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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 88637 September 7, 1989 CONGRESSMAN ENRIQUE T. GARCIA, Seco !

"#$tr#ct o% &'t'' , petitioner, vs. T(E &OAR" O) IN*ESTMENTS, T(E "EPARTMENT O) TRA"E AN" IN"USTR+, &ATAAN PETROC(EMICA, CORPORATION ' ! PI,IPINAS S(E,, CORPORATION, respondents.

GRI-O.AQUINO, J.: In this petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for preli inary in!unction, the petitioner, as con"ress an for the second district of Bataan, assails the approval by the Board of Invest ents #B$I% and the &epart ent of 'rade and Industry #&'I% of the a ended application for re"istration of the Bataan Petroche ical Corporation, which see(s to transfer the site of its petroche ical co ple) fro Bataan, the ori"inal situs of choice, to the province of Batan"as. *ince the case presents purely le"al issues, and the sub!ect of the controversy vitally affects the econo ic interests of the country which should not pend for too lon", the Court, after hearin" the parties+ e)tensive oral and written ar"u ents on the petitioner+s application for preli inary in!unction, believes that it ay now decide the erits of the petition as well. Procla ation No. ,-. dated March -, ./-0, as a ended by Procla ation No. -,1 dated Nove ber 2/, ./-/, reserved a ,003hectare parcel of land of the public do ain located at 4a ao, 4i ay, Bataan for 5industrial estate purposes,5 in line with the *tate policy of pro otin" and rationali6in" the industriali6ation of the Philippines. P.&. No. .01,, dated 7anuary .-, ./0., enlar"ed the area by .00 hectares, a(in" it a total of 89- hectares, reserved for the Petroche ical Industrial :one under the ad inistration, ana"e ent and ownership of the Philippine National $il Co pany #PN$C%. 'he Bataan Refinin" Corporation #BRC for short% is a wholly "overn ent3owned corporation, located in Bataan. It produces -1; of the national output of naphtha. 'aiwanese investors in a petroche ical pro!ect for ed the Bataan Petroche ical Corporation #BPC% and applied with B$I for re"istration as a new do estic producer of petroche icals. Its application specified Bataan as the plant site. $ne of the ter s and conditions for the re"istration of the pro!ect was the use of 5naphtha crac(er5 and 5naphtha5 as feedstoc( or fuel for its petroche ical plant. 'he petroche ical pro!ect was to be a !oint venture with PN$C. BPC was issued a Certificate of Re"istration on <ebruary 2=, ./00 by B$I. BPC was accorded pioneer status and was "iven fiscal and other incentives by B$I, li(e, #.% e)e ptions fro ta) on raw aterials, #2% repatriation of the entire proceeds of li>uidation of invest ents in currency ori"inally ade and at the e)chan"e rate obtainin" at the ti e of repatriation? and #,% re ittance of earnin"s on invest ents. As additional incentive, the @ouse of Representatives approved a bill introduced by the petitioner, Con"ress an Aarcia, eli inatin" the

*enator Ernesto Maceda. but to the country of the Philippines in "eneral. ../0/. petitioner addressed a letter to *ecretary Concepcion of the &epart ent of 'rade and Industry #&'I%. the provincial Aovernor of Bataan. News of the shift was published by one of the a!or Philippine dailies which disclosed that the cause of the relocation of the pro!ect is the insur"ency and unstable labor situation in Bataan.21 illion? #2% increasin" the production capacity of its naphtha crac(er. './0/ a re>uest for 5approval of an a end ent of its invest ent application . re>uestin" for 5a copy of the a end ent reportedly sub itted by 'aiwanese investors. in <ebruary . BPC filed in the B$I on April . $n 7une 2-. Rollo%. vice3president and "eneral ana"er of the Bataan Refinin" Corporation./0/. @owever. 8. the B$I approved the revision of the re"istration of BPC+s petroche ical pro!ect #Anne) *.% @owever. #. despite speeches in the *enate and in the @ouse opposin" the transfer of the pro!ect to Batan"as./0/.% increasin" the invest ent a ount fro C*D221 illion to C*D.. 8. . Payu o of the lst &istrict of Bataan.% 'he a end ents consisted of.. to their ori"inal application for the installation of the Bataan Petroche ical Plant.. Antonio <rancisco. alle"in" that the B$I and &'I "ravely abused their discretionB . the a!or investor in BPC personally delivered to 'rade *ecretary 7ose Concepcion a letter dated 7anuary 28.1...N./0/.. p. p. $n May 28. the 4ea"ue of Mayors and various civic and professional or"ani6ations all opposed the transfer of the pro!ect to Batan"as #pp. 9. .2. profusely welco ed the bill. .% $n May 2.. 'o as '. p. advisin" hi of BPC+s desire to a end the ori"inal re"istration certificate of its pro!ect by chan"in" the !ob site fro 4i ay. . Rollo. B$I vice3chair an Alcantara infor ed petitioner that the 'aiwanese investors declined to "ive their consent to the release of the docu ents re>uested #Anne) $%. p. A.=0. . . polyetheylene plant and polypropylene plant? #. Rollo... Rollo%.5 #Anne) G. Chon". Rollo. . Bataan. . It will support the develop ent of the Philippine petroche ical industry by providin" an ability to co pete in the world ar(et for anufactured petroche ical derivatives such as polyethylene and polypropylene products ./0/. @si. . 'he chair an of BPC. as well as the ori"inal application itself to"ether with any and all attach ents to said ori"inal application and the a end ent thereto.. herein petitioner Con"ress an Enri>ue Aarcia of the *econd &istrict. 91. . 0=. $n May =. Rollo%. Bataan to Batan"as #Anne) <. p. p. statin"B 'his pro!ect is ai in" at a boon not only to the province of Bataan. At a conference of the 'aiwanese investors with President A>uino and her *ecretary of &efense and Chief of *taff of the Ar y./0/. 'he presence in Batan"as of a hu"e li>uefied petroleu "as #4PA% depot owned by the Pilipinas *hell Corporation was another consideration. for establishin" a petroche ical co ple) in the Philippines.5 #Anne) <. chair an of C*I <ar East Corporation. #p. Rollo? Anne) F. 'he con"ress en of Bataan vi"orously opposed the transfer of the proposed petroche ical plant to Batan"as.% chan"in" the feedstoc( fro naphtha only to 5naphtha andEor li>uefied petroleu "as?5 #=% transferrin" the !ob site fro 4i ay. 0. with a prayer for preli inary in!unction. throu"h B$I vice3chair an and ana"er 'o as Alcantara. ad valore ta) on naphtha if and when it would be used as raw aterial in the petroche ical plant. Con"ress an <elicito C. to Batan"as #Anne) <. Rollo%. the President e)pressed her preference that the Bataan petroche ical plant be established in Bataan. petitioner filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition in this Court. 8.

