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Powers of Administrative Agencies

1. U.S. vs. Nag Tang Ho

During a special session, the Philippine Legislature passed and approved Act No. 2868 entitled
An Act Penalizing the Monopoly and Hoarding of Rice, Palay and Corn. The said act under
extraordinary circumstances authorizes the Governor General to issue the necessary Rules and
Regulations in regulating the distribution of such products. Pursuant to this Act, the Governor
General issued Executive Order 53 fixing the price at which rice should be sold.
Ang Tang Ho, a rice dealer, voluntarily, criminally and illegally sold a ganta of rice to Pedro
Trinidad at the price of eighty centavos. The said amount was way higher than that prescribed by
the Executive Order. He was charged in violation of the said Executive Order and was found guilty
as charged and was sentenced to 5 months imprisonment plus a P500.00 fine. He appealed the
sentence countering that there was an undue delegation of power to the Governor General.

Whether or not there was an undue delegation of power to the Governor General.

By the terms of the Organic Act, subject only to constitutional limitations, the power to legislate
and enact laws is vested exclusively in the Legislative, which is elected by a direct vote of the
people of the Philippine Islands. As to the question here involved, the authority of the Governor-
General to fix the maximum price at which palay, rice and corn may be sold in the manner power
in violation of the organic law.
Act No. 2868, as analysed by the Court, wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what the
standard policy should contain, so that it could be put in use as a uniform policy required to take
the place of all others without the determination of the insurance commissioner in respect to
matters involving the exercise of a legislative discretion that could not be delegated, and without
which the act could not possibly be put in use. The law must be complete in all its terms and
provisions when it leaves the legislative branch of the government and nothing must be left to the
judgment of the electors or other appointee or delegate of the legislature, so that, in form and
substance, it is a law in all its details in presenti, but which may be left to take effect in future, if
necessary, upon the ascertainment of any prescribed fact or event.
Yes. When Act No. 2868 was analyzed, it is the violation of the proclamation of the Governor-
General which constitutes the crime. Without that proclamation, it was no crime to sell rice at any
price. In other words, the Legislature left it to the sole discretion of the Governor-General to say
what was and what was not “any cause” for enforcing the act, and what was and what was not
“an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn,” and under certain undefined conditions
to fix the price at which rice should be sold, without regard to grade or quality, also to say whether
a proclamation should be issued, if so, when, and whether or not the law should be enforced, how
long it should be enforced, and when the law should be suspended. The Legislature did not
specify or define what was “any cause,” or what was “an extraordinary rise in the price of rice,
palay or corn,” Neither did it specify or define the conditions upon which the proclamation should
be issued. In the absence of the proclamation no crime was committed. The alleged sale was
made a crime, if at all, because the Governor-General issued the proclamation. The act or
proclamation does not say anything about the different grades or qualities of rice, and the
defendant is charged with the sale “of one ganta of rice at the price of eighty centavos (P0.80)
which is a price greater than that fixed by Executive order No. 53.”

2. Homeowner Association of the Phil. vs. Municipal Board of Manila



The Mayor and the Municipal Board of the City of Manila passed Municipal Ordinance No.
4841 on December 31, 1963, to take effect on January 1, 1964, declaring a state of
emergency in view of the prevailing scarcity of lands and buildings for residential purposes
in the City of Manila which shall provide housing accommodations especially for the poor at
reasonable rates. An action was brought by the Homeowners’ Association of the Philippines,
Inc. and its President, Vicente A. Rufino against the Mayor and the Municipal Board of the
City of Manila to nullify the aforementioned Municipal Ordinance.


Whether or not Municipal Ordinance No. 4841 is constitutional?


