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G.R. No. 47800 December 2, 1940
Doctrine: Social Justice

The National Traffic Commission, in its resolution of July 17, 1940, resolved
to recommend to the Director of the Public Works and to the Secretary
of Public Works and Communications that animal-
drawn vehicles be prohibited from passing along the following for a period of
one year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic:
1) Rosario Street extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmariñas
Street from 7:30Am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 530 pm; and
2) along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo
Street to
Echague Street from 7 am to 11pm
The Chairman of the National Traffic Commission on July 18, 1940
recommended to the Director of Public Works with the approval of the
Secretary of Public Works the adoption of
thethemeasure proposed in the resolution aforementioned in pursuance of the
provisions of theCommonwealth Act No. 548 which authorizes said Director
with the approval from the
Secretary of the Public Works and Communication to promulgate rules and r
egulations to regulate and control the use of and traffic on national roads.
On August 2, 1940, the Director recommended to the Secretary the approval
of the recommendations made by the Chairman of the National Traffic
Commission with modifications. The Secretary of Public Works approved the
recommendations on August 10,1940. The Mayor of Manila and the Acting
Chief of Police of Manila have enforced and caused to be enforced the rules
and regulation. As a consequence, all animal-drawn vehicles are not allowed
to pass and pick up passengers in the places above mentioned to the
detriment not only of their owners but of the riding public as well.
1) Whether the rules and regulations promulgated by the respondents
pursuant to the provisions of Commonwealth Act NO. 548 constitute an
unlawful inference with legitimate business or trade and abridged the right to
personal liberty and freedom of locomotion?
2) Whether the rules and regulations complained of infringe upon the
constitutional precept regarding the promotion of social justice to insure the
well-being and economic security of all the people?
1) No. The promulgation of the Act aims to promote safe transit upon and
avoid obstructions on national roads in the interest and convenience of the
public. In enacting said law, the National Assembly was prompted by
considerations of public convenience and welfare. It was inspired by the
desire to relieve congestion of traffic, which is a menace to the public safety.
Public welfare lies at the bottom of the promulgation of the said law and the
state in order to promote the general welfare may interfere with personal
liberty, with property, and with business and occupations. Persons and
property may be subject to all kinds of restraints and burdens in order to
secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity of the State. To this
fundamental aims of the government, the rights of the individual are
subordinated. Liberty is a blessing which should not be made to prevail over
authority because society will fall into anarchy. Neither should authority be
made to prevail over liberty because then the individual will fall into slavery.
The paradox lies in the fact that the apparent curtailment of liberty is
precisely the very means of insuring its preserving.
2) No. Social justice is “neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism,
nor anarchy,” but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and
economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively
secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the
promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government
of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent
elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social
equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community,
constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or
extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the
existence of all governments on the time-honored principles of salus populi
estsuprema lex.
Social justice must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of
interdependence among divers and diverse units of a society and of the
protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a
combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with the
fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting health,
comfort and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about “the greatest good to
the greatest number.”
G.R. Nos. 171947-48 December 18, 2008

LOCAL GOVERNMENT, petitioners,


The need to address environmental pollution, as a cause of climate change, has of late gained the
attention of the international community. Media have finally trained their sights on the ill effects of
pollution, the destruction of forests and other critical habitats, oil spills, and the unabated improper
disposal of garbage. And rightly so, for the magnitude of environmental destruction is now on a scale
few ever foresaw and the wound no longer simply heals by itself. But amidst hard evidence and clear
signs of a climate crisis that need bold action, the voice of cynicism, naysayers, and procrastinators
can still be heard.

This case turns on government agencies and their officers who, by the nature of their respective offices
or by direct statutory command, are tasked to protect and preserve, at the first instance, our internal
waters, rivers, shores, and seas polluted by human activities. To most of these agencies and their
official complement, the pollution menace does not seem to carry the high national priority it deserves,
if their track records are to be the norm. Their cavalier attitude towards solving, if not mitigating, the
environmental pollution problem, is a sad commentary on bureaucratic efficiency and commitment.

At the core of the case is the Manila Bay, a place with a proud historic past, once brimming with
marine life and, for so many decades in the past, a spot for different contact recreation activities, but
now a dirty and slowly dying expanse mainly because of the abject official indifference of people and
institutions that could have otherwise made a difference.


On January 29, 1999, respondents Concerned Residents of Manila Bay filed a complaint before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Imus, Cavite against several government agencies, for the cleanup,
rehabilitation, and protection of the Manila Bay.