. the BPC+s application for re"istration as a 5new e)port producer of ethylene. touris and other sectors of the econo y.5 <or this purpose. 22-% of 7uly ./09. with the alle"ed violation of due process and the alle"ed e)tra li itation of power and discretion on the part of the public respondents in approvin" the transfer of the pro!ect to Batan"as without "ivin" due notice and an opportunity to be heard to the vocal opponents of that ove. li(e the petitioner. /=/ and . social. It is concerned si ply.. provides thatB whenever necessary. $ nibus Invest ents Code%.-. As provided by the law.. a"riculture./09 e)pressly declares it to be the policy of the *tate 5to accelerate the sound develop ent of the national econo y .5 'he Code also re>uires the "publication of applications for re"istration. polyethylene and polypropylene was published in the 5Philippine &aily In>uirer5 issue of &ece ber 2.. . 2. 'here is no erit in the public respondents+ contention that the petitioner has 5no le"al interest5 in the atter of the transfer of the BPC petroche ical plant fro the province of Bataan to the province of Batan"as. 4i ay. the Board. throu"h the People+s Econo ic Councils. subpar. by encoura"in" private <ilipino and forei"n invest ents in industry. 9. of due process and a ounted to a "rave abuse of discretion on the part of the B$I.. shall consult the co unities affected on the acceptability of locatin" the re"istered enterprise within their co unity.#a% in not observin" due process in approvin" without a hearin".. the Code andates the holdin" of 5consultations with affected co unities whenever necessary5 #Art. it should have been published so that whoever ay have any ob!ection to the transfer ay be heard. 'he notice invited 5any person with valid ob!ections to or pertinent co ents on the above3 entioned application . #to file% hisEher co entsEob!ections in writin" with the B$I within one #.. ./09 #E)ecutive $rder No. public respondent+s Co ent%. 'he $ nibus Invest ents Code of . Art. 'his Court is not concerned with the econo ic. 2 of the $ nibus Invest ents Code%. the revisions in the re"istration of the BPC+s petroche ical pro!ect? #b% in refusin" to furnish the petitioner with copies of BPC+s application for re"istration and its supportin" papers in violation of the Aovern ent+s policy of transparency? #c% in approvin" the chan"e in the site of BPC+s petroche ical plant fro Bataan to Batan"as in violation of P& Nos.. . *ince the BPC+s a ended application #particularly the chan"e of location fro Bataan to Batan"as% was in effect a new application. to naphtha and/or lpg.5 hence. . forestry. prior to the processin" and approval of such applications #Art.% wee( fro the date of this publication5 #Anne) . 'his Court is not about to delve into the econo ics and politics of this case.. inin". which establishes 4a ao. Correspondin"ly.01. subpar. 'he provision in the Invest ents Code re>uirin" publication of the investor+s application naphtha only. and political aspects of this case for it does not possess the necessary technolo"y and scientific e)pertise to deter ine whether the transfer of the proposed BPC petroche ical co ple) fro Bataan to Batan"as and the chan"e of fuel fro naphtha only to 5naphtha andEor 4PA5 will be best for the pro!ect and for our country. 'he B$I+s failure to publish such notice and to hold a hearin" on the a ended application deprived the oppositors.. the pay ent of publication and other necessary fees . and . Bataan as the 5petroche ical industrial 6one?5 #d% in approvin" the chan"e in feedstoc( fro #e% in showin" "ross partiality for BPC.

