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Laguna Lake Development Authority v CA and accelerating the

(Environmental Law) development and balanced growth of the

Laguna Lake area and the surrounding
Laguna Lake Development Authority v CA provinces of Rizal and Laguna and
GR No. 110120 the cities of San Pablo, Manila, Pasay,
March 16, 1994 Quezon and Caloocan with due
regard and adequate provisions for
FACTS: environmental management and control,
preservation of the quality of
The LLDA Legal and Technical personnel found human life and ecological systems, and the
that the City Government of Caloocan prevention of undue ecological disturbances,
was maintaining an open dumpsite at deterioration and pollution. Under such
the Camarin area without first securing a broad grant and power and authority, the
an Environmental Compliance Certificate LLDA, by virtue of its special charter,
(ECC) from the Environmental obviously has the responsibility to protect
Management Bureau (EMB) of the Departme the inhabitants of the
nt of Environment and Natural Resources Laguna Lake region from the deleterious
, as required under Presidential Decree N effects of pollutants emanating from t
o. 1586, and clearance from LLDA as required he discharge of wastes from the
under Republic Act N o. 4850 and issued a surrounding areas.
CEASE and DESIST ORDER (CDO) for the City
Government of Caloocan to stop the use of the 2. YES, pursuant to EO 927 Section 4. While it
dumpsite. is a fundamental rule that an administrative
agency has only such powers as are
ISSUES: expressly granted to it by law , it
is likewise a settled rule that an
1. Does the administrative agency has also such powers
LLDA and its amendatory laws, have the as are necessarily implied in
authority to entertain the the exercise of its ex press powers.
complaint against the dumping of In the exercise, therefore, of its exp
garbage in the open dumpsite in Barang ress powers under its charter as a
ay Camarin authorized by the City Gove regulatory and quasi-
rnment of Caloocan? judicial body with respect to pollution
2. Does the LLDA have the power and cases in the Laguna Lake region, the
authority to issue a "cease and desist" authority of the LLDA to issue a
order? "cease and desist order" is, perforce,
implied. NOTE:
APPLICABLE LAWS: HOWEVER, writs of mandamus and injunction
are beyond the power of the LLDA to issue.
• Executive Order N o. 927 series of 1983 which
provides, thus: Sec. 4. Additional Powers and
Functions. The authority shall have the
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA)
following powers and
was created through RA No. 4850 in order to
functions: (d) Make, alter or modify o
execute the policy towards environmental
rders requiring the discontinuance of p
protection and sustainable development so as
ollution specifying the conditions and the
to accelerate the development and balanced
time within which such discontinuance must be
growth of the Laguna Lake area and the
surrounding provinces and towns.
• As a general rule, the adjudication of
pollution cases generally pertains to Upon implementation of RA 7160 (Local
the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB), Government Code of 1991), the municipalities
except in cases w assumed exclusive jurisdiction & authority to
here the special law provides for ano issue fishing privileges within their
ther forum municipal waters since Sec.149 thereof
provides: “Municipal corporations shall have
RULING: the authority to grant fishery privileges in
the municipal waters and impose rental fees or
1. YES, LLDA has authority. charges therefore…” Big fishpen operators took
It must be recognized in this regard advantage of the occasion to establish
that the fishpens & fish cages to the consternation of
LLDA, as a specialized administrative a the LLDA.
gency, is specifically mandated under R The implementation of separate independent
epublic Act No. 4850 and its amendatory policies in fish cages & fish pen operation
law s to carry out and make effective the and the indiscriminate grant of fishpen
declared national policy of promoting permits by the lakeshore municipalities have
saturated the lake with fishpens, thereby Thus, it has to be concluded that the charter
aggravating the current environmental of the LLDA should prevail over the Local
problems and ecological stress of Laguna Lake. Government Code of 1991 on matters affecting
Laguna de Bay.
The LLDA then served notice to the general
public that: FACTS

