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Article VI: The Legislative Department, Section 1 Issues on Delegation of Legislative

Power (Filling in the Details: authority to reorganize)



Chiongbian vs Orbos
Chiongbian - Congressman in third district, South Cotabato; Orbos - Executive Secretary

Date of Promulgation: June 22, 1995
Ponente: Mendoza
Motion: Certiorari and Prohibition; Special Civil Action in the Supreme Court

Background
In 1968, R.A. 5435 authorized the President of the Philippines, with the help of Commission on
Reorganization, to recognize the different executive departments, bureaus, offices, agencies, and
instrumentalities of the government, including banking or financial institutions and corporations owned
or controlled by it. Purpose was to promote simplicity, economy and efficiency in the
government.

Facts
The Congress passed the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RA
6743) pursuant to Article 10, Section 18 of the Constitution. A plebiscite was called in some provinces
which resulted to 4 provinces (Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi Tawi) in favor of
creating an autonomous region and therefore became the ARMM. The RA says that those provinces and
cities who did not vote in favor of it shall remain in their existing administrative regions provided,
however, that the President may merge the existing regions through administrative determination.
President Cory then issued the EO containing the provinces/cities that will be merged, transferring
provinces from their existing region to another. The petitioners who are members of the Congress
representing legislative districts protested the Executive Order, saying that there is no law which
authorizes the President to pick certain provinces and cities within existing regions and restructure
them to new administrative regions. The transfer of one province under its current region to another (ex:
Misamis Occidental from Region X to IX) is a form of reorganization, an alteration of the existing
structures of the government. The RA 6743 only holds authority of the president to merge existing
regions and cannot be construed as reorganizing them.

Issue
W/N the power to merge administrative regions is legislative (petitioners stand) in
character or executive as the respondents contend
Petitioners: It unduly delegates power to the President to merge regions through administrative
determination or at any rate provides no standard for the exercise of the power delegated
Respondents: No undue delegation but only a grant of power to fill up or provide the details of
legislation because the Congress did not have the facility to provide for them

Ruling: Petition is DISMISSED.

The creation and subsequent reorganization of administrative regions have been by the
President pursuant to authority granted to him by law. In conferring on the President the power
to merge the existing regions following the establishment of the Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao, Congress merely followed the pattern set in previous legislation dating back to
the initial organization of administrative regions in 1972. (RA5453)

This was also the basis for the sufficient standard by which the President is to be guided in the exercise of
power. Standard can be gathered or implied. Standard can be found in the same policy underlying grant of
power to the President in RA No. 5435 of the power to reorganize the Executive Department:to promote
simplicity, economy, efficiency, in the government to enable it to pursue its programs consisted with the
national goals for accelerated social and economic development.