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JMM Productions Police Power Due to the death of one Maricris Sioson in 1991, Cory banned the deployment

of performing artists to Japan and other destinations. This was rela ed howe!er with the introduction of the "ntertainment #ndustry $d!isory Council which later proposed a plan to %&"$ to screen and train performing artists see'ing to go abroad. #n pursuant to the proposal %&"$ and the secretary of D&(" sought a ) step plan to reali*e the plan which included an $rtist+s ,ecord -oo' which a performing artist must ac.uire prior to being deployed abroad. The /ederation of Talent Managers of the %hilippines assailed the !alidity of the said regulation as it !iolated the right to tra!el, abridge e isting contracts and rights and depri!es artists of their indi!idual rights. JMM inter!ened to bolster the cause of /"TM&%. The lower court ruled in fa!or of "#$C. ISSUE: 0hether or not the regulation by "#$C is !alid. HELD: The SC ruled in fa!or of the lower court. The regulation is a !alid e ercise of police power. %olice power concerns go!ernment enactments which precisely interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare or the common good. $s the assailed Department &rder en1oys a presumed !alidity, it follows that the burden rests upon petitioners to demonstrate that the said order, particularly, its $,- re.uirement, does not enhance the public welfare or was e ercised arbitrarily or unreasonably. The welfare of /ilipino performing artists, particularly the women was paramount in the issuance of Department &rder 2o. 3. Short of a total and absolute ban against the deployment of performing artists to 4high ris'5 destinations, a measure which would only dri!e recruitment further underground, the new scheme at the !ery least rationali*es the method of screening performing artists by re.uiring reasonable educational and artistic s'ills from them and limits deployment to only those indi!iduals ade.uately prepared for the unpredictable demands of employment as artists abroad. #t cannot be gainsaid that this scheme at least lessens the room for e ploitation by unscrupulous indi!iduals and agencies.

THIRD DIVISION

[G.R. No. 122917. July 12, 1999]

MARITES BERNARDO, ELVIRA GO DIAMANTE, REBECCA E. DAVID, DAVID P. PASCUAL, RA UEL ESTILLER, ALBERT !ALLARE, EDMUND M. CORTE", JOSELITO O. AGDON GEORGE P. LIGUTAN JR., CELSO M. #A"AR, ALE$ G. CORPU", RONALD M. DEL%IN, RO&ENA M. TABA UERO, CORA"ON C. DELOS RE#ES, ROBERT G. NOORA, MILAGROS O. LE UIGAN, ADRIANA %. TATLONG!ARI, I'E CABANDUCOS, COCO#

NOBELLO, DORENDA CANTIMBU!AN, ROBERT MARCELO, LILIBET! . MARMOLEJO, JOSE E. SALES, ISABEL MAMAUAG, VIOLETA G. MONTES, ALBINO TECSON, MELOD# V. GRUELA, BERNADET! D. AGERO, C#NT!IA DE VERA, LANI R. CORTE", MA. ISABEL B. CONCEPCION, DINDO VALERIO, "ENAIDA MATA, ARIEL DEL PILAR, MARGARET CECILIA CANO"A, T!ELMA SEBASTIAN, MA. JEANETTE CERVANTES, JEANNIE RAMIL, RO"AIDA PASCUAL, PIN'# BALOLOA, ELI"ABET! VENTURA, GRACE S. PARDO ( RICO TIMOSA, petitioners vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION ( %AR EAST BAN' AND TRUST COMPAN#, respondents. DECISION
PANGANIBAN, J.:

The Magna Carta for Disabled Persons mandates that qualified disabled persons be granted the same terms and onditions of emplo!ment as qualified able"bodied emplo!ees# On e the! ha$e attained the status of regular %or&ers' the! should be a orded all the benefits granted b! la%' not%ithstanding %ritten or $erbal ontra ts to the ontrar!# This treatment is rooted not merel! on harit! or a ommodation' but on (usti e for all#
T)* C+,*

Challenged in the Petition for Certiorari)*+ before us is the ,une -.' *//0 De ision )-+ of the National 1abor Relations Commission 2N1RC3')4+ %hi h affirmed the 5ugust' -- *//6 ruling of 1abor 5rbiter Cornelio 1# 1insangan# The labor arbiter7s De ision disposed as follo%s8)6+

9:H;R;<OR;' (udgment is hereb! rendered dismissing the abo$e"mentioned omplaint for la & of merit#=
5lso assailed is the 5ugust 6' *//0 Resolution )0+ of the N1RC' %hi h denied the Motion for
Re onsideration#

T)* %+-.,

The fa ts %ere summari>ed b! the N1RC in this %ise8 )?+ 9Complainants numbering 64 2p# *@?' Re ords3 are deaf"mutes %ho %ere hired on $arious periods from */AA to *//4 b! respondent <ar ;ast Ban& and Trust Co# as

Mone! Sorters and Counters through a uniforml! %orded agreement alled C;mplo!ment Contra t for Handi apped :or&ers7# 2pp# ?A D ?/' Re ords3 The full teEt of said agreement is quoted belo%8 C;MP1OFM;NT CONTR5CT <OR H5NDIC5PP;D :ORG;RS This Contra t' entered into b! and bet%een8 <5R ;5ST B5NG 5ND TRHST COMP5NF' a uni$ersal ban&ing orporation dul! organi>ed and eEisting under and b! $irtue of the la%s of the Philippines' %ith business address at <;BTC Building' Muralla' Intramuros' Manila' represented herein b! its 5ssistant Vi e President' MR# <1OR;NDO I# M5R5N5N' 2hereinafter referred to as the CB5NG73J " and " KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK' KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK !ears old' of legal age' KKKKKKKKKKKKK' and residing at KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK 2hereinafter referred to as the 2C;MP1OF;;73# :ITN;SS;TH8 That :H;R;5S' the B5NG' ogni>ant of its so ial responsibilit!' reali>es that there is a need to pro$ide disabled and handi apped persons gainful emplo!ment and opportunities to reali>e their potentials' uplift their so io"e onomi %ell being and %elfare and ma&e them produ ti$e' self"reliant and useful iti>ens to enable them to full! integrate in the mainstream of so iet!J :H;R;5S' there are ertain positions in the B5NG %hi h ma! be filled"up b! disabled and handi apped persons' parti ularl! deaf"mutes' and the B5NG ha)s+ been approa hed b! some i$i "minded iti>ens and authori>ed go$ernment agen ies )regarding+ the possibilit! of hiring handi apped %or&ers for these positionsJ :H;R;5S' the ;MP1OF;; is one of those handi apped %or&ers %ho )%ere+ re ommended for possible emplo!ment %ith the B5NGJ NO:' TH;R;<OR;' for and in onsideration of the foregoing premises and in omplian e %ith 5rti le A. of the 1abor Code of the Philippines as amended' the B5NG and the ;MP1OF;; ha$e entered into this ;mplo!ment Contra t as follo%s8 *# The B5NG agrees to emplo! and train the ;MP1OF;;' and the ;MP1OF;; agrees to diligentl! and faithfull! %or& %ith the B5NG' as Mone! Sorter andCounter#

-# The ;MP1OF;; shall perform among others' the follo%ing duties and responsibilities8 i Sort out bills a ording to olorJ

ii# Count ea h denomination per hundred' either manuall! or %ith the aid of a ounting ma hineJ iii# i$# $# :rap and label bills per hundredJ Put the %rapped bills into bundlesJ and Submit bundled bills to the ban& teller for $erifi ation#

4# The ;MP1OF;; shall undergo a training period of one 2*3 month' after %hi h the B5NG shall determine %hether or not heLshe should be allo%ed to finish the remaining term of this Contra t# 6# The ;MP1OF;; shall be entitled to an initial ompensation of P**A#.. per da!' sub(e t to ad(ustment in the sole (udgment of the B5NG' pa!able e$er! *0 and end of the month#
th

0# The regular %or& s hedule of the ;MP1OF;; shall be fi$e 203 da!s per %ee&' from Monda!s thru <rida!s' at eight 2A3 hours a da!# The ;MP1OF;; ma! be required to perform o$ertime %or& as ir umstan e ma! %arrant' for %hi h o$ertime %or& heLshe )shall+ be paid an additional ompensation of *-0M of his dail! rate if performed during ordinar! da!s and *4.M if performed during Saturda! or )a+ rest da!# ?# i# ii# iii# The ;MP1OF;; shall li&e%ise be entitled to the follo%ing benefits8 Proportionate *4 month pa! based on his basi dail! %age#
th

<i$e 203 da!s in enti$e lea$e# SSS premium pa!ment#

@# The ;MP1OF;; binds himselfLherself to abide )b!+ and ompl! %ith all the B5NG Rules and Regulations and Poli ies' and to ondu t himselfLherself in a manner eEpe ted of all emplo!ees of the B5NG# A# The ;MP1OF;; a &no%ledges the fa t that heLshe had been emplo!ed under a spe ial emplo!ment program of the B5NG' for %hi h reason the standard hiring

requirements of the B5NG %ere not applied in hisLher ase# Consequentl!' the ;MP1OF;; a &no%ledges and a epts the fa t that the terms and onditions of the emplo!ment generall! obser$ed b! the B5NG %ith respe t to the B5NG7s regular emplo!ee are not appli able to the ;MP1OF;;' and that therefore' the terms and onditions of the ;MP1OF;;7s emplo!ment %ith the B5NG shall be go$erned solel! and eE lusi$el! b! this Contra t and b! the appli able rules and regulations that the Department of 1abor and ;mplo!ment ma! issue in onne tion %ith the emplo!ment of disabled and handi apped %or&ers# More spe ifi all!' the ;MP1OF;; hereb! a &no%ledges that the pro$isions of Boo& SiE of the 1abor Code of the Philippines as amended' parti ularl! on regulation of emplo!ment and separation pa! are not appli able to himLher# /# The ;mplo!ment Contra t shall be for a period of siE 2?3 months or from KKKK to KKKK unless earlier terminated b! the B5NG for an! (ust or reasonable ause# 5n! ontinuation or eEtension of this Contra t shall be in %riting and therefore this Contra t %ill automati all! eEpire at the end of its terms unless rene%ed in %riting b! the B5NG# IN :ITN;SS :H;R;O<' the parties' ha$e hereunto affiEed their signature)s+ this KKKK da! of KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK' KKKKKKKKKKKK at Intramuros' Manila' Philippines#7 9In */AA' t%o 2-3 deaf"mutes %ere hired under this 5greementJ in */A/ another t%o 2-3J in *//.' nineteen 2*/3J in *//* siE 2?3J in *//-' siE 2?3 and in *//4' t%ent!"one 2-*3# Their emplo!ment)s+ %ere rene%ed e$er! siE months su h that b! the time this ase arose' there %ere fift!"siE 20?3 deaf"mutes %ho %ere emplo!ed b! respondent under the said emplo!ment agreement# The last one %as Thelma Malindo! %ho %as emplo!ed in *//- and %hose ontra t eEpired on ,ul! *//4#
EEE EEE EEE

