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Laguna Lake Development Authority v.

G.R. Nos. 120865-71, December 7, 1995
Hermosisima Jr., J.
RA 4850 was enacted creatin t!e "#a$na #a%e De&e'o(ment A$t!orit)." *!is aenc) was s$((osed to
acce'erate t!e de&e'o(ment and ba'anced rowt! o+ t!e #a$na #a%e area and t!e s$rro$ndin (ro&inces, cities and
towns, in t!e act, wit!in t!e conte,t o+ t!e nationa' and reiona' ('ans and (o'icies +or socia' and economic
-D 81. amended certain sections RA 4850 beca$se o+ t!e concern +or t!e ra(id e,(ansion o+ /etro(o'itan
/ani'a, t!e s$b$rbs and t!e 'a%es!ore towns o+ #a$na de 0a), combined wit! c$rrent and (ros(ecti&e $ses o+ t!e
'a%e +or m$nici(a'-ind$stria' water s$(('), irriation, +is!eries, and t!e 'i%e.
*o e++ecti&e') (er+orm t!e ro'e o+ t!e A$t!orit) $nder RA 4850, t!e 1!ie+ 2,ec$ti&e iss$ed 23 927 +$rt!er
de+ined and en'ared t!e +$nctions and (owers o+ t!e A$t!orit) and named and en$merated t!e towns, cities and
(ro&inces encom(assed b) t!e term "#a$na de 0a) Reion". A'so, (ertinent to t!e iss$es in t!is case are t!e
+o''owin (ro&isions o+ 23 927 w!ic! inc'$de in (artic$'ar t!e s!arin o+ +ees4
5ec 24 ,,, t!e A$t!orit) s!a'' !a&e e,c'$si&e 6$risdiction to iss$e (ermit +or t!e $se o+ a''
s$r+ace water +or an) (ro6ects or acti&ities in or a++ectin t!e said reion inc'$din na&iation,
constr$ction, and o(eration o+ +is!(ens, +is! enc'os$res, +is! corra's and t!e 'i%e.
521. .. Collection of Fees. *!e A$t!orit) is !ereb) em(owered to co''ect +ees +or t!e $se o+
t!e 'a%e water and its trib$taries +or a'' bene+icia' ($r(oses inc'$din b$t not 'imited to +is!eries,
recreation, m$nici(a', ind$stria', aric$'t$ra', na&iation, irriation, and waste dis(osa' ($r(ose7
-ro&ided, t!at t!e rates o+ t!e +ees to be co''ected, and t!e s!arin wit! ot!er o&ernment
aencies and (o'itica' s$bdi&isions, i+ necessar), s!a'' be s$b6ect to t!e a((ro&a' o+ t!e -resident
o+ t!e -!i'i((ines $(on recommendation o+ t!e A$t!orit)8s 0oard, e,ce(t +is!(en +ee, w!ic! wi''
be s!ared in t!e +o''owin manner4 20 (ercent o+ t!e +ee s!a'' o to t!e 'a%es!ore 'oca'
o&ernments, 5 (ercent s!a'' o to t!e -ro6ect De&e'o(ment 9$nd w!ic! s!a'' be administered
b) a 1o$nci' and t!e remainin 75 (ercent s!a'' constit$te t!e s!are o+ ##DA. :owe&er, a+ter
t!e im('ementation wit!in t!e t!ree-)ear (eriod o+ t!e #a$na #a%e 9is!er) ;onin and
/anaement -'an t!e s!arin wi'' be modi+ied as +o''ows4 .5 (ercent o+ t!e +is!(en +ee oes to
t!e 'a%es!ore 'oca' o&ernments, 5 (ercent oes to t!e -ro6ect De&e'o(ment 9$nd and t!e
remainin 60 (ercent s!a'' be retained b) ##DA7 -ro&ided, !owe&er, t!at t!e s!are o+ ##DA
s!a'' +orm (art o+ its cor(orate +$nds and s!a'' not be remitted to t!e Nationa' *reas$r) as an
e,ce(tion to t!e (ro&isions o+ -residentia' Decree No. 12.4.
