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Digest Author: Christopher M.

Alcantara

Tondo Medical Vs CA
GR No. 167324

Petition: Review on Certiorari


Petitioners: Tondo Medical Center Employees Association et al.
Respondents: Court of Appeals et al.
Date: July 17, 2007
Ponente: Chico-Nazario, J.

This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari, under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, assailing the
Decision, promulgated by the Court of Appeals, denying a petition for the nullification of the Health
Sector Reform Agenda (HSRA) Philippines 1999-2004 of the Department of Health (DOH); and
Executive Order No. 102, "Redirecting the Functions and Operations of the Department of Health,"
which was issued by then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

Facts:

The Health Sector Reform Agenda (HSRA) was launched by the Department of Health (DOH) in
1999, which provided five areas of general reform. One in particular was the provision of fiscal
autonomy to government hospitals that implements the collection of socialized user fees and the
corporate restructuring of government hospitals. The petitioners alleged that the implementation of
the aforementioned reform had resulted in making free medicine and free medical services
inaccessible to economically disadvantage Filipinos. Thus, they alleged that the HSRA is void for
violating the following constitutional provisions: Sections 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18 of Article II,
Section 1 of Article III, Sections 11 and 14 of Article XIII, and Sections 1 and 3(2) of Article XV.

On May 24, 1999, then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada issued Executive Order No. 102, entitled
Redirecting the functions and Operations of the Department of Health, which provided for the
changes in the roles, functions, and organizational processes of the DOH. The petitioners contented
that a law, such as E.O. No. 120, which effects the reorganization of the DOH, should be enacted by
Congress in the exercise of its legislative function. They argued that E.O. No. 102 is void, as this
was enacted ultra vires on the part of the President.

The Court of Appeals (CA) denied the petition due to a number of procedural defects, which proved
fatal. The CA also ruled that the HSRA cannot be declared void for violating the various sections of
Article II, III, XIII and XV of the 1987 Constitution. A motion for reconsideration of the decision
was filed by the petitioners but the same was denied in a resolution dated March 7, 2005. Hence this
petition.

Issues:

1. W/O the HSRA is void for violating various provisions of the Constitution
2. W/O the issuance of Executive Order No. 102 was above the authority of the President

Held:

No. As a general rule, the provisions of the constitution are considered self-executing, and do not
require future legislation for their enforcement. However, some provisions have already been
categorically declared by this Court as non self-executing.
Digest Author: Christopher M. Alcantara
In Taada v. Angara, the Court specifically set apart the sections found under Article II of the 1987
Constitution as non self-executing and ruled that such broad principles need legislative enactments
before they can be implemented. In Basco v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, this
Court declared that Sections 11, 12, and 13 of Article II; Section 13 of Article XIII; and Section 2
of Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution are not self-executing provisions.

No. Petitioners claimed that the structural and functional reorganization of the DOH is an exercise
of legislative functions, which the president usurped when he issued E.O. No. 102. This line of
argument is without basis.This Court has already ruled in a number of cases that the President may,
by executive or administrative order, direct the reorganization of government entities under the
Executive Department. This is also sanctioned under the Constitution, as well as other statutes.

Section 17, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, clearly states: The president shall have control of
all executive departments, bureaus and offices. Therefore, the president is within his authority for
issuing E.O No. 102.

Decision:

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the instant Petition is DENIED. This Court AFFIRMS the
assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals, promulgated on 26 November 2004, declaring both the
HSRA and Executive Order No. 102 as valid. No costs.