The Court of First Instance of Manila rendered judgment declaring said ordinance “ultra
vires, unconstitutional, illegal and void ab initio upon the ground that the power to “declare a
state of emergency … exclusively pertains to Congress”; that “there is no longer any state of
emergency” which may justify the regulation of house rentals; that said ordinance
disconstitutes an unreasonable and unjustified limitation on the use of private properties and
arbitrarily encroaches on the constitutional rights of property owners”; that the power of the
City of Manila to “regulate the business of … letting or subletting of lands and buildings” does
not include the authority to prohibit what is forbidden in said ordinance; and that the same
cannot be deemed sanctioned by the general welfare clause in the City Charter.
3. Vera vs. Avelino


- In May 25, 1946, the Philippine Senate passed a resolution excluding Senators-elect Jose
O. Vera, Ramon Diokno, and Jose E. Romero from taking their seats in the Senate while
the election protest against them was still pending. The protest involved alleged electoral
fraud due to “certain specified acts of terrorism and violence” in Pampanga, Bulacan,
Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac.
- Petitioners are now filing this action against the Senate resolution, praying for its
annulment and compelling respondents to let them take their seats.

- WON the Court had jurisdiction over the case
- WON the Senate has exceeded its powers
- WON it was respondents’ legally inescapable duty to permit petitioners to take their seats
- WON respondents can be called to account for their votes regarding the assailed

- Due to the separation of powers, the Court has no actual jurisdiction over the case. It
had already established this in Alejandrino vs. Quezon. It is however alleged that the ruling
in Angara vs. Electoral Commission modified this doctrine; this is not true as the Court
specifically cited Alejandrino in Angara to justify their lack of jurisdiction over that case, as
well as this one.
- The Senate did not exceed its powers. Independent of any constitutional or statutory
grant, it still has the power to inquire into the credentials of any member and that
member’s right to participate in its deliberations.
o The assignment of contests regarding elections to the Electoral Tribunal does not
negate this power.
- It may also be approached in the viewpoint of the Senate exercising its powers under Art.
VI, Sec. 10 (3) of the 1935 Constitution to set its own rules for its proceedings, and it
exercises this power to promulgate orders to maintain its prestige and dignity. It could be
said to have done this in this case in order to make sure that these Senators really were
elected properly.
- Section 12 of Commonwealth Act 725 provides that those who are elected are to come to
Manila and assume office, but it does not imply that the House could not deny
admission in the case of disqualification.
- The Constitution provides, under Art. VI, Sec. 15, that Senators and Congressmen
cannot be questioned in any other place for any speech or debate made in
Congress. Therefore, the Court cannot question or permit respondents to question the
votes made regarding the resolution before it.
4. Occena vs. COMELEC

FACTS: Petitioner Samuel Occena and Ramon A. Gozales instituted a prohibiting proceedings
against the validity of three batasang pambansa resolutions (Resolution No. 1 proposing an
amendment allowing a natural-born citizen of the Philippines naturalized in a foreign country to
own a limited area of land for residential purposes was approved by the vote of 122 to 5;
Resolution No. 2 dealing with the Presidency, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, and the
National Assembly by a vote of 147 to 5 with 1 abstention; and Resolution No. 3 on the
amendment to the Article on the Commission on Elections by a vote of 148 to 2 with 1 abstention.)
The petitioners contends that such resolution is against the constitutions in proposing

ISSUE: Whether the resolutions are unconstitutional?

HELD: In dismissing the petition for lack of merit, the court ruled the following:

1. The power of the Interim Batasang Pambansa to propose its amendments and how it may be
exercised was validly obtained. The 1973 Constitution in its Transitory Provisions vested the
Interim National Assembly with the power to propose amendments upon special call by the Prime
Minister by a vote of the majority of its members to be ratified in accordance with the Article on
Amendments similar with the interim and regular national assembly. 15 When, therefore, the
Interim Batasang Pambansa, upon the call of the President and Prime Minister Ferdinand E.
Marcos, met as a constituent body it acted by virtue of such impotence.

2. Petitioners assailed that the resolutions where so extensive in character as to amount to a

revision rather than amendments. To dispose this contention, the court held that whether the
Constitutional Convention will only propose amendments to the Constitution or entirely overhaul
the present Constitution and propose an entirely new Constitution based on an ideology foreign
to the democratic system, is of no moment, because the same will be submitted to the people for
ratification. Once ratified by the sovereign people, there can be no debate about the validity of the
new Constitution. The fact that the present Constitution may be revised and replaced with a new
one ... is no argument against the validity of the law because 'amendment' includes the 'revision'
or total overhaul of the entire Constitution. At any rate, whether the Constitution is merely
amended in part or revised or totally changed would become immaterial the moment the same is
ratified by the sovereign people."

