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Act No. 9189 in relation to section 4 of the same Act in contravention of section 4, Article VII of the Constitution? Section 4 of Rep. Act No. 9189 allows all qualified Filipinos overseas to vote for President, Vice-President, Senators and party-list representatives while section 18.5 thereof empowers the COMELEC to order the proclamation of winning candidates. On its face, section 18.5 of Rep. Act No. 9189 appears to be repugnant to section 4, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. It gives the impression that Congress abdicated to COMELEC its constitutional duty to canvass and proclaim the winning candidates for President and Vice-President. I agree with the majority that the impugned provision should be given a reasonable interpretation that would save it from a constitutional infirmity. To be sure, Congress could have not allowed the COMELEC to exercise a power exclusively bestowed upon it by the Constitution. Thus, section 18.5 of Rep. Act No. 9189 empowering the COMELEC to proclaim the winning candidates should be construed as limited to the positions of Senators and party-list representatives. In like manner, I agree with the majority that section 18.4 of Rep. Act No. 9189 which provides: 18.4…. Immediately upon the completion of the canvass, the chairman of the Special Board of Canvassers shall transmit via facsimile, electronic mail, or any other means of transmission equally safe and reliable the Certificates of Canvass and the Statements of Votes to the Commission,….(emphasis supplied) should be construed in harmony with section 4, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. Hence, with respect to the position of the President and the VicePresident, the Certificates of Canvass and the Statements of Votes must be submitted to Congress and directed to the Senate President. Does Congress, through the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created in section 25 of Rep. Act No. 9189, have the power to review, revise, amend and approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations that the Commission on Elections shall promulgate without violating the
independence of the COMELEC under section 1, Article IX-A of the Constitution? Both the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) agree with the petitioner that sections 19 and 25 of Rep. Act No. 9189 are unconstitutional on the ground that they violate the independence of the COMELEC. The impugned provisions require the public respondent COMELEC to submit its Implementing Rules and Regulations to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee for review, revision, amendment, or approval. The majority sustains the petitioner as it holds that “[b]y vesting itself with the powers to approve, review, amend and revise the IRR for The Overseas Voting Act of 2003, Congress went beyond the scope of its constitutional authority. Congress trampled upon the constitutional mandate of independence of the COMELEC.” I agree with the majority but wish to add my humble thoughts on this all important constitutional issue--- the extent of the exercise by Congress of its oversight powers in the implementation of Rep. Act No. 9189. The resolution of the issue entails a two-tiered discussion of the following: (1) whether Congress has oversight functions over constitutional bodies like the COMELEC; and (2) assuming that it has, whether Congress exceeded the permissible exercise of its oversight functions. In his Second Treatise of Civil Government, John Locke advocated the proper division of the legislative, executive and federative powers of the commonwealth. He defined legislative power as “that which has a right to direct how the force of the commonwealth shall be employed for preserving the community and the members of it.” He viewed executive power as involving “the execution of the municipal laws of the society within its self, [and] upon all that are parts of it” and federative power as concerned with “the management of the security and interest of the public without” including “the power of war and peace, leagues and alliances, and all the transactions, with all persons and communities without the commonwealth.” It is now beyond debate that the principle of separation of powers (1) allows the “blending” of some of the executive, legislative, or judicial powers in one body; (2) does not prevent one branch of government from inquiring into the affairs of the other branches to maintain the balance of power; (3) but ensures that there is
no encroachment on matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of the other branches. For its part, this Court checks the exercise of power of the other branches of government through judicial review. It is the final arbiter of disputes involving the proper allocation and exercise of the different powers under the Constitution. Congress checks the other branches of government primarily through its law making powers. Congress can create administrative agencies, define their powers and duties, fix the terms of officers and their compensation. It can also create courts, define their jurisdiction and reorganize the judiciary so long as it does not undermine the security of tenure of its members. The power of Congress does not end with the finished task of legislation. Concomitant with its principal power to legislate is the auxiliary power to ensure that the laws it enacts are faithfully executed. As well stressed by one scholar, the legislature “fixes the main lines of substantive policy and is entitled to see that administrative policy is in harmony with it; it establishes the volume and purpose of public expenditures and ensures their legality and propriety; it must be satisfied that internal administrative controls are operating to secure economy and efficiency; and it informs itself of the conditions of administration of remedial measure.”