the petitioner will be able to present his evidence in opposition to the transfer of the pro!ect to Batan"as within a period of one wee(. as it is the constitutional ri"ht of a citi6en to have access to infor ation on atters of public concern under Article III. a )ero) copy of BPC+s position paper dated April .% to publish the a ended application for re"istration of the Bataan Petroche ical Corporation. 'he Board of Invest ents is orderedB #.% to set for hearin" the petitioner+s opposition to the a ended application in order .1.81 *CRA 8.for re"istration in the B$I is i plicit reco"nition that the proposed invest ent or new industry is a atter of public concern on which the public has a ri"ht to be heard. #2% to allow the petitioner to have access to its records on the ori"inal and a ended applications for re"istration. *ec. co ercial and financial infor ation of the applicant BPC. the inhabitants of that province. 'he confidentiality of the records on BPC+s applications is not absolute for Article 0. !ust as the confidentiality of an applicant+s records in the B$I is not absolute. Civil Service Commission. Bataan. . the petition for certiorari is "ranted. when the B$I approved BPC+s application to establish its petroche ical plant in 4i ay. 'he trade secrets and confidential. however. e)cludin".*CRA 29 and Legaspi vs. and atters affectin" national security are e)cluded fro the privile"e./09 Constitution./0/. In this case. 'he petitioner+s re>uest for )ero) copies of certain docu ents flied by BPC to"ether with its ori"inal application. in support of its re>uest for the transfer of its petroche ical plant to Batan"as. and the petitioner herein as the duly elected representative of the *econd &istrict of Bataan ac>uired an interest in the pro!ect which they have a ri"ht to protect. 5Cnder the Constitution. papers. At the oral ar"u ent on the petitioner+s application for a preli inary action on 7uly =. second sentence%.1. real. etc. ay not be denied. 'he Constitution does not open every door to any and all infor ation. @ence. privile"ed papers containin" its trade secrets and other business and financial infor ation.81 *CRA 8. @owever.of the Invest ents Code. . After such hearin".. of the $ nibus Invest ents Code provides that they ay be disclosed 5upon the consent of the applicant. and vital because it win affect not only their econo ic life but even the air they will breathe. Civil *ervice Co ission. III. 9.+ As a atter of fact. @er decision will be final and unappealable. particularly the affected co unity in 4i ay.1%. 'heir interest in the establish ent of the petroche ical plant in their idst is actual. 'he law ay e)e pt certain types of infor ation fro public scrutiny #4e"aspi vs. we ay re>uire the Board to co ply with the law and its own rules and re"ulations prescribin" such notice and hearin". and #.. or on orders of a court of co petent !urisdiction. . *ection 9 of the . as a petroche ical anufacturer./0/. has been sub itted to this Court as Anne) A of its e orandu . Hhile this Court ay not re>uire B$I to decide that controversy in a particular way.. neither is the petitioner+s ri"ht of access to the unli ited. is sub!ect to li itations as ay be provided by law #Art. they have a ri"ht to be heard or 5be consulted5 on the proposal to transfer it to another site for the Invest ents Code does re>uire that the 5affected co unities5 should be consulted. of the respondent Bataan Petroche ical Corporation. and its a ended application for re"istration with B$I. has reco"ni6ed a citi6en+s interest and personality to procure the enforce ent of a public duty and to brin" an action to co pel the perfor ance of that duty. . 'his Court in the cases of Tañada vs. the B$I shall render its decision which the petitioner ay appeal to the President as provided in Article . And. . what the petitioner see(s is for the Board of Invest ents to hold a hearin" where he ay present evidence in support of his opposition to the BPC+s a ended application for re"istration #which a ounts to a new application% since one of the effects of the a end ent is to chan"e the site of its petroche ical plant fro Bataan to Batan"as. access to official records. H@ERE<$RE. Tuvera. the Court was infor ed that if the B$I will hold a hearin" on the BPC+s a ended application.

.= 7anuary .ENCIO. 'he hearin" shall not e)ceed a period of ten #. $n ../00. #adilla.that he ay present at such hearin" all the evidence in his possession in support of his opposition to the transfer of the site of the BPC petroche ical plant to Batan"as province. Sep'r'te Op# #o $ ME. *$ $R&ERE&. doin" business under the na e of Bataan Petroche ical Corporation #BPC%. &ece ber . J. 'he application.. 'he notice of application was duly published in the Philippine &aily In>uirer on 2.5 and increasin" its invest ent to D. BPC was accorded pioneer status and beca e entitled to the incentives provided for in the $ nibus Invest ents Code. C..% days in advance. too( no part. !r.!. concur./0/. %edialdea and &egalado. as sub itted.1% days without postpone ents. No costs. BPC for ally as(ed the B$I for approval of the proposed a end ents. Cortes. at least three #. #aras. 'he petition for a writ of prohibition or preli inary in!unction is denied. !!. after co pliance with other le"al re>uire ents. Cru . the le"islative representative of the *econd &istrict of Bataan. In a hearin" conducted by the *enate Co ittee on Hays and Means. @e also sent letters to the B$I and the &epart ent of 'rade and Industry settin" forth his ob!ections to the transfer./09. April . . petitioner appeared and e)pounded on his position. opposed the chan"e of the plant site in a privile"e speech before Con"ress. and issued the correspondin" Certificate of Re"istration on 2= <ebruary .(ERRERA.. $n . In <ebruary . dissentin"B $n .1% days fro the date fi)ed by the B$I.21 illion a(in" the pro!ect the sin"le bi""est forei"n invest ent in the Philippines to date. 'he hearin"s ay be held fro day to day for a period of ten #. a "roup of 'aiwanese investors. BPC sou"ht to a end its application by proposin" the chan"e of plant site fro Bataan to Batan"as and the feedstoc( fro 5naphta only5 to 5naphta andEor 4PA. Narvasa. specified that the a ount of the invest ent for the establish ent of a petroche ical co ple) in the Philippines was D221 illion and that the plant was to be located in Bataan usin" =. Sarmiento.9 &ece ber . Ganca"co. Gutierre ../0/. naphta as feedstoc(./09. !!. filed with the Board of Invest ents #B$I% an application for re"istration as a new e)port producer of petroche icals. the B$I approved the application./00. 'ernan. Petitioner. $idin. and 'eliciano. notice of which should be served by personal service to the petitioner throu"h counsel.

