, which is
clear and categorical – administrative rules and regulations must be published if their purpose is to enforce or
implement existing law pursuant to a valid delegation. (Philsa International Placement and Service Corporation vs.
Secretary of DOLE, 356 SCRA 174)
Publication Not Necessary. Where petitioners challenged the validity of Revenue Memorandum Circular No.
30-67, which interpreted the Tobacco Inspection Law, on the ground that it was not published in the Official Gazette,
the Supreme Court ruled the same is for the internal administration of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. It also
interpreted the law. No publication is necessary for its validity. (La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Factory vs. CA, 134
SCRA 29)
Notice and Hearing Not Necessary. As a general rule, prior notice and hearing are not essential to the
validity of rules and regulations promulgated to govern future conduct. (Equi-Asia Placement, Inc. vs. DFA, 502
SCRA 295)
Quasi-judicial power is defined as a term applied to the action, discretion, etc., of public administrative
officers or bodies required to investigate facts, or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, and draw
conclusions from them, as a basis for their official action, and to exercise discretion of a judicial nature. Where a
power rests in judgment or discretion, so that it is of judicial nature or character, but does not involve the exercise of
functions of a judge, or is conferred upon an officer other than a judicial officer, it is deemed quasi-judicial or
adjudicatory. (Patalinghug vs. COMELEC, 543 SCRA 175)
Award of damages
Powers of administrative agencies are limited and usually administrative in nature. In case of injury or
inconvenience suffered by a person because of breach of contractual obligation arising from negligence, the proper
forum for him to ventilate their grievances for possible recovery of damages should be in the courts and not in
administrative agencies. Being a creature of the legislature, administrative agencies can exercise only such
jurisdiction and power as are expressly or by necessary implication conferred upon it by statute. (RCPI vs. Board
of Communications, L-43653, L-45378, November 29, 1977)
Exceptions. However, the NHA (now the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board) has been conferred by
PD 1344, the competence to award damages including attorney’s fees which are recoverable either by agreement of
the parties or under Article 2208 of the Civil Code. (Solid Homes vs. Payawal, 177 SCRA 72) And so with the
National Labor Relations Commission in labor cases, by virtue of the provisions of the Labor Code.
Imposition of fines and penalties
Rules penalizing certain acts are valid only if the primary law pursuant to which the rule was issued also
provides that the act be penalized. But if the primary law does not make the act criminal, then the rule which makes it
criminal is void. (People vs. Maceren, 79, SCRA 450) The penalty for such violation must also be provided by the
statute itself. (Perez vs. Refillers Association of the Philippines, 492 SCRA 638)
Power to grant immunities from criminal and civil prosecutions
The rule is that administrative bodies in the performance of their quasi- judicial functions cannot grant
criminal and civil immunities to persons unless the law explicitly and specifically confers such prerogative or power.
However, insofar as the Presidential Commission on Good Government is concerned, it is conferred such power
under Sec. 5 of EO No. 14. (Republic vs. Sandiganbayan, 173 SCRA 72)
Likewise, the Commission on Human Rights, in the course of its investigation, may grant immunity from
prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or
convenient to determine the truth. (Carino vs. CHR, 204 SCRA 483)
Filing. Every agency shall file with the University of the Philippines Law Center three certified copies of
every rule adopted by it. Rules in force not filed within three months from the date of effectivity of this Code shall not
be the basis of any sanction. (Book VII, Sec. 3) (See also Philsa International Placement and Service Corporation vs.
Secretary of DOLE, 356 SCRA 174)
Publication. The University of the Philippines Law Center shall publish a quarterly bulletin setting forth
the text of rule filed with it. (Book VII, Sec. 5) Every rule establishing an offense or defining an act subject to a penalty
shall be published in full. [Book VII, Sec. 6 (2)]
Public Participation. If not otherwise required by law, an agency shall, as far as practicable, published notice
of proposed rules and afford interested parties the opportunity to submit their view, [Book VII, Sec. 9 (1)]
Two necessary conditions
1) Jurisdiction and 2)Due Process
Jurisdiction is essential to give validity to the determinations of quasi-judicial bodies (administrative
authorities.) Without jurisdiction, their acts are void and open to collateral attack. Any decision rendered without
justification is a total nullity and may be struck down at any time even on appeal. The only exception is where the
party raising the issue is barred by estoppel. (Solid Homes vs. Payawal, supra)
Rules of procedure; rationale; how interpreted
The quasi-judicial body may promulgate its own rules of procedure as they may see them fit and proper to
govern their proceedings, provided they do not increase, diminish or modify substantive rights, and subject to
disapproval by the Supreme Court. Hence rules of procedure must be faithfully followed except only for persuasive
reasons, they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice not commensurate with his failure to comply with the
prescribed procedure. (PNOC-EDC vs. Veneracion, 509 SCRA 93)
Rules of procedure should be construed liberally in order to promote their objective and to assist in obtaining
just, speedy and inexpensive determinations of the respective claims and defenses.