*!en came Re($b'ic Act No. 7160. *!e m$nici(a'ities in t!e #a$na #a%e Reion inter(reted t!e
(ro&isions o+ t!is 'aw to mean t!at t!e new') (assed 'aw a&e m$nici(a' o&ernments t!e e,c'$si&e 6$risdiction to
iss$e +is!in (ri&i'ees wit!in t!eir m$nici(a' waters beca$se R.A. 7160 (ro&ides4
5ec. 149. 9is!er) Renta's7 9ees and 1!ares <a= /$nici(a'ities s!a'' !a&e t!e e,c'$si&e
a$t!orit) to rant +is!er) (ri&i'ees in t!e m$nici(a' waters and im(ose renta' +ees or c!ares
t!ere+or in accordance wit! t!e (ro&isions o+ t!is 5ection.
/$nici(a' o&ernments t!ere$(on ass$med t!e a$t!orit) to iss$e +is!in (ri&i'ees and
+is!(en (ermits. 0i +is!(en o(erators too% ad&antae o+ t!e occasion to estab'is! +is!(ens and
+is!caes to t!e consternation o+ t!e A$t!orit). >nre$'ated +is!(ens and +is!caes occ$(ied
a'most one-t!ird t!e entire 'a%e water s$r+ace area, increasin t!e occ$(ation drastica'') +rom
7,000 !a in 1990 to a'most 21,000 !a in 1995. *!e /a)or8s (ermit to constr$ct +is!(ens and
+is!caes were a'' $nderta%en in &io'ation o+ t!e (o'icies ado(ted b) t!e A$t!orit) on +is!(en
?onin and t!e #a$na #a%e carr)in ca(acit). @n &iew o+ t!e +oreoin circ$mstances, t!e
A$t!orit) ser&ed notice to t!e enera' ($b'ic t!at4
1. A'' +is!(ens, +is!caes and ot!er aA$a-c$'t$re str$ct$res in t!e #a$na de 0a) Reion,
w!ic! were not reistered or to w!ic! no a(('ication +or reistration andBor (ermit !as
been +i'ed wit! #a$na #a%e De&e'o(ment A$t!orit) as o+ /arc! .1, 199. are !ereb)
dec'ared o$tri!t') as i''ea'.
2. A'' +is!(ens7 +is!caes and ot!er aA$a-c$'t$re str$ct$res so dec'ared as i''ea' s!a'' be
s$b6ect to demo'ition w!ic! s!a'' be $nderta%en b) t!e -residentia' *as% 9orce +or i''ea'
9is!(en and @''ea' 9is!in.
.. 3wners o+ +is!(ens, +is!caes and ot!er aA$a-c$'t$re str$ct$res dec'ared as i''ea' s!a'',
wit!o$t (re6$dice to demo'ition o+ t!eir str$ct$res be crimina'') c!ared in accordance
wit! 5ection .9-A o+ Re($b'ic Act 4850 as amended b) -.D. 81. +or &io'ation o+ t!e
same 'aws. Cio'ations o+ t!ese 'aws carries a (ena't) o+ im(risonment o+ not e,ceedin .
)ears or a +ine not e,ceedin 9i&e *!o$sand -esos or bot! at t!e discretion o+ t!e co$rt.
A'' o(erators o+ +is!(ens, +is!caes and ot!er aA$a-c$'t$re str$ct$res dec'ared as i''ea' in
accordance wit! t!e +oreoin Notice s!a'' !a&e one <1= mont! on or be+ore 27 3ctober 199. to
s!ow ca$se be+ore t!e ##DA w!) t!eir said +is!(ens, +is!caes and ot!er aA$a-c$'t$re
str$ct$res s!o$'d not be demo'is!edBdismant'ed.
3ne mont!, t!erea+ter, t!e A$t!orit) sent notices to t!e concerned owners o+ t!e i''ea'') constr$cted
+is!(ens, +is!caes and ot!er aA$a-c$'t$re str$ct$res ad&isin t!em to dismant'e t!eir res(ecti&e str$ct$res wit!in 10
da)s +rom recei(t t!ereo+, ot!erwise, demo'ition s!a'' be e++ected.