the B$I approved the revisions to the re"istered petroche ical pro!ect. of the $ nibus Invest ents Code of . I I ediately after the application has been "iven due course by the Board. a eetin" was called by President A>uino in Malacanan" to discuss the transfer of the pro!ect site. the Notice of Publication. *he as(ed the Bataan officials to withdraw their ob!ections to the transfer of the plant site to Batan"as. $pposition by public respondents%. 8=. As re"ards publication. As stated in the a!ority opinion. the Court is not concerned with the econo ic. May . it is not the application itself that is re>uired to be published but notice of the action of the Board plus the specified data. the *ecretary of the Board or any official desi"nated by the Board shall re>uire the applicant to publish the notice o) the action o) the $oard thereon at his e)pense once in a newspaper of "eneral circulation in the province or city where the applicant has its principal office. $n 2= 7une . 'he Bataan officials a"reed to drop their ob!ections. the Aovernor. In his Petition.% to set for hearin" petitioner+s opposition to the a ended application. . and the Mayors of the province. Article 8= of the $ nibus Invest ents Code providesB Art. 'hus. si ply readB Notice is hereby "iven that the application of BA'AAN PE'R$C@EMICA4 C$RP$RA'I$N . and such other data and infor ation as ay be re>uired by the Board./09. 22.% to publish the a ended application for re"istration? #2% to allow petitioner to have access to its records on the ori"inal and a ended applications for re"istration../09. citin" Article 0. the President a"ain called a eetin" with the Bataan Con"ress en.. and post copies of said notice in conspicuous places. the petitioner and the other Con"ress an fro Bataan. Hith all due respect. the a!ority faults the B$I with "rave abuse of discretion and has ordered it #. e)cept for petitioner who instituted this Petition for certiorari and Prohibition before this Court #p. Earlier. nor denial by it to petitioner of due process. which appeared in the In>uirer. #ublication and #osting o) Notices. the B$I denied petitioner+s re>uest for a copy of the revisions sub itted by the investors because the latter had declined to "ive their consent to the disclosure./0/. after all. without a hearin". or on 2. #Italics supplied% Clearly. otherwise (nown as E)ecutive $rder No. $n 29 May . e)cludin" trade secrets? and #. for re"istration with the Board of Invest ents under Boo( I of the $ nibus Invest ent Code of . lest the investors pac( up and leave for./0/. petitioner alle"es that the B$I co itted "rave abuse of discretion and denied hi due process when it approved. the a end ents to the re"istration of the BPC petroche ical pro!ect? when it denied petitioner+s re>uest for a copy of the a end ents? and when it approved the chan"e of the plant site and feedstoc( of the plant./0/. In rulin" in favor of petitioner.. Petitioner re>uested the President to reconsider the B$I decision approvin" the transfer. Present at the eetin" were B$I officials. social and political aspects of the case.. No approval or certificate shall be valid without the publication and postin" of notices as herein provided./0/. the business in which it is en"a"ed or proposes to en"a"e or invest.as . Batan"as is also in the Philippines and so e of the 5downstrea 5 industries which would sprin" fro a petroche ical co ple) ay later be located in Bataan. I find no "rave abuse of discretion on the part of B$I. in the once of the Board or in the buildin" where said office is located? settin" forth in such copies the na e of the applicant.$n 28 May .

. petitioner already has in his possessionB #a% the approval by the B$I of the BPC application for re"istration. Attached to public respondent+s $pposition is BPC+s Position Paper. 'he state ent in the a!ority opinion that the a ended application is considered a new application does not find support in the $ nibus Invest ents Code. $f course. 0.% wee( fro the date of this publication. Con)identialit" o) *pplications. as it does now.. and the feedstoc(.5 Petition%. too.5 Petition%? #b% the post3 re"istration specific ter s and conditions. 'here see s to be no lon"er any necessity therefor./0/.. e)cept with the consent of the applicant or on orders of a court of co petent !urisdiction. the Court. it follows that a end ents thereto should also be considered confidential and need no publication.new e)port producer of ethylene. dated . No "rave abuse of discretion can be attributed to the B$I./09 and is currently bein" processed.5 $pposition%. *pecially si"nificant. 'husB Art. Hhich brin"s us to the second part of the have access to its records. polyethylene and polypropylene has been officially accepted on &ece ber . of the $ nibus Invest ents Code. pursuant to Article 0. Any person with valid ob!ections to or pertinent co ents on the above3 entioned application ay file hisEher co entsEob!ections in writin" with the B$I within one #. #Anne) 5. is the fact that the confidentiality of applications is specifically provided for in the $ nibus Invest ents Code. can order the B$I to allow petitioner to have access to its records on the ori"inal and a ended applications for re"istration. I All applications and their supportin" docu ents filed under this Code shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person. wherein BPC discoursed on the si"nificant benefits to be achieved by the transfer and why 5usin" 4PA as alternative feedstoc( will be very advanta"eous to the pro!ect #Anne) 525 $pposition% In addition.5 ibid.1 April . Considerin" that all applications and their supportin" docu ents are confidential and are not to be disclosed to any person. therefore.5 Petition%. After all the a end ent did not chan"e the essence or nature of the petroche ical pro!ect but only the site. which the B$I i posed for the pro!ect #Anne) 5B. it was because it had received a reply fro the pro!ect proponents 5advisin" us not to release the sub!ect docu ents in view of the sensitive infor ation contained therein which includes the accu ulation of the proponents+ business e)perience and (now3how5 #Anne) 5$.9. a!ority disposition re>uirin" B$I to allow petitioner to If B$I did not furnish petitioner with copy of the ori"inal application and a end ents thereto. there should be no need either to publish the a end ents to the application. however. for not accedin" to petitioner+s re>uest that he be furnished with copies of the ori"inal application with its a end ents and attach ents #Anne) 5G. which includes the pre3re"istration and re"istration conditions #Anne) 5A..%? #c% the BPC letter to . Absent the re>uire ent of publication of the application itself. 4et this notice be published at the e)pense of the applicant ..