3. That leaves only the questions of the vote necessary to propose amendments as well as the
standard for proper submission. The language of the Constitution supplies the answer to the
above questions. The Interim Batasang Pambansa, sitting as a constituent body, can propose
amendments. In that capacity, only a majority vote is needed. It would be an indefensible
proposition to assert that the three-fourth votes required when it sits as a legislative body applies
as well when it has been convened as the agency through which amendments could be proposed.
That is not a requirement as far as a constitutional convention is concerned. Further, the period
required by the constitution was complied as follows: "Any amendment to, or revision of, this
Constitution shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall
be held not later than three months after the approval of such amendment or revision." 21 The
three resolutions were approved by the Interim Batasang Pambansa sitting as a constituent
assembly on February 5 and 27, 1981. In the Batasang Pambansa Blg. 22, the date of the
plebiscite is set for April 7, 1981. It is thus within the 90-day period provided by the Constitution.

5. Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center vs. Garcia


In 1990, DOTC Sec. Oscar Orbos issued Memo Circular to LTFRB Chair Remedios
Fernando to allow provincial bus to change passenger rates w/in a fare range of 15%
above or below the LTFRB official rate for a 1yr. period. This is in line with the liberalization
of regulation in the transport sector which the government intends to implement and to
make progress towards greater reliance on free market forces.
Fernando respectfully called attention of DOTC Sec. that the Public Service Act requires
publication and notice to concerned parties and public hearing. In Dec. 1990, Provincial
Bus Operators Assoc. of the Phils. (PBOAP) filed an application for across the board fare
rate increase, which was granted by LTFRB. In 1992, then DOTC Sec. Garcia issued a
memo to LTFRB suggesting a swift action on adoption of procedures to implement the
Department Order & to lay down deregulation policies. Pursuant to LTFRB Guideline,
PBOAP, w/o benefit of public hearing announced a 20% fare rate increase.
Petitioner Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) opposed the move and filed a petition before LTFRB
w/c was denied. Hence the instant petition for certiorari w/ urgent prayer for a TRO, w/c
was readily granted by the Supreme Court.

Whether the authority granted by LTFB to provincial buses to set a fare range above
existing authorized fare range is unconstitutional and invalid.

The grant of power by LTFRB of its delegated authority is unconstitutional. The doctrine
of Potestas delegate non delegari (what has been delegated cannot be delegated) is
applicable because a delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be
performed by the delegate thru instrumentality of his own judgment. To delegate this
power is a negation of the duty in violation of the trust reposed in the delegate mandated
to discharge such duty. Also, to give provincial buses the power to charge their fare rates
will result to a chaotic state of affairs ad this would leave the riding public at the mercy of
transport operators who can increase their rates arbitrarily whenever it pleases or when
they deem it necessary.

6. Lopez vs. Roxas


Petitioner Fernando Lopez and respondent Gerardo Roxas were candidates for the position of
Vice-President of the Philippines. Petitioner was later proclaimed the winner as a result of the
election. Respondent then filed a protest with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. Petitioner then
instituted in the Supreme Court an action for prohibition against respondent, preventing the
Presidential Electoral Tribunal from hearing and deciding the contest upon the ground that RA
No. 1793 which created the said tribunal is unconstitutional on the grounds that it was not provided
for by the Constitution and that since the members of PET are Supreme Court Justices, Congress
created another court within the Supreme Court, a violation of the Constitution.