*!e +is!(en owners +i'ed in6$nction cases aainst t!e ##DA. *!e ##DA +i'ed motions to dismiss t!e cases
aainst it on 6$risdictiona' ro$nds. *!e motions to dismiss were denied. /eanw!i'e, *R3Bwrits o+ (re'iminar)
mandator) in6$nction were iss$ed en6oinin t!e ##DA +rom demo'is!in t!e +is!(ens and simi'ar str$ct$res in
A$estion. :ence, t!e (resent (etition +or certiorari, (ro!ibition and in6$nction. *!e 1A dismissed t!e ##DADs
conso'idated (etitions. @t r$'ed t!at <A= ##DA is not amon t!ose A$asi-6$dicia' aencies o+ o&ernment a((ea'ab'e
on') to t!e 1o$rt o+ A((ea's7 <0= t!e ##DA c!arter does &est ##DA wit! A$asi-6$dicia' +$nctions inso+ar as
+is!(ens are concerned7 <1= t!e (ro&isions o+ t!e ##DA c!arter inso+ar as +is!in (ri&i'ees in #a$na de 0a) are
concerned !ad been re(ea'ed b) t!e #oca' Go&ernment 1ode o+ 19917 <D= in &iew o+ t!e a+oresaid re(ea', t!e (ower
to rant (ermits de&o'&ed to res(ecti&e 'oca' o&ernment $nits concerned.
E!ic! aenc) o+ t!e Go&ernment - t!e ##DA or t!e towns and m$nici(a'ities com(risin t!e reion -
s!o$'d e,ercise 6$risdiction o&er t!e #a$na #a%e and its en&irons inso+ar as t!e iss$ance o+ (ermits +or +is!er)
(ri&i'ees is concernedF
##DA. 5ection 4 <%= o+ RA 4850, t!e (ro&isions o+ -D 81., and 5ection 2 o+ 23 927, s(eci+ica'') (ro&ide
t!at t!e ##DA s!a'' !a&e e,c'$si&e 6$risdiction to iss$e (ermits +or t!e $se or a'' s$r+ace water +or an) (ro6ects or
acti&ities in or a++ectin t!e said reion, inc'$din na&iation, constr$ction, and o(eration o+ +is!(ens, +is!
enc'os$res, +is! corra's and t!e 'i%e. 3n t!e ot!er !and, RA 7160 !as ranted to t!e m$nici(a'ities t!e e,c'$si&e
a$t!orit) to rant +is!er) (ri&i'ees in m$nici(a' waters. *!e 5an$nian 0a)an ma) rant +is!er) (ri&i'ees to
erect +is! corra's, o)ster, m$sse's or ot!er aA$atic beds or ban$s +r) area wit!in a de+inite ?one o+ t!e m$nici(a'
*!e (ro&isions o+ RA7160 do not necessari') re(ea' t!e 'aws creatin t!e ##DA and rantin t!e 'atter
water ri!ts a$t!orit) o&er #a$na de 0a) and t!e 'a%e reion.
*!e #oca' Go&ernment 1ode o+ 1991 does not contain an) e,(ress (ro&ision w!ic! cateorica'') e,(ress')
re(ea' t!e c!arter o+ t!e A$t!orit). @t !as to be conceded t!at t!ere was no intent on t!e (art o+ t!e 'eis'at$re to
re(ea' Re($b'ic Act No. 4850 and its amendments. *!e re(ea' o+ 'aws s!o$'d be made c'ear and e,(ressed.