Concept and bases of congressional oversight: Broadly defined, the power of oversight embraces all activities undertaken by Congress to enhance its understanding of and influence over the implementation of legislation it has enacted. Clearly, oversight concerns post-enactment measures undertaken by Congress: (a) to monitor bureaucratic compliance with program objectives, (b) to determine whether agencies are properly administered, (c) to eliminate executive waste and dishonesty, (d) to prevent executive usurpation of legislative authority, and (d) to assess executive conformity with the congressional perception of public interest. Over the years, Congress has invoked its oversight power with increased frequency to check the perceived “exponential accumulation of power” by the executive branch. By the beginning of the 20th century, Congress has delegated an enormous amount of legislative authority to the executive branch and the
administrative agencies. Congress, thus, uses its oversight power to make sure that the administrative agencies perform their functions within the authority delegated to them. The oversight power has also been used to ensure the accountability of regulatory commissions like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve Board, often referred to as representing a “headless fourth branch of government.” Unlike other ordinary administrative agencies, these bodies are independent from the executive branch and are outside the executive department in the discharge of their functions. Categories of congressional oversight functions The acts done by Congress purportedly in the exercise of its oversight powers may be divided into three categories, namely: scrutiny, investigation and supervision. a. Scrutiny Congressional scrutiny implies a lesser intensity and continuity of attention to administrative operations. Its primary purpose is to determine economy and efficiency of the operation of government activities. In the exercise of legislative scrutiny, Congress may request information and report from the other branches of government. It can give recommendations or pass resolutions for consideration of the agency involved. b. Congressional investigation While congressional scrutiny is regarded as a passive process of looking at the facts that are readily available, congressional investigation involves a more intense digging of facts. The power of Congress to conduct investigation is recognized by the 1987 Constitution under section 21, Article VI. As now contained in the 1987 Constitution, the power of Congress to investigate is circumscribed by three limitations, namely: (a) it must be in aid of its legislative functions, (b) it must be conducted in accordance with duly published rules of procedure, and (c) the persons appearing therein are afforded their constitutional rights. c. Legislative supervision
The third and most encompassing form by which Congress exercises its oversight power is thru legislative supervision. “Supervision” connotes a continuing and informed awareness on the part of a congressional committee regarding executive operations in a given administrative area. While both congressional scrutiny and investigation involve inquiry into past executive branch actions in order to influence future executive branch performance, congressional supervision allows Congress to scrutinize the exercise of delegated law-making authority, and permits Congress to retain part of that delegated authority. Congress exercises supervision over the executive agencies through its veto power. It typically utilizes veto provisions when granting the President or an executive agency the power to promulgate regulations with the force of law. These provisions require the President or an agency to present the proposed regulations to Congress, which retains a “right” to approve or disapprove any regulation before it takes effect. Such legislative veto provisions usually provide that a proposed regulation will become a law after the expiration of a certain period of time, only if Congress does not affirmatively disapprove of the regulation in the meantime. Less frequently, the statute provides that a proposed regulation will become law if Congress affirmatively approves it. Congressional Oversight and COMELEC The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is a constitutional body exclusively charged with the enforcement and administration of “all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall,” and is invested with the power to decide all questions affecting elections save those involving the right to vote. Given its important role in preserving the sanctity of the right of suffrage, the COMELEC was purposely constituted as a body separate from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. Originally, the power to enforce our election laws was vested with the President and exercised through the Department of the Interior. According to Dean Sinco, however, the view ultimately emerged that an independent body could better protect the right of suffrage of our people. Hence, the enforcement of our election laws, while an executive power, was transferred to the COMELEC.
The COMELEC is, however, subject to congressional scrutiny especially during budget hearings. But Congress cannot abolish the COMELEC as it can in case of other agencies under the executive branch. Be that as it may, I respectfully submit that the legislative veto power or congressional oversight power over the authority of COMELEC to issue rules and regulations in order to enforce election laws is unconstitutional. The COMELEC occupies a distinct place in our scheme of government. As the constitutional body charged with the administration of our election laws, it is endowed with independence in the exercise of some of its powers and the discharge of its responsibilities. The power to promulgate rules and regulations in order to administer our election laws belongs to this category of powers as this has been vested exclusively by the 1987 Constitution to the COMELEC. It cannot be trenched upon by Congress in the exercise of its oversight powers.