9Dis laiming that omplainants %ere regular emplo!ees' respondent <ar ;ast Ban& and Trust Compan! maintained that omplainants %ho are a spe ial lass of %or&ers N the hearing impaired emplo!ees %ere hired temporaril! under )a+ spe ial emplo!ment arrangement %hi h %as a result of o$ertures made b! some i$i and politi al personalities to the respondent Ban&J that omplainant)s+ %ere hired due to Cpa&iusap7 %hi h must be onsidered in the light of the onteEt of the respondent Ban&7s orporate philosoph! as %ell as its areer and %or&ing en$ironment %hi h is to maintain and strengthen a orps of professionals trained and qualified offi ers and regular emplo!ees %ho are ba alaureate degree holders from eE ellent s hools %hi h is an unbending poli ! in the hiring of regular emplo!eesJ that in addition to this' training ontinues so that the regular emplo!ee gro%s in the orporate ladderJ that the idea of hiring handi apped %or&ers %as a eptable to them onl! on a spe ial

arrangement basisJ that it adopted the spe ial program to help tide o$er a group of handi apped %or&ers su h as deaf"mutes li&e the omplainants %ho ould do manual %or& for the respondent Ban&J that the tas& of ounting and sorting of bills %hi h %as being performed b! tellers ould be assigned to deaf"mutesJ that the ounting and sorting of mone! are tellering %or&s %hi h %ere al%a!s logi all! and naturall! part and par el of the tellers7 normal fun tionsJ that from the beginning there ha$e been no separate items in the respondent Ban& plantilla for sorters or ountersJ that the tellers themsel$es alread! did the sorting and ounting hore as a regular feature and integral part of their duties 2p# /@' Re ords3J that through the Cpa&iusap7 of 5rturo Bor(al' the tellers %ere relie$ed of this tas& of ounting and sorting bills in fa$or of deaf"mutes %ithout reating ne% positions as there is no position either in the respondent or in an! other ban& in the Philippines %hi h deals %ith purel! ounting and sorting of bills in ban&ing operations#=
Petitioners spe ified %hen ea h of them %as hired and dismissed' $i>8)@+

9NAME O% PETITIONER D/,2/,,*1 *# M5RIT;S B;RN5RDO /. *@ NOV /4 -# ;1VIR5 IO DI5M5NT; /. ** ,5N /6 4# R;B;CC5 ;# D5VID /. -4 OCT /4 6# D5VID P# P5SCH51 AA -* NOV /6 0# R5OH;1 ;STI11;R /6 ,5N /6 ?# 51B;RT H5115R; ,5N /6 @# ;DMHND M# CORT;P /* 4 D;C /4 A# ,OS;1ITO O# 5IDON /. *@ NOV /4

&OR'PLACE Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Bel"5ir Intramuros :est Bel"5ir Intramuros

D+.* !/0*1 *- NOV -6 ,5N *? 5PR *0 OCT - ,H1 6 ,5N /* *0 ,5N 0 NOV

D+.*

/# I;ORI; P# 1IIHT5N' ,R# A/ */ ,5N /6 *.# C;1SO M# F5P5R /4 A 5HI /4 **# 51;Q I# CORPHP /4 *0 5HI /4 *-# RON51D M# D;1<IN /4 -- 5HI /4 *4# RO:;N5 M# T5B5OH;RO /4 -- 5HI /4 *6# COR5PON C# D;1OS R;F;S /4 A 5HI /4 *0# ROB;RT I# NOOR5 /4 *0 5HI /4 *?# MI15IROS O# 1;OHII5N /4 * 5HI /4 *@# 5DRI5N5 <# T5T1ONIH5RI /4 -- ,H1 /4 *A# IG; C5B5NDHCOS /4 -6 5HI /4 */# COCOF NOB;11O /4 -- 5HI /4 -.# DOR;ND5 C5TIMBHH5N /4 *0 5HI /4 -*# ROB;RT M5RC;1O /4)A+ * 5HI /4 --# 1I1IB;TH O# M5RMO1;,O /. -* NOV /4

Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros :est :est A <;B

? S;PT

*0 <;B -- <;B -- <;B A <;B *0 <;B * <;B -- ,5N -6 <;B -- <;B *0 <;B 4* ,H1 *0 ,HN

-4# ,OS; ;# S51;S /*- OCT /4 -6# IS5B;1 M5M5H5I /*. NOV /4 -0# VIO1;T5 I# MONT;S /. *0 ,5N /6 -?# 51BINO T;CSON /* *. NOV /4 -@# M;1ODF V# IRH;15 /* 4 NOV /4 -A# B;RN5D;TH D# 5I;RO /. -@ D;C /4 -/# CFNTHI5 D; V;R5 /. 4 D;C /4 4.# 15NI R# CORT;P AA *. D;C /4 4*# M5# IS5B;1 B# CONC;PCION /. ? <;B /6 4-# DINDO V51;RIO M5F /4 4. NOV /4 44# P;N5ID5 M5T5 /4 *. 5HI /4 46# 5RI;1 D;1 PI15R /4 -6 5HI /4 40# M5RI5R;T C;CI1I5 C5NOP5 ,H1 /. 6 <;B /6 4?# TH;1M5 S;B5STI5N /. *@ NOV /4

:est :est Intramuros Intramuros :est :est Bel"5ir Bel"5ir :est Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros Intramuros

? 5HI A M5F - <;B @ NOV -A OCT */ D;C -? ,HN *0 OCT ? S;PT 4. *. <;B -6 <;B -@ *- NOV

4@# M5# ,;5N;TT; C;RV5NT;S /@ D;C /4 4A# ,;5NNI; R5MI1 /. *- OCT /4 4/# ROP5ID5 P5SCH51 A/ -/ OCT /4 6.# PINGF B51O1O5 /* - D;C /4 6*# ;1IP5B;TH V;NTHR5 /. <;B /6 )SIC+ 6-# IR5C; S# P5RDO /. *4 M5R /6 64# RICO TIMOS5 /4 -A OCT /4=

:est Intramuros Bel"5ir :est :est :est Intramuros

? ,HN -4 5PR -. 5PR 4 ,HN *- M5R 6 5PR -A 5PR

5s earlier noted' the labor arbiter and' on appeal' the N1RC ruled against herein petitioners# Hen e' this re ourse to this Court#)/+
T)* Rul/34 o5 .)* NLRC

In affirming the ruling of the labor arbiter that herein petitioners ould not be deemed regular emplo!ees under 5rti le -A. of the 1abor Code' as amended' Respondent Commission ratio inated as follo%s8

9:e agree that 5rt# -A. is not ontrolling herein# :e gi$e due reden e to the on lusion that omplainants %ere hired as an a ommodation to )the+ re ommendation of i$i oriented personalities %hose emplo!ment)s+ %ere o$ered b! EEE ;mplo!ment Contra t)s+ %ith spe ial pro$isions on duration of ontra t as spe ified under 5rt# A.# Hen e' as orre tl! held b! the 1abor 5rbiter a quo' the terms of the ontra t shall be the la% bet%een the parties#= )*.+
The N1RC also de lared that the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons %as not appli able' 9 onsidering the pre$ailing ir umstan esLmilieu of the ase#=
I,,u*,

In their Memorandum' petitioners ite the follo%ing grounds in support of their ause8

9I# The Honorable Commission ommitted gra$e abuse of dis retion in holding that the petitioners " mone! sorters and ounters %or&ing in a ban& " %ere not regular emplo!ees# 9II# The Honorable Commission ommitted gra$e abuse of dis retion in holding that the emplo!ment ontra ts signed and rene%ed b! the petitioners " %hi h pro$ide for a period of siE 2?3 months " %ere $alid# 9III# The Honorable Commission ommitted gra$e abuse of dis retion in not appl!ing the pro$isions of the Magna Carta for the Disabled 2Republi 5 t No# @-@@3' on pros ription against dis rimination against disabled persons#= )**+
In the main' the Court %ill resol$e %hether petitioners ha$e be ome regular emplo!ees#
T)/, Cou0.6, Rul/34

The petition is meritorious# Ho%e$er' onl! the emplo!ees' %ho %or&ed for more than siE months and %hose ontra ts %ere rene%ed are deemed regular# Hen e' their dismissal from emplo!ment %as illegal#
P0*l/2/3+0y M+..*07 Propriety of Certiorari

Respondent <ar ;ast Ban& and Trust Compan! argues that a re$ie% of the findings of fa ts of the N1RC is not allo%ed in a petition for ertiorari# Spe ifi all!' it maintains that the Court annot pass upon the findings of publi respondents that petitioners %ere not regular emplo!ees# True' the Court' as a rule' does not re$ie% the fa tual findings of publi respondents in a certiorari pro eeding# In resol$ing %hether the petitioners ha$e be ome regular emplo!ees' %e shall not hange the fa ts found b! the publi respondent# Our tas& is merel! to determine %hether the N1RC ommitted gra$e abuse of dis retion in appl!ing the la% to the established fa ts' as abo$e"quoted from the assailed De ision#
M+/3 I,,u*7 Are Petitioners Regular Employees?