(1) fishpens, cages & other aqua-culture · The residents of Tala Estate,
structures unregistered with the LLDA as of Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City raised a
March 31, 1993 are declared illegal; complaint with the Laguna Lake Development
Authority (LLDA), seeking to stop the
(2) those declared illegal shall be subject to operation of the City Government of Caloocan
demolition by the Presidential Task Force for of an 8.6 hectare open garbage dumpsite in
Illegal Fishpen and Illegal Fishing; and Tala Estate, due to its harmful effects on the
health of the residents and the pollution of
(3) owners of those declared illegal shall be the surrounding water.
criminally charged with violation of Sec.39-
A of RA 4850 as amended by PD 813. · LLDA discovered that the City
A month later, the LLDA sent notices advising Government of Caloocan has been maintaining
the owners of the illegally constructed the open dumpsite at the Camarin Area without
fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture a requisite Environmental Compliance
structures advising them to dismantle their Certificate from the Environmental Management
respective structures otherwise demolition Bureau of the DENR. They also found the water
shall be effected. to have been directly contaminated by the
operation of the dumpsite.

Issue · LLDA issued a Cease and Desist

Which agency of the Government — the Laguna Order against the City Government and other
Lake Development Authority or the towns and entities to completely halt, stop and desist
municipalities comprising the region — should from dumping any form or kind of garbage and
exercise jurisdiction over the Laguna Lake and other waste matter on the Camarin dumpsite.
its environs insofar as the issuance of
permits for fishery privileges is concerned? · The City Government went to the
Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City to file
an action for the declaration of nullity of
the cease and desist order and sought to be
Held declared as the sole authority empowered to
LLDA has jurisdiction over such matters promote the health and safety and enhance the
because the charter of the LLDA prevails over right of the people in Caloocan City to a
the Local Government Code of 1991. balanced ecology within its territorial
The said charter constitutes a special law,
while the latter is a general law. · LLDA sought to dismiss the
complaint, invoking the Pollution Control Law
The Local Government Code of 1991, has not that the review of cease and desist orders of
repealed the provisions of the charter of the that nature falls under the Court of Appeals
Laguna Lake Development Authority, Republic and not the RTC.
Act No. 4850, as amended.
· RTC denied LLDA’s motion to dismiss,
Thus, the Authority has the exclusive and issued a writ of preliminary injunction
jurisdiction to issue permits for the enjoining LLDA from enforcing the cease and
enjoyment of fishery privileges in Laguna de desist order during the pendency of the case.
Bay to the exclusion of municipalities
situated therein and the authority to exercise · The Court of Appeals promulgated a
such powers as are by its charter vested on decision that ruled that the LLDA has no power
it. and authority to issue a cease and desist
order enjoining the dumping of garbage.
In addition, the charter of the LLDA embodies
a valid exercise of police power for the · The residents seek a review of the
purpose of protecting and developing the decision.
Laguna Lake region, as opposed to the Local
Government Code, which grants powers to
municipalities to issue fishing permits for
revenue purposes.
WoN the LLDA has authority and power to issue · While LLDA was not expressly
an order which, in its nature and effect was conferred the power “to issue an ex-
injunctive. parte cease and desist order” in that
language, the provision granting authority to
THEORY OF THE PARTIES “make (…) orders requiring the discontinuance
of pollution”, has the same effect.
City Government of Caloocan: As a local
government unit, pursuant to the general
welfare provision of the Local Government
Code, they have the mandate to operate a b. Necessarily implied powers.
dumpsite and determine the effects to the
ecological balance over its territorial · Assuming arguendo that the cease
jurisdiction. and desist order” was not expressly conferred
by law, there is jurisprudence enough to the
LLDA: As an administrative agency which was effect.
granted regulatory and adjudicatory powers and
functions by RA No. 4850, it is invested with · While it is a fundamental rule
the power and authority to issue a cease and that an administrative agency has only such
desist order pursuant to various provisions in power as expressly granted to it by law, it is
EO No. 927. likewise a settled rule that an administrative
agency has also such powers as are necessarily
RULING implied in the exercise of its express
powers. Otherwise, it will be reduced to a
YES. “toothless” paper agency.