Legislative veto can be done thru - It may provide
B. Doctrine of Non-delegation of Legislative Powers Edu vs. Ericta For reasons to be hereafter stated, we sustain the validity of the Reflector Law and Administrative Order No. 2 issued in the implementation thereof, the imputation of constitutional infirmity being at best flimsy and insubstantial. As noted in the answer of respondent Judge, respondent Galo on his behalf and that of other motorist filed on May 20, 1970 a suit for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction assailing the validity of the challenged Act as an invalid exercise of the police power, for being violative of the due process clause. This he followed on May 28, 1970 with a manifestation wherein he sought as an alternative remedy that, in the event that respondent Judge would hold said statute constitutional, Administrative Order No. 2 of the Land Transportation Commissioner, now petitioner, implementing such legislation be nullified as an undue exercise of legislative power.
We repeat that we find for petitioner and sustain the Constitutionality of the Reflector Law as well as the validity of Administrative Order No. 2. It is in the light of such rejection of the laissez-faire principle that during the Commonwealth era, no constitutional infirmity was found to have attached to legislation covering such subjects as collective bargaining, security of tenure, minimum wages, compulsory arbitration, the regulation of tenancy as well as the issuance of securities, and control of public services. So it is likewise under the Republic this Court having given the seal of approval to more favorable tenancy laws, nationalization of the retail trade, limitation of the hours of labor, imposition of price control, requirement of separation pay for one month, and social security scheme. 3. The same lack of success marks the effort of respondent Galo to impugn the validity of Administrative Order No. 2 issued by petitioner in his official capacity, duly approved by the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, for being contrary to the principle of non-delegation of legislative power. It is a fundamental principle flowing from the doctrine of separation of powers that Congress may not delegate its legislative power to the two other branches of the government, subject to the exception that local governments may over local affairs participate in its exercise. What cannot be delegated is the authority under the Constitution to make laws and to alter and repeal them; the test is the completeness of the statute in all its term and provisions when it leaves the hands of the legislature. To determine whether or not there is an undue delegation of legislative power the inquiry must be directed to the scope and definiteness of the measure enacted. The legislature does not abdicate its functions when it describes what job must be done, who is to do it, and what is the scope of his authority. For a complex economy, that may indeed be the only way in which the legislative process can go forward. A distinction has rightfully been made between delegation of power to make the laws which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, which constitutionally may not be done, and delegation of authority or discretion as to its execution to exercised under and in pursuance of the law, to which no valid objection call be made. The Constitution is thus not to be regarded as denying the legislature the necessary resources of flexibility and practicability.
To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation, there must be a standard, which implies at the very least that the legislature itself determines matters of principle and lay down fundamental policy. Otherwise, the charge of complete abdication may be hard to repel. A standard thus defines legislative policy, marks its limits, its maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. It indicates the circumstances under which the legislative command is to be effected. It is the criterion by which legislative purpose may be carried out. Thereafter, the executive or administrative office designated may in pursuance of the above guidelines promulgate supplemental rules and regulations. The standard may be either express or implied. If the former, the non-delegation objection is easily met. The standard though does not have to be spelled out specifically. It could be implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered as a whole. In the Reflector Law, clearly the legislative objective is public safety. That is sought to be attained as in Calalang v. Williams is "safe transit upon the roads." It is true that, under our system of government, said power may not be delegated except to local governments. However, one thing is to delegate the power to determine what the law shall be, and another thing to delegate the authority to fix the details in the execution of enforcement of a policy set out in the law itself. Briefly stated, the rule is that the delegated powers fall under the second category, if the law authorizing the, delegation furnishes a reasonable standard which "sufficiently marks the field within which the Administrator is to act so that it may be known whether he has kept within it in compliance with the legislative will." t bears repeating that the Reflector Law construed together with the Land Transportation Code. Republic Act No. 4136, of which it is an amendment, leaves no doubt as to the stress and emphasis on public safety which is the prime consideration in statutes of this character. There is likewise a categorical affirmation Of the power of petitioner as Land Transportation Commissioner to promulgate rules and regulations to give life to and translate into actuality such fundamental purpose. His power is clear. There has been no abuse. His Administrative Order No. 2 can easily survive the attack, far-from-formidable, launched against it by respondent Galo.
