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KWONG SING VS. CITY OF MANILA [41 PHIL 103; G.R. NO.

15972; 11 OCT 1920]

Facts: Kwong Sing, in his own behalf and of other Chinese laundrymen who has general and the same
interest, filed a complaint for a preliminary injunction. The Plaintiffs also questioned the validity of
enforcing Ordinance No. 532 by the city of Manila. Ordinance No. 532 requires that the receipt be in
duplicate in English and Spanish duly signed showing the kind and number of articles delivered by
laundries and dyeing and cleaning establishments. The permanent injunction was denied by the trial court.
The appellants claim is that Ordinance No. 532 savors of class legislation; putting in mind that they are
Chinese nationals. It unjustly discriminates between persons in similar circumstances; and that it constitutes
an arbitrary infringement of property rights. They also contest that the enforcement of the legislation is an
act beyond the scope of their police power. In view of the foregoing, this is an appeal with the Supreme
Court.
Issues:
(1) Whether or Not the enforcement of Ordinance no, 532 is an act beyond the scope of police
power
(2) Whether or Not the enforcement of the same is a class legislation that infringes property rights.
Held: Reasonable restraints of a lawful business for such purposes are permissible under the police power.
The police power of the City of Manila to enact Ordinance No. 532 is based on Section 2444, paragraphs
(l) and (ee) of the Administrative Code, as amended by Act No. 2744, authorizes the municipal board of
the city of Manila, with the approval of the mayor of the city:

(l) To regulate and fix the amount of the license fees for the following: xxxx xxxxxlaundries xxxx.
(ee) To enact all ordinances it may deem necessary and proper for the sanitation and safety, the furtherance
of the prosperity, and the promotion of the morality, peace, good order, comfort, convenience, and general
welfare of the city and its inhabitants.

The court held that the obvious purpose of Ordinance No. 532 was to avoid disputes between laundrymen
and their patrons and to protect customers of laundries who are not able to decipher Chinese characters
from being defrauded. (Considering that in the year 1920s, people of Manila are more familiar with Spanish
and maybe English.)

In whether the ordinance is class legislation, the court held that the ordinance invades no fundamental right,
and impairs no personal privilege. Under the guise of police regulation, an attempt is not made to violate
personal property rights. The ordinance is neither discriminatory nor unreasonable in its operation. It
applies to all public laundries without distinction, whether they belong to Americans, Filipinos, Chinese, or
any other nationality. All, without exception, and each every one of them without distinction, must comply
with the ordinance. The obvious objection for the implementation of the ordinance is based in sec2444 (ee)
of the Administrative Code. Although, an additional burden will be imposed on the business and
occupation affected by the ordinance such as that of the appellant by learning even a few words in Spanish
or English, but mostly Arabic numbers in order to properly issue a receipt, it seems that the same burdens
are cast upon the them. Yet, even if private rights of person or property are subjected to restraint, and even
if loss will result to individuals from the enforcement of the ordinance, this is not sufficient ground for
failing to uphold the power of the legislative body. The very foundation of the police power is the control of
private interests for the public welfare.

Finding that the ordinance is valid, judgment is affirmed, and the petition for a preliminary injunction is
denied, with costs against the appellants.