1. LLDA is mandated by law to manage · In Pollution Adjudication Board vs

the environment, preserve the quality of human Court of Appeals, the Court ruled that the PAB
life and ecological systems and prevent undue has the power to issue an ex-parte cease and
ecological disturbances, deterioration and desist order on prima facie evidence of an
pollution in the Laguna Lake area and establishment exceeding the allowable
surrounding provinces and cities, standards set by the anti-pollution laws of
including Caloocan. the country.

· While pollution cases are generally · LLDA has been vested with
under the Pollution Adjudication Board under sufficiently broad powers in the regulation of
the Department of Environment and Natural the projects within the LagunaLake region,
Resources, it does not preclude mandate from and this includes the implementation of
special laws that provide another forum. relevant anti-pollution laws in the area.

· In this case, RA No. 4850 provides

that mandate to the LLDA. It is mandated to
pass upon or approve or disapprove plans and
programs of local government offices and
agencies within the region and their
underlying environmental/ecological

· The DENR even recognized the primary

jurisdiction of the LLDA over the case when
the DENR acted as intermediary at a meeting
among the representatives of the city
government, LLDA and the residents.

2. LLDA has the authority to issue the

cease and desist order.

a. Explicit in the law.

· §4, par. (3) explicitly authorizes

the LLDA to make whatever order may be
necessary in the exercise of its jurisdiction.
A novel case was recently decided by the parties-in-interest for their failure to show
Supreme Court where a suit was filed by how they stand to be benefited or injured by
resident marine mammals, like whales, the decision in this case.
dolphins, etc. in order to prevent the
exploration, development and exploitation of Since the petition was not brought in the name
petroleum resources within Tanon Strait, a of a real party-in-interest, it should be
narrow passage of water situated between the dismissed for failure to state a cause of
islands of Negros and Cebu. One of the basic action.
questions is whether they have the capacity to
sue or otherwise known in constitutional law Ruling in favor of the petitioners, the
as locus standi. Supreme Court