in providin" that applications not acted upon by the Board within twenty #21% days fro official acceptance thereof shall be considered auto atically approved i plies that a hearin" is not at all indispensable in the atter of re"istration of enterprises. Powers and &uties of the Board ))) ))) ))) #=% After due hearin". Article 9. decide controversies concernin" the i ple entation of this Code that ay arise between re"istered enterprises or investors therein and "overn ent a"encies. Moreover. does not re>uire the B$I to hold hearin"s before approvin" applications for re"istration or a end ents thereto. in the *upple ental $pposition filed by BPC it has attached a su ary of the considerations that "uided it in proposin" the a end ents. It readsB Art. a hearin".%. within thirty #.5 Petition%? #2% Petitioner+s letter. In other words. are now of record. petitioner 5reiterate#d%5 his 5 ost vehe ent protest a"ainst the aneuver to transfer the Bataan Petroche ical pro!ect fro Bataan to Batan"as which. is clearly discernible. as ordained. hearin"s would contravene Codal provisions on confidentiality. para"raph =. 'he $ nibus Invest ents Code.= of the $ nibus Invest ents Code. sub!ect to additional conditions #Anne) 5*.%? and #d% the approval by the B$I on 28 May . who is concurrently Chair an of the Board of Invest ents. but ore i portantly. In fact. our country and "overn ent5 #Anne) +E. provide the fundin" or ris( capital for the pro!ect5+ #Anne) 57. will serve no practical purpose for petitioner has already fully presented his case. to the *ecretary of 'rade and Industry protested the latter+s 5official position that +'he final choice #of site% is still with the proponent #the 'aiwanese%.1% days after the controversy has been sub itted for decisionB . therefore. 'he a!ority rulin" also re>uires the B$I to set for hearin" petitioner+s opposition to the a ended application so that he ay present at such hearin" all the evidence in his possession in support of his opposition to the transfer of the site of the pro!ect to Batan"as. 'his is concretely shown by the followin" e)chan"e of co unicationsB #. 'he intention of the law to a(e B$I proceedin"s non3adversarial and as e)peditious as possible consistent with the Codal policy to encoura"e invest ents. Additionally. however.5 ibid./0/ of the revisions to the pro!ect. 9. Besides. would "reatly pre!udice not only the people of Bataan. who would. Jirtually all the data petitioner needs.%? .% In his letter to the *ecretary of 'rade and lndustry..the B$I re>uestin" approval of the a end ent of its invest ent application for re"istration for the establish ent of a petroche ical co ple) in the Philippines #Anne) 5<. if successful../0/. cited in the a!ority opinion neither supports the necessity of hearin"s. due hearin" is re>uired only in connection with controversies between re"istered enterprises or investors therein and "overn ent a"encies concernin" the i ple entation of the $ nibus Invest ents Code. the B$I has "iven it due consideration and has acted accordin"ly. dated 2 May . It does not spea( at all of a hearin" on applications for re"istration or a end ents thereto. Article .5 ibid.5 ibid. in the final analysis.

. May . the re>uire ent on consultation is >ualified by the phrase 5whenever necessary. No. and contended that President A>uino had set it aside #Anne) 5P. dated 2= April . there can be no >uestion that petitioner has been fully heard on his ori"inal petition to the B$I to disapprove the transfer of the pro!ect site and on his otion for reconsideration. dated . it is y view that the B$I did not co it any "rave abuse of discretion in approvin" the a end ents to BPC+s application.%? #0% In the B$I letter of 2. by not vi"orously opposin" the transfer. which has been replied to by the Mana"in" @ead of the B$I on . in effect.5 ibid.% Attached to said co unication was petitioner+s letter./0/ and ar"ued that 5P& No.%.5 ibid. the Board./0/5 #Anne) 5R. *pplication. as far as petitioner+s otion for reconsideration of the B$I decision is concerned. May . petitioner havin". . 7une .=% reasons why the pro!ect should not be transferred to Batan"as #Anne) 5I.5 ibid. /=/ as a ended by P& . have chosen Bataan as the site of the petroche ical pro!ect5 #Anne) 5N. 'he atter of deter inin" . addressed to the *enate Co ittee on Hays and Means "ivin" fourteen #. No further purpose will be served by settin" petitioner+s opposition for hearin".5 'he clear i plication is that the B$I ay dispense with such consultations if it believes that it can decide applications for re"istration by itself without consultation. clai ed that the B$I decision to approve the transfer of the pro!ect had. Art.5 ibid. dated . .%? #9% Petitioner+s follow3up letter to the B$I. as well as related issuances./0/. as opined by the 'he provision pertinent thereto readsB a!ority. as a ended by P. 5since you are not sub ittin" any new cause of action for B$I to reconsider its decision.5 ibid. Hhenever necessary.#./0/ rebutted point by point the ar"u ents in the B$I letter of .. May .May . had violated the Constitution.01. we believe that we have sufficiently answered the >uestions you have raised in your letter dated 2 May ..%? #=% 'he reply3letter of the B$I to petitioner. been fully heard. In fine. and ur"ed petitioner not to proceed with his planned court action as it would only serve to 5discoura"e forei"n investors and derail efforts at econo ic recovery5 #Anne) 5M./0/./ 7une . the for er denied that there had been a reversal by the President of the B$I decision? and that. Neither do I thin( that 5affected co unities+ have a ri"ht to be consulted./0/ to petitioner. All told. been reversed by the President herself and that the B$I should 5refrain fro ta(in" any step to e)ecute said defunct decision5 #Anne) 5F. shall consult the co unities affected on the acceptability of locatin" the re"istered enterprise within their co unity. Nor had it failed to observe due process in approvin" the sa e without a for al hearin".%? #8% Petitioner+s letter to the B$I of .%? #-% Petitioner+s letter to the B$I of 2/ May . In other words. recorded in a re"istration boo( and the date appearin" therein and sta ped on the application shall be considered the date of official acceptance./0/. the $ nibus Invest ents Code and P.5 ibid... too( e)ception to petitioner+s clai that the B$I and the &'I. in fact. /=/. &.01.&. I Applications shall be filed with the Board. throu"h the People+s Econo ic Councils.../0/ for ali6ed his 5 otion for reconsideration of the B$I 5decision+ approvin" the transfer of the pro!ect fro Bataan to Batan"as./0/..

