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Ma. Elena Malaga, et. al. vs. Manuel R. Penachos, Jr., et.al. GR No.

86995 03 September 1992 Chartered Institution and GOCC, defined. FACTS: The Iloilo State College of Fisheries (ISCOF) through its Pre-qualificati ons, Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC) caused the publication in the November 25, 26 and 28, 1988 issues of the Western Visayas Daily an Invitation to Bid for th e construction of a Micro Laboratory Building at ISCOF. The notice announced th at the last day for the submission of pre-qualification requirements was on Dece mber 2, 1988, and that the bids would be received and opened on December 12, 198 8 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Petitioners Malaga and Najarro, doing business under the name of BE Construction and Best Built Construction, respectively, submitted their pre-qualification do cuments at two o'clock in the afternoon of December 2, 1988. Petitioner Occeana submitted his own PRE-C1 on December 5, 1988. All three of them were not allow ed to participate in the bidding as their documents were considered late. On December 12, 1988, the petitioners filed a complaint with the Iloilo RTC agai nst the officers of PBAC for their refusal without just cause to accept them res ulting to their non-inclusion in the list of pre-qualified bidders. They sought to the resetting of the December 12, 1988 bidding and the acceptance of their d ocuments. They also asked that if the bidding had already been conducted, the d efendants be directed not to award the project pending resolution of their compl aint. On the same date, Judge Lebaquin issued a restraining order prohibiting PBAC fro m conducting the bidding and award the project. The defendants filed a motion to lift the restraining order on the ground that the court is prohibited from issu ing such order, preliminary injunction and preliminary mandatory injunction in g overnment infrastructure project under Sec. 1 of P.D. 1818. They also contended that the preliminary injunction had become moot and academic as it was served a fter the bidding had been awarded and closed. On January 2, 1989, the trial court lifted the restraining order and denied the petition for preliminary injunction. It declared that the building sought to be constructed at the ISCOF was an infrastructure project of the government fallin g within the coverage of the subject law. ISSUE: Whether or not ISCOF is a government instrumentality subject to the provi sions of PD 1818? RULING: The 1987 Administrative Code defines a government instrumentality as fol lows: Instrumentality refers to any agency of the National Government, not integrated within the department framework, vested with special functions or jurisdiction b y law, endowed with some if not all corporate powers, administering special fund s, and enjoying operational autonomy, usually through a charter. This term inclu des regulatory agencies, chartered institutions, and government-owned or control led corporations. (Sec. 2 (5) Introductory Provisions). The same Code describes a chartered institution thus: Chartered institution - refers to any agency organized or operating under a spec

ial charter, and vested by law with functions relating to specific constitutiona l policies or objectives. This term includes the state universities and colleges , and the monetary authority of the state. (Sec. 2 (12) Introductory Provisions) . It is clear from the above definitions that ISCOF is a chartered institution and is therefore covered by P.D. 1818. There are also indications in its charter that ISCOF is a government instrumenta lity. First, it was created in pursuance of the integrated fisheries development policy of the State, a priority program of the government to effect the socio-e conomic life of the nation. Second, the Treasurer of the Republic of the Philipp ines shall also be the ex-officio Treasurer of the state college with its accoun ts and expenses to be audited by the Commission on Audit or its duly authorized representative. Third, heads of bureaus and offices of the National Government a re authorized to loan or transfer to it, upon request of the president of the st ate college, such apparatus, equipment, or supplies and even the services of suc h employees as can be spared without serious detriment to public service. Lastly , an additional amount of P1.5M had been appropriated out of the funds of the Na tional Treasury and it was also decreed in its charter that the funds and mainte nance of the state college would henceforth be included in the General Appropria tions Law. Nevertheless, it does not automatically follow that ISCOF is covered by the proh ibition in the said decree as there are irregularities present surrounding the t ransaction that justified the injunction issued as regards to the bidding and th e award of the project (citing the case of Datiles vs. Sucaldito).