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Delegation of Powers

Tatad vs. Secretary of Department of Energy


218 SCRA 330

Facts:

The government in seeking to alleviate the oil problem in the Philippines enacted
laws to bring in oil into the country. One of these laws is R.A. 8180 or the “Downstream Oil
Industry Deregulation Act of 1996.” This law allows that “any person or entity may import
or purchase any quantity of crude oil and petroleum products from a foreign or domestic
source, lease or own and operate refineries and other downstream oil facilities and market
such crude oil or use the same for his own requirement,” subject only to monitoring by the
Department of Energy. Further, E.O. 392 declares the full deregulation of the Downstream
Oil Industry. Petitioner assailed the constitutionality of these two laws.

Issue:

Whether or not Section 15 of RA 8180 and EO 392 violates the constitutional


prohibition on undue delegation of powers.

Held:

No. 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. Further, the law satisfies the sufficient standards test. The words “practicable,”
“declining,” and “stable,” as used in Section 15 of the assailed law are sufficient standards
that saliently “map out the boundaries of the delegate’s authority by defining the legislative
policy and indicating the circumstances under which it is to be pursued and effected.”