WHEREFORE, the writs of certiorari and prohibition prayed for are granted, the orders of May 28, 1970 of respondent Judge for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction, the writ of preliminary injunction of June 1, 1970 and his order of June 9, 1970 denying reconsideration are annulled and set aside. Respondent Judge is likewise directed to dismiss the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by respondent Teddy C. Galo, there being no cause of action as the Reflector Law and Administrative Order No. 2 of petitioner have not been shown to be tainted by invalidity. Without pronouncement as to costs.
ACCFA vs. CUGCO The Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) was a government agency created under Republic Act No. 821, as amended. Its administrative machinery was reorganized and its name changed to Agricultural Credit Administration (ACA) under the Land Reform Code (Republic Act No. 3844). On the other hand, the ACCFA Supervisors' Association (ASA) and the ACCFA Workers' Association (AWA), hereinafter referred to as the Unions, are labor organizations composed of the supervisors and the rank-and-file employees, respectively, in the ACCFA (now ACA). The considerations set forth above militate quite strongly against the recognition of collective bargaining powers in the respondent Unions within the context of Republic Act No. 875, and hence against the grant of their basic petition for certification election as proper bargaining units. The ACA is a government office or agency engaged in governmental, not proprietary functions. These functions may not be strictly what President Wilson described as "constituent" (as distinguished from "ministrant"),4 such as those relating to the maintenance of peace and the prevention of crime, those regulating property and property rights, those relating to the administration of justice and the determination of political duties of citizens, and those relating to national defense and foreign relations. Under this traditional classification, such constituent functions are exercised by the State as attributes of sovereignty, and not merely to promote the welfare, progress and prosperity of the people these latter functions being ministrant the exercise of which is optional on the part of the government.
The growing complexities of modern society, however, have rendered this traditional classification of the functions of government quite unrealistic, not to say obsolete. The areas which used to be left to private enterprise and initiative and which the government was called upon to enter optionally, and only "because it was better equipped to administer for the public welfare than is any private individual or group of individuals,"5 continue to lose their well-defined boundaries and to be absorbed within activities that the government must undertake in its sovereign capacity if it is to meet the increasing social challenges of the times. Here as almost everywhere else the tendency is undoubtedly towards a greater socialization of economic forces. Here of course this development was envisioned, indeed adopted as a national policy, by the Constitution itself in its declaration of principle concerning the promotion of social justice. With the reorganization of the ACCFA and its conversion into the ACA under the Land Reform Code and in view of our ruling as to the governmental character of the functions of the ACA, the decision of the respondent Court dated March 25, 1963, and the resolution en banc affirming it, in the unfair labor practice case filed by the ACCFA, which decision is the subject of the present review in G. R. No. L-21484, has become moot and academic, particularly insofar as the order to bargain collectively with the respondent Unions is concerned. In view of the foregoing premises, we hold that the respondent Unions are not entitled to the certification election sought in the Court below. Such certification is admittedly for purposes of bargaining in behalf of the employees with respect to terms and conditions of employment, including the right to strike as a coercive economic weapon, as in fact the said unions did strike in 1962 against the ACCFA (G.R. No. L-21824).6 This is contrary to Section 11 of Republic Act No. 875, which provides: SEC. 11. Prohibition Against Strike in the Government — The terms and conditions of employment in the Government, including any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof, are governed by law and it is declared to be the policy of this Act that employees therein shall not strike for the purposes of securing changes or modification in their terms and conditions of employment. Such employees may belong to any labor organization which does not impose the obligation to strike
or to join in strike: Provided, However, that this section shall apply only to employees employed in governmental functions of the Government including but not limited to governmental corporations.7 With the reorganization of the ACCFA and its conversion into the ACA under the Land Reform Code and in view of our ruling as to the governmental character of the functions of the ACA, the decision of the respondent Court dated March 25, 1963, and the resolution en banc affirming it, in the unfair labor practice case filed by the ACCFA, which decision is the subject of the present review in G. R. No. L-21484, has become moot and academic, particularly insofar as the order to bargain collectively with the respondent Unions is concerned. On July 24, 1963 the ACCFA Board of Governors ratified the agreement thus entered into, pursuant to the provision thereof requiring such ratification, but with the express qualification that the same was "without prejudice to the pending appeal in the Supreme Court . . . in Case No. 3450-ULP." The payment of the fringe benefits agreed upon, to our mind, shows that the same were within the financial capability of the ACCFA then, and hence justifies the conclusion that this particular condition imposed by the Office of the President in its approval of the bargaining contract was satisfied. We hold, therefore, that insofar as the fringe benefits already paid are concerned, there is no reason to set aside the decision of the respondent Court, but that since the respondent Unions have no right to the certification election sought by them nor, consequently, to bargain collectively with the petitioner, no further fringe benefits may be demanded on the basis of any collective bargaining agreement. The decisions and orders appealed from are set aside and/or modified in accordance with the foregoing pronouncements. No costs.