@t !as to be conceded t!at t!e c!arter o+ t!e ##DA constit$tes a s(ecia' 'aw. RA 7160 is a enera' 'aw. @t is
basic is basic in stat$tor) constr$ction t!at t!e enactment o+ a 'ater 'eis'ation w!ic! is a enera' 'aw cannot be
constr$ed to !a&e re(ea'ed a s(ecia' 'aw. @t is a we''-sett'ed r$'e in t!is 6$risdiction t!at "a s(ecia' stat$te, (ro&ided
+or a (artic$'ar case or c'ass o+ cases, is not re(ea'ed b) a s$bseA$ent stat$te, enera' in its terms, (ro&isions and
a(('ication, $n'ess t!e intent to re(ea' or a'ter is mani+est, a't!o$! t!e terms o+ t!e enera' 'aw are broad eno$! to
inc'$de t!e cases embraced in t!e s(ecia' 'aw." E!ere t!ere is a con+'ict between a enera' 'aw and a s(ecia'
stat$te, t!e s(ecia' stat$te s!o$'d (re&ai' since it e&inces t!e 'eis'ati&e intent more c'ear') t!at t!e enera' stat$te.
*!e s(ecia' 'aw is to be ta%en as an e,ce(tion to t!e enera' 'aw in t!e absence o+ s(ecia' circ$mstances +orcin a
contrar) conc'$sion. *!is is beca$se im('ied re(ea's are not +a&ored and as m$c! as (ossib'e, i&en to a''
enactments o+ t!e 'eis'at$re. A s(ecia' 'aw cannot be re(ea'ed, amended or a'tered b) a s$bseA$ent enera' 'aw b)
mere im('ication.
1onsiderin t!e reasons be!ind t!e estab'is!ment o+ t!e A$t!orit), w!ic! are en&iromenta' (rotection,
na&iationa' sa+et), and s$stainab'e de&e'o(ment, t!ere is e&er) indication t!at t!e 'eis'ati&e intent is +or t!e
A$t!orit) to (roceed wit! its mission.
Ee are on a'' +o$rs wit! t!e mani+estation o+ ##DA t!at "#a$na de 0a), 'i%e an) ot!er sin'e bod) o+
water !as its own $niA$e nat$ra' ecos)stem. *!e 900 %m 'a%e s$r+ace water, t!e 8 ma6or ri&er trib$taries and se&era'
ot!er sma''er ri&ers t!at drain into t!e 'a%e, t!e 2,920 %m2 basin or waters!ed transcendin t!e bo$ndaries o+
#a$na and Ri?a' (ro&inces, constit$te one interated de'icate nat$ra' ecos)stem t!at needs to be (rotected wit!
$ni+orm set o+ (o'icies7 i+ we are to be serio$s in o$r aims o+ attainin s$stainab'e de&e'o(ment. *!is is an
e,!a$stib'e nat$ra' reso$rce-a &er) 'imited one-w!ic! reA$ires 6$dicio$s manaement and o(tima' $ti'i?ation to
ens$re renewabi'it) and (reser&e its eco'oica' interit) and ba'ance. /anain t!e 'a%e reso$rces wo$'d mean t!e
im('ementation o+ a nationa' (o'ic) eared towards t!e (rotection, conser&ation, ba'anced rowt! and s$stainab'e
de&e'o(ment o+ t!e reion wit! d$e reard to t!e inter-enerationa' $se o+ its reso$rces b) t!e in!abitants in t!is (art
o+ t!e eart!. *!e a$t!ors o+ Re($b'ic Act 4850 !a&e +oreseen t!is need w!en t!e) (assed t!is ##DA 'aw-t!e s(ecia'
'aw desined to o&ern t!e manaement o+ o$r #a$na de 0a) 'a%e reso$rces. #a$na de 0a) t!ere+ore cannot be
s$b6ected to +ramented conce(ts o+ manaement (o'icies w!ere 'a%es!ore 'oca' o&ernment $nits e,ercise
e,c'$si&e dominion o&er s(eci+ic (ortions o+ t!e 'a%e water. *!e im('ementation o+ a co!esi&e and interated 'a%e
water reso$rce manaement (o'ic), t!ere+ore, is necessar) to conser&e, (rotect and s$stainab') de&e'o( #a$na de
*!e (ower o+ t!e #G>s to iss$e +is!in (ri&i'ees was c'ear') ranted +or re&en$e ($r(oses. *!is is e&ident
+rom t!e +act t!at 5ection 149 o+ t!e New #oca' Go&ernment 1ode em(owerin 'oca' o&ernments to iss$e +is!in
(ermits is embodied in 1!a(ter 2, 0oo% @@, o+ Re($b'ic Act No. 7160 $nder t!e !eadin, "5(eci+ic -ro&isions 3n
*!e *a,in And 3t!er Re&en$e Raisin -ower o+ #G>s.G
3n t!e ot!er !and, t!e (ower o+ t!e A$t!orit) to rant (ermits +or +is!(ens, +is!caes and ot!er aA$a-
c$'t$re str$ct$res is +or t!e ($r(ose o+ e++ecti&e') re$'atin and monitorin acti&ities in t!e #a$na de 0a) reion
and +or 'a%e A$a'it) contro' and manaement. 6 @t does (arta%e o+ t!e nat$re o+ (o'ice (ower w!ic! is t!e most
(er&asi&e, t!e 'east 'imitab'e and t!e most demandin o+ a'' 5tate (owers inc'$din t!e (ower o+ ta,ation.
