You are on page 1of 8

Quasi-Legislative Power Delegation of Legislative Power Doctrine of “Subordinate Legislation”; Limitations

BENE: It is called “quasi-judicial” because it is a power that belongs to the judiciary but is exercised by a non-judicial body. In addition, it is only incidental to the primary function of implementation and enforcement of laws.) Q: Why is it important to distinguish between quasi-legislative and quasijudicial power? A: It is important to distinguish between these two powers of administrative bodies because there are certain rules and principles in administrative law, which apply to one but not to the other. Thus, the requirements of due process (notice & hearing) apply when the administrative body is exercising quasi-judicial functions because such power includes the determination of rights and obligations. On the other hand, there is generally no need of prior notice & hearing in theexercise of quasi-legislative power. Likewise the prior exhaustion of remedies and the doctrine of primary jurisdiction do not apply in quasi-legislative processes, and only in the exercise of quasijudicial functions. And finally, a body exercising quasi-judicial functions is considered equivalent to a regional trial court. Hence, one can seek relief from its judgment by appealing to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, depending on the mode of appeal. A body exercising quasi-legislative functions is not considered equivalent to a court. Hence, one can resort to the regional trial court to obtain relief. Q: How are administrative rules interpreted? A: 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 the 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. (Matienzo v. Abellera, G.R. No. L-45839, June 1, 1988) People v. Exconde, 101 Phil 1125 (1957) SUBORDINATE LEGISLATION, JUSTIFIED: It is well established in this jurisdiction that,

• • •

rule-making power cannot contravene a statute or the Constitution rules are not laws but have the force and effect of laws - partakes of the nature of statute enjoy presumption of legality therefore courts should respect and apply them UNLESS declared invalid; all other agencies should likewise respect them

Q: Distinguish between Legislative and Quasi-Legislative power. A: Legislative power is vested in the Legislature while quasi-legislative power is in the nature of subordinate legislation or the rule-making power delegated to administrative bodies. Legislative power is plenary while quasi-legislative is not plenary and therefore subject to limitations – e.g. Constitution, statute, and administrative law limitations such as the tests for valid delegation. Legislative power includes the power to determine what the law is and how it shall be applied. Quasi-legislative power only includes the power to determine how the law is to be applied but not what the law is; administrative bodies cannot determine the legality or illegality of an act, NOT UNLESS they are duly authorized by Congress. Q: Distinguish between Judicial and Quasi-Judicial power. A: Judicial power is original, vested in the judiciary. Quasi-judicial power is derivative, a product of valid delegation of power to administrative bodies. Judicial power includes the determination of rights and obligations conclusively while quasi-judicial power is temporary in nature as courts have the final say. Judicial power is a primary power exercised by the judiciary while quasijudicial power is incidental to the primary function of administrative bodies of implementing and enforcing laws. (NOTA