Concept of due process
The essence of due process is simply to be heard, or as applied in administrative proceedings, an
opportunity to explain one’s side or an opportunity to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.
(Arboleda vs. NLRC, 303 SCRA 38 and Adiong vs. CA, 371 SCRA 373)
Where the party has the opportunity to appeal, or seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of,
defects in procedural dues process may be cured. (Autencio vs. Manara, 449 SCRA 46)
Such process requires notice and an opportunity to be heard before judgment is rendered. One may be
heard, not solely by verbal presentation in an oral argument, but also and perhaps even many times more creditably
and practically through pleadings. So long as the parties are given the opportunity to explain their side, the
requirements of due process are satisfactorily complied with. (Garcia vs. Pajaro, GR No. 141149, July 5, 2002)
Administrative due process is recognized to include the right to:
A. Procedural Due Process
1. Notice, be it actual or constructive, of the institution of the proceedings that may affect a person’s legal right;
2. Reasonable opportunity to appear and defend his rights, and to introduce witnesses and relevant evidence
in his favor;
B. Substantive Due Process
3. A tribunal so constituted as to give him reasonable assurance of honesty and impartiality, and one of
competent jurisdiction;
4. And a finding or decision by that tribunal supported by substantial evidence presented at the hearing, or at
least ascertained in the records or disclosed to the parties. (Air Manila, Inc. vs. Balatbat, 38 SCRA 489;
Fabella vs. CA, 282 SCRA 256; Domingo vs. Ryala, 545 SCRA 90 )
Notice and hearing, as the fundamental requirements of due process, are essential only when an
administrative body exercises its quasi-judicial function, but in the performance of its executive or legislative
functions, such as issuing rules and regulations, an administrative body need not comply with the requirements of
notice and hearing, except when it involves revocation of a license. (Corona vs. United Harbor Pilots Association of
the Philippines, 283 SCRA 31)
Evidence in quasi-judicial proceedings
In administrative proceedings, the quantum of proof required to establish the administrative liability of a
respondent is substantial evidence, not proof beyond reasonable doubt. Substantial evidence means such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. (Mariano vs. Roxas, 385 SCRA
500) The fact that administrative bodies are not bound by technical rules of procedure in adjudicating cases does not
mean that basic rules of proving allegation should be entirely dispensed with – any decision based on
unsubstantiated allegation cannot stand as it will offend due process. (Aya-ay Sr. vs. Arpaphil Shipping Corporation,
481 SCRA 282)
Power to issue subpoena and cite for contempt
Subpoena. As a general rule, the power to issue subpoena and cite a person in contempt is not inherent to
an administrative agency and thus depends on a statutory grant. To allow administrative bodies to issue subpoenas
without express legislative authority violates the doctrine of separation of powers. The usual procedure is for these
administrative bodies to apply to a court for an order enforcing an administrative order or subpoena. EO 292 grants
administrative agencies in general the power to issue subpoenas by requiring the attendance of witnesses or the
production of documents. (Book VII, Sec. 13), but only as an incident of their power to investigate.