/0/. of the $ nibus Invest ents Code of . .ENCIO. &ece ber . and issued the correspondin" Certificate of Re"istration on 2= <ebruary . J.. . Arroyo et al. 'he holdin" of hearin"s will serve no purpose other than unnecessarily delay the i ple entation of the Philippines+ bi""est forei"n pro!ect. specified that the a ount of the invest ent for the establish ent of a petroche ical co ple) in the Philippines was D221 illion and that the plant was to be located in Bataan usin" =. April . therefore. May . the B$I denied petitioner+s re>uest for a copy of the revisions sub itted by the investors because the latter had declined to "ive their consent to the disclosure. BPC was accorded pioneer status and beca e entitled to the incentives provided for in the $ nibus Invest ents Code. for the dis issal of the petition for lac( of erit./09. <urther delay can only produce a chillin" effect on forei"n invest ents in the country.whether the transfer of the plant site and chan"e of feedstoc( will be best for the pro!ect and the country lies with the B$I as the ad inistrative body specifically tas(ed with such atters. . after co pliance with other le"al re>uire ents. 7une 22. . No. dissentin"B $n . A. In <ebruary . It is well3 settled that absent a clear.% as the sa e fans within that a"ency+s special (nowled"e and e)pertise "ained by it fro handlin" the specific atters fallin" under its !urisdiction #Mapa vs. $n 28 May ../09. which dis issal should be i ediately e)ecutory. as sub itted./00. 'he application. anifest and "rave abuse of discretion a ountin" to want of !urisdiction./00.. I vote. BPC sou"ht to a end its application by proposin" the chan"e of plant site fro Bataan to Batan"as and the feedstoc( fro 5naphta only5 to 5naphta andEor 4PA. filed with the Board of Invest ents #B$I% an application for re"istration as a new e)port producer of petroche icals. @e also sent letters to the B$I and the &epart ent of 'rade and Industry settin" forth his ob!ections to the transfer./09. the B$I approved the application. A. citin" Article 0./00.21 illion a(in" the pro!ect the sin"le bi""est forei"n invest ent in the Philippines to date. naphta as feedstoc(. ==9. the le"islative representative of the *econd &istrict of Bataan./0/./0/%. or on 2. a "roup of 'aiwanese investors. 908-8.(ERRERA. In a hearin" conducted by the *enate Co ittee on Hays and Means. Earlier.5 and increasin" its invest ent to D. People+s @o esite and @ousin" Corp.= 7anuary .R. petitioner appeared and e)pounded on his position.-2 *CRA =.9 &ece ber . Sep'r'te Op# #o $ ME. the B$I approved the revisions to the re"istered petroche ical pro!ect. 7uly 8./0/.. opposed the chan"e of the plant site in a privile"e speech before Con"ress. No./0/. $n . the decision and findin"s of an ad inistrative a"ency on atters fallin" within its co petence will not be disturbed by the Courts *a"un vs.R. 'he notice of application was duly published in the Philippine &aily In>uirer on 2. $n .. doin" business under the na e of Bataan Petroche ical Corporation #BPC%. representin" a a!or step towards industriali6ation. BPC for ally as(ed the B$I for approval of the proposed a end ents.0. Petitioner.

In rulin" in favor of petitioner. lest the investors pac( up and leave for.$n 29 May .% to publish the a ended application for re"istration? #2% to allow petitioner to have access to its records on the ori"inal and a ended applications for re"istration../0/. si ply readB Notice is hereby "iven that the application of BA'AAN PE'R$C@EMICA4 C$RP$RA'I$N ./0/.as new e)port producer of ethylene. As re"ards publication. Present at the eetin" were B$I officials. the Court is not concerned with the econo ic. . #ublication and #osting o) Notices. and post copies of said notice in conspicuous places. and the Mayors of the province. the petitioner and the other Con"ress an fro Bataan..9. 8=.. Petitioner re>uested the President to reconsider the B$I decision approvin" the transfer. for re"istration with the Board of Invest ents under Boo( I of the $ nibus Invest ent Code of . the *ecretary of the Board or any official desi"nated by the Board shall re>uire the applicant to publish the notice o) the action o) the $oard thereon at his e)pense once in a newspaper of "eneral circulation in the province or city where the applicant has its principal office./09. in the once of the Board or in the buildin" where said office is located? settin" forth in such copies the na e of the applicant. I find no "rave abuse of discretion on the part of B$I. the a end ents to the re"istration of the BPC petroche ical pro!ect? when it denied petitioner+s re>uest for a copy of the a end ents? and when it approved the chan"e of the plant site and feedstoc( of the plant. petitioner alle"es that the B$I co itted "rave abuse of discretion and denied hi due process when it approved. the President a"ain called a eetin" with the Bataan Con"ress en. otherwise (nown as E)ecutive $rder No. *he as(ed the Bataan officials to withdraw their ob!ections to the transfer of the plant site to Batan"as. nor denial by it to petitioner of due process. e)cludin" trade secrets? and #. the business in which it is en"a"ed or proposes to en"a"e or invest. As stated in the a!ority opinion. e)cept for petitioner who instituted this Petition for certiorari and Prohibition before this Court #p. Article 8= of the $ nibus Invest ents Code providesB Art. polyethylene and polypropylene has been officially accepted on &ece ber .. In his Petition.% to set for hearin" petitioner+s opposition to the a ended application. Batan"as is also in the Philippines and so e of the 5downstrea 5 industries which would sprin" fro a petroche ical co ple) ay later be located in Bataan. the Notice of Publication. 'he Bataan officials a"reed to drop their ob!ections. without a hearin". Hith all due respect. which appeared in the In>uirer. and such other data and infor ation as ay be re>uired by the Board. #Italics supplied% Clearly. 'hus./09 and is currently bein" processed. 22. social and political aspects of the case. . $pposition by public respondents%. $n 2= 7une . a eetin" was called by President A>uino in Malacanan" to discuss the transfer of the pro!ect site. after all. the Aovernor. I I ediately after the application has been "iven due course by the Board. No approval or certificate shall be valid without the publication and postin" of notices as herein provided. it is not the application itself that is re>uired to be published but notice of the action of the Board plus the specified data. the a!ority faults the B$I with "rave abuse of discretion and has ordered it #. .

/0/. Con)identialit" o) *pplications. and the feedstoc(. can order the B$I to allow petitioner to have access to its records on the ori"inal and a ended applications for re"istration. too. 0. it was because it had received a reply fro the pro!ect proponents 5advisin" us not to release the sub!ect docu ents in view of the sensitive infor ation contained therein which includes the accu ulation of the proponents+ business e)perience and (now3how5 #Anne) 5$. Considerin" that all applications and their supportin" docu ents are confidential and are not to be disclosed to any person. however.. it follows that a end ents thereto should also be considered confidential and need no publication. After all the a end ent did not chan"e the essence or nature of the petroche ical pro!ect but only the site. a!ority disposition re>uirin" B$I to allow petitioner to If B$I did not furnish petitioner with copy of the ori"inal application and a end ents thereto.5 ibid. is the fact that the confidentiality of applications is specifically provided for in the $ nibus Invest ents Code. therefore.. dated . Attached to public respondent+s $pposition is BPC+s Position Paper./0/ of the revisions to the pro!ect. 4et this notice be published at the e)pense of the applicant . of the $ nibus Invest ents Code. there should be no need either to publish the a end ents to the application. petitioner already has in his possessionB #a% the approval by the B$I of the BPC application for re"istration. as it does now..% wee( fro the date of this publication. 'husB Art.%? and #d% the approval by the B$I on 28 May . No "rave abuse of discretion can be attributed to the B$I. Hhich brin"s us to the second part of the have access to its records. #Anne) 5. which the B$I i posed for the pro!ect #Anne) 5B.%? #c% the BPC letter to the B$I re>uestin" approval of the a end ent of its invest ent application for re"istration for the establish ent of a petroche ical co ple) in the Philippines #Anne) 5<. 'here see s to be no lon"er any necessity therefor. e)cept with the consent of the applicant or on orders of a court of co petent !urisdiction.5 ibid. 'he state ent in the a!ority opinion that the a ended application is considered a new application does not find support in the $ nibus Invest ents Code. $f course. Absent the re>uire ent of publication of the application itself.Any person with valid ob!ections to or pertinent co ents on the above3 entioned application ay file hisEher co entsEob!ections in writin" with the B$I within one #. I All applications and their supportin" docu ents filed under this Code shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person.5 Petition%? #b% the post3 re"istration specific ter s and conditions.5 Petition%. which includes the pre3re"istration and re"istration conditions #Anne) 5A.. pursuant to Article 0. sub!ect to additional conditions #Anne) .1 April . *pecially si"nificant. the Court.5 $pposition%. wherein BPC discoursed on the si"nificant benefits to be achieved by the transfer and why 5usin" 4PA as alternative feedstoc( will be very advanta"eous to the pro!ect #Anne) 525 $pposition% In addition. for not accedin" to petitioner+s re>uest that he be furnished with copies of the ori"inal application with its a end ents and attach ents #Anne) 5G.5 Petition%.

'he a!ority rulin" also re>uires the B$I to set for hearin" petitioner+s opposition to the a ended application so that he ay present at such hearin" all the evidence in his possession in support of his opposition to the transfer of the site of the pro!ect to Batan"as. It readsB Art. dated 2= April . but ore i portantly.% Attached to said co unication was petitioner+s letter. therefore. who would. however.%? . hearin"s would contravene Codal provisions on confidentiality. It does not spea( at all of a hearin" on applications for re"istration or a end ents thereto. In fact. the B$I has "iven it due consideration and has acted accordin"ly. Additionally.. as ordained. to the *ecretary of 'rade and Industry protested the latter+s 5official position that +'he final choice #of site% is still with the proponent #the 'aiwanese%. In other words. in the final analysis. Besides. within thirty #.5 ibid. provide the fundin" or ris( capital for the pro!ect5+ #Anne) 57. would "reatly pre!udice not only the people of Bataan. in providin" that applications not acted upon by the Board within twenty #21% days fro official acceptance thereof shall be considered auto atically approved i plies that a hearin" is not at all indispensable in the atter of re"istration of enterprises. is clearly discernible.=% reasons why the pro!ect should not be transferred to Batan"as #Anne) 5I. due hearin" is re>uired only in connection with controversies between re"istered enterprises or investors therein and "overn ent a"encies concernin" the i ple entation of the $ nibus Invest ents Code. 'he intention of the law to a(e B$I proceedin"s non3adversarial and as e)peditious as possible consistent with the Codal policy to encoura"e invest ents. will serve no practical purpose for petitioner has already fully presented his case. dated 2 May . are now of record.%? #. Moreover.= of the $ nibus Invest ents Code. does not re>uire the B$I to hold hearin"s before approvin" applications for re"istration or a end ents thereto. Powers and &uties of the Board ))) ))) ))) #=% After due hearin".. Article 9./0/. if successful./0/.%. decide controversies concernin" the i ple entation of this Code that ay arise between re"istered enterprises or investors therein and "overn ent a"encies. addressed to the *enate Co ittee on Hays and Means "ivin" fourteen #. Jirtually all the data petitioner needs. petitioner 5reiterate#d%5 his 5 ost vehe ent protest a"ainst the aneuver to transfer the Bataan Petroche ical pro!ect fro Bataan to Batan"as which.1% days after the controversy has been sub itted for decisionB . para"raph =.5*. in the *upple ental $pposition filed by BPC it has attached a su ary of the considerations that "uided it in proposin" the a end ents. who is concurrently Chair an of the Board of Invest ents.% In his letter to the *ecretary of 'rade and lndustry. a hearin".5 ibid. 9. Article .5 ibid. our country and "overn ent5 #Anne) +E. 'his is concretely shown by the followin" e)chan"e of co unicationsB #.5 Petition%? #2% Petitioner+s letter. 'he $ nibus Invest ents Code. cited in the a!ority opinion neither supports the necessity of hearin"s.