1|Page

constitutes an offense and renders the offender liable to punishment in accordance with the provisions of law. but conform to the standards that the law prescribes. as the regulations relate solely to carrying into effect the provisions of the law. of course. mark its limits. A violation of a regulation prescribed by an executive officer of the Government in conformity with and based upon a statute authorizing such regulation. So long. 2006 RULES AND REGULATIONS HAVE THE FORCE OF LAW: It is elementary that rules and regulations issued by administrative bodies to interpret the law which they are entrusted to enforce. There are numerous cases in which the courts have sustained statutes authorizing administrative officers to promulgate rules on a specified subject and providing that a violation of such rules or orders should constitute a misdemeanor. DOES IT HAVE SUFFICIENT STANDARDS? RA 8177 likewise provides the standards which define the legislative policy. and what is the scope of his authority. and are entitled to great respect. that the regulation be not in contradiction with it. It indicates the circumstances under which the legislative purpose may be carried out. nevertheless the latter may constitutionally delegate authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given legislation and effectuate its policies. it is essential. Leonila P. Secretary of Justice. to forestall a violation of the principle of separation of powers. 12. 1998 TESTS FOR VALID DELEGATION: Although Congress may delegate to another branch of the Government the power to fill in the details in the execution. have the force of law. G. 132601. All that is required is that the regulation should be germane to the objects and purposes of the law. No. courts cannot ignore administrative 2|Page . who is to do it. the enforcement of the penalty for its violation is sustained by the courts. enforcement or administration of a law. they are valid. and specify the public agencies which will apply it. It is competent for it. IS IT COMPLETE? Considering the scope and the definiteness of RA 8177. punishable as provided in the statute. By such regulations.while the making of laws is a non-delegable activity that corresponds exclusively to Congress. and for the sole purpose of carrying into effect its general provisions. G. if the rule or regulation is reasonable. MUST CONFORM TO STATUTES: The regulations adopted under legislative authority by a particular department must be in harmony with the provisions of the law. Land Bank of the Philippines vs. which changed the mode of carrying out the death penalty. 23. carried out or implemented by the delegate – and (b) fix a standard – the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable – to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. As such.R. Administrative issuances partake of the nature of a statute and have in their favor a presumption of legality. Where statutes provide that violation of a rule or regulation of an administrative agency shall be a misdemeanor. however. map out its boundaries. to authorize a commission to prescribe duties on which the law may operate in imposing a penalty and in effectuating the purpose designed in enacting the law. Celada. the Court finds that the law sufficiently describes what job must be done. Jan. for the reason that the legislature often finds it impracticable (if not impossible) to anticipate and provide for the multifarious and complex situations that may be met in carrying the law into effect.R. No. the law itself can not be extended. however. Echegaray vs. RULE ON PENAL SANCTIONS: The legislature cannot delegate to a board or to an executive officer the power to declare what acts shall constitute acriminal offense. 164876. Oct. for the legislature and not the administrative agency made the action penal. that said law: (a) be complete in itself – it must set forth therein the policy to be executed.

ACCEPTED SUFFICIENT STANDARDS: (1) public interest. to promulgate rules and regulations is a form of delegation of legislative authority. Inc. such as the implementing rules issued by the Department of Labor on the new Labor Code. and conferring authority or discretion as to its execution. who is not allowed to step into the shoes of the legislature and exercise a power essentially legislative. as in this case.issuances especially when. economy and efficiency. scope of the policy and the circumstances under which it is to be carried out boundaries of the delegate’s authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. its validity was not put in issue. (4) simplicity. POEA. It is valid only if the law (a) is complete in itself. This is effected by their promulgation of what are known as supplementary regulations. authority (who is to do it) 5. there must be adequate guidelines or stations in the law to map out the 3|Page . (3) public convenience and welfare. 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. These regulations have the force and effect of law. the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. Tests of Delegation (1) COMPLETENESS TEST . 270 SCRA 106 (1997) Empowering the COMELEC.what is to be examined: 1. to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. scope of authority (2) SUFFICIENT STANDARD TEST . The first cannot be done. Unless an administrative order is declared invalid. 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. 281 SCRA 330 (1997) The true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law. (5) sense and experience of men. What can be delegated is the discretion to determine how the law may be enforced. there must be a showing that the delegation itself is valid. This prerogative cannot be abdicated or surrendered by the legislature to the delegate. Both tests are intended to prevent a total transference of legislative authority to the delegate. what job must be done 4. legislative policy (“whereas” clauses) 2. COMELEC. However. Santiago vs. 166 SCRA 533 (1988) WHAT CAN BE DELEGATED: Legislative discretion as to the substantive contents of the law cannot be delegated. to the latter no valid objection can be made. viz. an administrative body exercising quasi-judicial functions. vs. which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be. Tatad vs. subject matter (what is delegated) 2. or implemented by Eastern Shipping Lines. setting forth therein the policy to be executed. Under the sufficient standard test.what is to be examined: 1. TWO TESTS: There are two accepted tests to determine whether or not there is a valid delegation of legislative power. in every case of permissible delegation. POWER OF SUBORDINATE LEGISLATION: With this power. scope of the subject matter or measure 3. and (6) national security. not what the law shall be. carried out. The ascertainment of the latter subject is a prerogative of the legislature. courts have no option but to apply the same. Under the first test. Secretary of the Department of Energy. (2) justice and equity. specific administrative agency to apply the legislative policy 3.