Eastern Shipping Lines vs. POEA The private respondent in this case was awarded the sum of P192,000.00 by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for the death of her husband. The decision is challenged by the petitioner on the principal ground that the POEA had no jurisdiction over the case as the husband was not an overseas worker. Vitaliano Saco was Chief Officer of the M/V Eastern Polaris when he was killed in an accident in Tokyo, Japan, March 15, 1985. His widow sued for damages under Executive Order No. 797 and Memorandum Circular No. 2 of the POEA. The petitioner, as owner of the vessel, argued that the complaint was cognizable not by the POEA but by the Social Security System and should have been filed against the State Insurance Fund. The POEA nevertheless assumed jurisdiction and after considering the position papers of the parties ruled in favor of the complainant. The award consisted of P180,000.00 as death benefits and P12,000.00 for burial expenses. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration was created under Executive Order No. 797, promulgated on May 1, 1982, to promote and monitor the overseas employment of Filipinos and to protect their rights. It replaced the National Seamen Board created earlier under Article 20 of the Labor Code in 1974. Under Section 4(a) of the said executive order, the POEA is vested with "original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases, including money claims, involving employee-employer relations arising out of or by virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino contract workers, including seamen." These cases, according to the 1985 Rules and Regulations on Overseas Employment issued by the POEA, include "claims for death, disability and other benefits" arising out of such employment. But the petitioner questions the validity of Memorandum Circular No. 2 itself as violative of the principle of non-delegation of legislative power. It contends that no authority had been given the POEA to promulgate the said regulation; and even with such authorization, the regulation represents an exercise of legislative discretion which, under the principle, is not subject to delegation. The authority to issue the said regulation is clearly provided in Section 4(a) of Executive Order No. 797, reading as follows: ... The governing Board of the Administration (POEA), as hereunder provided shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to govern the exercise of the adjudicatory functions of the Administration (POEA).
Similar authorization had been granted the National Seamen Board, which, as earlier observed, had itself prescribed a standard shipping contract substantially the same as the format adopted by the POEA. The second challenge is more serious as it is true that legislative discretion as to the substantive contents of the law cannot be delegated. What can be delegated is the discretion to determine how the law may be enforced, not what the law shall be. The ascertainment of the latter subject is a prerogative of the legislature. This prerogative cannot be abdicated or surrendered by the legislature to the delegate. There are two accepted tests to determine whether or not there is a valid delegation of legislative power, viz, the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. Under the first test, the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature such that when it reaches the delegate the only thing he will have to do is enforce it. 13 Under the sufficient standard test, there must be adequate guidelines or stations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegate's authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. Both tests are intended to prevent a total transference of legislative authority to the delegate, who is not allowed to step into the shoes of the legislature and exercise a power essentially legislative. The principle of non-delegation of powers is applicable to all the three major powers of the Government but is especially important in the case of the legislative power because of the many instances when its delegation is permitted. The occasions are rare when executive or judicial powers have to be delegated by the authorities to which they legally certain. In the case of the legislative power, however, such occasions have become more and more frequent, if not necessary. This had led to the observation that the delegation of legislative power has become the rule and its non-delegation the exception. The reason is the increasing complexity of the task of government and the growing inability of the legislature to cope directly with the myriad problems demanding its attention. The growth of society has ramified its activities and created peculiar and sophisticated problems that the legislature cannot be expected reasonably to comprehend. Specialization even in legislation has become necessary. To many of the problems attendant upon present-day undertakings, the legislature may not have the competence to provide the required direct and efficacious, not to say, specific solutions. These solutions may, however, be expected from its delegates, who are supposed to be experts in the particular fields assigned to them.