The complaint alleged that the water quality of the Manila Bay had fallen way below the allowable
standards set by law, specifically Presidential Decree No. (PD) 1152 or the Philippine Environment

In their individual causes of action, respondents alleged that the continued neglect of petitioners in
abating the pollution of the Manila Bay constitutes a violation of, among others:

(1) Respondents’ constitutional right to life, health, and a balanced ecology;

(2) The Environment Code (PD 1152);

(3) The Pollution Control Law (PD 984);

(4) The Water Code (PD 1067);

(5) The Sanitation Code (PD 856);

(6) The Illegal Disposal of Wastes Decree (PD 825);

(7) The Marine Pollution Law (PD 979);

(8) Executive Order No. 192;

(9) The Toxic and Hazardous Wastes Law (Republic Act No. 6969);

(10) Civil Code provisions on nuisance and human relations;

(11) The Trust Doctrine and the Principle of Guardianship; and

(12) International Law

Inter alia, respondents, as plaintiffs a quo, prayed that petitioners be ordered to clean the Manila Bay
and submit to the RTC a concerted concrete plan of action for the purpose.


a) Whether or not pertinent provisions of the Environment Code (PD 1152) relate only to the cleaning
of specific pollution incidents and do not cover cleaning in general.

b) Whether or not the cleaning of the Manila Bay is not a ministerial act which can be compelled by


Regional Trial Court’s Order to Clean Up and Rehabilitate Manila Bay

On September 13, 2002, the RTC rendered a Decision in favor of respondents. Finding merit in the
complaint, the Court ordered defendant-government agencies, jointly and solidarily, to clean up and
rehabilitate Manila Bay and restore its waters to SB classification to make it fit for swimming, skin-
diving and other forms of contact recreation.

To attain this, defendant-agencies, with defendant DENR as the lead agency, are directed, within six (6)
months from receipt hereof, to act and perform their respective duties by devising a consolidated,
coordinated and concerted scheme of action for the rehabilitation and restoration of the bay.

In particular:

Defendant MWSS is directed to install, operate and maintain adequate [sewerage] treatment facilities in
strategic places under its jurisdiction and increase their capacities.

Defendant LWUA, to see to it that the water districts under its wings, provide, construct and operate
sewage facilities for the proper disposal of waste.

Defendant DENR, which is the lead agency in cleaning up Manila Bay, to install, operate and maintain
waste facilities to rid the bay of toxic and hazardous substances.

Defendant PPA, to prevent and also to treat the discharge not only of ship-generated wastes but also of
other solid and liquid wastes from docking vessels that contribute to the pollution of the bay.

Defendant MMDA, to establish, operate and maintain an adequate and appropriate sanitary landfill
and/or adequate solid waste and liquid disposal as well as other alternative garbage disposal system
such as re-use or recycling of wastes.

Defendant DA, through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, to revitalize the marine life in
Manila Bay and restock its waters with indigenous fish and other aquatic animals.

Defendant DBM, to provide and set aside an adequate budget solely for the purpose of cleaning up and
rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

Defendant DPWH, to remove and demolish structures and other nuisances that obstruct the free flow of
waters to the bay. These nuisances discharge solid and liquid wastes which eventually end up in Manila
Bay. As the construction and engineering arm of the government, DPWH is ordered to actively
participate in removing debris, such as carcass of sunken vessels, and other non-biodegradable garbage
in the bay.

Defendant DOH, to closely supervise and monitor the operations of septic and sludge companies and
require them to have proper facilities for the treatment and disposal of fecal sludge and sewage coming
from septic tanks.

Defendant DECS, to inculcate in the minds and hearts of the people through education the importance
of preserving and protecting the environment.

Defendant Philippine Coast Guard and the PNP Maritime Group, to protect at all costs the Manila Bay
from all forms of illegal fishing.

The Court of Appeals Sustained the RTC’s Decision

The MWSS, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), and PPA filed before the Court of Appeals
(CA) individual Notices of Appeal. On the other hand, the DENR, Department of Public Works and
Highways (DPWH), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine Coast Guard
(PCG), Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group, and five other executive departments and
agencies filed directly with this Court a petition for review under Rule 45.

In the light of the ongoing environmental degradation, the Court wishes to emphasize the extreme
necessity for all concerned executive departments and agencies to immediately act and discharge their
respective official duties and obligations. Indeed, time is of the essence; hence, there is a need to set
timetables for the performance and completion of the tasks, some of them as defined for them by law
and the nature of their respective offices and mandates.

