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December 18, 1965
Philippine Constitution Association, Inc (PHILCONSA) assails the validity of RA 3836
insofar as the same allows retirement gratuity and commutation of vacation and sick leave to
Senators and Representatives, and to the elective officials of both Houses (of Congress). The
provision on retirement gratuity is an attempt to circumvent the Constitutional ban on increase of
salaries of the members of Congress during their term of office, contrary to the provisions of Article
VI, Section 14 of the Constitution. The same provision constitutes selfish class legislation because
it allows members and officers of Congress to retire after twelve (12) years of service and gives them
a gratuity equivalent to one year salary for every four years of service, which is not refundable in
case of reinstatement or re election of the retiree, while all other officers and employees of the
government can retire only after at least twenty (20) years of service and are given a gratuity which
is only equivalent to one month salary for every year of service, which, in any case, cannot exceed
24 months. The provision on vacation and sick leave, commutable at the highest rate received,
insofar as members of Congress are concerned, is another attempt of the legislator to further
increase their compensation in violation of the Constitution.
The Solicitor General counter-argued alleging that the grant of retirement or pension benefits
under Republic Act No. 3836 to the officers objected to by the petitioner does not constitute
forbidden compensation within the meaning of Section 14 of Article VI of the Philippine
Constitution. The law in question does not constitute class legislation. The payment of commutable
vacation and sick leave benefits under the said Act is merely in the nature of a basis for computing
the gratuity due each retiring member and, therefore, is not an indirect scheme to increase their
whether Republic Act 3836 violates Section 14, Article VI, of the Constitution which reads
as follows:
The senators and the Members of the House of Representatives shall, unless otherwise provided by
law, receive an annual compensation of seven thousand two hundred pesos each, including per
diems and other emoluments or allowances, and exclusive only of travelling expenses to and from
their respective districts in the case of Members of the House of Representative and to and from
their places of residence in the case of Senators, when attending sessions of the Congress. No
increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the
Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such increase. Until
otherwise provided by law, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives shall each receive an annual compensation of sixteen thousand pesos.
Yes. When the Constitutional Convention first determined the compensation for the
Members of Congress, the amount fixed by it was only P5,000.00 per annum but it embodies a
special proviso which reads as follows: No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after
the expiration of the full term of all the members of the National Assembly elected subsequent to
approval of such increase. In other words, under the original constitutional provision regarding the
power of the National Assembly to increase the salaries of its members, no increase would take
effect until after the expiration of the full term of the members of the Assembly elected subsequent to
the approval of such increase.
The Constitutional provision in the aforementioned Section 14, Article VI, includes in the term
compensation other emoluments. This is the pivotal point on this fundamental question as to
whether the retirement benefit as provided for in Republic Act 3836 fall within the purview of the term
other emoluments.

Emolument is defined as the profit arising from office or employment; that which is received
as compensation for services or which is annexed to the possession of an office, as salary, fees and
It is evident that retirement benefit is a form or another species of emolument, because it is a
part of compensation for services of one possessing any office.
Republic Act 3836 provides for an increase in the emoluments of Senators and Members of
the House of Representatives, to take effect upon the approval of said Act, which was on June 22,
1963. Retirement benefits were immediately available thereunder, without awaiting the expiration of
the full term of all the Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives approving such
increase. Such provision clearly runs counter to the prohibition in Article VI, Section 14 of the
Constitution. RA 3836 is therefore unconstitutional.

G.R. No. L-5279

October 31, 1955


Manuel C. Briones, Vicente G. Sinco, Manuel V. Gallego and Enrique M. Fernando for
Office of the Solicitor General Pompeyo Diaz and Assistant Solicitor General Francisco
Carreon for respondents.
The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities made a petition that Acts
No. 2706 otherwise known as the Act making the Inspection and Recognition of private
schools and colleges obligatory for the Secretary of Public Instruction and was
amended by Act No. 3075 and Commonwealth Act No. 180 be declared unconstitutional
on the grounds that 1) the act deprives the owner of the school and colleges as well as
teachers and parents of liberty and property without due process of Law; 2) it will also
deprive the parents of their Natural Rights and duty to rear their children for civic
efficiency and 3) its provisions conferred on the Secretary of Education unlimited
powers and discretion to prescribe rules and standards constitute towards unlawful
delegation of Legislative powers.

Section 1 of Act No. 2706

It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Public Instruction to maintain a general standard of efficiency in all private
schools and colleges of the Philippines so that the same shall furnish adequate instruction to the public, in
accordance with the class and grade of instruction given in them, and for this purpose said Secretary or his duly
authorized representative shall have authority to advise, inspect, and regulate said schools and colleges in order to
determine the efficiency of instruction given in the same,

The petitioner also complain that securing a permit to the Secretary of Education
before opening a school is not originally included in the original Act 2706. And in
support to the first proposition of the petitioners they contended that the Constitution
guaranteed the right of a citizen to own and operate a school and any law requiring
previous governmental approval or permit before such person could exercise the said
right On the other hand, the defendant Legal Representative submitted a memorandum
contending that 1) the matters presented no justiciable controversy exhibiting
unavoidable necessity of deciding the constitutional question; 2) Petitioners are in

estoppels to challenge the validity of the said act and 3) the Act is constitutionally valid.
Thus, the petition for prohibition was dismissed by the court.
Whether or not Act No. 2706 as amended by Act no. 3075 and Commonwealth Act no.
180 may be declared void and unconstitutional?
The Petitioner suffered no wrong under the terms of law and needs no relief in
the form they seek to obtain. Moreover, there is no justiciable controversy presented
before the court. It is an established principle that to entitle a private individual
immediately in danger of sustaining a direct injury and it is not sufficient that he has
merely invoke the judicial power to determined the validity of executive and legislative
action he must show that he has sustained common interest to all members of the
public. Furthermore, the power of the courts to declare a law unconstitutional arises only
when the interest of litigant require the use of judicial authority for their protection
against actual interference. As such, Judicial Power is limited to the decision of actual
cases and controversies and the authority to pass on the validity of statutes is incidental
to the decisions of such cases where conflicting claims under the constitution and under
the legislative act assailed as contrary to the constitution but it is legitimate only in the
last resort and it must be necessary to determined a real and vital controversy between
litigants. Thus, actions like this are brought for a positive purpose to obtain actual
positive relief and the court does not sit to adjudicate a mere academic question to
satisfy scholarly interest therein. The court however, finds the defendant position to be
sufficiently sustained and state that the petitioner remedy is to challenge the regulation
not to invalidate the law because it needs no argument to show that abuse by officials
entrusted with the execution of the statute does not per se demonstrate the
unconstitutionality of such statute. On this phase of the litigation the court conclude that
there has been no undue delegation of legislative power even if the petitioners
appended a list of circulars and memoranda issued by the Department of Education
they fail to indicate which of such official documents was constitutionally objectionable
for being capricious or pain nuisance. Therefore, the court denied the petition for