The reasons given above for the delegation of legislative powers in general are particularly applicable to administrative bodies. With the proliferation of specialized activities and their attendant peculiar problems, the national legislature has found it more and more necessary to entrust to administrative agencies the authority to issue rules to carry out the general provisions of the statute. This is called the "power of subordinate legislation." With this power, administrative bodies may implement the broad policies laid down in a statute by "filling in' the details which the Congress may not have the opportunity or competence to provide. This is effected by their promulgation of what are known as supplementary regulations, such as the implementing rules issued by the Department of Labor on the new Labor Code. These regulations have the force and effect of law. Memorandum Circular No. 2 is one such administrative regulation. The model contract prescribed thereby has been applied in a significant number of the cases without challenge by the employer. The power of the POEA (and before it the National Seamen Board) in requiring the model contract is not unlimited as there is a sufficient standard guiding the delegate in the exercise of the said authority. That standard is discoverable in the executive order itself which, in creating the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, mandated it to protect the rights of overseas Filipino workers to "fair and equitable employment practices."
Tatad vs. Secretary of the Department of Energy The petitions at bar challenge the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 8180 entitled "An Act Deregulating the Downstream Oil Industry and For Other Purposes". 1 R.A. No. 8180 ends twenty six (26) years of government regulation of the downstream oil industry. Few cases carry a surpassing importance on the life of every Filipino as these petitions for the upswing and downswing of our economy materially depend on the oscillation of oil. In assailing section 15 of R.A. No. 8180 and E.O. No. 392, petitioners offer the following submissions: First, section 15 of R.A. No. 8180 constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power to the President and the Secretary of Energy because it does not provide a determinate or determinable standard to guide the Executive Branch in determining when to implement the full deregulation of the downstream oil industry. Petitioners contend that the law does not define when it is practicable for the Secretary of Energy to recommend to the President the full deregulation of the downstream oil industry or when the President may consider it practicable
to declare full deregulation. Also, the law does not provide any specific standard to determine when the prices of crude oil in the world market are considered to be declining nor when the exchange rate of the peso to the US dollar is considered stable. We shall now slide to the substantive issues in G.R. No. 127867. Petitioners assail section 15 of R.A. No. 8180 which fixes the time frame for the full deregulation of the downstream oil industry. We restate its pertinent portion for emphasis, viz.: Sec. 15. Implementation of Full Deregulation � Pursuant to section 5(e) of Republic Act No. 7638, the DOE shall, upon approval of the President, implement the full deregulation of the downstream oil industry not later than March 1997. As far as practicable, the DOE shall time the full deregulation when the prices of crude oil and petroleum products in the world market are declining and when the exchange rate of the peso in relation to the US dollar is stable . . . Petitioners urge that the phrases "as far as practicable," "decline of crude oil prices in the world market" and "stability of the peso exchange rate to the US dollar" are ambivalent, unclear and inconcrete in meaning. They submit that they do not provide the "determinate or determinable standards" which can guide the President in his decision to fully deregulate the downstream oil industry. In addition, they contend that E.O. No. 392 which advanced the date of full deregulation is void for it illegally considered the depletion of the OPSF fund as a factor. The power of Congress to delegate the execution of laws has long been settled by this Court. As early as 1916 in Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas vs. The Board of Public Utility Commissioners, 21 this Court thru, Mr. Justice Moreland, held that "the true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made." Over the years, as the legal engineering of men's relationship became more difficult, Congress has to rely more on the practice of delegating the execution of laws to the executive and other administrative agencies. Two tests have been developed to determine whether the delegation of the power to execute laws does not involve the abdication of the power to make law itself. There are two accepted tests to determine whether or not there is a valid delegation of legislative power, viz: the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. Under the first test, the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when it leaves the legislative such that when it reaches the delegate