Whether or not RA No. 1793 is unconstitutional on the ground that election protest for the position
of President and Vice-President is not provided in the Constitution and that its enactment created
a new court within the Supreme Court

No. Instead of indicating that Congress may not enact Republic Act No. 1793, the provision of the
Constitution, establishing Electoral Tribunals for Members of Congress only proves the exact
opposite, namely: that the Constitution intended to vest Congress with discretion to determine by
law whether or not the election of a president-elect or that of a vice-president-elect may be
contested and, if Congress should decide in the affirmative, which court of justice shall have
jurisdiction to hear the contest. Also, Republic Act No. 1793 has not created a new or separate
court. It has merely conferred upon the Supreme Court the functions of a Presidential Electoral
Tribunal. Indeed, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and courts of first instance, are vested
with original jurisdiction, as well as with appellate jurisdiction, in consequence of which they are
booth trial courts and appellate courts, without detracting from the fact that there is only one
Supreme Court, one Court of Appeals, and one court of first instance, clothed with authority to
discharged dual functions. So, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is not inferior to the Supreme
Court, since it is the same Court although the functions peculiar to said Tribunal are more limited
in scope than those of the Supreme Court in the exercise of its ordinary functions. Hence, the
enactment of Republic Act No. 1793 does not entail an assumption by Congress of the power of
appointment vested by the Constitution in the President. It merely connotes the imposition of
additional duties upon the Members of the Supreme Court. The petition is hereby dismissed.

7. Oposa vs. Fartoran



The plaintiffs in this case are all minors duly represented and joined by their parents. The first
complaint was filed as a taxpayer's class suit at the Branch 66 (Makati, Metro Manila), of the
Regional Trial Court, National capital Judicial Region against defendant (respondent) Secretary
of the Department of Environment and Natural Reasources (DENR). Plaintiffs alleged that they
are entitled to the full benefit, use and enjoyment of the natural resource treasure that is the
country's virgin tropical forests. They further asseverate that they represent their generation as
well as generations yet unborn and asserted that continued deforestation have caused a distortion
and disturbance of the ecological balance and have resulted in a host of environmental tragedies.

Plaintiffs prayed that judgement be rendered ordering the respondent, his agents, representatives
and other persons acting in his behalf to cancel all existing Timber License Agreement (TLA) in
the country and to cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving
new TLAs.
Defendant, on the other hand, filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint had no
cause of action against him and that it raises a political question.

The RTC Judge sustained the motion to dismiss, further ruling that granting of the relief prayed
for would result in the impairment of contracts which is prohibited by the Constitution.

Plaintiffs (petitioners) thus filed the instant special civil action for certiorari and asked the court to
rescind and set aside the dismissal order on the ground that the respondent RTC Judge gravely
abused his discretion in dismissing the action.


(1) Whether or not the plaintiffs have a cause of action.

(2) Whether or not the complaint raises a political issue.
(3) Whether or not the original prayer of the plaintiffs result in the impairment of contracts.


First Issue: Cause of Action.

Respondents aver that the petitioners failed to allege in their complaint a specific legal right
violated by the respondent Secretary for which any relief is provided by law. The Court did not
agree with this. The complaint focuses on one fundamental legal right -- the right to a balanced
and healthful ecology which is incorporated in Section 16 Article II of the Constitution. The said
right carries with it the duty to refrain from impairing the environment and implies, among many
other things, the judicious management and conservation of the country's forests. Section 4 of
E.O. 192 expressly mandates the DENR to be the primary government agency responsible for
the governing and supervising the exploration, utilization, development and conservation of the
country's natural resources. The policy declaration of E.O. 192 is also substantially re-stated in
Title XIV Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987. Both E.O. 192 and Administrative Code of
1987 have set the objectives which will serve as the bases for policy formation, and have defined
the powers and functions of the DENR. Thus, right of the petitioners (and all those they represent)
to a balanced and healthful ecology is as clear as DENR's duty to protect and advance the said

A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or obligation to respect
or protect or respect the same gives rise to a cause of action. Petitioners maintain that the granting
of the TLA, which they claim was done with grave abuse of discretion, violated their right to a
balance and healthful ecology. Hence, the full protection thereof requires that no further TLAs
should be renewed or granted.

After careful examination of the petitioners' complaint, the Court finds it to be adequate enough
to show, prima facie, the claimed violation of their rights.

Second Issue: Political Issue.

Second paragraph, Section 1 of Article VIII of the constitution provides for the expanded
jurisdiction vested upon the Supreme Court. It allows the Court to rule upon even on the wisdom
of the decision of the Executive and Legislature and to declare their acts as invalid for lack or
excess of jurisdiction because it is tainted with grave abuse of discretion.

