Magtajas v. Pryce Properties Corp.
G.R. No. 111097, July 20, 1994
PAGCOR decided to expand its operations to Cagayan de Oro City. To this end, itleased a portion of a building belonging to Pryce Properties Corporation, Inc., renovated andequipped the same, and prepared to inaugurate its casino there during the Christmasseason.Civic organizations angrily denounced the project. The religious elements echoed theobjection and so did the women's groups and the youth. Demonstrations were led by themayor and the city legislators. The media trumpeted the protest, describing the casino as anaffront to the welfare of the city. The contention of the petitioners is that it is violative of the Sangguniang Panlungsodof Cagayan de Oro City Ordinance No. 3353 prohibiting the use of buildings for the operationof a casino and Ordinance No. 3375-93 prohibiting the operation of casinos.On the other hand, the respondents invoke P.D. 1869 which created PAGCOR to helpcentralize and regulate all games of chance, including casinos on land and sea within theterritorial jurisdiction of the Philippines. The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the respondents. Hence, the petition for review.
Whether or not the Ordinance No. 3353 and Ordinance No. 3375-93 are valid
No. Cagayan de Oro City, like other local political subdivisions, is empowered toenact ordinances for the purposes indicated in the Local Government Code. It is expresslyvested with the police power under what is known as the General Welfare Clause nowembodied in Section 16 as follows:Sec. 16.
. — Every local government unit shall exercise thepowers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well aspowers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effectivegovernance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the generalwelfare. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local governmentunits shall ensure and support, among other things, the preservation andenrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right of thepeople to a balanced ecology, encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities, improvepublic morals, enhance economic prosperity and social justice, promote fullemployment among their residents, maintain peace and order, and preservethe comfort and convenience of their inhabitants. There is a requirement that the ordinances should not contravene a statute.Municipal governments are only agents of the national government. Local councils exerciseonly delegated legislative powers conferred on them by Congress as the national lawmakingbody. The delegate cannot be superior to the principal or exercise powers higher than thoseof the latter. It is a heresy to suggest that the local government units can undo the acts of Congress, from which they have derived their power in the first place, and negate by mereordinance the mandate of the statute.