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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17,

1/29/17, 10:49 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM

during the May 2004 elections while the respondent Governor did
not succeed in his re-election bid. The expiration of their terms of
offices has effectively rendered the case moot. However, even in
cases where supervening events had made the cases moot, the
Court did not hesitate to resolve the legal or constitutional issues
raised to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, bar
and the public. In this case, there is compelling reason for the Court
VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 385
to resolve the issues presented in order to clarify the scope of the
Atienza vs. Villarosa respective powers of the Governor and Vice-Governor under the
pertinent provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991.
*
G.R. No. 161081. May 10, 2005. Same; Same; Local Government Code (R.A. No. 7160); Local
Autonomy; Decentralization; The provisions of R.A. No. 7160 are
RAMON M. ATIENZA, in his capacity as Vice-Governor of anchored on principles that give effect to decentralization.·To
the Province of Occidental Mindoro, petitioner, vs. JOSE T. resolve the substantive issues presented in the instant case, it is
VILLAROSA, in his capacity as Governor of the Province of well to recall that Rep. Act No. 7160 was enacted to give flesh to the
Occidental Mindoro, respondent. constitutional mandate to „provide for a more responsive and
accountable local government structure instituted through a system
of decentralization with effective mechanism of recall, initiative and
Municipal Corporations; Local Government Units; Actions;
referendum, allocate among the different local government units
Moot and Academic Questions; Even in cases where supervening
their powers, responsibilities, and resources, and provide for the
events had made the cases moot, the Court did not hesitate to resolve
qualifications, election, appointment and removal, term, salaries,
the legal or constitutional issues raised to formulate controlling
powers and functions and duties of local officials, and all matters
principles to guide the bench, bar and the public.·Before resolving
relating to the organization and operation of the local units.‰ In this
the foregoing issues, it is noted that petitioner Atienza and
connection, the provisions of Rep. Act No. 7160 are anchored on
respondent Villarosa had ceased to be the Vice-Governor and
principles that give effect to decentralization. Among these
Governor, respectively, of the Province of Occidental Mindoro
principles are: [t]here shall be an effective allocation among the
effective June 30, 2004
different local government units of their respective powers,
functions, responsibilities, and resources; [t]here shall be
_______________ established in every local government unit an accountable, efficient,
and dynamic organizational structure and operating mechanism
* EN BANC.
that will meet the priority needs and service requirements of its
communities; [p]rovinces with respect to component cities and
municipalities, and cities and municipalities with respect to
386
component barangays, shall ensure that the acts of their component
units are within the scope of their prescribed powers and functions;
and [e]ffective mechanisms for ensuring the accountability of local
386 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED government units to their respective constituents shall be
strengthened in order to upgrade continually the quality of local
Atienza vs. Villarosa leadership.

387
when the newly-elected officials of the province took their oaths of
offices. The petitioner Vice-Governor did not run for re-election

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM

VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 387 Panlalawigan as well as to approve disbursement vouchers relating
thereto necessarily includes the authority to approve purchase
Atienza vs. Villarosa orders covering the same applying the doctrine of necessary
implication. This doctrine is explained,
Same; Same; Same; The Vice-Governor, as the presiding officer
of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, has administrative control of the 388
funds of the said body and it is he who has the authority to approve
disbursement vouchers for expenditures appropriated for the
operation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.·Reliance by the CA
388 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
on the clause „approval of the disbursement voucher by the local
chief executive himself shall be required whenever local funds are Atienza vs. Villarosa
disbursed‰ of the above section (Section 344) to rule that it is the
Governor who has the authority to approve purchase orders for the
thus: No statute can be enacted that can provide all the details
supplies, materials or equipment for the operation of the
involved in its application. There is always an omission that may
Sangguniang Panlalawigan is misplaced. This clause cannot
not meet a particular situation. What is thought, at the time of
prevail over the more specific clause of the same provision which
enactment, to be an all-embracing legislation may be inadequate to
provides that „vouchers and payrolls shall be certified to and
provide for the unfolding of events of the future. So-called gaps in
approved by the head of the department or office who has
the law develop as the law is enforced. One of the rules of statutory
administrative control of the fund concerned.‰ The Vice-Governor,
construction used to fill in the gap is the doctrine of necessary
as the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, has
implication. The doctrine states that what is implied in a statute is
administrative control of the funds of the said body. Accordingly, it
as much a part thereof as that which is expressed. Every statute is
is the Vice-Governor who has the authority to approve
understood, by implication, to contain all such provisions as may be
disbursement vouchers for expenditures appropriated for the
necessary to effectuate its object and purpose, or to make effective
operation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
rights, powers, privileges or jurisdiction which it grants, including
Same; Same; Same; Statutory Construction; Doctrine of all such collateral and subsidiary consequences as may be fairly and
Necessary Implication; Words and Phrases; While R.A. No. 7160 is logically inferred from its terms. Ex necessitate legis. And every
silent as to the matter, the authority granted to the Vice-Governor to statutory grant of power, right or privilege is deemed to include all
sign all warrants drawn on the provincial treasury for all incidental power, right or privilege. This is so because the greater
expenditures appropriated for the operation of the Sangguniang includes the lesser, expressed in the maxim, in eo plus sit, simper
Panlalawigan as well as to approve disbursement vouchers relating inest et minus.
thereto necessarily includes the authority to approve purchase orders
Same; Same; Same; Words and Phrases; „Warrants,‰
covering the same applying the doctrine of necessary implication;
„Vouchers,‰ and „Purchase Orders,‰ Explained.·Warrants are
The doctrine of necessary implication states that what is implied in
„order[s] directing the treasurer of the municipality to pay money
a statute is as much a part thereof as that which is expressed·every
out of funds in city treasury which are or may become available for
statute is understood, by implication, to contain all such provisions
purpose specified to designated person[s].‰ Warrants of a municipal
as may be necessary to effectuate its object and purpose, or to make
corporation are generally orders payable when funds are found.
effective rights, powers, privileges or jurisdiction which it grants,
They are issued for the payment of general municipal debts and
including all such collateral and subsidiary consequences as may be
expenses subject to the rule that they shall be paid in the order of
fairly and logically inferred from its terms.·While Rep. Act No.
presentation. The ordinary meaning of „voucher‰ is a document
7160 is silent as to the matter, the authority granted to the Vice-
which shows that services have been performed or expenses
Governor to sign all warrants drawn on the provincial treasury for
incurred. It covers any acquittance or receipt discharging the
all expenditures appropriated for the operation of the Sangguniang

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM

person or evidencing payment by him. When used in connection and conditions specified therein. Hence, the express authority to
with disbursement of money, it implies some instrument that shows approve disbursement vouchers and, in effect, authorize the
on what account or by what authority a particular payment has payment of money claims for supplies, materials or equipment,
been made, or that services have been performed which entitle the necessarily includes the authority to approve purchase orders to
party to whom it is issued to payment.Purchase order, on the other cause the delivery of the said supplies, materials or equipment.
hand, is „an authorization by the issuing party for the recipient to Since it is the Vice-Governor who approves disbursement vouchers
provide materials or services for which issuing party agrees to pay; and approves the payment for the procurement of the supplies,
it is an offer to buy which becomes binding when those things materials and equipment needed for the operation of the
ordered have been provided.‰ Sangguniang Panlalawigan, then he also has the authority to
approve the purchase orders to cause the delivery of the said
389 supplies, materials or equipment. Indeed, the authority granted to
the Vice-Governor to sign all warrants drawn on the provincial
treasury for all expenditures appropriated for the operation of the
VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 389
Sangguniang Panlalawigan as well as to approve disbursement
Atienza vs. Villarosa vouchers relating thereto is greater and includes the authority to
approve purchase

Same; Same; Same; Since it is the Vice-Governor who approves 390


disbursement vouchers and approves the payment for the
procurement of the supplies, materials and equipment needed for the
operation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, then he also has the
authority to approve the purchase orders to cause the delivery of the 390 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
said supplies, materials or equipment·the express authority to
Atienza vs. Villarosa
approve disbursement vouchers and, in effect, authorize the payment
of money claims for supplies, materials or equipment, necessarily
includes the authority to approve purchase orders to cause the orders for the procurement of the supplies, materials and
delivery of the same; The authority granted to the Vice-Governor to equipment necessary for the operation of the Sangguniang
sign all warrants drawn on the provincial treasury for all Panlalawigan.
expenditures appropriated for the operation of the Sangguniang
Same; Same; Same; Appointments; Courts; Actions; Moot and
Panlalawigan as well as to approve disbursement vouchers relating
Academic Questions; „Capable of Repetition Yet Evading Review‰
thereto is greater and includes the authority to approve purchase
Rule; The Governor has no authority to appoint the officials and
orders for the procurement of the supplies, materials and equipment
employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan; It is recognized that
necessary for the operation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
courts will decide a question otherwise moot and academic if it is
·When an authorized person approves a disbursement voucher, he
„capable of repetition yet evading review.‰·Anent the second issue,
certifies to the correctness of the entries therein, among others: that
the appellate court likewise committed reversible error in holding
the expenses incurred were necessary and lawful, the supporting
that the implementation of the Memorandum dated July 1, 2002
documents are complete and the availability of cash therefor.
had rendered the petition moot and academic. It is recognized that
Further, the person who performed the services or delivered the
courts will decide a question otherwise moot and academic if it is
supplies, materials or equipment is entitled to payment. On the
„capable of repetition yet evading review.‰ Even if the employees
other hand, the terms and conditions for the procurement of
whose contractual or job order employment had been terminated by
supplies, materials or equipment, in particular, are contained in a
the implementation of the July 1, 2002 Memorandum may no longer
purchase order. The tenor of a purchase order basically directs the
be reinstated, still, similar memoranda may be issued by other local
supplier to deliver the articles enumerated and subject to the terms