Third Issue: Violation of the non-impairment clause.

The Court held that the Timber License Agreement is an instrument by which the state regulates
the utilization and disposition of forest resources to the end that public welfare is promoted. It is
not a contract within the purview of the due process clause thus, the non-impairment clause
cannot be invoked. It can be validly withdraw whenever dictated by public interest or public welfare
as in this case. The granting of license does not create irrevocable rights, neither is it property or
property rights.

Moreover, the constitutional guaranty of non-impairment of obligations of contract is limit by the

exercise by the police power of the State, in the interest of public health, safety, moral and general
welfare. In short, the non-impairment clause must yield to the police power of the State.

The instant petition, being impressed with merit, is hereby GRANTED and the RTC decision is

8. Marcos vs. Manglapus


Facts: In 1986, Ferdinand Marcos was deposed from the presidency via the non-violent
people power revolution and was forced into exile. In his stead, Corazon Aquino was
declared President of the Republic. This, did not however, stop bloody challenges to the
government. The armed threats to the government were not only found in misguided
elements and among rabid followers of Marcos. There are also the communistinsurgency
and the secessionist movement in Mindanao which gained ground during the rule of
Marcos. The woes of the government are not purely political. The accumulated foreign
debt and the plunder of the nation attributed to Marcos and his cronies left the economy

Marcos, in his deathbed, has signified his wish to return to the Philippines to die. But
President Aquino, considering the dire consequences to the nation of his return at a time
when the stability of government is threatened from various directions and the economy
is just beginning to rise and move forward, has stood firmly on the decision to bar the
return of Marcos and his family.

(1) Whether or not the President has the power under the Constitution to bar the Marcoses
from returning to the Philippines
(2) Whether or not the President acted arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she determinedthat the return of the
Marcoses to the Philippines poses a serious threat tonational interest and welfare and
decided to bar their return
Although the Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise of the specific powers of the
President, it maintains intact what is traditionally considered as within the scope of
executive power. Corollarily, the powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only
to the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution. In other words, executive power is
more than the sum of specific powers so enumerated. It has been advanced that whatever
power inherent in the government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be executive.

The Constitution declares among the guiding principles service and protection of the
people, the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty and property,
and the promotion of the general welfare. Faced with the problem of whether or not the
time is right to allow the Marcoses to return to the Philippines, the President is, under the
Constitution, constrained to consider these basic principles in arriving at a decision. More
than that, having sworn to defend and uphold the Constitution, the President has the
obligation under the Constitution to protect the people, promote their welfare and advance
the nationalinterest. To the President, the problem is one of balancing the general welfare
and the common good against the exercise of rights of certain individuals. The power
involved is the President’s residual power to protect the general welfare of the people. It
is a power borne by the President’s duty to preserve and defend the Constitution. It also
may be viewed as a power implicit in the President’s duty to take care that the laws are
faithfully executed. More particularly, this case calls for the exercise of the President’s
power as protector of the peace. The President is not onlyclothed with extraordinary
powers in times of emergency, but is also tasked with attending to the day-to-day problems
of maintaining peace and order.

Another question to determine is whether or no there exist factual basesfor the President
to conclude that it was in the national interest to bar the return of the Marcoses to the
Philippines. The Court cannot close its eyes to present realities and pretend that the
country is not besieged from within by a well-organized communist insurgency, a
separatist movement in Mindanao, rightist conspiracies to grab power, urban terrorism,
and the murder with impunity of military men, police officers and civilian officials. With
these before her, the President cannot be said to have acted arbitrarily and capriciously
and whimsically in determining that the return of the Marcoses poses a serious threat to
the national interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return.

9. Calalang vs. Williams


FACTS: The National Traffic Commission resolved that animal-drawn vehicles be

prohibited from passing along some major streets such a Rizal Ave. in Manila for a period
of one year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic. The Secretary
of Public Works approved the resolution on August 10,1940. The Mayor of Manila and the
Acting Chief of Police of Manila have enforced the rules and regulation. As a
consequence, all animal-drawn vehicles are not allowed to pass and pick up passengers
in the places above mentioned to the detriment not only of their owners but of the riding
public as well.
ISSUE: Does the rule infringe upon the constitutional precept regarding the promotion of
social justice? What is Social Justice?

HELD: No. The regulation aims to promote safe transit and avoid obstructions on national
roads in the interest and convenience of the public. Persons and property may be subject
to all kinds of restraints and burdens in order to secure the general comfort, health, and
prosperity of the State. To this fundamental aims of the government, the rights of the
individual are subordinated.
Social justice is “neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy,” but the
humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so
that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated.
Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the
Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent
elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium
in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the
adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of
powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principles
of Salus Populi est Suprema Lex.(Justice Laurel)

10. Guerzon vs. Court of Appeals


FACTS: Petitioner Pedro Guerzon executed with Basic Landoil Energy Corporation, which
was later acquired by respondent Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, a contract
denominated as "Service Station Lease" for the use and operation of respondent SHELL's
properties, facilities and equipment. Petitioner likewise executed with the same
Corporation a "Dealer's Sales Contract" for the sale by petitioner of respondent SHELL's
petroleum and other products in the leased service station. Respondent Bureau of Energy
Utilization approved the Dealer's Sales Contract and issued a certificate of authority in
petitioner's favor, which had a 5-year period of validity, in line with the terms of the contract.

Paragraph 9 of the Service Station Lease Contract provides:

The cancellation or termination of the Dealer's Sales Contract executed between the
COMPANY and the LESSEE on January 7,1981 shall automatically cancel this Lease.

As early as January 2, 1986 respondent SHELL wrote to petitioner informing him that the
Company was not renewing the Dealer's Sales Contract which was to expire on April 12,
1986. A copy of this letter was furnished respondent BEU.

In view of failure or petitioner to surrender ths station premises and all the respondent's
equipment, BEU ordered petitioner to immediately vacate the service station, and turn it
over to Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation and to show cause in writing, under oath
within ten (10) days from receipt of the order why no administrative and/or criminal
proceedings shall be instituted against him for the violation of BEU's laws, rules and

Respondent SHELL, accompanied by law enforcement officers, was able to secure

possession of the gasoline station in question. Petitioner filed this petition for review of the
decision of the Court of Appeals upholding the decision of the Regional Trial Court wich
dismissed his complaint "for lack of jurisdiction to annul the order of a quasi-judicial body
of equivalent category as the Regional Trial Court.

The The Solicitor General contends that since petitioner's license to sell petroleum
products expired on April 12,1986, when his dealership and lease contracts expired, as of
the following day, April 13, 1986 he was engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products
in violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 33, which includes the "sale or or distribution of
petroleum products for profit without license or authority from the Government."

Thus, concludes the Solicitor General, the Bureau of Energy nation had the power to
issue, and was justified in issuing, the order to vacate pursuant to Presidential Decree No.
1206, which confers, among others, to BEU the power to impose and collect a fine for
every violation or non-compliance with any term or condition of any certificate, license, or
permit issued by the Bureau or of any of its orders, decisions, rules and regulations.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals err in holding that the respondent BEU has
jurisdiction to eject the petitioner from the gasoline service station leased

RULING: Yes. The order merely makes a vague reference to a "violation of BEU laws,
rules and regulations," without stating the specific provision violated. That petitioner had
engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products cannot even be implied from the wording
of the assailed order.

Even if petitioner was indeed engaged in illegal trading in petroleum products, there was
no basis under B.P. Blg. 33 to order him to vacate the service station and to turn it over to
respondent Shell. Illegal trading in petroleum products is a criminal act wherein the injured
party is the State. Respondent Shell is not even alleged by the Solicitor General as a
private party prejudiced and, therefore, it can claim no relief if a criminal case is instituted.

Under Section 7 of P.D. No. 1206, BEU may (1) impose a fine not exceeding P1,000.00;
and (2) in case of failure to pay the fine imposed or to cease and discontinue the violation
or non-compliance, order the suspension, closure or stoppage of operations of the
establishment of the guilty party. Its authority is limited to these two (2) options. It can do
no more, as there is nothing in P.D. No. 1206, as amended, which empowers the Bureau
to issue an order to vacate in case of a violation.