Accordin') t!e c!arter o+ t!e A$t!orit) w!ic! embodies a &a'id e,ercise o+ (o'ice (ower s!o$'d (re&ai' o&er t!e
#oca' Go&ernment 1ode o+ 1991 on matters a++ectin #a$na de 0a).
*!ere s!o$'d be no A$arre' o&er (ermit +ees +or +is!(ens, +is!caes and ot!er aA$a-c$'t$re str$ct$res in t!e
#a$na de 0a) area. 5ection . o+ 2,ec$ti&e 3rder No. 927 (ro&ides +or t!e (ro(er s!arin o+ +ees co''ected.
@n res(ect to t!e A$estion as to w!et!er t!e A$t!orit) is a A$asi-6$dicia' aenc) or not, it is o$r !o'din t!at,
considerin t!e (ro&isions o+ 5ection 4 o+ Re($b'ic Act No. 4850 and 5ection 4 o+ 2,ec$ti&e 3rder No. 927, series
o+ 198., and t!e r$'in o+ t!is 1o$rt in #a$na #a%e De&e'o(ment A$t!orit) &s. 1o$rt o+ A((ea's, t!ere is no
A$estion t!at t!e A$t!orit) !as e,(ress (owers as a re$'ator) a A$asi-6$dicia' bod) in res(ect to (o''$tion cases
wit! a$t!orit) to iss$e a "cease a desist order" and on matters a++ectin t!e constr$ction o+ i''ea' +is!(ens, +is!caes
and ot!er aA$a-c$'t$re str$ct$res in #a$na de 0a). *!e A$t!orit)8s (retense, !owe&er, t!at it is co-eA$a' to t!e
Reiona' *ria' 1o$rts s$c! t!at a'' actions aainst it ma) on') be instit$ted be+ore t!e 1o$rt o+ A((ea's cannot be
s$stained. 3n actions necessitatin t!e reso'$tion o+ 'ea' A$estions a++ectin t!e (owers o+ t!e A$t!orit) as
(ro&ided +or in its c!arter, t!e Reiona' *ria' 1o$rts !a&e 6$risdiction.
@n &iew o+ t!e +oreoin, t!is 1o$rt !o'ds t!at 5ection 149 o+ RA 7160, ot!erwise %nown as t!e #oca'
Go&ernment 1ode o+ 1991, !as not re(ea'ed t!e (ro&isions o+ t!e c!arter o+ t!e ##DA, Re($b'ic Act No. 4850, as
amended. *!$s, t!e A$t!orit) !as t!e e,c'$si&e 6$risdiction to iss$e (ermits +or t!e en6o)ment o+ +is!er) (ri&i'ees
in #a$na de 0a) to t!e e,c'$sion o+ m$nici(a'ities sit$ated t!erein and t!e a$t!orit) to e,ercise s$c! (owers as are
b) its c!arter &ested on it.

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