the only thing he will have to do is to enforce it. Under the sufficient standard test, there must be adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegate's authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. Both tests are intended to prevent a total transference of legislative authority to the delegate, who is not allowed to step into the shoes of the legislature and exercise a power essentially legislative. The validity of delegating legislative power is now a quiet area in our constitutional landscape. As sagely observed, delegation of legislative power has become an inevitability in light of the increasing complexity of the task of government. Thus, courts bend as far back as possible to sustain the constitutionality of laws which are assailed as unduly delegating legislative powers. Citing Hirabayashi v. United States 23 as authority, Mr. Justice Isagani A. Cruz states "that even if the law does not expressly pinpoint the standard, the courts will bend over backward to locate the same elsewhere in order to spare the statute, if it can, from constitutional infirmity." 24 Given the groove of the Court's rulings, the attempt of petitioners to strike down section 15 on the ground of undue delegation of legislative power cannot prosper. Section 15 can hurdle both the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. It will be noted that Congress expressly provided in R.A. No. 8180 that full deregulation will start at the end of March 1997, regardless of the occurrence of any event. Full deregulation at the end of March 1997 is mandatory and the Executive has no discretion to postpone it for any purported reason. Thus, the law is complete on the question of the final date of full deregulation. The discretion given to the President is to advance the date of full deregulation before the end of March 1997. Section 15 lays down the standard to guide the judgment of the President � he is to time it as far as practicable when the prices of crude oil and petroleum products in the world market are declining and when the exchange rate of the peso in relation to the US dollar is stable. Petitioners contend that the words "as far as practicable," "declining" and "stable" should have been defined in R.A. No. 8180 as they do not set determinate or determinable standards. The stubborn submission deserves scant consideration. The dictionary meanings of these words are well settled and cannot confuse men of reasonable intelligence. Webster defines "practicable" as meaning possible to practice or perform, "decline" as meaning to take a downward direction, and "stable" as meaning firmly established. 25 The fear of petitioners that these words will result in the exercise of executive discretion that will run riot is thus groundless. To be sure, the Court has sustained the validity of similar, if not more general standards in other cases. IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petitions are granted. R.A. No. 8180 is declared unconstitutional and E.O. No. 372 void. ON OTHER GROUNDS.
Santiago vs. COMELEC The heart of this controversy brought to us by way of a petition for prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative under Section 2 of Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. On 6 December 1996, private respondent Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with public respondent Commission on Elections (hereafter, COMELEC) a "Petition to Amend the Constitution, to Lift Term Limits of Elective Officials, by People's Initiative" (hereafter, Delfin Petition) 5 wherein Delfin asked the COMELEC for an order 1. Fixing the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country; 2. Causing the necessary publications of said Order and the attached "Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution, in newspapers of general and local circulation; 3. Instructing Municipal Election Registrars in all Regions of the Philippines, to assist Petitioners and volunteers, in establishing signing stations at the time and on the dates designated for the purpose. ISSUE 2. Whether that portion of COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 (In re: Rules and Regulations Governing the Conduct of Initiative on the Constitution, and Initiative and Referendum on National and Local Laws) regarding the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution is valid, considering the absence in the law of specific provisions on the conduct of such initiative. The foregoing brings us to the conclusion that R.A. No. 6735 is incomplete, inadequate, or wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. Its lacunae on this bsustantive matter are fatal and cannot be cured by "empowering" the COMELEC "to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of [the] Act. The rule is that what has been delegated, cannot be delegated or as expressed in a Latin maxim: potestas delegata non delegari potest. 59 The recognized exceptions to the rule are as follows:
(1) Delegation of tariff powers to the President under Section 28(2) of Article VI of the Constitution; (2) Delegation of emergency powers to the President under Section 23(2) of Article VI of the Constitution; (3) Delegation to the people at large; (4) Delegation to local governments; and (5) Delegation to administrative bodies. 60 Empowering the COMELEC, an administrative body exercising quasi-judicial functions, to promulgate rules and regulations is a form of delegation of legislative authority under no. 5 above. However, in every case of permissible delegation, there must be a showing that the delegation itself is valid. It is valid only if the law (a) is complete in itself, setting forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out, or implemented by the delegate; and (b) fixes a standard the limits of which are sufficiently determinate and determinable - to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. A sufficient standard is one which defines legislative policy, marks its limits, maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. It indicates the circumstances under which the legislative command is to be effected. Insofar as initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution is concerned, R.A. No. 6735 miserably failed to satisfy both requirements in subordinate legislation. The delegation of the power to the COMELEC is then invalid. This petition must then be granted, and the COMELEC should be permanently enjoined from entertaining or taking cognizance of any petition for initiative on amendments to the Constitution until a sufficient law shall have been validly enacted to provide for the implementation of the system. We feel, however, that the system of initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution should no longer be kept in the cold; it should be given flesh and blood, energy and strength. Congress should not tarry any longer in complying with the constitutional mandate to provide for the implementation of the right of the people under that system.