The importance of the Manila Bay as a sea resource, playground, and as a historical landmark cannot
be over-emphasized. It is not yet too late in the day to restore the Manila Bay to its former splendor and
bring back the plants and sea life that once thrived in its blue waters. But the tasks ahead, daunting as
they may be, could only be accomplished if those mandated, with the help and cooperation of all civic-
minded individuals, would put their minds to these tasks and take responsibility. This means that the
State, through petitioners, has to take the lead in the preservation and protection of the Manila Bay.

So it was that in Oposa v. Factoran, Jr. the Court stated that the right to a balanced and healthful
ecology need not even be written in the Constitution for it is assumed, like other civil and political
rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, to exist from the inception of mankind and it is an issue of
transcendental importance with intergenerational implications. Even assuming the absence of a
categorical legal provision specifically prodding petitioners to clean up the bay, they and the men and
women representing them cannot escape their obligation to future generations of Filipinos to keep the
waters of the Manila Bay clean and clear as humanly as possible. Anything less would be a betrayal of
the trust reposed in them.

By a Decision of September 28, 2005, the CA denied petitioners’ appeal and affirmed the Decision of
the RTC in toto, stressing that the trial court’s decision did not require petitioners to do tasks outside of
their usual basic functions under existing laws.

Due to the death of one Maricris Sioson in 1991, Cory banned the deployment of performing
artists to Japan and other destinations. This was relaxed however with the introduction of the
Entertainment Industry Advisory Council which later proposed a plan to POEA to screen and
train performing artists seeking to go abroad. In pursuant to the proposal POEA and the
secretary of DOLE sought a 4 step plan to realize the plan which included an Artist’s Record
Book which a performing artist must acquire prior to being deployed abroad. The Federation of
Talent Managers of the Philippines assailed the validity of the said regulation as it violated the
right to travel, abridge existing contracts and rights and deprives artists of their individual
rights. JMM intervened to bolster the cause of FETMOP. The lower court ruled in favor of

ISSUE: Whether or not the regulation by EIAC is valid.

HELD: The SC ruled in favor of the lower court. The regulation is a valid exercise of police
power. Police power concerns government enactments which precisely interfere with personal
liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare or the common good. As the assailed
Department Order enjoys a presumed validity, it follows that the burden rests upon petitioners
to demonstrate that the said order, particularly, its ARB requirement, does not enhance the
public welfare or was exercised arbitrarily or unreasonably. The welfare of Filipino performing
artists, particularly the women was paramount in the issuance of Department Order No. 3.
Short of a total and absolute ban against the deployment of performing artists to “high risk”
destinations, a measure which would only drive recruitment further underground, the new
scheme at the very least rationalizes the method of screening performing artists by requiring
reasonable educational and artistic skills from them and limits deployment to only those
individuals adequately prepared for the unpredictable demands of employment as artists abroad.
It cannot be gainsaid that this scheme at least lessens the room for exploitation by unscrupulous
individuals and agencies
Case Digest on Bernardo v. NLRC, 310 SCRA 186, July 12, 1999- Labor Law

Q: A labor dispute arose between Company Y and Union A, which caused the union to file a notice of
stricke with the NCMB charging the company with ULP for union-busting and violations of the
CBA. This was followed by picketing and the holding of assemblies by the union outside the gate of
Company P’s plant. The Secretary of Labor assumed jurisdiction over the labor dispute and certified it
for compulsory arbitration. During the pendency of the labor dispute, Company Y agreed to sell it’s
plant and equipment to Company Z. The union was informed of the purchase of the plant. Company Z
asked the union to desist from picketing outside its plant. The Union refused petitioner’s request, and
Company Z filed a compalint for injunction. The Union moved to dismiss the complaint alleging lack
of jurisdiction on the part of the trial court and that Company Z was an alter ego of Company Y and not
merely an “innocent by-stander.”

A: An “innocent by-stander,” who seeks to enjoin a labor strike, must satisfy the court that its interests
are totally foreign to the context of the labor dispute. It must appear that the inevitable result of its
exercise is to create an impression that a labor dispute with which they have no connection or interest
exists between them and the picketing union or constitutes an invasion of their rights. In this case,
Company Z clearly has a connection with the labor dispute as the sale between Company Y and
Company Z reveals a legal relation between them that cannot be ignored.