Petitioners maintain that the! should be onsidered regular emplo!ees' be ause their tas& as mone! sorters and ounters %as ne essar! and desirable to the business of respondent ban&# The! further allege that their ontra ts ser$ed merel! to pre lude the appli ation of 5rti le -A. and to bar them from be oming regular emplo!ees#

Pri$ate respondent' on the other hand' submits that petitioners %ere hired onl! as 9spe ial %or&ers and should not in an! %a! be onsidered as part of the regular omplement of the Ban&#=)*-+ Rather' the! %ere 9spe ial= %or&ers under 5rti le A. of the 1abor Code# Pri$ate respondent ontends that it ne$er soli ited the ser$i es of petitioners' %hose emplo!ment %as merel! an 9a ommodation= in response to the requests of go$ernment offi ials and i$i " minded iti>ens# The! %ere told from the start' 9%ith the assistan e of go$ernment representati$es'= that the! ould not be ome regular emplo!ees be ause there %ere no plantilla positions for 9mone! sorters'= %hose tas& used to be performed b! tellers# Their ontra ts %ere rene%ed se$eral times' not be ause of need 9but merel! for humanitarian reasons#= Respondent submits that 9as of the present' the Cspe ial position7 that %as reated for the petitioners no longer eEist)s+ in pri$ate respondent )ban&+' after the latter had de ided not to rene% an!more their spe ial emplo!ment ontra ts#= 5t the outset' let it be &no%n that this Court appre iates the nobilit! of pri$ate respondent7s effort to pro$ide emplo!ment to ph!si all! impaired indi$iduals and to ma&e them more produ ti$e members of so iet!# Ho%e$er' %e annot allo% it to elude the legal onsequen es of that effort' simpl! be ause it no% deems their emplo!ment irrele$ant# The fa ts' $ie%ed in light of the 1abor Code and the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons' indubitabl! sho% that the petitioners' eE ept siEteen of them' should be deemed regular emplo!ees# 5s su h' the! ha$e a quired legal rights that this Court is dut!"bound to prote t and uphold' not as a matter of ompassion but as a onsequen e of la% and (usti e# The uniform emplo!ment ontra ts of the petitioners stipulated that the! shall be trained for a period of one month' after %hi h the emplo!er shall determine %hether or not the! should be allo%ed to finish the ?"month term of the ontra t# <urthermore' the emplo!er ma! terminate the ontra t at an! time for a (ust and reasonable ause# Hnless rene%ed in %riting b! the emplo!er' the ontra t shall automati all! eEpire at the end of the term# 5 ording to pri$ate respondent' the emplo!ment ontra ts %ere prepared in a ordan e %ith 5rti le A. of the 1abor Code' %hi h pro$ides8

95RT# A.# ;mplo!ment agreement# N 5n! emplo!er %ho emplo!s handi apped %or&ers shall enter into an emplo!ment agreement %ith them' %hi h agreement shall in lude8 2a3 The names and addresses of the handi apped %or&ers to be emplo!edJ 2b3 The rate to be paid the handi apped %or&ers %hi h shall be not less than se$ent! fi$e 2@0M3 per ent of the appli able legal minimum %ageJ 2 3 The duration of emplo!ment periodJ and 2d3 The %or& to be performed b! handi apped %or&ers# The emplo!ment agreement shall be sub(e t to inspe tion b! the Se retar! of 1abor or his dul! authori>ed representati$es#=

The stipulations in the emplo!ment ontra ts indubitabl! onform %ith the afore ited pro$ision# Su eeding e$ents and the ena tment of R5 No# @-@@ 2the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons3')*4+ ho%e$er' (ustif! the appli ation of 5rti le -A. of the 1abor Code# Respondent ban& entered into the aforesaid ontra t %ith a total of 0? handi apped %or&ers and rene%ed the ontra ts of 4@ of them# In fa t' t%o of them %or&ed from */AA to *//4# Veril!' the rene%al of the ontra ts of the handi apped %or&ers and the hiring of others lead to the on lusion that their tas&s %ere benefi ial and ne essar! to the ban&# More important' these fa ts sho% that the! %ere qualified to perform the responsibilities of their positions# In other %ords' their disabilit! did not render them unqualified or unfit for the tas&s assigned to them# In this light' the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons mandates that a qualified disabled emplo!ee should be gi$en the same terms and onditions of emplo!ment as a qualified able" bodied person# Se tion 0 of the Magna Carta pro$ides8

9Se tion 0# Equal Opportunity for Employment#RNo disabled person shall be denied a ess to opportunities for suitable emplo!ment# 5 qualified disabled emplo!ee shall be sub(e t to the same terms and onditions of emplo!ment and the same ompensation' pri$ileges' benefits' fringe benefits' in enti$es or allo%an es as a qualified able bodied person#=
The fa t that the emplo!ees %ere qualified disabled persons ne essaril! remo$es the emplo!ment ontra ts from the ambit of 5rti le A.# Sin e the Magna Carta a ords them the rights of qualified able"bodied persons' the! are thus o$ered b! 5rti le -A. of the 1abor Code' %hi h pro$ides8

95RT# -A.# Regular and Casual ;mplo!ment# "" The pro$isions of %ritten agreement to the ontrar! not%ithstanding and regardless of the oral agreement of the parties' an emplo!ment shall be deemed to be regular %here the emplo!ee has been engaged to perform a ti$ities %hi h are usuall! ne essar! or desirable in the usual business or trade of the emplo!er' eE ept %here the emplo!ment has been fiEed for a spe ifi pro(e t or underta&ing the ompletion or termination of %hi h has been determined at the time of the engagement of the emplo!ee or %here the %or& or ser$i es to be performed is seasonal in nature and the emplo!ment is for the duration of the season# 95n emplo!ment shall be deemed to be asual if it is not o$ered b! the pre eding paragraph8 Pro$ided' That' an! emplo!ee %ho has rendered at least one !ear of ser$i e' %hether su h ser$i e is ontinuous or bro&en' shall be onsidered as regular emplo!ee %ith respe t to the a ti$it! in %hi h he is emplo!ed and his emplo!ment shall ontinue %hile su h a ti$it! eEists#=
The test of %hether an emplo!ee is regular %as laid do%n in De Leon v. NLRC')*6+ in %hi h this Court held8

9The primar! standard' therefore' of determining regular emplo!ment is the reasonable onne tion bet%een the parti ular a ti$it! performed b! the emplo!ee in relation to the usual trade or business of the emplo!er# The test is %hether the former is usuall! ne essar! or desirable in the usual business or trade of the emplo!er# The onne tion an be determined b! onsidering the nature of the %or& performed and its relation to the s heme of the parti ular business or trade in its entiret!# 5lso if the emplo!ee has been performing the (ob for at least one !ear' e$en if the performan e is not ontinuous and merel! intermittent' the la% deems repeated and ontinuing need for its performan e as suffi ient e$iden e of the ne essit! if not indispensabilit! of that a ti$it! to the business# Hen e' the emplo!ment is onsidered regular' but onl! %ith respe t to su h a ti$it!' and %hile su h a ti$it! eEists#=
:ithout a doubt' the tas& of ounting and sorting bills is ne essar! and desirable to the business of respondent ban&# :ith the eE eption of siEteen of them' petitioners performed these tas&s for more than siE months# Thus' the follo%ing t%ent!"se$en petitioners should be deemed regular emplo!ees8 Marites Bernardo' ;l$ira Io Diamante' Rebe a ;# Da$id' Da$id P# Pas ual' Raquel ;stiller' 5lbert Hallare' ;dmund M# Corte>' ,oselito O# 5gdon' Ieorge P# 1igutan ,r#' 1ilibeth O# Marmole(o' ,ose ;# Sales' Isabel Mamauag' Violeta I# Montes' 5lbino Te son' Melod! V# Iruela' Bernadeth D# 5gero' C!nthia de Vera' 1ani R# Corte>' Ma# Isabel B# Con ep ion' Margaret Ce ilia Cano>a' Thelma Sebastian' Ma# ,eanette Cer$antes' ,eannie Ramil' Ro>aida Pas ual' Pin&! Baloloa' ;li>abeth Ventura and Ira e S# Pardo# 5s held b! the Court' 95rti les -A. and -A* of the 1abor Code put an end to the perni ious pra ti e of ma&ing permanent asuals of our lo%l! emplo!ees b! the simple eEpedient of eEtending to them probationar! appointments' ad infinitum#=)*0+ The ontra t signed b! petitioners is a&in to a probationar! emplo!ment' during %hi h the ban& determined the emplo!ees7 fitness for the (ob# :hen the ban& rene%ed the ontra t after the lapse of the siE"month probationar! period' the emplo!ees thereb! be ame regular emplo!ees# )*?+ No emplo!er is allo%ed to determine indefinitel! the fitness of its emplo!ees# 5s regular emplo!ees' the t%ent!"se$en petitioners are entitled to se urit! of tenureJ that is' their ser$i es ma! be terminated onl! for a (ust or authori>ed ause# Be ause respondent failed to sho% su h ause')*@+ these t%ent!"se$en petitioners are deemed illegall! dismissed and therefore entitled to ba & %ages and reinstatement %ithout loss of seniorit! rights and other pri$ileges# )*A+ Considering the allegation of respondent that the (ob of mone! sorting is no longer a$ailable be ause it has been assigned ba & to the tellers to %hom it originall! belonged' )*/+ petitioners are hereb! a%arded separation pa! in lieu of reinstatement#)-.+ Be ause the other siEteen %or&ed onl! for siE months' the! are not deemed regular emplo!ees and hen e not entitled to the same benefits#
Applicability of the B0*3. Ruling

Respondent ban&' iting Brent School v. Zamora)-*+ in %hi h the Court upheld the $alidit! of an emplo!ment ontra t %ith a fiEed term' argues that the parties entered into the ontra t on

equal footing# It adds that the petitioners had in fa t an ad$antage' be ause the! %ere ba &ed b! then DS:D Se retar! Mita Pardo de Ta$era and Representati$e 5rturo Bor(al# :e are not persuaded# The term limit in the ontra t %as premised on the fa t that the petitioners %ere disabled' and that the ban& had to determine their fitness for the position# Indeed' its $alidit! is based on 5rti le A. of the 1abor Code# But as noted earlier' petitioners pro$ed themsel$es to be qualified disabled persons %ho' under the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons' are entitled to terms and onditions of emplo!ment en(o!ed b! qualified able" bodied indi$idualsJ hen e' 5rti le A. does not appl! be ause petitioners are qualified for their positions# The $alidation of the limit imposed on their ontra ts' imposed b! reason of their disabilit!' %as a glaring instan e of the $er! mis hief sought to be addressed b! the ne% la%# Moreo$er' it must be emphasi>ed that a ontra t of emplo!ment is impressed %ith publi interest#)--+ Pro$isions of appli able statutes are deemed %ritten into the ontra t' and the 9parties are not at libert! to insulate themsel$es and their relationships from the impa t of labor la%s and regulations b! simpl! ontra ting %ith ea h other#= )-4+ Clearl!' the agreement of the parties regarding the period of emplo!ment annot pre$ail o$er the pro$isions of the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons' %hi h mandate that petitioners must be treated as qualified able"bodied emplo!ees# Respondent7s reason for terminating the emplo!ment of petitioners is instru ti$e# Be ause the Bang&o Sentral ng Pilipinas 2BSP3 required that ash in the ban& be turned o$er to the BSP during business hours from A8.. a#m# to 08.. p#m#' respondent resorted to nighttime sorting and ounting of mone!# Thus' it reasons that this tas& 9 ould not be done b! deaf mutes be ause of their ph!si al limitations as it is $er! ris&! for them to tra$el at night#= )-6+ :e find no basis for this argument# Tra$elling at night in$ol$es ris&s to handi apped and able"bodied persons ali&e# This eE use annot (ustif! the termination of their emplo!ment#
O.)*0 G0ou31, C/.*1 8y R*,9o31*3.