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM

chief executives. Hence, it behooves the Court to resolve whether limited to those employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, as
the Governor has the authority to terminate or cancel the well as those of the Office of the Vice-Governor, whose salaries are
appointments of casual/job order employees of the Sangguniang paid out of the funds appropriated for the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan and the Office of the Vice-Governor. We hold that the Panlalawigan. As a corollary, if the salary of an employee or official
Governor, with respect to the appointment of the officials and is charged against the provincial funds, even if this employee
employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, has no such reports to the Vice-Governor or is assigned to his office, the
authority. Governor retains the authority to appoint the said employee
pursuant to Section 465(b)(v) of Rep. Act No. 7160.
Same; Same; Same; Same; While the Governor has authority to
appoint officials and employees whose salaries are paid out of the Same; Same; Same; Separation of Powers; With R.A. No. 7160,
provincial funds, this does not extend to the officials and employees the union of legislative and executive powers in the office of the local
of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan because such authority is lodged chief executive under BP Blg. 337 has been disbanded, so that either
with the Vice-Governor; The appointing power of the Vice-Governor department now comprises different and non-intermingling official
is limited to those employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, as personalities with the end in view of ensuring a better delivery of
well as those of the Office of the Vice Governor, whose salaries are public service and provide a system of check and balance between the
paid out of the funds appropriated for the Sangguniang two; The avowed intent of R.A. No. 7160 is to vest on the
Panlalawigan·if the salary of an employee or official is charged Sangguniang Panlalawigan independence in the exercise of its
against the provincial funds, even if this employee reports to the legislative functions vis-à-vis the discharge by the Governor of the
Vice-Governor or is assigned to his office, the Governor retains the executive functions.·With Rep. Act No. 7160, the union of
authority to appoint the said employee.·Thus, while the Governor legislative and executive powers in the office of the local chief
has the authority to appoint officials and employees whose salaries executive under the BP Blg. 337 has been disbanded, so that either
are paid out of the provincial funds, this does not extend to the department now comprises different and non-intermingling official
officials and employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan because personalities with the end in view of ensuring a better delivery of
such authority is lodged with the Vice-Governor. In the same public service and provide a system of check and balance between
manner, the authority to appoint casual and job order employees of the two. Senator Aquilino Pimentel, the principal author of Rep. Act
the Sangguniang Panla- No. 7160, explained that „the Vice-Governor is now the presiding
officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. The City Vice-Mayor
391 presides at meetings of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the
Municipal Vice-Mayor at the sessions of the Sangguniang Bayan.
The idea is to distribute powers among elective local officials so that
the legislative, which is the Sanggunian, can properly check the
VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 391
executive, which is the Governor or the Mayor and vice versa and
Atienza vs. Villarosa exercise their functions without any undue interference from one by
the other.‰ The avowed intent

lawigan belongs to the Vice-Governor. The authority of the Vice- 392


Governor to appoint the officials and employees of the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan is anchored on the fact that the salaries of these
employees are derived from the appropriation specifically for the
said local legislative body. Indeed, the budget source of their 392 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
salaries is what sets the employees and officials of the Sangguniang
Atienza vs. Villarosa
Panlalawigan apart from the other employees and officials of the
province. Accordingly, the appointing power of the Vice-Governor is

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM

of Rep. Act. No. 7160, therefore, is to vest on the Sangguniang Atienza vs. Villarosa
Panlalawigan independence in the exercise of its legislative
functions vis-à-vis the discharge by the Governor of the executive AND MAINTENANCE OF THE SANGGUNIANG
functions. PANLALAWIGAN.‰ The said memorandum reads:

PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the For proper coordination and to ensure efficient and effective local
Court of Appeals. government administration particularly on matters pertaining to
supply and property management, effective immediately, all
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. Purchase Orders issued in connection with the procurement of
Emmanuel Ruben T. Malto, Sr. for petitioner. supplies, materials and equipment[s] including fuel, repairs and
Augusto S. Jimenez for respondent. maintenance needed in the transaction of public business or in the
pursuit of any undertaking, project or activity of the Sangguniang
CALLEJO, SR., J.: Panlalawigan, this province, shall be approved by the undersigned
in his capacity as the local chief executive of the province.
Before the Court is the petition for review on certiorari
The provision of DILG Opinion No. 148-1993 which states that
filed by Ramon M. Atienza, in his capacity as Vice-
the authority to sign Purchase Orders of supplies, materials and
Governor of the Province of Occidental Mindoro, seeking to
1 equipment[s] of the Sanggunian belongs to the local chief executive,
reverse and set aside the Decision dated November 28,
serves as basis of this memorandum.
2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 72069. The 2
For strict compliance.
assailed decision dismissed the petition for prohibition
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed by petitioner In reply to the above memorandum, the petitioner Vice-
Atienza which had sought to enjoin the implementation of Governor wrote the respondent Governor stating that:
the Memoranda dated June 25, 2002 and July 1, 2002
issued by Jose T. Villarosa, Governor of the same province. We are of the opinion that . . . purchase orders for supplies,
The present case arose from the following undisputed materials and equipment are included under those as authorized for
facts: signature by the Vice-chief executive of the Sanggunian on the basis
Petitioner Atienza and respondent Villarosa were the of the DILG Opinion No. 96-1995 as affirmed by the COA Opinions
Vice-Governor and Governor, respectively, of the Province on June 28, April 11 and February 9, 1994 and coursing it to the
of Occidental Mindoro. On June 26, 2002, the petitioner Governor for his approval is no longer necessary, the fact that
Vice-Governor received the Memorandum dated June 25, [Secs.] 466 and 468, RA 7160 already provides for the separation of
2002 issued by the respondent Governor concerning the powers between the executive and legislative. Such authority even
„AUTHORITY TO SIGN PURCHASE ORDERS OF include everything necessary for the legislative research program of
3
SUPPLIES, MATERIALS, EQUIPMENT[S], INCLUDING the Sanggunian.
FUEL, REPAIRS
Unimpressed, the respondent Governor issued the
Memorandum dated July 1, 2002 relating to the
_______________
„TERMINATION OF CONTRACT OF SERVICES OF
1 Penned by Associate Justice Amelita G. Tolentino with Associate CASUAL/JOB ORDER
Justices Eloy R. Bello, Jr. (retired) and Arturo D. Brion, concurring.
_______________
393
2 CA Rollo, p. 17.
3 Id., at p. 20.
VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 393