The doctrine of “Potestas delegate non delegari potest”; Exception Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center vs. Garcia, Jr. The instant petition for certiorari assails the constitutionality and validity of certain memoranda, circulars and/or orders of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board LTFRB) 2 which, among others, (a) authorize provincial bus and jeepney operators to increase or decrease the prescribed transportation fares without application therefor with the LTFRB and without hearing and approval thereof by said agency in violation of Sec. 16(c) of Commonwealth Act No. 146, as amended, otherwise known as the Public Service Act, and in derogation of LTFRB's duty to fix and determine just and reasonable fares by delegating that function to bus operators, and (b) establish a presumption of public need in favor of applicants for certificates of public convenience (CPC) and place on the oppositor the burden of proving that there is no need for the proposed service, in patent violation not only of Sec. 16(c) of CA 146, as amended, but also of Sec. 20(a) of the same Act mandating that fares should be "just and reasonable." It is, likewise, violative of the Rules of Court which places upon each party the burden to prove his own affirmative allegations. The offending provisions contained in the questioned issuances pointed out by petitioner, have resulted in the introduction into our highways and thoroughfares thousands of old and smoke-belching buses, many of which are right-hand driven, and have exposed our consumers to the burden of spiraling costs of public transportation without hearing and due process. Respondent LTFRB, the existing regulatory body today, is likewise vested with the same under Executive Order No. 202 dated June 19, 1987. Section 5(c) of the said executive order authorizes LTFRB "to determine, prescribe, approve and periodically review and adjust, reasonable fares, rates and other related charges, relative to the operation of public land transportation services provided by motorized vehicles." Such delegation of legislative power to an administrative agency is permitted in order to adapt to the increasing complexity of modern life. As subjects for governmental regulation multiply, so does the difficulty of administering the laws. Hence, specialization even in legislation has become necessary. Given the task of determining sensitive and delicate matters as route-fixing and rate-making for the transport sector, the responsible regulatory body is entrusted with the power of subordinate legislation. With this authority,
an administrative body and in this case, the LTFRB, may implement broad policies laid down in a statute by "filling in" the details which the Legislature may neither have time or competence to provide. However, nowhere under the aforesaid provisions of law are the regulatory bodies, the PSC and LTFRB alike, authorized to delegate that power to a common carrier, a transport operator, or other public service. In the case at bench, the authority given by the LTFRB to the provincial bus operators to set a fare range over and above the authorized existing fare, is illegal and invalid as it is tantamount to an undue delegation of legislative authority. Potestas delegata non delegari potest. What has been delegated cannot be delegated. This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such a delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate through the instrumentality of his own judgment and not through the intervening mind of another. A further delegation of such power would indeed constitute a negation of the duty in violation of the trust reposed in the delegate mandated to discharge it directly. The policy of allowing the provincial bus operators to change and increase their fares at will would result not only to a chaotic situation but to an anarchic state of affairs. This would leave the riding public at the mercy of transport operators who may increase fares every hour, every day, every month or every year, whenever it pleases them or whenever they deem it "necessary" to do so. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED.