TRANSPORTATION AND MARITIME LAW
Section 19. The State shall regulate or prohibit monopolies whenthe public interest so requires. No combinations in restraint of trade orunfair competition shall be allowed.
(a) What is a public utility?A
is a business or service engaged in regularly supplying thepublic with some commodity or service of public consequence such as electricity,gas, water, transportation, telephone or telegraph service. Apart from statuteswhich define the public utilities that are within the purview of such statutes, itwould be difficult to construct a definition of a public utility which would fit everyconceivable case. As its name indicates, however, the term public utility impliesa public use and service to the public. (Am. Jur. 2d V. 64, p.549.) (Albano vsReyes)(b) What is a public service? The Public Service Act (CA No. 146 as amended) provides that the termpublic service "includes every person that now or hereafter may own, operate,manage, or control in the Philippines, for hire or compensation, with general orlimited clientele, whether permanent, occasional or accidental, and done forgeneral business purposes, any common carrier, railroad, street railway, tractionrailway, sub-way motor vehicle, either for freight or passenger, or both with orwithout fixed route and whatever may be its classification, freight or carrierservice or any class, express service, steamboat, or steamship line, pontines,ferries, and water craft, engaged in the transportation of passengers and freightor both, shipyard, marine repairshop, [warehouse], wharf or dock, ice plant, icerefrigeration plant, canal, irrigation system, gas, electric light, heat and power,water supply and power, petroleum, sewerage system, wire or wirelesscommunications system, wire or wireless broadcasting stations and other similarpublic services..." [Sec. 13(b)] (Albano vs Reyes)Albano vs Reyes 175 SCRA 264F:
On 20 April 1987, the Phil. Ports Authority (PPA) adopted a resolution directingmgmt. to prepare the Invitation to Bid and all relevant bidding documents necessary forthe public bidding of the development, mgmt., and operation of the Manila Intl.Container Terminal (MICT) and authorized the Board Chairman Secretary Reyes tooversee and implement the project.Secretary Reyes created a 7-man MICT Bidding Committee to evaluate all bidsand recommend to the Board the best bid. The PPA published the Invitation to Bid withthe reservation that it had the right to reject any bid and to accept such bid it may deemadvantageous to the govt.Seven companies submitted bids. The Committee recommended that thecontract be awarded to Intl. Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) on the ground that itoffered the best technical and financial proposal. Secretary Reyes awarded the contractto ICTSI. Before the contract could be signed, two cases were filed questioning thelegality or regularity of the bidding. The first was a special action for prohibition with