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Administrative Law Reviewer

A. General Principles
Sources of Administrative Law
Constitutional or Statutory enactments which create the administrative body
Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order 292)

Separation of Powers
See Book II of EO 292

The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government. It obtains not through express
provision but by actual division in our Constitution. Each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of
matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere. But it does not follow from the fact that the
three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely unrestrained
and independent of each other. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to
secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. x x x And the judiciary in turn,
with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter, effectively checks the other department in its exercise of its power to
determine the law, and hence to declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution. (Angara v.

It must be conceded that the acts of the Chief Executive performed within the limits of his jurisdiction are his official
acts and courts will neither direct nor restrain executive action in such cases. The rule is non-interference. But from
this legal premise, it does not necessarily follow that we are precluded from making an inquiry into the validity or
constitutionality of his acts when these are properly challenged in an appropriate legal proceeding. (Planas v. Gil)

B. Administrative Agencies
a. Definition

Administrative Agency
Any governmental organ or authority, other than a court or legislative body, which affects rights of private
parties, through rule-making and adjudication (Nachura)

Agency of the Government

Any of the various units of the Government, including a department, bureau, office, instrumentality of
GOCC, or an LGU or a distinct unit therein. National agency refers to unit of the national Government
while local agency refers to a unit of the Local Government (EO292)

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An executive department created by law; it includes any instrumentality having or assigned the rank of a
department, regardless of its name or designation

Any principal subdivision or unit of any department

Government Owned and Controlled Corporation

Any agency organized as a stock or non-stock corporation vested with functions relating to public needs
whether government or proprietary in nature, and owned by the government directly or through its
instrumentalities either wholly, or, in the case of stock corporations, to the extent of at least 50% of its capital

Regulatory Agency
Any agency expressly vested with jurisdiction to regulate, administer, or adjudicate matters affecting
substantial rights and interests of private persons, the principal powers of which are exercised by a collective

b. Manner of Creation

Legal Bases for Creation

Constitution (CSC, COA, COMELEC, BSP, Ombudsman, CHR, Commission on
Appointments, SET, HRET, JBC, NEDA)
Legislative Enactments (NLRC, SSC, SEC, PRC, GAB, DDB, Insurance Commission)
Authority of law (Fact-finding agencies)

The President shall have control of all executive departments, bureaus and offices. He shall ensure that the
laws be faithfully executed. (Sec. 17, Art. VII)

It is Presidential Decree No. 1772 which amended Presidential Decree No. 1416. These decrees expressly
grant the President of the Philippines the continuing authority to reorganize the national government, which
includes the power to group, consolidate bureaus and agencies, to abolish offices, to transfer functions, to
create and classify functions, services and activities and to standardize salaries and materials. The validity of
these two decrees are unquestionable. The 1987 Constitution clearly provides that all laws, decrees, executive
orders, proclamations, letters of instructions and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this
Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked. (Sec. of DOTC v. Mabalot)

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Except for such offices as are created by the Constitution, the creation of public offices is primarily a
legislative function. When in the exigencies of government it is necessary to create and define duties, the
legislative department has the discretion to determine whether additional offices shall be created, or whether
these duties shall be attached to and become ex-officio duties of existing offices. An office created by the
legislature is wholly within the power of that body, and it may prescribe the mode of filling the office and the
powers and duties of the incumbent, and, if it sees fit, abolish the office. (Eugenio v. CSC)

Legislative Executive Judicial

- Power to create, - Power of - Power to review
divide, merge, modify, appointment decisions of
abolish agencies - Control over administrative
- Power to appropriate offices under agencies
funds executive branch
- Investigatory powers - Power of
- Duty to preserve
and defend the

c. Kinds
i. Government is offering some gratuity, grant or special privilege
1. GSIS, PAO, Philippine Veterans Administration
ii. Government is seeking to carry on certain functions of government
1. BIR, LRA, Customs
iii. Government is performing some business service for the public
iv. Government seeks to regulate businesses affected with public interest
v. Government is seeking under police power to regulate private businesses and individuals
vi. Government is seeking to adjust individual controversies because of a strong social policy

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C. Power of Administrative Agencies

The powers and functions of administrative agencies are defined either in the Constitution or in legislation, or both.
Where created by statute or where their powers are left to be defined by legislation, the powers of administrative
agencies are limited by the statutes creating them to those conferred expressly or by necessary or fair implication

Construction of grant of power:

General language describing the powers and functions of an administrative body may be construed to extend no
further than the specific duties and powers conferred in the same statute. In determining whether a board or omission
has a certain power, the authority given should be liberally construed in the light of the purposes for which it was
created, and that which is incidentally necessary to a full exploitation of legislative intent should be upheld as being
germane to the law.