Respondent argues that petitioners %ere merel! 9a ommodated= emplo!ees# This fa t does not hange the nature of their emplo!ment# 5s earlier noted' an emplo!ee is regular be ause of the nature of %or& and the length of ser$i e' not be ause of the mode or e$en the reason for hiring them# ;quall! una$ailing are pri$ate respondent7s arguments that it did not go out of its %a! to re ruit petitioners' and that its plantilla did not ontain their positions# InL. . Datu v. NLRC' )-0+ the Court held that 9the determination of %hether emplo!ment is asual or regular does not depend on the %ill or %ord of the emplo!er' and the pro edure of hiring E E E but on the nature of the a ti$ities performed b! the emplo!ee' and to some eEtent' the length of performan e and its ontinued eEisten e#= Pri$ate respondent argues that the petitioners %ere informed from the start that the! ould not be ome regular emplo!ees# In fa t' the ban& adds' the! agreed %ith the stipulation in the ontra t regarding this point# Still' %e are not persuaded# The %ell"settled rule is that the hara ter of emplo!ment is determined not b! stipulations in the ontra t' but b! the nature of

the %or& performed#)-?+ Other%ise' no emplo!ee an be ome regular b! the simple eEpedient of in orporating this ondition in the ontra t of emplo!ment# In this light' %e iterate our ruling in Romares v. NLRC8)-@+

95rti le -A. %as empla ed in our statute boo&s to pre$ent the ir um$ention of the emplo!ee7s right to be se ure in his tenure b! indis riminatel! and ompletel! ruling out all %ritten and oral agreements in onsistent %ith the on ept of regular emplo!ment defined therein# :here an emplo!ee has been engaged to perform a ti$ities %hi h are usuall! ne essar! or desirable in the usual business of the emplo!er' su h emplo!ee is deemed a regular emplo!ee and is entitled to se urit! of tenure not%ithstanding the ontrar! pro$isions of his ontra t of emplo!ment#
9E E E EEE EEE

95t this (un ture' the leading ase of Brent School! "nc. v. Zamora pro$es instru ti$e# 5s reaffirmed in subsequent ases' this Court has upheld the legalit! of fiEed"term emplo!ment# It ruled that the de isi$e determinant in Cterm emplo!ment7 should not be the a ti$ities that the emplo!ee is alled upon to perform but the da! ertain agreed upon the parties for the ommen ement and termination of their emplo!ment relationship# But this Court %ent on to sa! that %here from the ir umstan es it is apparent that the periods ha$e been imposed to pre lude a quisition of tenurial se urit! b! the emplo!ee' the! should be stru & do%n or disregarded as ontrar! to publi poli ! and morals#=
In rendering this De ision' the Court emphasi>es not onl! the onstitutional bias in fa$or of the %or&ing lass' but also the on ern of the State for the plight of the disabled# The noble ob(e ti$es of Magna Carta for Disabled Persons are not based merel! on harit! or a ommodation' but on (usti e and the equal treatment of qualified persons' disabled or not# In the present ase' the handi ap of petitioners 2deaf"mutes3 is not a hindran e to their %or&# The eloquent proof of this statement is the repeated rene%al of their emplo!ment ontra ts# :h! then should the! be dismissed' simpl! be ause the! are ph!si all! impairedS The Court belie$es' that' after sho%ing their fitness for the %or& assigned to them' the! should be treated and granted the same rights li&e an! other regular emplo!ees# In this light' %e note the Offi e of the Soli itor Ieneral7s pra!er (oining the petitioners7 ause#)-A+ &!ERE%ORE' premises onsidered' the Petition is hereb! #R$N ED# The ,une -.' *//0 De ision and the 5ugust 6' *//0 Resolution of the N1RC areRE%ERSED and SE $S"DE# Respondent <ar ;ast Ban& and Trust Compan! is hereb! ORDERED to pa! ba & %ages and separation pa! to ea h of the follo%ing t%ent!"se$en 2-@3 petitioners' namel!' Marites Bernardo' ;l$ira Io Diamante' Rebe a ;# Da$id' Da$id P# Pas ual' Raquel ;stiller' 5lbert Hallare' ;dmund M# Corte>' ,oselito O# 5gdon' Ieorge P# 1igutan ,r#' 1ilibeth O# Marmole(o' ,ose ;# Sales' Isabel Mamauag' Violeta I# Montes' 5lbino Te son' Melod! V# Iruela' Bernadeth D# 5gero' C!nthia de Vera' 1ani R# Corte>' Ma# Isabel B#

Con ep ion' Margaret Ce ilia Cano>a' Thelma Sebastian' Ma# ,eanette Cer$antes' ,eannie Ramil' Ro>aida Pas ual' Pin&! Baloloa' ;li>abeth Ventura and Ira e S# Pardo# The N1RC is hereb! dire ted to ompute the eEa t amount due ea h of said emplo!ees' pursuant to eEisting la%s and regulations' %ithin fifteen da!s from the finalit! of this De ision# No osts# SO ORDERED.

MA$IMO CALALANG :, A. D. &ILLIAMS, ET AL., G.R. No. ;7<== D*-*28*0 2, 19;= Do-.0/3*7 So-/+l Ju,./-* 15HR;1' ,#8 %+-.,7 The National Traffi Commission' in its resolution of ,ul! *@' */6.' resol$ed to re ommend to the Dire tor of the Publi :or&s and to the Se retar! of Publi :or&s and Communi ations that animal"dra%n $ehi les be prohibited from passing along the follo%ing for a period of one !ear from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffi 8 *3 Rosario Street eEtending from Pla>a Calderon de la Bar a to DasmariTas Street from @84.5m to *-84. pm and from *84. pm to 04. pmJ and -3 along Ri>al 5$enue eEtending from the railroad rossing at 5ntipolo Street to ; hague Street from @ am to **pm The Chairman of the National Traffi Commission on ,ul! *A' */6. re ommended to the Dire tor of Publi :or&s %ith the appro$al of the Se retar! of Publi :or&s the adoption of thethemeasure proposed in the resolution aforementioned in pursuan e of the pro$isions of theCo mmon%ealth 5 t No# 06A %hi h authori>es said Dire tor %ith the appro$al from the Se retar! of the Publi :or&s and Communi ation to promulgate rules and regulations to regulate and ontrol the use of and traffi on national roads# On 5ugust -' */6.' the Dire tor re ommended to the Se retar! the appro$al of the re ommendations made b! the Chairman of the National Traffi Commission %ith modifi ations# The Se retar! of Publi :or&s appro$ed the re ommendations on 5ugust

*.'*/6.# The Ma!or of Manila and the 5 ting Chief of Poli e of Manila ha$e enfor ed and aused to be enfor ed the rules and regulation# 5s a onsequen e' all animal"dra%n $ehi les are not allo%ed to pass and pi & up passengers in the pla es abo$e mentioned to the detriment not onl! of their o%ners but of the riding publi as %ell# I,,u*,8 *3 :hether the rules and regulations promulgated b! the respondents pursuant to the pro$isions of Common%ealth 5 t NO# 06A onstitute an unla%ful inferen e %ith legitimate business or trade and abridged the right to personal libert! and freedom of lo omotionS -3 :hether the rules and regulations omplained of infringe upon the onstitutional pre ept regarding the promotion of so ial (usti e to insure the %ell"being and e onomi se urit! of all the peopleS !*l17 *3 No# The promulgation of the 5 t aims to promote safe transit upon and a$oid obstru tions on national roads in the interest and on$enien e of the publi # In ena ting said la%' the National 5ssembl! %as prompted b! onsiderations of publi on$enien e and %elfare# It %as inspired b! the desire to relie$e ongestion of traffi ' %hi h is a mena e to the publi safet!# Publi %elfare lies at the bottom of the promulgation of the said la% and the state in order to promote the general %elfare ma! interfere %ith personal libert!' %ith propert!' and %ith business and o upations# Persons and propert! ma! be sub(e t to all &inds of restraints and burdens in order to se ure the general omfort' health' and prosperit! of the State# To this fundamental aims of the go$ernment' the rights of the indi$idual are subordinated# 1ibert! is a blessing %hi h should not be made to pre$ail o$er authorit! be ause so iet! %ill fall into anar h!# Neither should authorit! be made to pre$ail o$er libert! be ause then the indi$idual %ill fall into sla$er!# The paradoE lies in the fa t that the apparent urtailment of libert! is pre isel! the $er! means of insuring its preser$ing# -3 No# So ial (usti e is 9neither ommunism' nor despotism' nor atomism' nor anar h!'= but the humani>ation of la%s and the equali>ation of so ial and e onomi for es b! the State so that (usti e in its rational and ob(e ti$el! se ular on eption ma! at least be approEimated# So ial (usti e means the promotion of the %elfare of all the people' the adoption b! the Io$ernment of measures al ulated to insure e onomi stabilit! of all the ompetent elements of so iet!' through the maintenan e of a proper e onomi and so ial equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the ommunit!' onstitutionall!' through the adoption of measures legall!

