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Pollution Adjudication Board vs. CA

FACTS: Respondent, Solar Textile Finishing Corporation was involved in bleaching,
rinsing and dyeing textiles with wastewater being directly discharged into a canal
leading to the adjacent Tullahan- Tinerejos River. Petitioner Board, an agency of the
Government charged with the task of determining whether the effluents of a
particular industrial establishment comply with or violate applicable anti-pollution
statutory and regulatory provisions, have been remarkably forbearing in its efforts to
enforce the applicable standards vis-a-vis Solar. Solar, on the other hand, seemed
very casual about its continued discharge of untreated, pollutive effluents into the
river. Petitioner Board issued an ex parte Order directing Solar immediately to
cease and desist from utilizing its wastewater pollution source installations.
Solar, however, with preliminary injunction against the Board, went to the Regional
Trial Court on petition for certiorari, but it was dismissed upon two (2) grounds, i.e.,
that appeal and not certiorari from the questioned Order of the Board as well as the
Writ of Execution was the proper remedy, and that the Board's subsequent Order
allowing Solar to operate temporarily had rendered Solar's petition moot and
academic. Dissatisfied, Solar went on appeal to the Court of Appeals, which
reversed the Order of dismissal of the trial court and remanded the case to that court
for further proceedings. In addition, the Court of Appeals declared the Writ of
Execution null and void. At the same time, the CA said that certiorari was a proper
remedy since the Orders of petitioner Board may result in great and irreparable
injury to Solar; and that while the case might be moot and academic, "larger issues"
demanded that the question of due process be settled. Petitioner Board moved for
reconsideration, without success. Arguing that that the ex parte Order and the Writ of
Execution were issued in accordance with law and were not violative of the
requirements of due process; and the ex parte Order and the Writ of Execution are
not the proper subjects of a petition for certiorari, Oscar A. Pascua and Charemon
Clio L. Borre for petitioner asked the Supreme Court to review the Decision and
Resolution promulgated by t he Court of Appeals entitled "Solar Textile Finishing
Corporation v. Pollution Adjudication Board," which reversed an order of the
Regional Trial Court. In addition, petitioner Board claims that under P.D. No. 984,
Section 7(a), it has legal authority to issue ex parte orders to suspend the operations
of an establishment when there is prima facie evidence that such establishment is
discharging effluents or wastewater, the pollution level of which exceeds the
maximum permissible standards set by the NPCC (now, the Board). Petitioner Board
contends that the reports before it concerning the effluent discharges of Solar into
the River provided prima facie evidence of violation by Solar of Section 5 of the 1982
Effluent Code. Solar, on the other hand, contends that under the Board's own rules
and regulations, an ex parte order may issue only if the effluents discharged pos e
an "immediate threat to life, public health, safety or welfare, or to animal and plant
life." In the instant case, according to Solar, the inspection reports before the Board
made no finding that Solar's wastewater discharged posed such a threat.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the trial court on the
ground that Solar had been denied due process by the Board.
HELD: The Court found that the Order and Writ of Execution were entirely within the
lawful authority of petitioner Board. Ex parte cease and desist orders are permitted
by law and regulations in situations like here. The relevant pollution control statute
and implementing regulations were enacted and promulgated in the exercise of that
pervasive, sovereign power to protect the safety, health, and general welfare and
comfort of the public, as well as the protection of plant an d animal life, commonly

designated as the police power.

It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary requirements of
procedural due process yield to the necessities of protecting vital public interests like
those here involved, thro ugh the exercise of police power. Hence, the trial court did
not err when it dismissed Solar's petition for certiorari. It follows that the proper
remedy was an appeal from the trial court to the Court of Appeals, as Solar did in
fact appeal. The Court gave due course on the Petition for Review and the Decision
of the Court of Appeals and its Resolution were set aside. The Order of petitioner
Boar d and the Writ of Execution, as well as the decision of the trial court were
reinstated, without prejudice to the right of Solar to contest the correctness of t he
basis of the Board's Order and Writ of Execution at a public hearing before t he
Facts: The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) was created through RA
No. 4850 in order to execute the policy towards environmental protection and
sustainable development so as to accelerate the development and balanced growth
of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces and towns. PD No. 813
amended certain sections of RA 4850 since water quality studies have shown that
the lake will deteriorate further if steps are not taken to check the same.
EO 927 further defined and enlarged the functions and powers of the LLDA
and enumerated the towns, cities and provinces encompassed by the term Laguna
de Bay Region.
Upon implementation of RA 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991), the
municipalities assumed exclusive jurisdiction & authority to issue fishing privileges
within their municipal waters since Sec.149 thereof provides: Municipal corporations
shall have the authority to grant fishery privileges in the municipal waters and
impose rental fees or charges therefore
Big fishpen operators took advantage of the occasion to establish fishpens
& fish cages to the consternation of the LLDA. The implementation of separate
independent policies in fish cages & fish pen operation and the indiscriminate grant
of fishpen permits by the lakeshore municipalities have saturated the lake with
fishpens, thereby aggravating the current environmental problems and ecological
stress of Laguna Lake.
The LLDA then served notice to the general public that (1) fishpens, cages
& other aqua-culture structures unregistered with the LLDA as of March 31, 1993 are
declared illegal; (2) those declared illegal shall be subject to demolition by the
Presidential Task Force for Illegal Fishpen and Illegal Fishing; and (3) owners of
those declared illegal shall be criminally charged with violation of Sec.39-A of RA
4850 as amended by PD 813. A month later, the LLDA sent notices advising the
owners of the illegally constructed fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture
structures advising them to dismantle their respective structures otherwise
demolition shall be effected.
Issues: 1.Which agency of the government the LLDA or the towns and
municipalities comprising the region should exercise jurisdiction over the Laguna
lake and its environs insofar as the issuance of permits for fishery privileges is
2. Whether the LLDA is a quasi-judicial agency?
Held: 1. Sec.4(k) of the charter of the LLDA, RA 4850, the provisions of PD 813,and
Sec.2 of EO No.927, specifically provide that the LLDA shall have exclusive


jurisdiction to issue permits for the use of all surface water for any projects or
activities in or affecting the said region. On the other hand, RA 7160 has granted to
the municipalities the exclusive authority to grant fishery privileges on municipal
waters. The provisions of RA 7160 do not necessarily repeal the laws creating
the LLDA and granting the latter water rights authority over Laguna de Bay and the
lake region.
Where there is a conflict between a general law and a special
statute, latter should prevail since it evinces the legislative intent more clearly
than the general statute.The special law is to be taken as an exception to the
general law in the absence of special circumstances forcing a contrary conclusion.
Implied repeals are not favored and, as much as possible, effect must be given to all
enactments of the legislature. A special law cannot be repealed, amended or
altered by a subsequent general law by mere implication.
The power of LGUs to issue fishing privileges was granted for revenue
purposes. On the other hand, the power of the LLDA to grant permits for fishpens,
fish cages, and other aqua-culture structures is for the purpose of effectively
regulating & monitoring activities in the Laguna de Bay region and for lake control
and management. It partakes of the nature of police power which is the most
pervasive, least limitable and most demanding of all state powers including the
power of taxation. Accordingly, the charter of the LLDA which embodies a valid
exercise of police power should prevail over the LGC of 1991 on matters affecting
Laguna de Bay.
2. The LLDA has express powers as a regulatory and quasi-judicial body in respect
to pollution cases with authority to issue a cease and desist order and on matters
affecting the construction of illegal fishpens, fish cages and other aqua-culture
structures in Laguna de Bay. Sec.149 of RA 7160 has not repealed the provisions of
the charter of the LLDA, RA 4850, as amended. Thus, the LLDA has the exclusive
jurisdiction to issue permits for enjoyment of fishery privileges in Laguna de Bay to
the exclusion of municipalities situated thereinand the authority to exercise such
powers as are by its charter vested on it.

power of the LGU to protect public interests and the public right to a balanced and
healthier ecology. The rights and privileges invoked by the petitioners are not
absolute. The general welfare clause of the local government code mandates for the
liberal interpretation in giving the LGUs more power to accelerate economic
development and to upgrade the life of the people in the community. The LGUs are
endowed with the power to enact fishery laws in its municipal waters which
necessarily includes the enactment of ordinances in order to effectively carry out the
enforcement of fishery laws in their local community.
FACTS: On August 11, 2000, The City of Davao filed an application for a Certificate
of Non- Coverage (CNC) for its proposed project, the Davao City Artica Sports
Dome, with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Region XI.
ISSUES: (1) Is an LGU like Davao exempt from the coverage of PD 1586?
(2) Is the project entitled to a Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC)?
Section 15 of Republic Act 7160,[5] otherwise known as the Local Government
Code, defines a local government unit as a body politic and corporate endowed with
powers to be exercised by it in conformity with law.
Section 4 of PD 1586 clearly states that no person, partnership or corporation
shall undertake or operate any such declared environmentally critical project or area
without first securing an Environmental Compliance certificate issued by the
President or his duly authorized representative
RULING: (1) NO, IT IS WITHIN THE COVERAGE OF PD 1586. Found in Section
16 of the Local Government Code is the duty of the LGUs to promote the people's
right to a balanced ecology. Pursuant to this, an LGU, like the City of Davao, cannot
claim exemption from the coverage of PD 1586. As a body politic endowed with
governmental functions, an LGU has the duty to ensure the quality of the
environment, which is the very same objective of PD 1586.

Facts: The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Puerto Princessa enacted ordinance no.
15-92 banning the shipment of live fish and lobster outside Puerto Princessa City for
a period of 5 years. In the same light, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan
also enacted a resolution that prohibits the catching, gathering, buying, selling and
possessing and shipment of live marine coral dwelling aquatic organisms for a
period of 5 years within the Palawan waters. The petitioners Airline Shippers
Association of Palawan together with marine merchants were charged for violating
the above ordinance and resolution by the city and provincial governments. The
petitioners now allege that they have the preferential rights as marginal fishermen
granted with privileges provided in Section 149 of the Local Government Code,
invoking the invalidity of the above-stated enactments as violative of their
preferential rights.
Issue: Whether or not the enacted resolutions and ordinances by the local
government units violative of the preferential rights of the marginal fishermen?
Held No, the enacted resolution and ordinance of the LGU were not violative of their
preferential rights. The enactment of these laws was a valid exercise of the police

(2) YES. The Artica Sports Dome in Langub does not come close to any of the
projects or areas enumerated above. Neither is it analogous to any of them. It is
clear, therefore, that the said project is not classified as environmentally critical, or
within an environmentally critical area. Consequently, the DENR has no choice but
to issue the Certificate of Non- Coverage. It becomes its ministerial duty, the
performance of which can be compelled by writ of mandamus, such as that issued
by the trial court in the case at bar.