Delegation of Power
Non-delegation doctrine: Potestas delegate non delegare potest (What has been delegated cannot be delegated)

Two tests:
Completeness Test- the law must be complete in itself and must set forth the policy to be executed.
Sufficient Standard Test- The law must fix a standard, the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or
determinable, to which the delegate must conform

[L]egislative power cannot be delegated. Nonetheless, the general rule barring delegation is subject to certain
exceptions allowed in the Constitution, namely:
(1) Delegation by Congress to the President of the power to fix "tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and
wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the
Government" under Section 28(2) of Article VI of the Constitution; and
(2) Delegation of emergency powers by Congress to the President "to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry
out a declared national policy" in times of war and other national emergency under Section 23(2) of Article VI of the
Constitution. (Umali v. COMELEC)

The true distinction between delegation of the power to legislate and the conferring of authority or discretion as to
the execution of law consists in that the former necessary involves a discretion as to what the law shall be, while in the
latter the authority or discretion as to its execution has to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first
cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made. (Araneta v. Gatmaitan)

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Permissible Delegation
A. Constitutional Permission (emergency powers)
B. Delegation to Local Governments
C. Delegation to People at large (referendum)
D. Delegation of power to Executive in international and diplomatic relations
E. Ascertainment of Fact
F. Filling in of Details
G. Administrative rule-making

a. Quasi-legislative (Rule Making) power

It is the power to promulgate rules and regulations or general orders which are legally binding and receive
statutory force upon going into effect and the formulation of interpretative rulings or regulations which dont
receive statutory force but are accorded great weight when questioned.

[Q]uasi-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. (Abella v. CSC)

There are, however, limitations to the rule-making power of administrative agencies. A rule shaped out by
jurisprudence is that when Congress authorizes promulgation of administrative rules and regulations to
implement given legislation, all that is required is that the regulation be not in contradiction with it, but
conform to the standards that the law prescribes. In case of discrepancy between the basic law and a rule or
regulation issued to implement said law, the basic law prevails because said rule or regulation cannot go
beyond the terms and provisions of the basic law. (Tayug Rural Bank v. Central Bank)

Administrative Rules with Penal Sanctions

Administrative authorities may be empowered to enact rules and regulations having the force and effect of
law, but any criminal or penal sanction for the violation of rules and regulations must come from the
legislature itself.

* Law authorizing must itself declare as punishable the violation of rules and regulations issued under its
*Law should define or fix the penalty of the violation of the rules and regulation

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i. Kinds of administrative rules and regulations
1. Supplementary or detailed legislationrules and regulations by reason of particular delegation of
2. Interpretative rules and regulationsrules and regulations constructing or interpreting the statutes
being administered
3. Contingent legislationrules and regulations involving determination under a delegated power
whether a statute shall go into effect
ii. Requisites for Validity
1. Authority of Law
2. Within the Scope and Purview of the Law
3. Reasonableness

b. Quasi-judicial (Adjudicatory) power

Quasi-judicial power is the power to hear or determine, or ascertain facts and decide by the application of
rules of law to the ascertained fact in the enforcement and administration of law

Quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory power on the other hand is the power of the administrative
agency to adjudicate the rights of persons before it. It is the power to hear and determine questions of fact to
which the legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the standards laid down by the law
itself in enforcing and administering the same law. The administrative body exercises its quasi-judicial power
when it performs in a judicial manner an act which is essentially of an executive or administrative
nature, where the power to act in such manner is incidental to or reasonably necessary for the performance of
the executive or administrative duty entrusted to it. In carrying out their quasi-judicial functions the
administrative officers or bodies are required to investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold
hearings, weigh evidence, and draw conclusions from them as basis for their official action and exercise of
discretion in a judicial nature. Since rights of specific persons are affected it is elementary that in the proper
exercise of quasi-judicial power due process must be observed in the conduct of the proceedings. (DOLE
Philippines v. Esteva citing CIR v. CA)

Conferment of Quasi-judicial power

The legislature must state its intention in express terms that would leave no doubt, as even such quasi-judicial
prerogatives must be limited if they are to be valid, up to those incidental or in connection with the
performance of administrative duties, which don't amount to conferment of jurisdiction over a matter
exclusively vested in the courts

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i. Administrative Due Process
Cardinal Rights (Ang Tibay v. CIR)
1. Right to a hearing (includes right to present evidence)
2. The tribunal must consider the evidence presented
3. Decision must be supported by evidence
4. Evidence must be substantial
5. Decision must be rendered on the evidence
6. Independent Consideration of the Judge
7. Decision should be rendered in such a manner as to let the parties know the various issues
involved and the reasons for the decision rendered

Substantial Evidence

Such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, even if other
minds equally reasonable would opine otherwise

Presence of a Party

Presence of a party at a trial is not always the essence of due process. All the law requires is the element of
fairness; that the parties be given notice of trial, an opportunity to be heard, an opportunity to seek
reconsideration, or an opportunity to explain ones side

Notice and Hearing

Required: When law specifically requires it, or when it affects a persons status or liberty

Not required: a) urgent reasons; b) discretion is exercised by an officer vested with it upon an undisputed fact;
c) when it involves an exercise of discretion and there is no grave abuse d) when rules govern future conduct
of persons or enterprises, unless law provides otherwise; e) valid exercise of police power [Zs Note: all of
these are based on jurisprudence. Due to lack of time, I failed to cite all of them]