Contempt. The power to punish persons for contempt is essentially a judicial power. The power to punish
contempt must be expressly granted to the administrative body; and when so granted may be exercised only when
the administrative body is actually performing quasi-judicial functions. The COMELEC, SEC and the Insurance
Commissioner are granted these powers by special statutory grant. The COMELEC has the power to cite for
contempt, but this power may be exercised only while the COMELEC is engaged in the performance of quasi -
judicial functions. (Guevara vs. COMELEC, 104 Phil. 269) However, the Commission on Human Rights, an
agency without quasi-judicial power, in cases of violation of its rules of procedure may cite a person for contempt in
accordance with the Rules of Court. (Carino vs. CHR, 204 SCRA 483) Likewise, the authority to conduct hearings or
inquiries and the power to hold any person in contempt may be exercised by another agency not conferred with
quasi-judicial power, the Cooperative Development Authority but limited only in the performance of its administrative
functions. (CDA vs. Dolefil Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative Inc, 382 SCRA 552)
Form and promulgation of quasi-judicial determination
Form and Content. Every decision of an agency shall be in writing and shall state the facts and the law on
which it is based. (Book VII, Section 14) The mandate of Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution requiring courts to
state clearly and distinctly the facts and the legal basis of their decisions is equally applicable to administrative
bodies. (Naguiat vs. NLRC, 269 SCRA 564 and Pilipinas Kao Inc. vs. CA, 372 SCRA 548))
In order to effectively buttress the judgment arrived at, it is imperative that a decision should not be simply
limited to the dispositive portion but must state the nature of the case, summarize the facts with references to the
record, and contain a statement of the applicable laws and jurisprudence and the tribunal assessments and
conclusion on the case. (People vs. Baring, GR No. 137933, January 28 2002)
Rationale. This vital requirement is similarly required to give basis for all their decisions, rulings or
judgments pursuant to the Administrative Code whose roots may also be traced to the constitutional mandate. This
practice would better enable the courts to make an appropriate consideration of whether the dispositive portion
of the judgment sought to be enforced is consistent with the findings of facts and conclusions of law by the tribunal
that rendered the decision. (People vs. Baring,supra) Faithful compliance by the courts and quasi-judicial bodies,
such as the DOLE with Article VIII, Section 14, is a vital element of due process as it enables the parties to know how
decisions are arrived at as well as the legal reasoning behind the.. Accordingly, this Court will not hesitate to strike
down decisions rendered not hewing to the Constitutional directive. ( South Cotabato Communications corporation v.
Sto. Tomas, GR No. 217575, June 15, 2016)
Likewise, the requirement is demanded by the due process clause of the Constitution, and of fair play. It is
also designed to enable an appellant to pinpoint the possible errors of the tribunal for review by a higher tribunal. It
also gives assurance to the parties that in reaching judgment, the tribunal did so through the processes of legal
reasoning. The decision shall become final 15 days after receipt of the party unless an administrative appeal or
judicial review is perfected. One motion for reconsideration, which shall suspend the said period, may be filed. (Book
VII, Section 15, EO 292)
Administrative determinations where notice and hearing are NOT necessary for due process
1. Grant of provisional authority for increased rates (only pursuant to quasi-legislative power), or to engage in a
particular line of business;
2. Summary proceedings of distraint and levy upon the property of a delinquent taxpayer;
3. Cancellation of a passport where no abuse of discretion is committed by the Foreign Secretary;
4. Summary abatement of nuisance per se which affects the immediate safety of persons or property.
5. Summary sequestration of ill-gotten wealth by the PCGG.
6. Preventive suspension of a public officer pending investigation.
Administrative appeal and review
Pursuant to the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, before a party litigant can seek judicial
intervention, he must exhaust all means of administrative redress available under the law, subject to the exceptions
provided for by law or jurisprudence.
Nature of the Right to Appeal. Right to appeal is not a constitutional, natural or inherent right- it is a statutory
privilege and of statutory origin and, therefore, available only if granted or provided by statute. (Dela Cruz vs.
Ramiscal, 450 SCRA 449). Where provided by law, appeal from an administrative determination may be made to a
higher or superior administrative officer or body.
By virtue of the power of control of the President over all executive department, the President, by himself or
through the Department Secretaries (pursuant to the “alter ego doctrine”), may affirm, modify, alter, or reverse the
administrative decision of subordinate officials and employees. Unless otherwise provided by law, an appeal from a
decision of an agency may be taken to the Department Head (Book VII, Sec. 20, EO 292) The President has the
power to review decisions of department heads pursuant to the President’s power of control over all executive
departments, bureaus and offices. (Land Car, Inc. vs. Bachelor Express, 417 SCRA 307)
Effect of Pendency of Appeal; Finality of Decision. Appeal shall stay the decision appealed from unless the
law otherwise provides or the appellate agency directs execution pending appeal. (Book VII, Sec. 21, EO 292) The
decision of an administrative agency shall become final fifteen days after receipt of a copy of the parties. (Book VII,
Sec. 23, EO 292)
Denial of Substantive Due Process. But a cabinet secretary acted with grave abuse of discretion in
reviewing his decisions as Director of the Bureau of Mines. In order that the review of the decision of a subordinate
officer may not be a farce, the reviewing officer must be other than the one whose decision is under review. Being
human, he would not admit he was mistaken in his first view of the case. Petitioners were deprived of due process
when the Secretary reviewed his own decision. (Zambales Chromite Mining Co. vs. Court of Appeals, 94 SCRA 261)
Appeals from the decisions of the NAPOLCOM should be lodged first with the DILG and then with the CSC.
An appeal is not a natural but a statutory right, and one who seeks to avail oneself of it must comply with the statute
or the rule in effect when the right arose. (Miralles vs. Go, 349 SCRA 596) Failing to do so, the right to appeal is lost.
Licensing procedure under EO 292
Except in cases of willful violation of laws, rules and regulations or when public security, health or safety
require otherwise, no license may be suspended or revoked without notice and hearing. [Book VII, Section
17(2)] Where the license made a timely and sufficient application for renewal, the existing license shall not expire
until the application has been finally determined by the agency. (Book VII, Section 18, EO 292)
Fixing rates, wages, prices; double nature of rate-fixing
The grant of the power to fix rates, wages and prices is allowed because this function usually requires
technical knowledge which the legislature does not have. But the administrative agency cannot further delegate this
to another entity. (Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center vs. Garcia, 239 SCRA 386) Rate fixing calls for the technical
examination and specialized review of specific details which the court are ill-equipped to enter – such matters are
primarily entrusted to the administrative or regulating authority. (MERALCO vs. Lualhati, 510 SCRA 455)
Generally, the power to fix rate is a quasi-legislative function and, as such, the grant of prior notice and
hearing to the affected parties is not a requirement of due process.. But if the rate is applicable only to an individual,
then the function becomes quasi-judicial. When an administrative body performs rate-fixing in a quasi judicial
capacity, the valid exercise of this power demands previous notice and hearing. The rate fixing order, even if
temporary, is not exempt from the requirements of notice and hearing (PHILCOMSAT vs. Alcuaz, 180 SCRA 218)
Where the rules and the rates are meant to apply to all enterprises of a given kind throughout the country,
they may partake of a legislative character. But if they apply exclusively to a particular party, based upon finding of
fact, then its function is quasi-judicial in character. Hence, the necessity of prior notice and hearing. (The Philippine
Consumers Foundation vs. Secretary, DECS, 153 SCRA 622)
Res Judicata
The rule of res judicata forbids the reopening of a matter once determined by competent authority acting
within their exclusive jurisdiction. The principle of res judicata is also available in administrative proceedings, the
laudable purpose of which is to put final rest a decision which has become final and executory. (Nasipit Lumber
vs. NLRC, 177 SCRA 93) These decisions and orders are as conclusive upon the rights of the affected parties as
though the same had been rendered by a court of general jurisdiction. (Ysmael vs. Deputy Executive Secretary, 190
SCRA 673) (5)
Applicability: The Doctrine of Res Judicata applies only to judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings not to the
exercise of administrative powers. (Montemayor vs. Bundalian, 405 SCRA 264 and Hilado vs. Reyes, 496 SCRA
282) Exception: However, the doctrine does not ordinarily apply in administrative adjudication relative to questions of
citizenship except when: (a) a person’s citizenship is resolved by a court or administrative body as a material
issue in the controversy, after a full-blown hearing; (b) with the active participation of the Solicitor General or his
representative; and (c) the finding of his citizenship is affirmed by the Supreme Court. (Board of Commissioners, CID
vs. dela Rosa, 197 SCRA 853)
Decisions of administrative or quasi-administrative agencies which are declared by law final and
unappealable are subject to judicial review if they fail the test of arbitrariness, or upon proof of grave abuse of
discretion, fraud or error of law. When such administrative or quasi-judicial bodies grossly misappreciate evidence of
such nature as to compel a contrary conclusion, the Court will not hesitate to reverse the factual findings. Thus the
decision of the Ombudsman may be reviewed, modified or reversed via petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the
Rules of Court, or grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction. (Dagan v. Office of the
ombudsman, GR No. 184083, November 19, 2013)
Requisites of judicial review of administrative action
1. Administrative remedies must have been exhausted or the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies.
2. Administrative action must have been completed or the principle of finality of administrative action.
General Rule: Before a party can invoke the jurisdiction of the courts of justice, he is expected to have
exhausted all means of administrative redress afforded to him by law. The rule on exhaustion of administrative
remedies applies only where there is an express legal provision requiring such administrative step as a condition
precedent to taking action in court. (CSC vs. DBM, 464 SCRA 115) Thus, a detainer suit is premature if it fails to
exhaust all administrative remedies, such as compliance with Section 412 of the Local Government Code on the
need for prior barangay conciliation proceedings. (Villadar vs. Zabala, 545 SCRA325) Also, in Catipon Jr. v.Japson,
GR No. 191787, June 22, 2015, it was ruled that where petitioner’s recourse lies in an appeal to the (CSC)
Commission Proper in accordance with the procedure prescribed in MC 19, the Court of Appeals may not be faulted
for refusing to acknowledge petitioner before it.
Applicability. The principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies applies only where the act of the
administrative agency concerned was performed pursuant to its quasi-judicial function and not when the assailed act
pertained to its rule-making or quasi-legislative power. Where the act assailed is the validity or constitutionality of a
rule or regulation is issued by the administrative agency in the performance of its quasi-legislative functions, the
regular courts have jurisdiction to pass upon the same. (Holy Spirit Homeowners Association, Inc. vs. Defensor, 497
SCRA 581)
Rationale. One of the reasons for the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is the separation of
powers which enjoins upon the judiciary a becoming policy of non-interference with matters coming primarily within
the competence of other department. The legal reason is that the courts should not act and correct its mistakes or
errors and amend its decision on a given matter and decide it properly. (Lopez vs. City of Manila, 303 SCRA 448)
The courts of justice, for reasons of comity and convenience, will shy away from a dispute until the system of
administrative redress has been completed and complied with, so as to give the administrative agency concerned
every opportunity to correct its error and dispose of the case., Indeed, the administrative agency – in this case the
Commission Proper – is in the best position to correct any previous error committed in its forum. (Catipon Jr. v.
Japson, supra) The Doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, which is a cornerstone of our judicial system,”
impels us to allow administrative agencies to carry out their functions and discharge their responsibilities within the
specialized areas of their respective competencies. (Mohammad v. Belgado-Saqueton, GR No. 193584, July 12,
2016) And the practical reason is that the administrative process is intended to provide less expensive and more
speedy solution to disputes. (Association of Philippine Coconut Desiccators vs. PCA, GR No. 110526, February 10,
Effect of failure to exhaust administrative remedies
Failure to exhaust administrative remedies will not affect the jurisdiction of the courts. Non-compliance with
the doctrine will deprive the complainant of a cause of action which is a ground for a motion to dismiss the case.
However, if no motion to dismiss is filed on this ground, there is deemed to be a waiver. (Rosario vs. CA, 211 SCRA
384 and Baguioro vs. Basa, 214 SCRA 437)
Exceptions to the Doctrine
1) doctrine of qualified political agency, when the respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter ego
of the President bears the implied and assumed approval of the latter.
No appeal need be taken to the Office of the President from the decision of a department head
because the latter is in theory the alter ego of the former. There is greater reason for not requiring prior
resort to the Office of the President in this case since the administrative decision sought to be reviewed is
that of the President himself. (Secretary of Justice vs. Bacal, GR No. 139382, December 6, 2000)
Exception to the exception: where the law expressly provides for exhaustion. Hence, the failure of
the petitioner to appeal the order to the Secretary of Natural Resources to the President was deemed fatal
to the petition. The Supreme Court ruled that even if the respondent was a Department Secretary, an appeal
to the President was proper where the law (Executive Proclamation No. 238) expressly provided for
exhaustion. (Tan vs. Director of Forestry, 125 SCRA 302)
2) issue involved is purely legal and well within the jurisdiction of the trial court (Regino vs. Pangasinan Colleges of
Science and Technology, GR No. 156109, November 18, 2004) 3) administrative remedy is fruitless; 3) where
there is estoppel on the part of the administrative agency; 4) administrative action is patently illegal, amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction; 5) where there is unreasonable delay or official inaction; 6) where there is irreparable
injury, or threat thereof, unless judicial recourse is immediately made; 7) in land cases, where the subject matter is a
private land, including those acquired by purchase or resale to individuals; 8) where law does not make exhaustion
a condition precedent to judicial recourse; 9) where observance of the doctrine will result in nullification of claim;
10) where there are special reasons or circumstances demanding immediate court action; 11) when due process of
law is clearly violated; 12) When, in extreme cases, there is no plain, adequate and speedy remedy available except
to seek judicial protection; 13) when the issue is rendered moot and academic (Land Bank of the Philippines vs.
Court of Appeals, 318 SCRA 144) 13) when public interest is involved. (Indiana Aeronautics University vs. CHED,
356 SCRA 367)
Primary Jurisdiction or Preliminary Resort
The Doctrine of Primary jurisdiction holds that if a case is such that its determination requires the expertise,
specialized training and knowledge of the proper administrative bodies, relief must first be obtained in an
administrative proceeding before a remedy is supplied by the courts even if the matter may well be within their
proper jurisdiction. In such a case, the court in which the claim is sought to be enforced may suspend judicial process
pending referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view or, if the parties would not be unfairly
disadvantaged, dismiss the case without prejudice. (The Province of Aklan v. Jody King Construction and
Development Corp. GR Nos. 197592 & 202623 November 27, 2013)
The objective of the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is to guide the court in determining whether it should
refrain from exercising its jurisdiction until after than administrative agency has determined some question or some
aspect of some question arising in the proceeding before the court. The doctrine does not warrant a court to arrogate
unto itself authority to resolve a controversy the jurisdiction over which is initially lodged with an administrative body
of special competence. All the proceedings of the court in violation of the doctrine and all orders and decisions
rendered thereby are null and void. (The Province of Aklan v. Jody King Construction and Development Corp. GR
Nos. 197592 & 202623 November 27, 2013; Roxas & Co. Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 321 SCRA 106 and Province of
Zamboanga del Norte vs. Court of Appeals, 342 SCRA)
Effect of Failure to Avail of the Doctrine. The application of the doctrine of primary jurisdiction does not call
for the immediate dismissal of the case pending before the court. The case is merely suspended until the issues
resolvable by the administrative body are threshed out and fully determined. (Industrial Enterprises, Inc. vs. CA, 184
SCRA 426)
The DOCTRINE OF FINALITY OF ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION postulates that no resort to courts will be
allowed unless administrative action has been completed and there is nothing left to be done in administrative
structure. (Sta. Rosa Mining vs. Leido, 156 SCRA 1) An administrative decision must first be appealed to
administrative superiors up to the highest level before it may be elevated to a court of justice for review. The power of
judicial review may therefore be exercised only if an appeal is first made by the highest administrative body in the
hierarchy of the executive branch of the government. Hence, an appeal to the Office of the President from the
decision of the Department Secretary in an administrative case is the last step that an aggrieved party should take
in the administrative hierarchy, as it is a plain, speedy and adequate remedy available to the petitioner. (Valencia vs.
CA, 401 SCRA 666)
A party seeking an administrative remedy must not merely initiate the prescribed administrative procedure to
obtain relief, but also pursue it to its appropriate conclusion before seeking judicial intervention in order to give the
administrative agency an opportunity to decide the matter itself correctly and prevent unnecessary and premature
resort to court action. (CIR vs. Acosta, 529 SCRA 177)
General Rule: It is the Court of Appeals that is conferred with the power of judicial review over the decisions
of administrative agencies. except COMELEC, COA, Ombudsman in criminal cases in which case the Supreme
Court exercises jurisdiction. BP 129 provides that the Court of Appeals shall exercise “xxx exclusive appellate
jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders or awards of quasi-judicial agencies,
instrumentalities, boards or commissions, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
in accordance with the Constitution.”
Exceptions: The Supreme Court, however, exercises appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments,
decisions, resolutions or orders of the COMELEC, Commission on Audit and Ombudsman in criminal cases in
accordance with the Constitution. (Garcia-Rueda vs. Pascasio, 278 SCRA 769)
Under RA 9282, the Court of Tax Appeals exercises appellate jurisdiction over the decisions or ruling of the
Central Board of Assessment Appeals, Customs Commissioner, BIR, and the Secretaries of the DOF, DA and DTI.