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM

394 On July 3, 2002, the respondent Governor issued another


Memorandum regarding the „ENFORCIBILITY (sic) OF
394 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
_______________
Atienza vs. Villarosa
4 Id., at p. 18.
EMPLOYEES AND REAPPOINTMENT OF THE
395
RESPECTIVE RECOMMENDEES.‰ The said
memorandum reads:
VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 395
For faithful and appropriate enforcement and execution of laws and
issuances and to promote efficiency in the government service,
Atienza vs. Villarosa
effective immediately, all existing contract of employment·casual/
job order basis and reappointment of the recommendees·entered PREVIOUS MEMORANDA ISSUED ON JUNE 20, 26
into by Vice-Governor Ramon M. Atienza are hereby terminated for AND JULY 1, 2002.‰ It provides that:
being unauthorized.
Please be properly advised that the Memoranda dated June 20, 26
Aside from being signed by the unauthorized signatory, the
and July 1, 2002 issued by the undersigned regarding the issuance
following facts regarding the appointments were considered:
of permit to travel and authority to sign Purchase Orders of
1. The appointment of 28 clerks·on top of existing permanent supplies, materials, equipment, including fuel, repairs and
employees·is a clear manifestation of an excessive and maintenance of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, is to be strictly
bloated bureaucracy; adhered to for compliance.
Likewise for strict compliance is the Memorandum dated July 1,
2. The appointment of an X-ray Technician detailed at the
2002 with reference to the Cancellation of the Appointment of
Provincial Health Office and some clerks detailed at various
Casual/Job Order Employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
offices in the province were not proper to be assigned by the
Members/Office of the Vice-Governor previously signed by Vice-
Vice-Governor;
Governor Ramon M. Atienza.
3. The appointment of 30 messengers, utility workers and 5
Please be guided accordingly.
drivers ran counter to COA Opinion as cited in the letter of
the undersigned dated 28 June 2002, addressed to the Vice- In his Letter dated July 9, 2002, the petitioner Vice-
Governor. Governor invoked the principle of separation of powers as
applied to the local government units, i.e., the respondent,
However, in order to accommodate the Vice-Governor and the as the Governor, the head of the executive branch, and the
members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the undersigned, in his petitioner, as the Vice-Governor, the head of the legislative
capacity as the local chief executive of the province, will allow four branch, which is the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. The
(4) casual/job order employees to be assigned to the Vice-Governor petitioner Vice-Governor reiterated his request for the
and one (1) casual/job order employee to be assigned to each respondent to make a „deeper study‰ on the matter before
member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. implementing his memoranda. The request, however, went
The Vice-Governor and all the Sanggunian Members are hereby unheeded as the respondent Governor insisted on obliging
directed to submit immediately the names of their recommendees to the department heads of the provincial government to
the undersigned for immediate approval of their respective comply with the memoranda.
appointments. The petitioner Vice-Governor thus filed with the Court
4
Please be guided accordingly. of Appeals the petition for prohibition assailing as having

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been issued with grave abuse of discretion the respondent _______________


GovernorÊs Memoranda dated June 25, 2002 and July 1,
6 Infra.
2002. The petitioner Vice-Governor claimed that these
7 Infra.
memoranda excluded him from the use and enjoyment of
8 The said provision reads:
his office in violation of the pertinent provisions of Republic
Act No. 7160, or Sec. 361. Approval of Requisitions.·Approval of the requisitions by the head of
office or department concerned who has administrative control of the
_______________ appropriation against which the proposed expenditure is chargeable is deemed
sufficient, except in case of requisition for supplies to be carried in stock which
5 Id., at p. 25. shall be approved by the local chief executive concerned: Provided, That such
supplies are listed or included in the annual procurement plan and the
396
maximum quantity thereof does not exceed the estimated consumption
corresponding to a programmed three-month period: Provided, further, That
396 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED noth-