(ustifiable' or eEtra" onstitutionall!' through the eEer ise of po%ers underl!ing the eEisten e of all go$ernments on the time"honored prin iples of salus populi estsuprema leE# So ial (usti e must be founded on the re ognition of the ne essit! of interdependen e among di$ers and di$erse units of a so iet! and of the prote tion that should be equall! and e$enl! eEtended to all groups as a ombined for e in our so ial and e onomi life' onsistent %ith the fundamental and paramount ob(e ti$e of the state of promoting health' omfort and quiet of all persons' and of bringing about 9the greatest good to the greatest number#=

,epublic of the %hilippines SUPREME COURT Manila "2 -$2C

G.R. No. 112844 June 2, 1995 PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE SCHOOL, INC., e! e"en#e$ %& JUAN O. NOLASCO III, petitioner, !s. COURT O' APPEALS, THE O''ICE O' THE E(ECUTI)E SECRETAR*, EDELMIRO AMANTE, RENATO CORONA, +n$ #,e DEPARTMENT O' EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS, respondents.

-ELLOSILLO, JR., J.: %6#(#%%#2" M",C6$2T M$,#2" SC6&&(, #2C. 7%MMS#8, was established in Manila in 199: to train and produce competent marine officers. #t offers a two;year course in Marine "ngineering 7$.M.".8 and a four;year course in Marine Transportation 7-.S.M.T.8. #n 19<= it established a branch in Talon, (as %i>as, Metro Manila. -ut we are here concerned only with the main school in Manila. /or se!eral times prior to 19=9 respondent Department of "ducation, Culture and Sports 7D"CS8 disappro!ed petitioner?s re.uests for renewal permit@recognition. 6owe!er, on 11 March 19=A the D"CS issued petitioner a renewal permit for SB 19=9;19=A. (ater, petitioner applied for a summer permit for 19=A which the D"CS fa!orably indorsed to the Minister of "ducation in consideration of the graduating students for summer. Thereafter the application was returned to Director Modesta -o.uiren of the D"CS for e!aluation and decision pursuant to the authority delegated to the ,egions under Department &rder 2o. CC, series of 19<9. Director -o.uiren issued petitioner the summer permit for 19=A based on the pre!iously stated humanitarian reason but sub1ect to the condition that petitioner should not enroll students for the first semester of SB 19=A;19=< until a permit therefor was granted and that the enrollment list for the summer term be submitted immediately.

Sometime in 19=A the D"CS recei!ed a complaint from /eli berto -. Dal!e*, president of petitioner?s /aculty $ssociation, 2$/(E;FME, concerning the issuance of summer permit to petitioner and of its holding of classes for courses not recogni*ed by the Do!ernment. Dal!e* re.uested that the matter be loo'ed into as well as the possible re!ocation of petitioner?s authority due to persistent !iolation of the orders of the D"CS. #n response, the D"CS through Director -o.uiren recommended that petitioner?s summer permit be re!o'ed and that the school be closed effecti!e SB 19=A;19=< on the ground thatG 7a8 petitioner did not ha!e a renewal permit@recognition for SB 19=A;19=<H 7b8 se!eral communications were sent to petitioner?s head telling him not to operate without permit and to e plain within se!enty;two 7<C8 hours from receipt of Director -o.uiren?s letter dated 9 July 19=A why no drastic action should be ta'en against it but said communication was ne!er answeredH and, 7c8 petitioner did not correct the deficiencies indicated in the renewal permit for 19=9;19=A. $ccordingly, in a 3rd #ndorsement dated C3 September 19=A the D"CS through then Minister (ourdes ,. Iuisumbing appro!ed the following courses of action for petitionerG 7a8 the students in the two courses who were graduating for SB 19=A;19=< would be allowed to graduate e!en without permit for said courses as a special case pro!ided that they completed the re.uirements for graduation and sub1ect to prior issuance of Special &rderH and, 7b8 the remaining students should be allowed to transfer to other authori*ed schools. #n a letter dated 3: September 19=A Director -o.uiren, informed petitioner of the aforementioned courses of action and directed immediate implementation thereof. &n 9 $pril 19=< the D"CS #nter;$gency Technical Committee 7#$TC&M8 recommended renewal of permits for the maritime courses offered by petitioner pro!ided that a de!elopment plan for the impro!ement of its buildings classrooms, laboratory rooms, library offices and other rooms be formulated and implemented before the start of school year 19=<;19==. Despite lac' of permit, petitioner continued to enroll students and offer courses in Marine "ngineering and Marine Transportation for SB 19=<;19==. This prompted the D"CS through Director 6ernando Di*on to write petitioner on ) $ugust 19== directing it not to operate without permit and in!iting its attention to the pro!isions of the %ri!ate School (aw 1 as reiterated in the "ducation $ct of 19=C 2 which prohibits operation of unauthori*ed schools@courses. &n C= &ctober 19== petitioner sent a letter to Director Di*on applying for permit@recognition to conduct classes for the two 7C8 maritime courses retroacti!e from summer of 19=< up to SB 19==; 19=9 and informing him of its transfer to the 9th /loor of the ,epublic Supermar'et -uilding, corner ,i*al $!enue and Soler St., Sta. Cru*, Manila. &n the basis of the fa!orable report of a super!isor of the -ureau of 6igher "ducation who !isited the premises of petitioner on 1) 2o!ember 19==, a director of said -ureau recommended renewal of petitioner?s permit. 6owe!er, in a D"CS;%$M# sur!ey conducted by the D"CS technical staff in 19==, petitioner scored only 3C points out of a possible 1,:CA points for re.uirements in 2autical "ngineering, and only C:< points out of 9:9 points in Marine "ngineering, way below the D"CS re.uirements. Subse.uent inspection of petitioner?s premises by the -ureau of 6igher "ducation;D"CS Technical %anel for Maritime "ducation 7T%M"8 affirmed the findings of the D"CS;%$M# sur!ey. #t found petitioner deficient in terms of the minimum re.uirements as pro!ided in D"CS &rder 2o. ###, series of 19=<, which refers to the policies and standards for Maritime "ducation %lan. #n a memorandum

dated 19 January 19=9 addressed to D"CS Director 2ilo ,osas, it set forth the following recommendationsG 1. The %MMS administration may be gi!en a last chance to put up at least A:J of the minimum standard e.uipment for a period of about two months 7January;March 19=98. C. The D"CS with T%M" will conduct a re;inspection sometime the first wee' of $pril to monitor the progress of the re.uirements. 3. 2o new and old students will be allowed to enroll during summer of 19=9 and the subse.uent semesters pending issuance of a permit. ). Therefore, issuance of a school permit for 19=<;19== to 19==;=9 shall be held in abeyance pending compliance of at least A:J of the re.uirements. 9. D"CS higher authorities shall decide whether the graduating students for the second semester 19==;=9 will be allowed to graduate and a retroacti!e school permit for the school years 19=<;==, 19==;=9 can be granted. . $s recommended, the T%M" Secretariat conducted a reinspection of petitioner?s premises, then submitted a report dated 1= $pril 19=9 with the following new recommendations K 1. Dradual phasing out of the -SMT 2autical Studies and $ssociate in Marine "ngineering programs. Ender this scheme, no new enrollees should be accepted anymore for the 1st year -SMT 2autical Studies and $M" starting 1st semester of school year 19=9;9:. C. #f the school can come up with the D"CS minimum standard within the phasing out period, suspension order may be lifted. 3. #f the school fails to meet the D"CS minimum standard at the end of the phasing out period, closure order will be issued. ). 2o special permit for the -SMT 2autical Studies and $M" courses should be granted as a special case. 6owe!er, during the phasing out period students may be allowed to graduate under %MMS, Talon, (as %i>as, based on these considerations K 1. %MMS, Manila, has inade.uate training facilities and e.uipment for -SMT 2autical Studies and $M" programs. C. The school has not ac.uired its own school site and building. The present school campus is not conduci!e for training and is found to be !ery limited in space so that there is difficulty for school de!elopment and e pansion. 3. &n C3 September 19=A, the Secretary of "ducation, Culture and Sports already issued a cease to operate order to the school head of %MMS. The said indorsement letter also pro!ided humanitarian decision 7reasonL8 which granted permit to %MMS

as a special case, 1ust to allow -SMT and $M" students to graduate and the remaining students were ad!ised to transfer to authori*ed@recogni*ed schools. ). (abor dispute occurred in 19=<. The conflict between the employees and employer is a manifestation of mismanagement of school. 4 #n a letter dated C< $pril 19=9 Director ,osas informed petitioner of the T%M" report and recommendations and in!ited it for a conference on C May 19=9 before any ma1or decision and action would be made. &n C May 19=9, the T%M" Secretariat submitted another memorandum on its reinspection of petitioner?s premises made on C= $pril 19=9. -ased on its findings that no substantial impro!ement in terms of minimum re.uirements, e.uipment and training facilities since the January 19=9 inspection was made, it reiterated the recommendations it submitted to the D"CS -ureau of 6igher "ducation. /or this reason, in the letter dated C9 May 19=9 Director ,osas notified petitioner about the aforementioned report and the D"CS? decision thatG 1. The -SMT 2autical Studies and $ssociate in Marine "ngineering courses be gradually phased out. Such being the case, the school shall no longer be allowed to accept 1st year students and new enrollees starting 1st semester of school year 19=9;9:. C. The second year and third year students may be allowed to remain until they graduate. 6owe!er, the school may opt to transfer these students to %MMS, Talon, (as %i>as, due to the following considerationsG 1. The school?s training e.uipment and instructional facilities are !ery far below the standards set by D"CS. C. The school site and building are not owned by the school but only leased with contract of renewal to be made annually. 3. The present location of the school does not warrant for e pansion, de!elopment and impro!ement. ). The present location of the school is not conduci!e for learning, it being located on the 9th floor of a supermar'et in the downtown section of the city. 9. $ cease to operate order was issued by Secretary (ourdes ,. Iuisumbing sometime in 19=A, which order was !iolated by the school. 5 #n a letter dated 11 July 19=9 the D"CS through Secretary Iuisumbing informed petitioner that it had recei!ed reports that petitioner enrolled freshmen for its maritime programs which were ordered phased out effecti!e SB 19=9;199: per letter of Director ,osas dated C9 May 19=9H called petitioner?s attention to the pro!ision of Sec. 1, ,ule 1, %art M, of the #mplementing ,ules of the "ducation $ct of 19=C which ma'es it punishable and sub1ect to penalties the operation of a school through the conduct or offering of "ducational %rograms or Courses of Studies@Training, without prior go!ernment authori*ation and@or in !iolation of any of the terms and conditions of said permit or

