You are on page 1of 4

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. 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 employeeemployer 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 substantive 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.