Atienza vs. Villarosa


397

the Local Government Code of 1991, and its implementing


rules and regulations. It was prayed that the respondent VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 397
Governor be enjoined from implementing the assailed Atienza vs. Villarosa
memoranda.
The appellate court, in its Decision dated November 28, [R]equisitioning, which is provided under Section 361 of RA 7160, is
2003,
6
dismissed the petition for prohibition. Citing Section the act of requiring that something be furnished. In the
344 of Rep. Act No. 7160, the CA upheld the authority of procurement function, it is the submission of written requests for
the respondent Governor to issue the Memorandum dated supplies and materials and the like. It could be inferred that, in the
June 25, 2002 as it recognized his authority to approve the scheme of things, approval of purchase requests is different from
purchase orders. The said provision provides in part that approval of purchase orders. Thus, the inapplicability of Section
„approval of the disbursement voucher by the local chief 361.
executive himself shall be required whenever local funds
are disbursed.‰ 7
Anent the Memorandum dated July 1, 2002, the CA ruled
The CA explained that Section 466(a)(1) of the same that the issue on whether it could be enjoined had already
Code, relied upon by the petitioner Vice-Governor, speaks been rendered moot and academic. The CA pointed out that
of the authority of the Vice-Governor to sign „all warrants the subject of the said memorandum could no longer be
drawn on the public treasury for all expenditures enjoined or restrained as the termination of the employees
appropriated for the operation of the sangguniang had already been effected. It opined that where the act
panlalawigan.‰ In declaring this provision inapplicable, the sought to be enjoined in the prohibition proceedings had
CA reasoned that the approval of purchase orders is already been performed and there is nothing more to
different from the power of the Vice-Governor to sign restrain, the case is already moot and academic.
warrants drawn8 against the public treasury. The petitioner Vice-Governor now seeks recourse to this
Section 361 was, likewise, held to be inapplicable Court alleging that the appellate court committed
ratiocinating, thus: reversible error in ruling that it is the Governor, and not
the Vice-Governor, who has the authority to sign purchase
orders of supplies, materials, equipment, including fuel,

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM

repairs and maintenance of the Sangguniang of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and that he is not
Panlalawigan. The petitioner Vice-Governor, likewise, authorized to appoint officials and employees of the Office
takes exception to the holding of the CA that the issue of the Vice-Governor.
relating to the July 1, 2002 Memorandum had been As correctly presented by the appellate court, the issues
rendered moot and academic. He points out that the for resolution in this case are:
appointment of casual/job order employees is exercised by
the appointing authority every six months in the case of A. Who between the petitioner and the respondent is
casual employees and per job order as to job order authorized to approve purchase orders issued in
employees. Thus, while the July 1, 2002 Memorandum had connection with the procurement of supplies,
already been implemented, what is being sought to be materials, equipment, including fuel, repairs and
enjoined is the respondent GovernorÊs continued maintenance of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan?
usurpation of the petitioner Vice-GovernorÊs authority to B. Does respondent Villarosa, as local chief executive,
appoint the employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan have the authority to terminate or cancel the
under the pertinent provisions of Rep. Act No. 7160. appointments of casual/job order employees of the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan 9
Members and the
_______________ Office of the Vice-Governor?

ing herein contained shall be held as authorizing the purchase of Before resolving the foregoing issues, it is noted that
furniture and equipment for stock purposes. petitioner Atienza and respondent Villarosa had ceased to
be the Vice-Governor and Governor, respectively, of the
398
Province of Occidental Mindoro effective June 30, 2004
when the newly-
398 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Atienza vs. Villarosa _______________

9 Rollo, p. 25.
For his part, the respondent Governor maintains that his
Memoranda dated June 25, 2002 and July 1, 2002 are 399
valid. He asserts that the approval of purchase orders is
different from the power of the Vice-Governor to sign VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 399
warrants drawn against the provincial treasury under
Section 466(a)(1) of Rep. Act No. 7160. Rather, he insists on Atienza vs. Villarosa
the application of the last clause in Section 344 which
states that the approval of the disbursement by the local elected officials of the province took their oaths of offices.
chief executive is required whenever local funds are The petitioner Vice-Governor did not run for re-election
disbursed. during the May 2004 elections while the respondent
The respondent Governor likewise defends the validity Governor did not succeed in his re-election bid. The
of the Memorandum dated July 1, 2002 stating that it was expiration of their terms of offices has effectively rendered
issued upon finding that the petitioner Vice-Governor the case moot. However, even in cases where supervening
appointed, among others, 28 clerks on top of the existing events had made the cases moot, the Court did not hesitate
permanent employees resulting in an excessive and bloated to resolve the legal or constitutional issues raised to
bureaucracy. He concedes the appointing power of the Vice- formulate controlling
10
principles to guide the bench, bar and
Governor but submits that this is limited to the employees the public. In this case, there is compelling reason for the

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Court to resolve the issues presented in order to clarify the barangays, shall ensure that the acts of their component
scope of the respective powers of the Governor and Vice- units are within the scope of their prescribed powers and
Governor under the pertinent provisions of the Local functions; and [e]ffective mechanisms for ensuring the
Government Code of 1991. accountability of local government units to their respective
To resolve the substantive issues presented in the constituents shall be strengthened in order 12
to upgrade
instant case, it is well to recall that Rep. Act No. 7160 was continually the quality of local lead-ership.
enacted to give flesh to the constitutional mandate to With these guideposts, the Court shall now address the
„provide for a more responsive and accountable local issue on who between the Governor and Vice-Governor is
government structure instituted through a system of authorized to approve purchase orders issued in connection
decentralization with effective mechanism of recall, with the procurement of supplies, materials, equipment,
initiative and referendum, allocate among the different including fuel, repairs and maintenance of the
local government units their powers, responsibilities, and Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
resources, and provide for the qualifications, election, We hold that it is the Vice-Governor who has such
appointment and removal, term, salaries, powers and authority.
functions and duties of local officials, and all matters Under Rep. Act No. 7160, local legislative power for the13
relating11
to the organization and operation of the local province is exercised by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan 14
units.‰ and the Vice-Governor is its presiding officer. Being
In this connection, the provisions of Rep. Act No. 7160 vested with legislative powers, the Sangguniang
are anchored on principles that give effect to Panlalawigan enacts ordinances, resolutions and
decentralization. Among these principles are: [t]here shall appropriates funds for the general welfare of the province 15
be an effective allocation among the different local in accordance with the provisions of Rep. Act No. 7160.
government units of their respective powers, functions, The same statute vests upon the Vice-Governor the power
responsibilities, and resources; [t]here shall be established to:
in every local government unit an accountable, efficient,
and dynamic organizational structure _______________

12 Specifically paragraphs (a) (b) (e) and (j), Sec. 3.


_______________
13 Sec. 48 reads in part:
10 Province of Batangas v. Romulo, G.R. No. 152774, 27 May 2004, 429 Local Legislative Power.·Local legislative power shall be exercised by
SCRA 736. the sangguniang panlalawigan for the province
11 SECTION 3, ARTICLE X (LOCAL GOVERNMENT) OF THE 1987 ....
CONSTITUTION. 14 Sec. 49 reads in part:
Presiding Officer.·(a) The vice-governor shall be the presiding officer
400 of the sangguniang panlalawigan . . . .
15 Sec. 468 reads in part:
400 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
401
Atienza vs. Villarosa
VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 401
and operating mechanism that will meet the priority needs
and service requirements of its communities; [p]rovinces Atienza vs. Villarosa
with respect to component cities and municipalities, and
cities and municipalities with respect to component (1) Be the presiding officer of the sangguniang panlalawigan and

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM

sign all warrants drawn on the provincial treasury for all 402 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
expenditures appropriated for the operation of the sangguniang
16 Atienza vs. Villarosa
panlalawigan.

Further, Section 344 provides: be required whenever local funds are disbursed‰ of the
above section (Section 344) to rule that it is the Governor
Sec. 344. Certification on, and Approval of, Vouchers.·No money who has the authority to approve purchase orders for the
shall be disbursed unless the local budget officer certifies to the supplies, materials or equipment for the operation of the
existence of appropriation that has been legally made for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is misplaced. This clause
purpose, the local accountant has obligated said appropriation, and cannot prevail over the more specific clause of the same
the local treasurer certifies to the availability of funds for the provision which provides that „vouchers and payrolls shall
purpose. Vouchers and payrolls shall be certified to and approved by be certified to and approved by the head of the department
the head of the department or office who has administrative control or office who has administrative control of the fund
of the fund concerned, as to validity, propriety and legality of the concerned.‰ The Vice-Governor, as the presiding officer of
claim involved. Except in cases of disbursements involving the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, has administrative control
regularly recurring administrative expenses such as payrolls for of the funds of the said body. Accordingly, it is the Vice-
regular or permanent employees, expenses for light, water, Governor who has the authority to approve disbursement
telephone and telegraph services, remittances to government vouchers for expenditures appropriated for the operation of
creditor agencies such as the GSIS, SSS, LBP, DBP, National the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Printing Office, Procurement Service of the DBM and others, On this point, Section 39 of the Manual on the New
approval of the disbursement voucher by the local chief executive Government Accounting System for Local Government
himself shall be required whenever local funds are disbursed. Units, prepared by the Commission on Audit (COA), is
In cases of special or trust funds, disbursements shall be instructive:
approved by the administrator of the fund.
In case of temporary absence or incapacity of the department Sec. 39. Approval of Disbursements.·Approval of disbursements by
head or chief of office, the officer next-in-rank shall automatically the Local Chief Executive (LCE) himself shall be required whenever
perform his function and he shall be fully responsible therefor. local funds are disbursed, except for regularly recurring
administrative expenses such as: payrolls for regular or permanent
Reliance by the CA on the clause „approval of the employees, expenses for light, water, telephone and telegraph
disbursement voucher by the local chief executive himself services, remittances to government creditor agencies such as GSIS,
shall BIR, PHILHEALTH, LBP, DBP, NPO, PS of the DBM and others,
where the authority to approve may be delegated. Disbursement
_______________ vouchers for expenditures appropriated for the operation of the
Sanggunian shall be approved by the provincial Vice Governor, the
17
Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation.·(a) The sangguniang city Vice-Mayor or the municipal Vice-Mayor, as the case may be.
panlalawigan, as the legislative body of the province, shall enact
ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general While Rep. Act No. 7160 is silent as to the matter, the
welfare of the province and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this authority granted to the Vice-Governor to sign all warrants
Code and in the proper exercise of the corporate powers of the province drawn on the provincial treasury for all expenditures
as provided for under Section 22 of this Code, . . . . appropriated for the operation of the Sangguniang
16 Sec. 466(a)(1). Panlalawigan as well as to approve disbursement vouchers
relating thereto necessarily includes the authority to
402 approve purchase orders

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_______________ connec-
17 The Accounting Policies, Vol. I.
_______________
403
18 Chua v. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 88979, 7 February 1992,
206 SCRA 65.
VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 403 19 Protest of St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co., 11 P.2d 189.
Atienza vs. Villarosa 20 Shelley v. St. Charles County Court, 21 F. 699.