recognitionH directed that in accordance with the phase;out order, petitioner?s Manila campus is allowed to operate only the Cnd, 3rd and )th years of the authori*ed maritime programs which shall be gradually phased outH and, re.uired petitioner to comment on the reported unauthori*ed enrollment. #n its letter to the D"CS dated CA July 19=9, petitioner mo!ed for reconsideration stating that the finding that it had not complied with the minimum re.uirements was due to the followingG that as early as C1 June 19=9 it filed a letter re.uesting reconsideration of the letter dated C9 May 19=9 of Director ,osasH that since there was no reply it belie!ed that the C9 May 19=9 order was reconsidered sub-silencio and that petitioner was allowed to enroll 1st year students for SB 19=9; 199:H and, that it had underta'en impro!ements in all of its facilities in compliance with D"CS re.uirements. #n this regard, it re.uested another inspection of its premises. %ursuant to petitioner?s re.uest, another inspection of the Manila premises was conducted by the T%M";Secretariat on = $ugust 19=9. 6owe!er, petitioner only obtained a general rating of 31.1<J for 2autical Studies and C=.93J for Marine "ngineering. Conse.uently, the inspection team reiterated its pre!ious recommendation to gradually phase out the maritime programs of petitioner?s Manila campus effecti!e SB 199:;1991 and that no new freshman students be accepted beginning SB 199:;1991. $ccordingly, in a letter dated C9 September 19=9 the D"CS through Secretary Iuisumbing ordered petitioner to discontinue its Maritime program in the Manila campus effecti!e school year 199:;1991 and suggested that efforts be made towards the de!elopment of %MMS, (as %i>as, which has a great potential of being a good Maritime School. / The phase;out order was reiterated in subse.uent letters dated 19 /ebruary 199: and 9 May 199: of Director ,osas and then D"CS Secretary #sidro D. Cari>o, respecti!ely. Subse.uently, petitioner mo!ed to reconsider the phase;out order in its letter of C1 May 199:, which re.uest was denied by the D"CS through Endersecretary -en1amin Tayabas in his letter of 1 June 199:. The letter reads K 0ith reference to your re.uest to rescind an order to phase;out the maritime courses at %MMS, Manila, please be informed that this Department sees no reason for such action as the conditions obtaining in the school when the phase;out order was issued ha!en?t shown any significant impro!ement inspite of the fact that the %MMS had been gi!en reasonable period to comply with the minimum standard re.uirements prescribed by the Department of "ducation, Culture and Sports. Maritime "ducation courses are highly speciali*ed and re.uire ade.uate training facilities and e.uipment in order to ensure .uality. 6owe!er, the series of !isits made by the staff of the -6", 2C,, and members of the Technical %anel on Maritime "ducation re!ealed the following findingsG 7a8 &n $pril 9, 19=< the #nter;$gency Technical Committee 7#$TC&M8 recommended the renewal of permits of the maritime courses, pro!ided, that a de!elopment plan for the impro!ement of the buildings, classrooms, laboratory rooms, library offices and other rooms shall be formulated and implemented before the start of SB 19=<;19==. 7b8 #n 19==, the D"CS;%$M# sur!ey conducted by technical persons, re!ealed that %MMS, then located at the 9th floor of the ,epublic

Supermar'et, obtained a general score of 3C out of 1,:CA points for re.uirements in the 2autical course and C:< out of 9:9 points for the Marina "ngineering course. #t is needless to say that these findings are way below the D"CS re.uirements. $bo!e all, the school site was described as not conduci!e for offering maritime program due to its limited area. /urthermore, the lease on the premises is not a long term lease 7C years8, a condition which would deter the school from fully de!eloping the school site. 7c8 #n January of 19=9, the findings of the Secretariat for the Technical %anel for Maritime "ducation 7T%M"8 re;affirmed the findings of the D"CS;%$M# Sur!ey. Mery few e.uipment were found for the Maritime courses. Bou concurred with these findings in a dialogue with the Director of the -ureau of 6igher "ducation Secretariat. Bou appealed for another chance and re.uested for re; inspection before the opening of SB 19=9;199:. 7d8 $s per agreement, on $pril C=, 19=9 another re;inspection was made and it showed that the school did not show any substantial impro!ement. Then on May C9, 19=9, Secretary (ourdes Iuisumbing issued the phase;out order of our maritime programs in Manila campus. 6owe!er, the Department again allowed %MMS, Manila, to operate the maritime courses for SB 19=9;199: despite the abo!e phase;out order. 7e8 $nother e!aluation of your school was conducted by technical people on $ugust =, 19=9, as re.uested. The findings re!ealed that your school obtained a general rating of 31.1<J for 2autical Studies and C=.93J for Marine "ngineering. The %MMS has been pro!ided with the %olicies and Standards for Maritime "ducation and, as re!ealed by the foregoing facts, the series of inspection and e!aluation were 7sic8 done by technical persons who ha!e e pertise in the field of maritime education. Therefore, the re.uests relati!e to these are not !alid. #t is therefore with regrets that this Department cannot rescind its order to phase;out the Maritime courses at %MMS, Manila and the school is admonished not to accept incoming first year students starting school year 199:;1991. So that by school year 199C;1993, the maritime courses at the Manila campus would be fully phased; out. . . . 0
#t is suggested that %MMS concentrate its de!elopment plans in the (as %i>as Campus which has a great potential of being a good maritime school.

2ot satisfied therewith, petitioner appealed the matter to respondent &ffice of the %resident. During the pendency of the appeal the D"CS thru Secretary Cari>o issued a Closure &rder dated C< $ugust 1991 K

#n !iew of the report which was confirmed by the e!aluation team from the 2ational Capital ,egion D"CS ,egional &ffice, that %hilippine Merchant Marine School 7%MMS8, Manila, has been accepting freshman students of the maritime programs despite the phase;out order which was issued last September C=, 7 sic8 19=9 by former Secretary (ourdes ,. Iuisumbing and further reiterated by the undersigned, dated May 9, 199:, the Department, hereby orders Closure of your maritime programs of your school effective second semester school year 1991-199 , otherwise this Department shall be constrained to institute the appropriate administrati!e, ci!il and criminal proceedings against you and the other responsible officers of your school pursuant to Section A=, -atas %ambansa -lg. C3C. . . . The transfer of the affected students shall be facilitated by the 2ational Capital ,egion in accordance with our Memorandum dated $ugust 1A, 1991, ero copy of which is hereto attached for your information. /or your guidance and strict compliance.
8

#n a (etter dated C) $ugust 199C petitioner sought reconsideration of the C< $ugust 1991 Closure &rder and at the same time re.uested that special orders be issued to its graduates for SB 1991; 199C. #n letters filed with the &ffice of the %resident dated C and 3 &ctober 199C petitioner alleged compliance with D"CS re.uirements. The letters were referred to the D"CS for consideration. &n 1: 2o!ember 199C the &ffice of the %resident through respondent " ecuti!e Secretary "delmiro $mante rendered a ,esolution dismissing petitioner?s appeal. 9 #t found no plausible reason to disturb the action of the D"CS Secretary in the light of the conspicuous fact that petitioner had repeatedly failed to comply with the phase;out order since 19=A. Moreo!er, the grounds ad!anced by petitioner ha!e already been passed upon by the D"CS. %etitioner mo!ed for reconsideration praying that the case be remanded to the D"CS for another ocular inspection and e!aluation of its alleged impro!ed facilities. %etitioner anchored its motion on the proposition that since it had made substantial impro!ements on school e.uipment and facilities there e isted no !alid ground to deny them a permit to offer maritime courses. $fter another circumspect re!iew of the case, the &ffice of the %resident found no cogent reason to set aside its pre!ious resolution. #t opined that K Mere alleged efforts to impro!e the facilities and e.uipments 7sic8 which were long due since 19=A, do not warrant the re!ersal of our pre!ious resolution. #t bears stressing as the records may show, that the phase;out order of D"CS was based not only on %MMS#?s failure to pro!ide ade.uate e.uipment and facilities but also on %MMS#?s failure to comply with the standard re.uirements prescribed for a school site.

$part from these, %MMS#?s adamant refusal to comply with the orders of the D"CS to phase out its unauthori*ed courses is sufficient ground to uphold the order appealed from. Since 19=A, %MMS# has been applying for a permit to offer maritime courses but has been in!ariably denied for failure to comply with the minimum re.uirements prescribed by D"CS. 2otwithstanding these denials, %MMS# continues to offer maritime courses and to admit freshmen students in clear !iolation of Section 1, ,ule 1, of the "ducation $ct of 19=C . . . .

%MMS#?s refusal to comply with the phase;out order on the ground that the same is not yet final and e ecutory is untenable. 0hile said phase;out may not be final and e ecutory, there was no reason for %MMS# to offer maritime courses without the re.uisite prior authority of the D"CS. %MMS# possessed no !alid permit prior to the issuance of the phase;out. There was no authority to spea' of. 11 Thus the motion was denied in the ,esolution dated 1C January 1993 through respondent $ssistant " ecuti!e Secretary ,enato Corona. 11 %etitioner assailed both resolutions of the &ffice of the %resident before respondent Court of $ppeals by way ofcertiorari. #t alleged that the resolutions failed to meet the constitutional re.uirement of due process because the basis for affirming the D"CS phase;out and closure orders was not sufficiently disclosed. /urthermore, its letters dated C and 3 &ctober 199C which presented incontro!ertible proof that it had introduced substantial impro!ements on its facilities for the past two and a half years while its appeal was pending were not ta'en into account, thereby gra!ely abusing its discretion. ,espondent Court of $ppeals brushed aside the allegations of petitioner since K NTOhe &ffice of the %resident, in the resolution dated 2o!ember 1:, 199C, appears to ha!e restated the report of the respondent D"CS, meaning, that it adopted as its own the D"CS? report, but that is not a !iolation of the Constitution and the ,ules of Court, in line with !lba Patio De Ma"ati vs# !lba Patio De Ma"ati $mployees !ssociation, 1C= SC,$ C93, CA); CA9 . . . %etitioner?s latest attempt at impro!ing its facilities does not warrant a re!ersal of the phase;out order. /or, in spite of the claim that it spent on impro!ements, the basic problem remained as it still occupies the fifth floor of the 0illiam (iao building, which is not conduci!e to learning and has a limited area for e pansion and de!elopment. 12 &n CC July 1993 the petition was dismissed. was denied. 14
1.

&n CA 2o!ember 1993 the motion for reconsideration

%etitioner imputes error on respondent courtG 718 in not setting aside the .uestioned resolutions and orders of public respondents which were rendered without due process of law since 7a8 petitioner was not afforded the right to fully present its case and submit e!idence in support thereofH 7b8 public respondents did not consider the e!idence presented by petitionerH 7c8 public respondents? decisions ha!e no substantial e!idence to support themH 7d8 public respondents? decisions did not disclose the bases thereforH and, 7C8 in implementing the closure orders which had not become final and e ecutory. %etitioner asse!erates that the D"CS denied its right to a hearing on the supposed deficiencies which allegedly 1ustified denial of its re.uest for issuance of a renewal permit. (i'ewise, the D"CS denied petitioner the opportunity to correct such deficiencies. The &ffice of the %resident totally ignored super!ening e!ents properly brought to its attention in the letters of petitioner dated C and 3 &ctober 199C. #t issued resolutions strictly on the basis of the D"CS? representations which do not amount to substantial e!idence. The 1: 2o!ember 199C ,esolution failed to sufficiently disclose the basis for affirmation of the D"CS? phase;out and closure orders. The 1C January 1993 ,esolution still refused to ta'e into consideration petitioner?s compliance with the D"CS? re.uirements. %etitioner did not !iolate the "ducation $ct of 199C because it was authori*ed to operate by !irtue of the pro!isional authorities issued by the D"CS. The D"CS orders were not final and e ecutory

because petitioner challenged them and appropriately a!ailed itself of the remedies a!ailable to it under the law. -efore proceeding to resol!e the merits of this case, we shall state briefly the concept regarding establishment of schools. The educational operation of schools is sub1ect to prior authori*ation of the go!ernment and is effected by recognition. #n the case of go!ernment;operated schools, whether local, regional or national, recognition of educational programs and@or operations is deemed granted simultaneously with establishment. #n all other cases the rules and regulations go!erning recognition are prescribed and enforced by the D"CS, defining therein who are .ualified to apply, pro!iding for a permit system, stating the conditions for the grant of recognition and for its cancellation and withdrawal, and pro!iding for related matters. 15 The re.uirement on prior go!ernment authori*ation is pursuant to the State policy that educational programs and@or operations shall be of good .uality and therefore shall at least satisfy minimum standards with respect to curricula, teaching staff, physical plant and facilities and of administrati!e or management !iability. 1/ Set against the records of the case, the assertion of petitioner that it was depri!ed of its right to a hearing and any opportunity whatsoe!er to correct the alleged deficiencies readily collapses. The earlier narration of facts clearly demonstrates that before the D"CS issued the phase;out and closure orders, petitioner was duly notified, warned and gi!en se!eral opportunities to correct its deficiencies and to comply with pertinent orders and regulations. %etitioner has gone all the way up to the &ffice of the %resident to see' a re!ersal of the phase;out and closure orders. There is thus no reason to complain of lac' of opportunity to e plain its side as well as to comply with the alleged deficiencies. 10 0e agree with the obser!ation of the &ffice of the Solicitor Deneral that K $s long as the parties were gi!en opportunity to be heard before 1udgment was rendered, the demands of due process were sufficiently met 7(indo !. C&M"("C, 19) SC,$ C98. #t should also be noted that petitioner herein repeatedly sought reconsideration of the !arious orders of respondent D"CS and its motions were duly considered by respondent D"CS to the e tent of allowing and granting its re.uest for re;inspection of its premises. #n connection therewith, it has been ruled that the opportunity to be heard is the essence of procedural due process and that any defect is cured by the filing of a motion for reconsideration 7Medenilla !. Ci!il Ser!ice Commission, 19) SC,$ C<=8. 18 /urthermore, the &ffice of the %resident properly ignored 7in the sense that it did not find worthy of consideration8 the alleged super!ening e!ents, i#e#, substantial impro!ements on school e.uipment and facilities during the pendency of the case before said &ffice because the impro!ements should ha!e been underta'en starting 19=A. Moreo!er, the phase;out and closure orders were based not only on petitioner?s deficiencies as a maritime institute but also on its continued operation without the re.uisite authori*ation from the D"CS and acceptance of freshman students in blatant !iolation of the latter?s orders and@or persistent warnings not to do so. Merily, there are sufficient grounds to uphold the phase;out and closure orders of the D"CS which were issued conformably with Sec. C= of the "ducation $ct of 19=C which pro!idesG Sec. C=. . . . . Punishable %iolation. K . . . &peration of schools and educational programs without authori*ation, and@or operation thereof in !iolation of the terms of recognition, are hereby declared punishable !iolations sub1ect to the penalties pro!ided in this $ct. Secs. A= and A9 of the same $ct pro!ide the penaltiesG

Sec. A=. Penalty Clause. K $ny person upon con!iction for an act in !iolation of Section C=, Chapter 3, Title ###, shall be punished with a fine of not less than two thousand pesos 7%C,:::.::8 nor more than ten thousand pesos 7%1:,:::.::8 or imprisonment for a ma imum period of two 7C8 years, or both, in the discretion of the court. #f the act is committed by a school corporation, the school head together with the person or persons responsible for the offense or !iolation shall be e.ually liable. Sec. A9. !dministrative &anction. K The Minister 7Secretary8 of "ducation, Culture and Sports may prescribe and impose such administrati!e sanction as he may deem reasonable and appropriate in the implementing rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this $ct for any of the following causes . . . . 9. Enauthori*ed operation of a school, or course, or any component thereof . . . . The corresponding rules implementing Secs. A= and A9 read K Sec. 1. Punishable !cts and Penalties. K The operation of a school, through the conduct or offering of educational programs or courses of studies@training without prior go!ernment authori*ation in the form of permit or recognition as pro!ided for in ,ule ###, %$,T ### of these ,ules, and@or in !iolation of any of the terms and conditions of the said permit or recognition, ha!e been declared punishable !iolations of the $ct, sub1ect to the penalties pro!ided therein. $ny person, therefore, upon con!iction for an act constituting any of the foregoing punishable !iolations, shall be punished with a fine of not less than Two Thousand %esos 7%C,:::.::8 nor more than Ten Thousand %esos 7%1:,:::.::8, or imprisonment for a ma imum period of two 7C8 years, or both, in the discretion of the CourtG Provided, however, that when the act is committed by a school corporation, the school head together with the person or persons responsible for the !iolation or offense shall be deemed e.ually liable. Sec. C. !dministrative &anction. K 0ithout pre1udice to the interest of students, teachers and employees, and independently of the penalty imposed in Sec. 1 under this ,ule, the Minister may withdraw, suspend, re!o'e or cancel a school?s authority to operate as an educational institution or to conduct educational programs or courses of studies@training, for any of the following causes, vi'G . . . . e. Enauthori*ed operation of a school, or program or course of studies or component thereof, or any !iolation of the prescribed rules go!erning ad!ertisements or announcements of educational institutions. Substantial e!idence has been defined to be such rele!ant e!idence as a reasonable mind might accept as ade.uate to support a conclusion. 19 $ perusal of the .uestioned resolutions of the &ffice of the %resident re!eals that they are based on the records of the case which constitute substantial e!idence, pro!ing distinctly not only petitioner?s consistent failure to meet the D"CS? minimum standards for maritime institutes and correct its deficiencies but also its continued operation and offering of maritime courses despite the lac' of permit. Contrary to the claim of petitioner, the 1: 2o!ember 199C ,esolution of the &ffice of the %resident sufficiently disclosed the basis for its affirmance of the D"CS? phase;out and closure ordersG

$fter a careful study, we are constrained to resol!e that there e ists no sufficient 1ustification to modify, alter or re!erse the appealed order. 0e find no plausible reason to disturb the action of the Secretary of "ducation, Culture and Sports, more so in light of the conspicuous fact that %MMS has repeatedly failed to comply with the phase out order since 19=A. 0hat is more, the grounds ad!anced by %MMS ha!e already been passed upon, and separately resol!ed by the office a (uo. 21 %etitioner?s persistent refusal to comply with the phase;out orders on the ground that the same were not yet final and e ecutory is untenable. $s correctly held by the &ffice of the %resident K . . . . 0hile said phase;out 7orders8 may not be final and e ecutory, there was no reason for %MMS# to offer maritime courses without, the re.uisite prior authority of the D"CS. %MMS# possessed no !alid permit prior to the issuance of the phase;out. There was no authority to spea' of. 21 -y reason of the special 'nowledge and e pertise of administrati!e departments o!er matters falling under their 1urisdiction, they are in a better position to pass 1udgment thereon and their findings of fact in that regard are generally accorded respect, if not finality, by the courts. #n the case at bench, it is not the function of this Court nor any other court for that matter K . . . to re!iew the decisions and orders of the Secretary on the issue of whether or not an educational institution meets the norms and standards re.uired for permission to operate and to continue operating as such. &n this .uestion, no Court has the power or prerogati!e to substitute its opinion for that of the Secretary. #ndeed, it is ob!iously not e pected that any Court would ha!e the competence to do so. The only authority reposed in the Courts on the matter is the determination of whether or not the Secretary of "ducation, Culture and Sports has acted within the scope of powers granted him by law and the Constitution. $s long as it appears that he has done so, any decision rendered by him should not and will not be sub1ect to re!iew and re!ersal by any court. &f course, if it should be made to appear to the Court that those powers were in a case e ercised so whimsically, capriciously, oppressi!ely, despotically or arbitrarily as to call for peremptory correction K or stated otherwise, that the Secretary had acted with gra!e abuse of discretion, or had unlawfully neglected the performance of an act which the law specifically en1oins as a duty, or e cluded another from the use or en1oyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled K it becomes the Court?s duty to rectify such action through the e traordinary remedies of certiorari, prohibition, or mandamus, whiche!er may properly apply. Bet e!en in these e treme instances, where a Court finds that there has been abuse of powers by the Secretary and conse.uently nullifies and@or forbids such an abuse of power, or commands whate!er is needful to 'eep its e ercise within bounds, the Court, absent any compelling reason to do otherwise, should still lea!e to the Secretary the ultimate determination of the issue of the satisfaction of fulfillment by an educational institution of the standards set down for its legitimate operation, as to which it should not ordinarily substitute its own 1udgment for that of said office. 22 There being no gra!e abuse of discretion committed by respondents representing the &ffice of the %resident in issuing the ,esolutions of 1: 2o!ember 199C and 1C January 1993, respondent Court of $ppeals did not err in sustaining the resolutions in .uestion.