Technical rules of procedure are not strictly applied in quasi-judicial proceedings; only substantial compliance
is required. The constitutional requirement of due process exacts that the service be such as may reasonably
be expected to give the notice desired. (Scenarios, Inc. v. Vinluan, citing Toyota Cubao, Inc. v. CA)

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ii. Administrative Appeal and Review

Administrative Order 18

SECTION 1. Unless otherwise governed by special laws, an appeal to the Office of the President shall be
taken within thirty (30) days from receipt by the aggrieved party of the decision/resolution/order complained
of or appealed from. Said appeal shall be filed with the Office of the President, or with the Ministry/agency
concerned, with copies furnished to the affected parties and, if the appeal is filed with the Office of the
President, to the Ministry/agency concerned. If the appeal is directly filed with the Ministry/agency
concerned, such Ministry/agency shall, within five (5) days from receipt thereof, transmit the appeal to the
Office of the President, together with the records of the case.

iii. Administrative Res Judicata

Decisions and orders of administrative agencies, rendered pursuant to their quasi-judicial authority, have
upon their finality the force and binding effect of a final judgment within the purview of the doctrine of res
judicata. The power of res judicata is applicable to determinations in the field of administrative law whenever
consistent with the purpose of the tribunal:

- Applicable only to adjudicatory or quasi-judicial determinations

- A decision that has become final and executory is conclusive upon the rights of affected parties
- Cannot be invoked in labor relations proceedings
- When the determination has been judicially reviewed, res judicata attaches to the courts judgment
rather than to the administrative decision

D. Judicial recourse and review

Regular courts have jurisdiction to pass upon the validity or constitutionality of an administrative rule or regulation issued
in the performance of quasi-legislative functions. (Smart Communications v NTC)

In the matter of judicial review of administrative decisions, some statutes especially provide for such judicial review; others
are silent. Mere silence, however, does not necessarily imply that judicial review is unavailable. (Macailing v. Andrada)

Policy is not to interfere with the actions of agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under their special
knowledge/field of expertise, unless there exists capriciousness, whimsical exercise of judgment.

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Questions appealable

1. Questions of FACT

The general rule is that courts will not disturb the findings of administrative agencies acting within the parameters of their
own competence so long as such findings are supported by substantial evidence. By reason of their special knowledge,
expertise, and experience, the courts ordinarily accord respect if not finality to factual findings of administrative tribunals.

2. Question of LAW

Administrative decision may be appealed to the courts independently of legislative permission.

It may be appealed even against legislative prohibition because the judiciary cannot be deprived of its inherent power to
review all decisions on questions of law.

a. Doctrine of primary administrative jurisdiction

This doctrine states that courts cannot or will not determine a controversy which requires the expertise, specialized skills
and knowledge of the proper administrative bodies because technical matters of intricate questions of fact are involved.
Relief must first be obtained in an administrative proceeding before a remedy will be supplied by the court even though
the matter is within the proper jurisdiction of a court.


- Prior resort would be required where elements of administrative discretion are often important considerations
- Applicable when application involves exercise of judicial discretion
- Issues may also involve questions of law
- Applicable when courts and administrative agencies have concurrent jurisdiction

This is not applicable when it is purely questions of law.

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b. Doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies

Parties requesting judicial action must first exhaust their remedies in the executive branch. This is premised
not only on practical considerations but also on the comity existing between different departments of the
government, which comity requires the court to stay their hands until the administrative processes have been


1. when the question raised is purely legal, involves constitutional questions

2. when the administrative body is in estoppel

3. when act complained of is patently illegal

4. when there is urgent need for judicial intervention

5. when claim/ amount involved is small

6. when irreparable damage is involved

7. when there is no other plain, speedy , adequate remedy

8. when strong public interest is involved

9. when the subject of controversy is private land

10. in quo warranto proceedings

11. when the administrative remedy is permissive, concurrent

12. utter disregard of due process

13. long-continued and unreasonable delay

14. when no administrative review is provided

15. respondent is a department secretary

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c. Doctrine of finality of administrative action
General Rule: Courts are reluctant to interfere with actions of an administrative agency prior to its completion or
finality. Absent a final order or decision, power has not been fully and finally exercised, and there can usually be no
irreparable harm.

1. Interlocutory order affecting the merits of a controversy;
2. Preserve status quo pending further action by the administrative agency;
3. Essential to the protection of the rights asserted from the injury threatened;
4. Officer assumes to act in violation of the Constitution and other laws;
5. Order not reviewable in any other way;
6. Order made in excess of power

A.O. No. 18, SEC. 7. Decisions/resolutions/orders of the Office of the President shall, except as otherwise provided
for by special laws, become final after the lapse of fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof by the
parties, unless a motion for reconsideration thereof is filed within such period.

Only one motion for reconsideration by any one party shall be allowed and entertained, save in exceptionally
meritorious cases.

When the Office of the President declares an order as final and executory, and there is no timely motion for
reconsideration, the Office loses its jurisdiction to re-open the case. (Fortich v. Corona)

Dont gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold

(Marley, 1980)

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