404
covering the same applying the doctrine of necessary
implication. This doctrine is explained, thus:
404 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
No statute can be enacted that can provide all the details involved Atienza vs. Villarosa
in its application. There is always an omission that may not meet a
particular situation. What is thought, at the time of enactment, to
tion with disbursement of money, it implies some
be an all-embracing legislation may be inadequate to provide for the
instrument that shows on what account or by what
unfolding of events of the future. So-called gaps in the law develop
authority a particular payment has been made, or that
as the law is enforced. One of the rules of statutory construction
services have been performed which entitle the party to
used to fill in the gap is the doctrine of necessary implication. The 21
whom it is issued to payment.
doctrine states that what is implied in a statute is as much a part
Purchase order, on the other hand, is „an authorization
thereof as that which is expressed. Every statute is understood, by
by the issuing party for the recipient to provide materials
implication, to contain all such provisions as may be necessary to
or services for which issuing party agrees to pay; it is an
effectuate its object and purpose, or to make effective rights,
offer to buy which becomes22 binding when those things
powers, privileges or jurisdiction which it grants, including all such
ordered have been provided.‰
collateral and subsidiary consequences as may be fairly and
When an authorized person approves a disbursement
logically inferred from its terms. Ex necessitate legis. And every
voucher, he certifies to the correctness of the entries
statutory grant of power, right or privilege is deemed to include all
therein, among others: that the expenses incurred were
incidental power, right or privilege. This is so because the greater
necessary and lawful, the supporting documents are
includes the lesser, expressed in the maxim, in eo plus sit, simper
18 complete and the availability of cash therefor. Further, the
inest et minus.
person who performed the services or delivered the 23
Warrants are „order[s] directing the treasurer of the supplies, materials or equipment is entitled to payment.
municipality to pay money out of funds in city treasury On the other hand, the terms and conditions for the
which are or may become available for purpose specified to procurement of supplies, materials or equipment, in
19
designated person[s].‰ Warrants of a municipal particular, are contained in a purchase order. The tenor of a
corporation are generally orders payable when funds are purchase order basically directs the supplier to deliver the
found. They are issued for the payment of general articles enumerated and 24subject to the terms and
municipal debts and expenses subject to 20 the rule that they conditions specified therein. Hence, the express authority
shall be paid in the order of presentation. to approve disbursement vouchers and, in effect, authorize
The ordinary meaning of „voucher‰ is a document which the payment of money claims for supplies, materials or
shows that services have been performed or expenses equipment, necessarily includes the authority to approve
incurred. It covers any acquittance or receipt discharging purchase orders to cause the delivery of the said supplies,
the person or evidencing payment by him. When used in materials or equipment.

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 458 1/29/17, 10:49 PM

_______________ authority to terminate or cancel the appointments of


casual/job order employees of the Sangguniang
21 First National Bank of Chicago v. City of Elgin, 136 Ill.App. 453.
Panlalawigan and the Office of the Vice-Governor.
22 Smyth Worldwide Movers, Inc. v. Little Rock Packing Co., 361
We hold that the Governor, with respect to the
S.W.2d 534.
appointment of the officials and employees of the
23 Manual on the New Government Accounting System for Local
Sangguniang Panlalawigan, has no such authority.
Government Units, The Accounting Books, Records, Forms and Reports,
Among the powers granted to the Governor under
Vol. II, Annex „24‰.
Section 465 of Rep. Act No. 7160 are:
24 Id., Annex „29‰.

405 _______________

25 Province of Batangas v. Romulo, supra.


VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 405
406
Atienza vs. Villarosa

Since it is the Vice-Governor who approves disbursement 406 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
vouchers and approves the payment for the procurement of Atienza vs. Villarosa
the supplies, materials and equipment needed for the
operation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, then he also Sec. 465. The Chief Executive: Powers, Duties, Functions and
has the authority to approve the purchase orders to cause Compensation.·(a) The provincial governor, as the chief executive
the delivery of the said supplies, materials or equipment. of the provincial government, shall exercise such powers and
Indeed, the authority granted to the Vice-Governor to perform such duties and functions as provided by this Code and
sign all warrants drawn on the provincial treasury for all other laws.
expenditures appropriated for the operation of the (b) For efficient, effective and economical governance the purpose
Sangguniang Panlalawigan as well as to approve of which is the general welfare of the province and its inhabitants
disbursement vouchers relating thereto is greater and pursuant to Section 16 of this Code, the provincial governor shall:
includes the authority to approve purchase orders for the
procurement of the supplies, materials and equipment ...
necessary for the operation of the Sangguniang
(v) Appoint all officials and employees whose salaries and wages are
Panlalawigan.
wholly or mainly paid out of provincial funds and whose appointments
Anent the second issue, the appellate court likewise
are not otherwise provided for in this Code, as well as those he may be
committed reversible error in holding that the
authorized by law to appoint.
implementation of the Memorandum dated July 1, 2002
had rendered the petition moot and academic. It is On the other hand, Section 466 vests on the Vice-Governor
recognized that courts will decide a question otherwise the power to, among others:
moot and25
academic if it is „capable of repetition yet evading
review.‰ Even if the employees whose contractual or job (2) Subject to civil service law, rules and regulations, appoint all
order employment had been terminated by the officials and employees of the sangguniang panlalawigan, except
implementation of the July 1, 2002 Memorandum may no those whose manner of appointment is specifically provided in this
longer be reinstated, still, similar memoranda may be Code.
issued by other local chief executives. Hence, it behooves
the Court to resolve whether the Governor has the Thus, while the Governor has the authority to appoint

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officials and employees whose salaries are paid out of the and restricted
26
such authority to one of recommendatory
provincial funds, this does not extend to the officials and nature only. This clearly constituted an encroachment on
employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan because such the appointment power of the respondent Vice- Governor
authority is lodged with the Vice-Governor. In the same under Section 466(a)(2) of Rep. Act No. 7160.
manner, the authority to appoint casual and job order At this juncture, it is well to note that under Batas
employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan belongs to Pambansa Blg. 337, the Local Government Code prior to
the Vice-Governor. Rep. Act No. 7160, the Governor was the presiding officer
The authority of the Vice-Governor to appoint the of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan:
officials and employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
Sec. 205. Composition. (1) Each provincial government shall have a
is anchored on the fact that the salaries of these employees
provincial legislature hereinafter known as the sangguniang
are derived from the appropriation specifically for the said
panlalawigan, upon which shall be vested the provincial legislative
local legislative body. Indeed, the budget source of their
power.
salaries is what sets the employees and officials of the
(2) The sangguniang panlalawigan shall be composed of the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan apart from the other
governor, vice-governor, elective members of the said sanggunian,
employees and officials of the province. Accordingly, the
and the presidents of the katipunang panlalawigan and the
appointing power of the Vice-Governor is limited to those
kabataang barangay provincial federation who shall be appointed
employees of the Sangguniang
by the President of the Philippines.
407
_______________
VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 407 26 See Note 4.
Atienza vs. Villarosa
408

Panlalawigan, as well as those of the Office of the Vice-


Governor, whose salaries are paid out of the funds 408 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
appropriated for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. As a Atienza vs. Villarosa
corollary, if the salary of an employee or official is charged
against the provincial funds, even if this employee reports
...
to the Vice-Governor or is assigned to his office, the
Sec. 206. Sessions.·
Governor retains the authority to appoint the said
(3) The governor, who shall be the presiding officer of the
employee pursuant to Section 465(b)(v) of Rep. Act No.
sangguniang panlalawigan, shall not be entitled to vote except in
7160.
case of a tie.
However, in this case, it does not appear whether the
...
contractual/job order employees, whose appointments were
terminated or cancelled by the Memorandum dated July 1, With Rep. Act No. 7160, the union of legislative and
2002 issued by the respondent Governor, were paid out of executive powers in the office of the local chief executive
the provincial funds or the funds of the Sangguniang under the BP Blg. 337 has been disbanded, so that either
Panlalawigan. Nonetheless, the validity of the said department now comprises different and non-intermingling
memorandum cannot be upheld because it absolutely official personalities with the end in view of ensuring a
prohibited the respondent Vice-Governor from exercising better delivery of public service and provide a system of
his authority to appoint the employees, whether regular or check and balance between the two.
27

contractual/job order, of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan

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Senator Aquilino Pimentel, the principal author of Rep. by respondent Governor Jose T. Villarosa are NULL AND
Act No. 7160, explained that „the Vice-Governor is now the VOID.
presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. The SO ORDERED.
City Vice-Mayor presides at meetings of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod and the Municipal Vice-Mayor at the sessions Davide, Jr. (C.J.), Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago,
of the Sangguniang Bayan. The idea is to distribute powers Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Azcuna,
among elective local officials so that the legislative, which is Tinga, Chico-Nazario and Garcia, JJ., concur.
the Sanggunian, can properly check the executive, which is Puno, J., On Sick Leave.
the Governor or the Mayor and vice versa and exercise their Panganiban and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., On
functions without any undue interference from one by the Official Leave.
28
other.‰
The avowed intent of Rep. Act. No. 7160, therefore, is to Petition granted.
vest on the Sangguniang Panlalawigan independence in
Notes.·A Vice-Governor who is concurrently an Acting
the exercise of its legislative functions vis-à-vis the
Governor is actually a quasi-Governor. This means, that for
discharge by the Governor of the executive functions. The
purposes of exercising his legislative prerogatives and
Memoranda dated June 25, 2002 and July 1, 2002 of the
powers, he is deemed as a non-member of the Sangguniang
respondent Governor, which effectively excluded the
Panlalawigan for the time being. (Gamboa, Jr. vs. Aguirre,
petitioner Vice-Governor, the presiding officer of the
Jr.,310 SCRA 867 [1999])
Sangguniang Panlalawigan, from signing the purchase
The power of the Department Secretary to promulgate
orders for the procure-
internal rules of administrative procedure is lodged in him
by necessary implication as part of his express power to
_______________ „promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out
department objectives, policies, functions, plans, programs
27 Gamboa, Jr. v. Aguirre, Jr., G.R. No. 134213, 20 July 1999, 310
and projects.‰ (Valencia vs. Court of Appeals, 401 SCRA 666
SCRA 867.
[2003])
28 AQUILINO PIMENTEL, THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF
1991 THE KEY TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, p. 155.
··o0o··
409
410

VOL. 458, MAY 10, 2005 409


Atienza vs. Villarosa

ment of supplies, materials or equipment needed for the


operation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as well as
from appointing its casual and job order employees, © Copyright 2017 Central Book Supply, Inc. All rights reserved.
constituted undue interference with the latterÊs functions.
The assailed memoranda are clearly not in keeping with
the intent of Rep. Act No. 7160 and their implementation
should thus be permanently enjoined.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The
Memoranda dated June 25, 2002 and July 1, 2002 issued

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