06","/&," , the petition is D"2#"D. The .uestioned Decision of the Court of $ppeals dated CC July 1993, as well as its ,esolution of CA 2o!ember 1993, is $//#,M"D. Costs against petitioner. S& &,D","D.

MMDA v. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay


C,e"#e C+%+23+ e4o55en$" ,6" 76"6#o " #o !2e+"e e+$ #,e o 686n+2 9 :u22 #e;# o: #,e 4+"e 46#e$. (6e ;6e< )#*# +os# 1,19-,--. December 1., //. METROPOLITAN MANILA DE)ELOPMENT AUTHORIT*, DEPARTMENT O' EN)IRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, DEPARTMENT O' EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS, DEPARTMENT O' HEALTH, DEPARTMENT O' AGRICULTURE, DEPARTMENT O' PU-LIC =OR>S AND HIGH=A*S, DEPARTMENT O' -UDGET AND MANAGEMENT, PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD, PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE MARITIME GROUP, +n$ DEPARTMENT O' THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GO)ERNMENT, !e#6#6one ", 7". CONCERNED RESIDENTS O' MANILA -A*, e! e"en#e$ +n$ ?o6ne$ %& DI)INA ). ILAS, SA-INIANO AL-ARRACIN, MANUEL SANTOS, JR., DINAH DELA PE@A, PAUL DENNIS AUINTERO, MA. )ICTORIA LLENOS, DONNA CALOBA, 'ATIMA AUITAIN, )ENICE SEGARRA, 'RITBIE TANG>IA, SARAH JOELLE LINTAG, HANNI-AL AUGUSTUS -O-IS, 'ELIMON SANTIAGUEL, +n$ JAIME AGUSTIN R. OPOSA, e"!on$en#". "2 -$2C 0he need to address environmental pollution, as a cause of climate change, has of late gained the attention of the international community# Media have finally trained their sights on the ill effects of pollution, the destruction of forests and other critical habitats, oil spills, and the unabated improper disposal of garbage# !nd rightly so, for the magnitude of environmental destruction is now on a scale few ever foresaw and the wound no longer simply heals by itself# 1ut amidst hard evidence and clear signs of a climate crisis that need bold action, the voice of cynicism, naysayers, and procrastinators can still be heard# 0his case turns on government agencies and their officers who, by the nature of their respective offices or by direct statutory command, are tas"ed to protect and preserve, at the first instance, our internal waters, rivers, shores, and seas polluted by human activities# 0o most of these agencies and their official complement, the pollution menace does not seem to carry the high national priority it deserves, if their trac" records are to be the norm# 0heir cavalier attitude towards solving, if not mitigating, the environmental pollution problem, is a sad commentary on bureaucratic efficiency and commitment# !t the core of the case is the Manila 1ay, a place with a proud historic past, once brimming with marine life and, for so many decades in the past, a spot for different contact recreation activities, but now a dirty and slowly dying e2panse mainly because of the ab3ect official indifference of people and institutions that could have otherwise made a difference# '+4#": &n January C9, 1999, respondents Concerned ,esidents of Manila -ay filed a complaint before the ,egional Trial Court 7,TC8 in #mus, Ca!ite against se!eral go!ernment agencies, for the cleanup, rehabilitation, and protection of the Manila -ay. The complaint alleged that the water .uality of the Manila -ay had fallen way below the allowable standards set by

law, specifically %residential Decree 2o. 7%D8 119C or the %hilippine "n!ironment Code. #n their indi!idual causes of action, respondents alleged that the continued neglect of petitioners in abating the pollution of the Manila -ay constitutes a !iolation of, among othersG 718 ,espondents+ constitutional right to life, health, and a balanced ecologyH 7C8 The "n!ironment Code 7%D 119C8H 738 The %ollution Control (aw 7%D 9=)8H 7)8 The 0ater Code 7%D 1:A<8H 798 The Sanitation Code 7%D =9A8H 7A8 The #llegal Disposal of 0astes Decree 7%D =C98H 7<8 The Marine %ollution (aw 7%D 9<98H 7=8 " ecuti!e &rder 2o. 19CH 798 The To ic and 6a*ardous 0astes (aw 7,epublic $ct 2o. A9A98H 71:8 Ci!il Code pro!isions on nuisance and human relationsH 7118 The Trust Doctrine and the %rinciple of DuardianshipH and 71C8 #nternational (aw #nter alia, respondents, as plaintiffs a .uo, prayed that petitioners be ordered to clean the Manila -ay and submit to the ,TC a concerted concrete plan of action for the purpose. I""ue": a8 0hether or not pertinent pro!isions of the "n!ironment Code 7%D 119C8 relate only to the cleaning of specific pollution incidents and do not co!er cleaning in general. b8 0hether or not the cleaning of the Manila -ay is not a ministerial act which can be compelled by mandamus. He2$: *egional 0rial Court4s 5rder to Clean 6p and *ehabilitate Manila 1ay &n September 13, C::C, the ,TC rendered a Decision in fa!or of respondents. /inding merit in the complaint, the Court ordered defendant;go!ernment agencies, 1ointly and solidarily, to clean up and rehabilitate Manila -ay and restore its waters to S- classification to ma'e it fit for swimming, s'in;di!ing and other forms of contact recreation. To attain this, defendant;agencies, with defendant D"2, as the lead agency, are directed, within si 7A8 months from receipt hereof, to act and perform their respecti!e duties by de!ising a consolidated, coordinated and concerted scheme of action for the rehabilitation and restoration of the bay. 7n particular8 Defendant M0SS is directed to install, operate and maintain ade.uate NsewerageO treatment facilities in strategic

places under its 1urisdiction and increase their capacities. Defendant (0E$, to see to it that the water districts under its wings, pro!ide, construct and operate sewage facilities for the proper disposal of waste. Defendant D"2,, which is the lead agency in cleaning up Manila -ay, to install, operate and maintain waste facilities to rid the bay of to ic and ha*ardous substances. Defendant %%$, to pre!ent and also to treat the discharge not only of ship;generated wastes but also of other solid and li.uid wastes from doc'ing !essels that contribute to the pollution of the bay. Defendant MMD$, to establish, operate and maintain an ade.uate and appropriate sanitary landfill and@or ade.uate solid waste and li.uid disposal as well as other alternati!e garbage disposal system such as re;use or recycling of wastes. Defendant D$, through the -ureau of /isheries and $.uatic ,esources, to re!itali*e the marine life in Manila -ay and restoc' its waters with indigenous fish and other a.uatic animals. Defendant D-M, to pro!ide and set aside an ade.uate budget solely for the purpose of cleaning up and rehabilitation of Manila -ay. Defendant D%06, to remo!e and demolish structures and other nuisances that obstruct the free flow of waters to the bay. These nuisances discharge solid and li.uid wastes which e!entually end up in Manila -ay. $s the construction and engineering arm of the go!ernment, D%06 is ordered to acti!ely participate in remo!ing debris, such as carcass of sun'en !essels, and other non;biodegradable garbage in the bay. Defendant D&6, to closely super!ise and monitor the operations of septic and sludge companies and re.uire them to ha!e proper facilities for the treatment and disposal of fecal sludge and sewage coming from septic tan's. Defendant D"CS, to inculcate in the minds and hearts of the people through education the importance of preser!ing and protecting the en!ironment. Defendant %hilippine Coast Duard and the %2% Maritime Droup, to protect at all costs the Manila -ay from all forms of illegal fishing. 0he Court of !ppeals &ustained the *0C4s Decision The M0SS, (ocal 0ater Etilities $dministration 7(0E$8, and %%$ filed before the Court of $ppeals 7C$8 indi!idual 2otices of $ppeal. &n the other hand, the D"2,, Department of %ublic 0or's and 6ighways 7D%068, Metropolitan Manila De!elopment $uthority 7MMD$8, %hilippine Coast Duard 7%CD8, %hilippine 2ational %olice 7%2%8 Maritime Droup, and fi!e other e ecuti!e departments and agencies filed directly with this Court a petition for re!iew under ,ule )9. #n the light of the ongoing en!ironmental degradation, the Court wishes to emphasi*e the e treme necessity for all concerned e ecuti!e departments and agencies to immediately act and discharge their respecti!e official duties and obligations. #ndeed, time is of the essenceH hence, there is a need to set timetables for the performance and completion of the tas's, some of them as defined for them by law and the nature of their respecti!e offices and mandates. The importance of the Manila -ay as a sea resource, playground, and as a historical landmar' cannot be o!er; emphasi*ed. #t is not yet too late in the day to restore the Manila -ay to its former splendor and bring bac' the plants and sea life that once thri!ed in its blue waters. -ut the tas's ahead, daunting as they may be, could only be accomplished if those mandated, with the help and cooperation of all ci!ic;minded indi!iduals, would put their minds to these tas's and ta'e responsibility. This means that the State, through petitioners, has to ta'e the lead in the

preser!ation and protection of the Manila -ay. So it was that in 5posa v# 9actoran, Jr# the Court stated that the right to a balanced and healthful ecology need not e!en be written in the Constitution for it is assumed, li'e other ci!il and political rights guaranteed in the -ill of ,ights, to e ist from the inception of man'ind and it is an issue of transcendental importance with intergenerational implications. "!en assuming the absence of a categorical legal pro!ision specifically prodding petitioners to clean up the bay, they and the men and women representing them cannot escape their obligation to future generations of /ilipinos to 'eep the waters of the Manila -ay clean and clear as humanly as possible. $nything less would be a betrayal of the trust reposed in them. -y a Decision of September C=, C::9, the C$ denied petitioners+ appeal and affirmed the Decision of the ,TC in toto, stressing that the trial court+s decision did not re.uire petitioners to do tas's outside of their usual basic functions under e isting laws.

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