May . /=/. in effect. shall consult the co unities affected on the acceptability of locatin" the re"istered enterprise within their co unity.5 'he clear i plication is that the B$I ay dispense with such consultations if it believes that it can decide applications for re"istration by itself without consultation.5 ibid./0/ rebutted point by point the ar"u ents in the B$I letter of ... No further purpose will be served by settin" petitioner+s opposition for hearin". May . as well as related issuances. Nor had it failed to observe due process in approvin" the sa e without a for al hearin".%. In other words.5 ibid. 'he atter of deter inin" whether the transfer of the plant site and chan"e of feedstoc( will be best for the pro!ect and the country lies with the B$I as the ad inistrative body specifically tas(ed with such atters. 5since you are not sub ittin" any new cause of action for B$I to reconsider its decision..May . been reversed by the President herself and that the B$I should 5refrain fro ta(in" any step to e)ecute said defunct decision5 #Anne) 5F.01. the Board.#=% 'he reply3letter of the B$I to petitioner. &.%? #-% Petitioner+s letter to the B$I of 2/ May . . the re>uire ent on consultation is >ualified by the phrase 5whenever necessary. . the decision and findin"s of an ad inistrative a"ency on atters fallin" within its co petence will not ./0/.. dated ./0/.%? #9% Petitioner+s follow3up letter to the B$I./0/ for ali6ed his 5 otion for reconsideration of the B$I 5decision+ approvin" the transfer of the pro!ect fro Bataan to Batan"as. All told. /=/ as a ended by P& . No./ 7une . it is y view that the B$I did not co it any "rave abuse of discretion in approvin" the a end ents to BPC+s application. It is well3 settled that absent a clear.01. which has been replied to by the Mana"in" @ead of the B$I on .. 7une . recorded in a re"istration boo( and the date appearin" therein and sta ped on the application shall be considered the date of official acceptance. we believe that we have sufficiently answered the >uestions you have raised in your letter dated 2 May . In fine.5 ibid. too( e)ception to petitioner+s clai that the B$I and the &'I. have chosen Bataan as the site of the petroche ical pro!ect5 #Anne) 5N./0/. in fact..%? #0% In the B$I letter of 2. had violated the Constitution. the $ nibus Invest ents Code and P. Neither do I thin( that 5affected co unities+ have a ri"ht to be consulted./0/5 #Anne) 5R.5 ibid. anifest and "rave abuse of discretion a ountin" to want of !urisdiction. as opined by the 'he provision pertinent thereto readsB a!ority. as far as petitioner+s otion for reconsideration of the B$I decision is concerned. May . petitioner havin". there can be no >uestion that petitioner has been fully heard on his ori"inal petition to the B$I to disapprove the transfer of the pro!ect site and on his otion for reconsideration.. I Applications shall be filed with the Board. dated ./0/ to petitioner.%? #8% Petitioner+s letter to the B$I of .5 ibid. Art. throu"h the People+s Econo ic Councils. as a ended by P. the for er denied that there had been a reversal by the President of the B$I decision? and that. been fully heard./0/ and ar"ued that 5P& No. and ur"ed petitioner not to proceed with his planned court action as it would only serve to 5discoura"e forei"n investors and derail efforts at econo ic recovery5 #Anne) 5M. Hhenever necessary.. *pplication. and contended that President A>uino had set it aside #Anne) 5P. clai ed that the B$I decision to approve the transfer of the pro!ect had. by not vi"orously opposin" the transfer.&.

which dis issal should be i ediately e)ecutory. . representin" a a!or step towards industriali6ation. therefore. for the dis issal of the petition for lac( of erit. A.0. 'he holdin" of hearin"s will serve no purpose other than unnecessarily delay the i ple entation of the Philippines+ bi""est forei"n pro!ect./0/%. 7une 22. <urther delay can only produce a chillin" effect on forei"n invest ents in the country.R../00. No. 7uly 8.% as the sa e fans within that a"ency+s special (nowled"e and e)pertise "ained by it fro handlin" the specific atters fallin" under its !urisdiction #Mapa vs..be disturbed by the Courts *a"un vs.R. Arroyo et al. . People+s @o esite and @ousin" Corp. ==9. . I vote. A. No. 908-8.-2 *CRA =.. .