As it is, jurisdiction to order a lessee to vacate the leased premises is vested in the civil
courts in an appropriate case for unlawful detainer or accion publiciana. There is nothing
in P.D. No. 1206, as amended, that would suggest that the same or similar jurisdiction has
been granted to the Bureau of Energy Utilization. It is a fundamental rule that an
administrative agency has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by law and
those that are necessarily implied in the exercise thereof. That issuing the order to vacate
was the most effective way of stopping any illegal trading in petroleum products is no
excuse for a deviation from this rule. Otherwise, adherence to the rule of law would be
rendered meaningless.

Moreover, contrary to the Solicitor General's theory, the text of the assailed order leaves
no room for doubt that it was issued in connection with an adjudication of the contractual
dispute between respondent Shell and petitioner. But then the Bureau of Energy
Utilization, like its predecessor, the defunct Oil Industry Commission, has no power to
decide contractual disputes between gasoline dealers and oil companies, in the absence
of an express provision of law granting to it such power. As explicitly stated in the law, in
connection with the exercise of quasi-judicial powers, the Bureau's jurisdiction is limited to
cases involving violation or non-compliance with any term or condition of any certificate,
license or permit issued by it or of any of its orders, decisions, rules or regulations.

RATIO: Grant of particular power must be found in the law itself. Where there is nothing
in the law that would suggest that a particular power has been granted, such as the power
to decide contractual disputes, the same cannot be exercised.

11. Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc., vs. POEA


A Chief Officer of a ship was killed in an accident in Japan. The widow filed a complaint
for charges against the Eastern Shipping Lines with POEA, based on a Memorandum
Circular No. 2, issued by the POEA which stipulated death benefits and burial for the family
of overseas workers. ESL questioned the validity of the memorandum circular as violative
of the principle of non-delegation of legislative power. It contends that no authority had
been given the POEA to promulgate the said regulation; and even with such authorization,
the regulation represents an exercise of legislative discretion which, under the principle,
is not subject to delegation. Nevertheless, POEA assumed jurisdiction and decided the

Whether or not the Issuance of Memorandum Circular No. 2 is a violation of non-
delegation of powers.

No. SC held that there was a valid delegation of powers.
The authority to issue the said regulation is clearly provided in Section 4(a) of Executive
Order No. 797. ... "The governing Board of the Administration (POEA), as hereunder
provided shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to govern the exercise of
the adjudicatory functions of the Administration (POEA)."

It is true that legislative discretion as to the substantive contents of the law cannot be
delegated. What can be delegated is the discretion to determine how the law may be
enforced, not what the law shall be. The ascertainment of the latter subject is a prerogative
of the legislature. This prerogative cannot be abdicated or surrendered by the legislature
to the delegate.

The reasons given above for the delegation of legislative powers in general are particularly
applicable to administrative bodies. With the proliferation of specialized activities and their
attendant peculiar problems, the national legislature has found it more and more
necessary to entrust to administrative agencies the authority to issue rules to carry out the
general provisions of the statute. This is called the "power of subordinate legislation."

With this power, administrative bodies may implement the broad policies laid down in a
statute by "filling in' the details which the Congress may not have the opportunity or
competence to provide. This is effected by their promulgation of what are known as
supplementary regulations, such as the implementing rules issued by the Department of
Labor on the new Labor Code. These regulations have the force and effect of law.

There are two accepted tests to determine whether or not there is a valid delegation of
legislative power:
1. Completeness test - the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when it
leaves the legislature such that when it reaches the delegate the only thing he will have to
do is enforce it.
2. Sufficient standard test - there must be adequate guidelines or stations in the law to
map out the boundaries of the delegate's authority and prevent the delegation from
running riot.

Both tests are intended to prevent a total transference of legislative authority to the
delegate, who is not allowed to step into the shoes of the legislature and exercise a power
essentially legislative.

12. Matienzo vs. Abellera


FACTS: Petitioners and private respondents are all authorized taxicab operators in Metro Manila.
Respondents however, admittedly operate “colorum” or “kabit” taxicab units. The private
respondents filed their petition with respondent Board for the legalization of their unauthorized
“excess” taxicab units citing PD 101, which eradicates the harmful and unlawful trade of
clandestine operators, by replacing or allowing them to become legitimate and responsible
operations. Within a matter of days, the respondent Board promulgated its orders settling the
applications for hearing and granting applications applicants provisional authority to operate their
excess taxicab units for which legalization was sought. Thus, the present petition. The petitioners
allege that the BOT acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance of the petitions for legalization
and awarding special permits to private respondents.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Board of Transportation has the power to legalize, at this time,
clandestine and unlawful taxicab operations.
HELD: Justifying its action on private respondent’s applications, the respondent Board
emphasizes public need as the overriding concern. It is argued that under PD 101, it is fixed policy
of the State to eradicate the harmful and unlawful trade of clandestine operators by replacing or
allowing them to become legitimate and responsible ones. In view thereof, it is maintained that
respondent Board may continue to grant to “colorum” operators the benefit of legalization under
PD 101, despite the lapse of its power, after six months, to do so, without taking punitive measures
against the said operators.

Indeed, a reading of Section 1, PD 101, shows a grant of powers to the respondent Board to issue
provisional permits as a step towards the legalization of colorum taxicab operations without the
alleged time limitation. There is nothing in Section 4, cited by the petitioners, to suggest the
expiration of such powers six months after promulgation of the Decree. Rather, it merely provides
for the withdrawal of the State’s waiver of its right to punish said colorum operators for their illegal
acts. In other words, the cited section declares when the period of moratorium suspending the
relentless drive to eliminate illegal operators shall end. Clearly, there is no impediment to the
Board’s exercise of jurisdiction under its broad powers under Public Service Act to issue
certificates of public convenience to achieve the avowed purpose of PD 101.

It is a settled principle of law that in determining whether a board or commission has a certain
power, the authority given should be liberally construed in light of the purposes for which it was
created, and that which is incidentally necessary to a full implementation of the legislative intent
should be upheld as being germane to the law. Necessarily, too, where the end is required, the
appropriate means are deemed given.

Wherefore the petition is hereby dismissed for lack of merit. The questioned orders of the Board
of Transportation are affirmed.

A. Express and Implied Powers

1. Villegas vs. Subido


Then Metro Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas approved the appointing of 91 women street
sweepers in the City of Manila. But the appointing would still have to be approved by the
Office of Civil Service Commission under Commissioner Abelardo Subido. Subido refused
to extend approval to such appointments on the ground that appointing women to manual
labor is against Memorandum Circular No. 18 series of 1964. Subido pointed out that
putting women workers with men workers outside under the heat of the sun and placing
them under manual labor exposes them to contempt and ridicule and constitutes a
violation of the traditional dignity and respect accorded Filipino womanhood. Villegas
however pointed out that the said Memo has already been set aside by the Office of the
President hence the same is no longer in effect.
ISSUE: Whether or not the appointment of said women workers should be confirmed by
the Civil Service Commissioner.

RULING: Yes, the appointments must be confirmed. The basis of Subido was not on any
law or rule but simply on his own concept of what policy to pursue, in this instance in
accordance with his own personal predilection. Here he appeared to be unalterably
convinced that to allow women laborers to work outside their offices as street sweepers
would run counter to Filipino tradition. A public official must be able to point to a particular
provision of law or rule justifying the exercise of a challenged authority.
Nothing is better settled in the law than that a public official exercises power, not rights.
The government itself is merely an agency through which the will of the state is expressed
and enforced. Its officers therefore are likewise agents entrusted with the responsibility of
discharging its functions. As such there is no presumption that they are empowered to act.
There must be a delegation of such authority, either express or implied. In the absence of
a valid grant, they are devoid of power. It must be conceded that departmental zeal may
not be permitted to outrun the authority conferred by statute. Neither the high dignity of
the office nor the righteousness of the motive then is an acceptable substitute. Otherwise
the rule of law becomes a myth. Such an eventuality, we must take all pains to avoid

This trend towards greater recognition of equal rights for both sexes under the shelter of
the equal protection clause argues most strongly against this kind of discrimination.