A sufficient standard is one which defines legislative policy. It is. Doctrine of “Potestas delegata non delegari potest. Garcia. 67 SCRA 287 (1975) CAN DIRECTOR OF PATENTS DELEGATE A FUNCTION? It has been held that power conferred upon and administrative agency to which the administration of a statute is entrusted to issue such regulations and orders as may be deemed necessary or proper in order to carry out its purposes and provisions may be an adequate source of authority to delegate a particular function. This would leave the riding public at the mercy of transport operators who may increase fares every hour. Director of Patents. every month or every year. which is for the purpose of making determinations upon evidence. The rule that requires an administrative officer to exercise his own judgment and discretion does not preclude him from utilizing as a matter of practical administrative procedure. on the basis of which the officer makes his decisions. and (b) fixes a standard – the limits of which are sufficiently determinate and determinable – to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. Jr. vs. Thus. so far as possible. However. SUB-DELEGATION OF POWER: A far wider range of delegations to subordinate officers. the aid of subordinates to investigate and report to him the facts. Potestas delegate non delegari potest. This sub-delegation of power has been justified by “sound principles of organization” which demand that “those at the top be able to concentrate their attention upon the larger and moreimportant questions of policy and practice.” 4|Page . The policy of allowing the provincial bus operators to change and increase their fares at will would result not only to a chaotic situation but to an anarchic state of affairs. whenever it pleases them or whenever they deem it “necessary” to do so. A further delegation of such power would indeed constitute a negation of the duty in violation of the trust reposed in the delegate mandated to discharge it directly.the delegate. and their time be freed. it is well-settled that while the power to decide resides solely in the administrative agency vested by law. nowhere under the aforesaid provisions of law are the regulatory bodies authorized to delegate that power to a common carrier. from the consideration of the smaller and far less important matters of detail. this does not preclude a delegation of the power to hold a hearing on the basis of which the decision of the administrative agency will be made. a transport operator or other public service. EXCEPTION TO THE EXCEPTION: The authority given by the LTFRB to the provincial bus operators to set a fare range over and above the authorized existing fare is illegal and invalid as it is tantamount to an undue delegation of legislative authority. maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such a delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate through the instrumentality of his own judgment and not through the intervening mind of another.” Exception Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center vs. required that to “give the substance of a hearing.. marks its limits. There is no abnegation of responsibility on the part of the officer concerned as the actual decision remains with and is made by said officer. however. American Tobacco Co. It is sufficient that the judgment and discretion finally exercised are those of the officer authorized by law. every day. unless by express provisions of the Act or by implication it has been withheld. 239 SCRA 386 (1994) An administrative body may implement broad policies laid down in a statute by “filling in” the details which the Legislature may neither have time nor competence to provide. the officer who makes the determinations must consider and appraise the evidence which justifies them. What has been delegated cannot be delegated. It indicates the circumstances which the legislative command is to be effected.

and (2) if the rule adds burden to the governed. under its constitutional mandate. EFFECT: Administrative construction is not necessarily binding upon the courts. it confers no rights. INTERPRETATIVE RULE: A legislative rule is in the nature of subordinate legislation. Commission on Audit. must respect the presumption of legality and constitutionality to which statutes and administrative regulations are entitled until such statute or regulation is repealed or amended. designed to implement a primary legislation by providing 5|Page . 261 SCRA 236 (1996) LEGISLATIVE v. like all other government agencies. before that new issuance is given the force and effect of law. Civil Service Commission. and thereafter to be duly informed. it does not agree.Kinds of Administrative Regulations (Quasi-Legislative) 1. However. the courts – as unconstitutional or illegal and void. It should be understandable that when an administrative rule is merely interpretative in nature. Peralta vs. it behooves the agency to accord at least to those directly affected a chance to be heard. is not authorized to substitute its own judgment for any applicable law or administrative regulation with the wisdom or propriety of which. it imposes no duties.g.. it affords no protection. 211 SCRA 425 (1992) INTERPRETATIVE RULE: When an administrative or executive agency renders an opinion or issues a statement of policy. it merely interprets a pre-existing law. for it is the courts that finally determine what the law means. at least not before such law or regulation is set aside by the authorized agency of government – i. interpretative rules and regulations do not require notice and hearing or publication for their validity. or abuse of power or lack of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion clearly conflicting with either the letter or the spirit of a legislative enactment. legislative rules may require notice and hearing (1) if the law itself provides that there is a need for observance of due process (e. It has also been held that interpretative regulations need not be published. Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. and the administrative interpretation of the law is at best advisory. Thus. however. upon the other hand. its applicability needs nothing further than its bare issuance for it gives no real consequence more than what the law itself has already prescribed. the administrative rule goes beyond merely providing for the means that can facilitate or render least cumbersome the implementation of the law but substantially adds to or increases the burden of those governed. Interpretative – guidelines to the law to be enforced the details thereof. or until set aside in appropriate case by a competent court and ultimately the Supreme Court. it Q: Why is it important to distinguish between legislative and interpretative rules and regulations? A: It is important to distinguish between the two because the requirements of due process generally apply to one but not to the other. EXCEPT if they are merely internal regulations (e. 236 SCRA 161 (1994) COA.g. In the same way that laws must have the benefit of public hearing. CA. ADMINISTRATIVE CONSTRUCTION. it is generally required that before a legislative rule is adopted there must be hearing.e. When. provisional fixing of rate). Eslao vs. Publication is likewise a condition precedent to the effectivity of legislative rules and regulations. Legislative – subordinate legislation. letters of instruction). Action of an administrative agency may be disturbed or set aside by the judicial department if there is an error of law. it creates no office. details of the law 2. WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF AN INVALID ADMINISTRATIVE RULE? The general rule vis-à-vis legislation is that an unconstitutional act is not a law. The COA.

whether it was a reasonable regulation under a due process test. in cases where the dispute concerns the interpretation by an agency of its own rules.is in legal contemplation as inoperative as though it had never been passed. and if so. 319 SCRA 262 (1999) It needs to be stressed that the power of administrative agencies to promulgate rules in the implementation of a statute is necessarily limited to what is provided for in the legislative enactment. which is tasked to implement a statute. lack of jurisdiction. or when there is no ambiguity in the rule. 228 SCRA 329 It is a fundamental rule that implementing rules cannot add to or detract from the provisions of the law it is designed to implement. Moreover. how do you reconcile this with the rule that administrative issuances should be construed liberally? A: No matter how wise a rule may be. 2006 The interpretation of an agency of its own rules should be given more weight than the interpretation by that agency of the law it is merely tasked to administer. As a rule. issuances with penal provisions can be said to be an exception by their very nature. 135992. that such broad statements as to the effect of a determination of unconstitutionality must be taken with qualifications. G. Jan. COMELEC. in People vs. the rule was held invalid for the reason that it made punishable an act which the law did not specify as punishable even as the rule conformed to the legislative policy of protecting marine life. error of law. if it is not in harmony with the law. vs. They cannot widen its scope. or when the language or words used are clear and plain or readily understandable to any ordinary reader.” Requisites of Valid Administrative Regulations • • Authorized by Congress . However. while it is true that administrative issuances enjoy the presumption of legality and accorded great respect. it is likewise true the courts may declare them invalid based on grounds such as grave abuse of discretion. a long line of cases establish the basic rule that courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under the special technical knowledge and training of such agencies. prior to such determination is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot always be ignored. it is invalid. one should apply only these standards: “Whether the delegation of power was valid.must be in harmony with the spirit and the letter of law Q: Is there a valid administrative rule that conforms only to the spirit of the law but not to its letter? If yes. International Communication Corporation. Inc. and clear conflict between the statute and the issuance. However.must have Constitutional or statutory basis Within the scope of authority (must not be “ultra vires”) . whether the regulation was within that delegation.R. No. de la Serna. An administrative agency 6|Page . Anent the rule that administrative issuances should be construed liberally. Thus. courts will not hesitate to set aside such executive interpretation when it is clearly erroneous. 31. the interpretation of an administrative government agency. This case is peculiar as it involved an administrative issuance which contained a penal provision. Eastern Telecommunications Philippines. Generally. Maceren. is accorded great respect and ordinarily controls the construction of the courts. But it is quite clear. Thus. however. Inc. Administrative regulations adopted under legislative authority by a particular department must be in harmony with the provisions of the law they are intended to carry into effect. Melendres vs. The actual existence of a statute. laws with penal provisions are strictly construed for they subject a person to punishment and sanctions. abuse of power. Boie-Takeda Chemicals. vs.

then its function is quasi-judicial in character. Home Development Mutual Fund. Executive Secretary vs. the only exception being where the legislature itself requires it and mandates that the regulation shall be based on certain facts as determined at an appropriate investigation. 20. v. Requisites for Validity 7|Page . Southwing Heavy Industries. G. • Fair and Reasonable It is an axiom in administrative law that administrative authorities should not act arbitrarily and capriciously in the issuance of rules and regulations. Buenaventura. crafted to implement a primary legislation. As regards rates prescribed by an administrative agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial function. but must remain consistent with the law they intend to carry out. Penal Regulations. file or publish with the National Administrative Register 3. Feb. in the exercise of its rulemaking power. To be valid. before the issuance is given the force and effect of law. 164171. Where the rules and the rates imposed apply exclusively to a particular party. Sayoc & de los Angeles vs. 2006 In order to determine whether the rule has been issued or promulgated in accordance with the prescribed procedure. (Hon. Romulo. When an administrative rule goes beyond merely providing for the means that can facilitate or render less cumbersome the implementation of the law and substantially increases the burden of those governed. prior notice and hearing are essential to the validity of such rates. based upon a finding of fact. and are designed merely to provide guidelines to the law which the administrative agency is in charge of enforcing. A department zeal may not be permitted to outrun the authority conferred by the statute. QUASI-LEGISLATIVE v. Observance of Prescribed Procedure: Notice and Hearing Hon. they may partake of a legislative character. 333 SCRA 777 The HDMF cannot. to be duly informed. Executive Secretary vs. on the other hand. As in the enactment of laws. supplant or modify the law. the promulgation of administrative issuances requires previous notice and hearing. Mabana. Philippine Consumers Foundation. it behooves the agency to accord at least to those directly affected a chance to be heard. A legislative rule. the grant of prior notice and hearing to the affected parties is not a requirement of due process. Only Congress can repeal or amend the law. Culture and Sports.cannot amend an act of Congress. then they must be held to be invalid.R. the general rule is that. Inc. is in the nature of subordinate legislation. it is necessary that the nature of the administrative issuance is properly determined. Indeed. Secretary of Education. issue a regulation not consistent with the law it seeks to apply. If shown to bear no reasonable relation to the purposes for which they were authorized to be issued. such rules and regulations must be reasonable and fairly adapted to secure the end in view. No. QUASI-JUDICIAL: When the rules and/or rates laid down by an administrative agency are meant to apply to all enterprises of a given kind throughout the country. Southwing Heavy Industries) • Publication 1. and thereafter. administrative issuances must not override. 153 SCRA 622 (1987) The function of prescribing rates by an administrative agency may be either a legislative or an adjudicative function. file with UP Law Center 3 certified copies of the rule 2. This exception pertains to the issuance of legislative rules as distinguished from interpretative rules which give no real consequence more than what the law itself has already prescribed. If it were a legislative function.

the law itself must impose and specify the penalty 3. 8|Page . the regulation must be published Q: What cannot be delegated to the administrative body as regards penal regulations? A: The Legislature cannot delegate to the administrative body (1) what acts should constitute a criminal offense and (2) how they shall be punished.1. the law itself must make the violation punishable 2.