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Case #1 GR No. L-5458, Sept. 16, 1953 (ZOSA) e.

e. Whatever may be its classification, freight or carrier of any class, express

PETITIONERS: Luzon Stevedoring Co., Inc. and Visayan Stevedore Transportation Co. service, steamboat, steamship line, pontines, ferries, and small water craft,
RESPONDENTS: The Public Service Commission and The Philippine Shipowners f. Engaged in the transportation of passengers and freight, shipyard, marine
Association railway, marine repair shop, warehouse, wharf or dock, iceplant, ice-
TOPIC: Concept of Public Service refrigeration, plant, canal, irrigation system, sewerage, gas, electric light,
heat and power, water supply and power, petroleum, sewerage system,
ISSUE: Whether or not Luzon Stevedoring and Visayan Stevedore are operating their telephone, wire or wireless telegraph system and broadcasting radio
watercrafts for public service. If they are, they must abide by the guidelines of Public Service stations.
Commission restraining them from further operation until the rates they propose to charge are
approved by the Commission. Otherwise, the government has no control over their charges. 2) It is not necessary that one holds himself out as serving or willing to serve the public
in order to be considered public service. Public utility is not determined by the number
FACTS: Luzon Stevedoring Co and Visayan Stevedore Transportation are mainly engaged in of people actually served, nor by the mere fact that service is rendered only under
stevedoring (un/loading ships at a port) or lighterage (transportation of goods by means of a contract.
flat-bottomed barge) and harbor towage business. At the same time, they are engaged in
interisland service characterized by: 3) Luzon Brokerage Company vs. Public Service Commission: Act 454 is clear in
o Hauling sugar, oil, fertilizer and other commercial commodities which are loaded in including in the definition of a Public Service that which is rendered for compensation,
their barges and towed by their tugboats from Manila to various points in Negros although limited exclusively to the customers of the petitioner.
Occidental and Capiz; and from said places to Manila
o Charging freightage on a unit price per ton in P0.50 to P0.62 per bag or picul of sugar 4) US Jurisprudence: It is only necessary that it must in some way be impressed with
loaded public interest; and whether the operation of a given business is a public utility
o No fixed route in the transportation of cargoes, the same being left to the discretion of depends upon whether or not the service rendered by it is of public character and of
the owner of the goods public consequence and concern. Thus, a business may be affected with public interest
o Barge and tugboats are manned by the respective crew of Luzon Stevedoring and and regulated for public good although not under any duty to serve the public.
Visayan Stevedore
o In case of damage to goods in transit caused by the negligence of said crews, Luzon 5) If the transportation service is casual or incidental (devoid of public character and
Stevedoring and Visayan Stevedore are respectively liable interest), it is not brought within the category of public utility. The demarcation line
o Freightage charges cover the carriage of goods from the point of embarkation to the is not susceptible of exact definition; each case being governed by its peculiar
point of disembarkation either in Manila or in any point in the Visayan Islands, as the circumstances.
case may be.
o Luzon Stevedorings regular customers: San Miguel Class Factory, PRATRA, Shell 6) In the case at bar, the transportation service was not casual or incidental as it had been
Co., Standard Oil Co. of New York and Hawaii. carried don regularly for years at almost uniform rate of charges. Although the number
o Visayan Stevedore Transportations regular customers: Insular Lumber, Shell of customers was limited, the value of the goods transported was considerable. Luzon
Company, Kim Kee Chua Yu & Co., PRATRA and Luzon Merchandising Stevedoring and Visayas Stevedore did not have same customers all the time, there is
Corporation no reason to believe that they would not accept new customers that might be willing
to avail of their service to the extent of their capacity.
Both companies are contending that they are not offering public service but rather are only
engaged in private lease contracts as their hauling businesses are serving a limited portion of the 7) The Court is of the opinion that the Public Service Commissions order does not
public only. invade private rights of property or contract.

8) The Public Service Law was enacted to:

DECISION: Petitioners are engaging their respective watercraft for public utility. a. Protect the public against unreasonable charges and poor, inefficient service
b. Prevent ruinous competition
1) Public Service Law (Commonwealth Act No. 146, Sec 13(b)) defines Public Service c. Bring under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission motor
as: vehicles, other means or transportation, ice plants, etc., which cates to a
a. Includes every person that now or hereafter may own, operate, manage, or limited portion of the public under private agreements; Such agreements
control in the Philippines, for hire or compensation may tend to wreck or impair the financial stability and efficiency of public
b. With general or limited clientele, whether permanent, occasional or utilities who do offer service to the public in general ~ they are affected with
accidental, public interest and come within the police power of the state to regulate.
c. Done for general business purposes any common carrier, railroad, street
railway, traction railway, subway, motor vehicle, either for freight or 9) Upon the foregoing considerations, the appealed order of the Public Service
passenger, or both Commission is affirmed, with costs against the petitioners.
d. With or without fixed route