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CASES FOR 06302018

(2) YES. The Artica Sports Dome in Langub


Republic v City of davao gr 148622 does not come close to any of the projects or
areas enumerated above. Neither is it analogous
RP v City of Davao (Environmental to any of them. It is clear, therefore, that the said
Law) project is not classified as environmentally
critical, or within an environmentally critical
area. Consequently, the DENR has no choice
Republic of the Philippines v City of but to issue the Certificate of Non- Coverage. It
Davao becomes its ministerial duty, the performance of
GR No. 148622 which can be compelled by writ of mandamus,
September 12, 2002 such as that issued by the trial court in the case
at bar.
FACTS:

On August 11, 2000, The City of Davao filed an FIRST DIVISION


application for a Certificate of Non- Coverage
(CNC) for its proposed project, the Davao City
Artica Sports Dome, with the Environmental
Management Bureau (EMB), Region XI. [G.R. No. 148622. September 12, 2002]FT

ISSUES:

(1) Is an LGU like Davao exempt from the REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented
coverage of PD 1586? by HON. HEHERSON T. ALVAREZ, in
(2) Is the project entitled to a Certificate of Non- his capacity as Secretary of the
Coverage (CNC)? DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT
AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DENR),
APPLICABLE LAWS: CLARENCE L. BAGUILAT, in his
capacity as the Regional Executive
• Section 15 of Republic Act 7160,[5] otherwise Director of DENR-Region XI and
known as the Local Government Code, defines a ENGR. BIENVENIDO L. LIPAYON, in
local government unit as a body politic and his capacity as the Regional Director
corporate endowed with powers to be exercised of the DENR-ENVIRONMENTAL
by it in conformity with law. MANAGEMENT BUREAU (DENR-
EMB), Region XI, petitioners, vs. THE
• Section 4 of PD 1586 clearly states that “no CITY OF DAVAO, represented by
person, partnership or corporation shall BENJAMIN C. DE GUZMAN, City
undertake or operate any such declared Mayor, respondent.
environmentally critical project or area without
first securing an Environmental Compliance DECISION
certificate issued by the President or his duly
authorized representative YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

RULING: Before us is a petition for review[1] on


certiorari assailing the decision[2] dated May 28,
(1) NO, IT IS WITHIN THE COVERAGE OF PD 2001 of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City,
1586. Found in Section 16 of the Local Branch 33, which granted the writ of mandamus
Government Code is the duty of the LGUs to and injunction in favor of respondent, the City of
promote the people's right to a balanced Davao, and against petitioner, the Republic,
ecology. Pursuant to this, an LGU, like the City represented by the Department of Environment
of Davao, cannot claim exemption from the and Natural Resources (DENR). The trial court
coverage of PD 1586. As a body politic endowed also directed petitioner to issue a Certificate of
with governmental functions, an LGU has the Non-Coverage in favor of respondent.
duty to ensure the quality of the environment,
which is the very same objective of PD 1586.
The antecedent facts of the case are as 2) making the preliminary injunction issued on
follows: December 12, 2000 permanent.
On August 11, 2000, respondent filed an
application for a Certificate of Non-Coverage Costs de oficio.
(CNC) for its proposed project, the Davao City
Artica Sports Dome, with the Environmental SO ORDERED.[3]
Management Bureau (EMB), Region XI. Attached
to the application were the required documents The trial court ratiocinated that there is
for its issuance, namely, a) detailed location map nothing in PD 1586, in relation to PD 1151 and
of the project site; b) brief project description; and Letter of Instruction No. 1179 (prescribing
c) a certification from the City Planning and guidelines for compliance with the EIA system),
Development Office that the project is not located which requires local government units (LGUs) to
in an environmentally critical area (ECA). The comply with the EIS law. Only agencies and
EMB Region XI denied the application after instrumentalities of the national government,
finding that the proposed project was within an including government owned or controlled
environmentally critical area and ruled that, corporations, as well as private corporations,
pursuant to Section 2, Presidential Decree No. firms and entities are mandated to go through the
1586, otherwise known as the Environmental EIA process for their proposed projects which
Impact Statement System, in relation to Section 4 have significant effect on the quality of the
of Presidential Decree No, 1151, also known as environment. A local government unit, not being
the Philippine Environment Policy, the City of an agency or instrumentality of the National
Davao must undergo the environmental impact Government, is deemed excluded under the
assessment (EIA) process to secure an principle of expressio unius est exclusio alterius.
Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC),
before it can proceed with the construction of its The trial court also declared, based on the
project. certifications of the DENR-Community
Environment and Natural Resources Office
Believing that it was entitled to a Certificate (CENRO)-West, and the data gathered from the
of Non-Coverage, respondent filed a petition for Philippine Institute of Volcanology and
mandamus and injunction with the Regional Trial Seismology (PHIVOLCS), that the site for the
Court of Davao, docketed as Civil Case No. Artica Sports Dome was not within an
28,133-2000. It alleged that its proposed project environmentally critical area. Neither was the
was neither an environmentally critical project nor project an environmentally critical one. It
within an environmentally critical area; thus it was therefore becomes mandatory for the DENR,
outside the scope of the EIS system. Hence, it through the EMB Region XI, to approve
was the ministerial duty of the DENR, through the respondents application for CNC after it has
EMB-Region XI, to issue a CNC in favor of satisfied all the requirements for its
respondent upon submission of the required issuance. Accordingly, petitioner can be
documents. compelled by a writ of mandamus to issue the
CNC, if it refuses to do so.
The Regional Trial Court rendered judgment
in favor of respondent, the dispositive portion of Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration,
which reads as follows: however, the same was denied. Hence, the
instant petition for review.
WHEREFORE, finding the petition to be meritorious,
With the supervening change of
judgment granting the writ of mandamus and
administration, respondent, in lieu of a comment,
injunction is hereby rendered in favor of the
filed a manifestation expressing its agreement
petitioner City of Davao and against respondents
with petitioner that, indeed, it needs to secure an
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
ECC for its proposed project.It thus rendered the
and the other respondents by:
instant petition moot and academic. However, for
the guidance of the implementors of the EIS law
1) directing the respondents to issue in favor of the and pursuant to our symbolic function to educate
petitioner City of Davao a Certificate of Non- the bench and bar,[4] we are inclined to address
Coverage, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1586 the issue raised in this petition.
and related laws, in connection with the construction
by the City of Davao of the Artica Sports Dome;
Section 15 of Republic Act 7160,[5] otherwise President of the Philippines may, on his own
known as the Local Government Code, defines a initiative or upon recommendation of the National
local government unit as a body politic and Environmental Protection Council, by proclamation
corporate endowed with powers to be exercised declare certain projects, undertakings or areas in the
by it in conformity with law. As such, it performs country as environmentally critical. No person,
dual functions, governmental and proprietary. partnership or corporation shall undertake or operate
Governmental functions are those that concern any such declared environmentally critical project or
the health, safety and the advancement of the area without first securing an Environmental
public good or welfare as affecting the public Compliance Certificate issued by the President or his
generally.[6] Proprietary functions are those that duly authorized representative. For the proper
seek to obtain special corporate benefits or earn management of said critical project or area, the
pecuniary profit and intended for private President may by his proclamation reorganize such
advantage and benefit.[7] When exercising government offices, agencies, institutions,
governmental powers and performing corporations or instrumentalities including the
governmental duties, an LGU is an agency of the realignment of government personnel, and their
national government.[8] When engaged in specific functions and responsibilities.
corporate activities, it acts as an agent of the
community in the administration of local affairs.[9] Section 4 of PD 1586 clearly states that no
Found in Section 16 of the Local person, partnership or corporation shall
Government Code is the duty of the LGUs to undertake or operate any such declared
promote the peoples right to a balanced environmentally critical project or area without
ecology.[10] Pursuant to this, an LGU, like the City first securing an Environmental Compliance
of Davao, can not claim exemption from the Certificate issued by the President or his duly
coverage of PD 1586. As a body politic endowed authorized representative.[13] The Civil Code
with governmental functions, an LGU has the defines a person as either natural or juridical. The
duty to ensure the quality of the environment, state and its political subdivisions, i.e., the local
which is the very same objective of PD 1586. government units[14] are juridical
[15]
persons. Undoubtedly therefore, local
Further, it is a rule of statutory construction government units are not excluded from the
that every part of a statute must be interpreted coverage of PD 1586.
with reference to the context, i.e., that every part
must be considered with other parts, and kept Lastly, very clear in Section 1 of PD 1586
subservient to the general intent of the that said law intends to implement the policy of
enactment.[11] The trial court, in declaring local the state to achieve a balance between socio-
government units as exempt from the coverage of economic development and environmental
the EIS law, failed to relate Section 2 of PD protection, which are the twin goals of sustainable
1586[12] to the following provisions of the same development. The above-quoted first paragraph
law: of the Whereas clause stresses that this can only
be possible if we adopt a comprehensive
and integrated environmental protection program
WHEREAS, the pursuit of a comprehensive and where all the sectors of the community are
integrated environmental protection program involved, i.e., the government and the private
necessitates the establishment and institutionalization sectors. The local government units, as part of the
of a system whereby the exigencies of socio- machinery of the government, cannot therefore
economic undertakings can be reconciled with the be deemed as outside the scope of the EIS
requirements of environmental quality; x x x. system.[16]

Section 1. Policy. It is hereby declared the policy of The foregoing arguments, however,
the State to attain and maintain a rational and orderly presuppose that a project, for which an
balance between socio-economic growth and Environmental Compliance Certificate is
environmental protection. necessary, is environmentally critical or within an
environmentally critical area. In the case at bar,
xxxxxxxxx respondent has sufficiently shown that the Artica
Sports Dome will not have a significant negative
environmental impact because it is not an
Section 4. Presidential Proclamation of environmentally critical project and it is not
Environmentally Critical Areas and Projects. The
located in an environmentally critical area. In would justify a different conclusion.[19] None of
support of this contention, respondent submitted these exceptions, however, obtain in this case.
the following:
The Environmental Impact Statement
System, which ensures environmental protection
1. Certification from the City Planning and and regulates certain government activities
Development Office that the project is not located in affecting the environment, was established by
an environmentally critical area; Presidential Decree No. 1586.Section 2 thereof
states:
2. Certification from the Community Environment
and Natural Resources Office (CENRO-West) that There is hereby established an Environmental Impact
the project area is within the 18-30% slope, is outside Statement System founded and based on the
the scope of the NIPAS (R.A. 7586), and not within a environmental impact statement required under
declared watershed area; and Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1151, of all
agencies and instrumentalities of the national
3. Certification from PHILVOCS that the project site government, including government-owned or
is thirty-seven (37) kilometers southeast of the controlled corporations, as well as private
southernmost extension of the Davao River Fault and corporations, firms and entities, for every proposed
forty-five (45) kilometers west of the Eastern project and undertaking which significantly affect the
Mindanao Fault; and is outside the required minimum quality of the environment.
buffer zone of five (5) meters from a fault zone.
Section 4 of PD 1151, on the other hand,
The trial court, after a consideration of the provides:
evidence, found that the Artica Sports Dome is
not within an environmentally critical Environmental Impact Statements. Pursuant to the
area. Neither is it an environmentally critical above enunciated policies and goals, all agencies and
project. It is axiomatic that factual findings of the instrumentalities of the national government,
trial court, when fully supported by the evidence including government-owned or controlled
on record, are binding upon this Court and will not corporations, as well as private corporations, firms
be disturbed on appeal.[17] This Court is not a trier and entities shall prepare, file and include in every
of facts.[18] action, project or undertaking which significantly
There are exceptional instances when this affects the quality of the environment a detailed
Court may disregard factual findings of the trial statement on
court, namely: a) when the conclusion is a finding
grounded entirely on speculations, surmises, or (a) the environmental impact of the proposed action,
conjectures; b) when the inference made is project or undertaking
manifestly mistaken, absurd, or impossible; c)
where there is a grave abuse of discretion; d) (b) any adverse environmental effect which cannot be
when the judgment is based on a avoided should the proposal be implemented
misapprehension of facts; e) when the findings of
fact are conflicting; f) when the Court of Appeals, (c) alternative to the proposed action
in making its findings, went beyond the issues of
the case and the same are contrary to the
admissions of both appellant and appellee; g) (d) a determination that the short-term uses of the
when the findings of the Court of Appeals are resources of the environment are consistent with the
contrary to those of the trial court; h) when the maintenance and enhancement of the long-term
findings of fact are conclusions without citation of productivity of the same; and
specific evidence on which they are based; i)
when the finding of fact of the Court of Appeals is (e) whenever a proposal involves the use of
premised on the supposed absence of evidence depletable or nonrenewable resources, a finding must
but is contradicted by the evidence on record; and be made that such use and commitment are
j) when the Court of Appeals manifestly warranted.
overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by
the parties and which, if properly considered, Before an environmental impact statement is issued
by a lead agency, all agencies having jurisdiction
over, or special expertise on, the subject matter III. Infrastructure Projects
involved shall comment on the draft environmental
impact statement made by the lead agency within a. Major dams
thirty (30) days from receipt of the same. b. Major power plants
(fossil-fueled,
Under Article II, Section 1, of the Rules and nuclear fueled,
Regulations Implementing PD 1586, the hydroelectric or
declaration of certain projects or areas as geothermal)
environmentally critical, and which shall fall within c. Major reclamation projects
the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement d. Major roads and bridges
System, shall be by Presidential Proclamation, in
accordance with Section 4 of PD 1586 quoted B. Environmentally Critical Areas
above.
Pursuant thereto, Proclamation No. 2146 1. All areas declared by law as
was issued on December 14, 1981, proclaiming national parks, watershed
the following areas and types of projects as reserves, wildlife
environmentally critical and within the scope of preserves and sanctuaries;
the Environmental Impact Statement System 2. Areas set aside as aesthetic potential
established under PD 1586: tourist spots;
3. Areas which constitute the habitat
for any endangered or
A. Environmentally Critical Projects
threatened species of
indigenous Philippine
I. Heavy Industries Wildlife (flora and fauna);
4. Areas of unique historic, archaeological,
a. Non-ferrous metal industries or scientific interests;
b. Iron and steel mills 5. Areas which are traditionally occupied
c. Petroleum and petro- by cultural communities or tribes;
chemical industries including 6. Areas frequently visited and/or
oil and gas hard-hit by natural calamities
d. Smelting plants (geologic hazards, floods,
typhoons, volcanic activity,
II. Resource Extractive Industries etc.);
7. Areas with critical slopes;
a. Major mining and quarrying 8. Areas classified as prime agricultural
projects lands;
b. Forestry projects 9. Recharged areas of aquifers;
10. Water bodies characterized by one or any
combination of the following conditions;
1. Logging
2. Major wood
processing projects a. tapped for domestic purposes
3. Introduction of b. within the controlled
fauna (exotic- and/or
animals) in protected areas
public/private forests declared by
4. Forest occupancy appropriate
5. Extraction of authorities
mangrove products c. which support wildlife and fishery activities
6. Grazing
11. Mangrove areas characterized by one or any
c. Fishery Projects combination of the following conditions:

1. Dikes for/and fishpond development projects a. with primary pristine and


dense young growth;
b. adjoining mouth of major Environment and Natural Resources to issue in
river systems; favor of the City of Davao a Certificate of Non-
c. near or adjacent to traditional Coverage, pursuant to Presidential Decree No.
productive fry or fishing 1586 and related laws, in connection with the
grounds; construction of the Artica Sports Dome, is
d. which act as natural AFFIRMED.
buffers against
shore erosion, SO ORDERED.
strong winds Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman),
and storm Vitug, and Carpio, JJ., concur.
floods;
e. on which people are
dependent for their livelihood.
[1] Rollo, pp. 9-30.
12. Coral reefs, characterized by one or any
combinations of the following conditions: [2] Ibid., pp. 31-43.
[3] Ibid., p. 42.
a. with 50% and above live
coralline cover; [4] Gonzales v. Chavez, 205 SCRA 816, 830 (1992);
b. spawning and nursery Consolidated Bank and Trust Corporation v.
grounds for fish; Court of Appeals, 193 SCRA 158, 176 (1991).
c. which act as natural breakwater of coastlines.
[5] RA 7160, Section 15. Political and Corporate
In this connection, Section 5 of PD 1586 Nature of Local Government Units. Every local
expressly states: government unit created or recognized under this
Code is a body politic and corporate endowed
with powers to be exercised by it in conformity
Environmentally Non-Critical Projects. All other
with law. As such, it shall exercise powers as a
projects, undertakings and areas not declared by the
political subdivision of the National Government
President as environmentally critical shall be
and as a corporate entity representing the
considered as non-critical and shall not be required to
inhabitants of its territory.
submit an environmental impact statement. The
National Environmental Protection Council, thru the [6]
Department of Public Services Labor Unions v.
Ministry of Human Settlements may however require Court of Industrial Relations, 1 SCRA 316, 319
non-critical projects and undertakings to provide (1961).
additional environmental safeguards as it may deem
[7] Blaquera v. Alcala, 295 SCRA 366, 425 (1998).
necessary.
[8] Tiu San v. Republic, 96 Phil. 817, 820 (1955).
The Artica Sports Dome in Langub does not
[9]
Lidasan v. Commission on Elections, 21 SCRA
come close to any of the projects or areas
enumerated above. Neither is it analogous to any 496, 506 (1967)
of them. It is clear, therefore, that the said project [10] General Welfare. Every local government unit
is not classified as environmentally critical, or shall exercise the powers expressly granted,
within an environmentally critical those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as
area. Consequently, the DENR has no choice but powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for
to issue the Certificate of Non-Coverage. It its efficient and effective governance, and those
becomes its ministerial duty, the performance of which are essential to the promotion of the
which can be compelled by writ of mandamus, general welfare. Within their respective territorial
such as that issued by the trial court in the case jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure
at bar. and support, among other things, the
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote
instant petition is DENIED. The decision of the health and safety, enhance the right of the people
Regional Trial Court of Davao City, Branch 33, in to a balanced ecology, encourage and support
Civil Case No. 28,133-2000, granting the writ of the development of appropriate and self-reliant
mandamus and directing the Department of scientific and technological capabilities, improve
public morals, enhance economic prosperity and Petitioner Boracay Foundation, Inc.
social justice, promote full employment among (petitioner) is a duly registered, non-stock
their residents, maintain peace and order, and domestic corporation. Its primary purpose
preserve the comfort and convenience of their
inhabitants. is "to foster a united, concerted and
environment-conscious development of
[11]
Philippine Airlines, Inc. v. National Labor Boracay Island, thereby preserving and
Relations Commission, 295 SCRA 89, 96 (1998). maintaining its culture, natural beauty...
[12] Supra. and ecological balance, marking the
[13] island as the crown jewel of Philippine
Supra.
tourism, a prime tourist destination in Asia
[14] Administrative Code of 1987, Section 2(3). Local and the whole world."
Government refers to the political subdivisions
established by or in accordance with the Respondent Province of Aklan
Constitution. (respondent Province) is a political
[15]
Civil Code of the Philippines, Book 1, Chapter subdivision of the government created
3, Art. 44. The following are juridical persons: pursuant to Republic Act No. 1414,
represented by Honorable Carlito S.
(1) The State and its political subdivisions; x x x
Marquez, the Provincial Governor
[16]
Administrative Code of 1987, Section 2 (Governor Marquez).
(1) Government of the Republic of the
Philippines refers to the corporate governmental Respondent Philippine Reclamation
entity through which the functions of the Authority (respondent PRA), formerly
government are exercised throughout the called the Public Estates Authority (PEA),
Philippine, including, save as the contrary is a government entity created by
appears from the context, the various arms Presidential Decree No. 1084,[3] which
through which political authority is made effective
in the Philippines, whether pertaining to the
states that one of the purposes for which
autonomous regions, the provincial, city, respondent PRA was created... was to
municipality or barangay subdivisions or other reclaim land, including foreshore and
forms of local government. submerged areas.
[17]
MOF Company, Inc. v. Enriquez, G.R. No. PEA eventually became the lead agency
149280, May 9, 2002. primarily responsible for all reclamation
[18]
Jacutin v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. projects in the country under Executive
140604, March 6, 2002. Order No. 525, series of 1979.
[19]
Herbosa v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. In June 2006, the President of the
119087, January 25, 2002. Philippines issued Executive
Order No. 543, delegating the power "to
approve reclamation projects to PRA
through its governing Board, subject to
Case digest GR 196870 compliance with existing laws and rules
and further subject to the condition that
BORACAY FOUNDATION v. PROVINCE reclamation contracts to be executed with
OF AKLAN, GR No. 196870, 2012-06-26 any person or entity (must) go through...
public bidding."
Facts:
Respondent Department of Environment
original petition for the issuance of an and Natural Resources Environmental
Environmental Protection Order in the Management Bureau (DENR-EMB),
nature of a continuing mandamus Regional Office VI (respondent DENR-
EMB RVI), is the government agency in reclamation per se, but also to the building
the Western Visayas Region authorized to to be constructed and the entire...
issue environmental compliance project's perceived ill effects to the
certificates regarding... projects that surrounding environment.
require the environment's protection and
management in the region. petition should be dismissed for
petitioner's failure to exhaust
Issues: administrative remedies and even to
observe the hierarchy of courts
Whether or not the petition should be
dismissed for having been rendered moot Section 6. Appeal
and academic
Any party aggrieved by the final decision
Whether or not the petition is premature on the ECC / CNC applications may,
because petitioner failed to exhaust within 15 days from receipt of such
administrative remedies before filing this decision, file an appeal on the following
case grounds:
Whether or not respondent Province failed Grave abuse of discretion on the part of
to perform a full EIA as required by laws the deciding authority, or
and regulations based on the scope and
classification of the project Serious errors in the review findings.

Whether or not respondent Province The DENR may adopt alternative


complied with all the requirements under conflict/dispute resolution procedures as a
the pertinent laws and regulations means to settle grievances between
proponents and aggrieved parties to avert
Whether or not there was proper, timely, unnecessary legal action. Frivolous
and sufficient public consultation for the appeals shall not be countenanced.
project
Respondents argue that since there is an
Ruling: administrative appeal provided for, then
petitioner is duty bound to observe the
not sufficient to render the petition moot same and may not be granted recourse to
and academic,... as there are explicit the regular courts for its failure to do so.
conditions imposed that must be complied
with by respondent Province. We do not agree with respondents'
appreciation of the applicability of the rule
Sangguniang Barangay of Caticlan it is on exhaustion of administrative remedies
stated that "any vertical structures to be in this case.
constructed shall be subject for barangay
endorsement... learly, what the barangay Pagara v. Court of Appeals,... The rule
endorsed was the reclamation only, and regarding exhaustion of administrative
not the... entire project that includes the remedies is not a hard and fast rule. It is
con not applicable (1) where the question in
dispute is purely a legal one, or (2) where
Clearly, what the barangay endorsed was the controverted act is patently illegal or
the reclamation only, and not the... entire was performed without jurisdiction or... in
project that includes the construction of a excess of jurisdiction; or (3) where the
commercial building and wellness center, respondent is a department secretary,
and other tourism-related facilities. whose acts as an alter ego of the
Petitioner's objections, as may be President bear the implied or assumed
recalled, pertain not only to the
approval of the latter, unless actually
disapproved by him, or (4) where there
are circumstances indicating the urgency
of... judicial intervention, - Gonzales vs.
Hechanova, L-21897, October 22, 1963, 9
SCRA 230; Abaya vs. Villegas, L-25641,
December 17, 1966, 18 SCRA; Mitra vs.
Subido, L-21691, September 15, 1967, 21
SCRA 127.
Said principle may also be disregarded
when it does not provide a plain, speedy
and adequate remedy,... 1)... or where the
protestant has no other recourse (Sta.
Maria vs. Lopez, 31 SCRA 637).
Petitioner had no other plain, speedy, or
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
law to determine the questions of unique
national and local importance raised here
that pertain to laws and rules for
environmental protection, thus it was
justified in coming to this
Court.