This case arose when DOE and Japan Petroleum Held: Inanimate objects are sometimes parties
Exploration Co. Ltd. (JAPEX) entered into an in litigation. A ship has a legal personality,
agreement for the exploration, development and a fiction found useful for maritime purposes.
production of petroleum resources at the The corporation sole - a creature of
offshore of Tanon Strait. ecclesiastical law - is an acceptable
adversary and large fortunes ride on its
The Resident Marine Mammals, through the cases. The ordinary corporation is a “person”
Stewards, “claimed” that they have the legal for purposes of the adjudicatory processes,
standing to file this action since they stand whether it represents proprietary, spiritual,
to be benefited or injured by the judgment in aesthetic, or charitable causes.
this suit. Citing Oposa v. Factoran, Jr., they
also asserted their right to sue for the So it should be as respects valleys, alpine
faithful performance of international and meadows, rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches,
municipal environmental laws created in their ridges, groves of trees, swampland, or even
favor and for their benefit. In this regard, air that feels the destructive pressures of
they propounded that they have the right to modern technology and modem life. The river,
demand that they be accorded the benefits for example, is the living symbol of all the
granted to them in multilateral international life it sustains or nourishes—fish, aquatic
instruments that the Philippine Government had insects, water ouzels, otter, fisher, deer,
signed, under the concept of stipulation pour elk, bear, and all other animals, including
autrui. man, who are dependent on it or who enjoy it
for its sight, its sound, or its life. The
The Stewards contended that there should be no river as plaintiff speaks for the ecological
question of their right to represent the unit of life that is part of it. Those people
Resident Marine Mammals as they have stakes in who have a meaningful relation to that body of
the case as forerunners of a campaign to build water—whether it be a fisherman, a canoeist,
awareness among the affected residents of a zoologist, or a logger—must be able to speak
Tañon Strait and as stewards of the for the values which the river represents and
environment since the primary steward, the which are threatened with destruction.
Government, had failed in its duty to protect
the environment pursuant to the public trust The primary reason animal rights advocates and
doctrine. (See: Oposa case). environmentalists seek to give animals and
inanimate objects standing is due to the need
They also contended that the Court may lower to comply with the strict requirements in
the benchmark in locus standi as an exercise bringing a suit to court. Our own 1997 Rules
of epistolary jurisdiction. (See: Oposa case). of Court demand that parties to a suit be
either natural or juridical persons, or
Public respondents argued that the Resident entities authorized by law. It further
Marine Mammals have no standing because necessitates the action to be brought in the
Section 1, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court name of the real party-in-interest, even if
requires parties to an action to be either filed by a representative, viz.:
natural or juridical persons.
Although this petition was filed in 2007,
They also contested the applicability of years before the effectivity of the Rules of
Oposa, pointing out that the petitioners Procedure for Environmental Cases, it has been
therein were all natural persons, albeit some consistently held that rules of procedure “may
of them were still unborn. be retroactively applied to actions pending
and undetermined at the time of their passage
As regards the Stewards, the public and will not violate any right of a person who
respondents likewise challenged their claim of may feel that he is adversely affected,
legal standing on the ground that they are inasmuch as there is no vested rights in rules
representing animals, which cannot be parties of procedure.”
to an action. Moreover, the public respondents
argued that the Stewards are not the real Elucidating on this doctrine, the Court, in
Systems Factors Corporation v. National Labor MMDA v Concerned Residents of Manila Bay
Relations Commission (399 Phil. 721 (2000) (Environmental Law)
held that:
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v
Remedial statutes or statutes relating to Concerned Residents of Manila Bay
remedies or modes of procedure, which do not
create new or take away vested rights, but
GR No. 171947-48
only operate in furtherance of the remedy or
confirmation of rights already existing, do
not come within the legal conception of a December 18, 2008
retroactive law, or the general rule against
retroactive operation of statutes. Statutes FACTS:
regulating the procedure of the courts will be
construed as applicable to actions pending and The complaint by the
undetermined at the time of their passage. residents alleged that the water qualit
Procedural laws are retroactive in that sense y of the Manila Bay had fallen way
and to that extent, x x x. below the allowable standards set by
law, specifically Presidential Decree N
Moreover, even before the Rules of Procedure o. (PD) 1152 or
for Environmental Cases became effective, the the Philippine Environment Code and that
Court had already taken a permissive position ALL defendants (public officials) must be
on the issue of locus standi in environmental jointly and/or solidarily liable and
cases. In Oposa, the Court allowed the suit to collectively ordered to clean up Manila Bay
be brought in the name of generations yet and to restore its water quality to class B,
unborn “based on the concept of waters fit for swimming, diving, and other
intergenerational responsibility insofar as forms of contact recreation.
the right to a balanced and healthful ecology
is concerned.” Furthermore, the right to a ISSUES:
balanced and healthful ecology, a right that
does not even need to be stated in our
Constitution as it is assumed to exist from (1) WON Sections 17 and 20 of PD 1152 under
the inception of humankind, carries with it the headings,
the correlative duty to refrain from impairing Upgrading of Water Quality and Clean-
the environment. up Operations, envisage a cleanup in
general or are they limited
In light of the foregoing, the need to give only to the cleanup of specific pollut
the Resident Marine Mammals legal standing has ion incidents;
been eliminated by our Rules, which allow any
Filipino citizen, as a steward of nature, to (2) WON petitioners be compel led by mandamus
bring a suit to enforce our environmental to clean up and rehabilitate the Manila Bay.
laws. It is worth noting here that the
Stewards are joined as real parties in the APPLICABLE LAWS:
Petition and not just in representation of the
named cetacean species. The Stewards, Ramos PD 1152 Philippine Environmental Code
and Eisma-Osorio, having shown in their Section 17. Upgrading of Water Qualit
petition that there may be possible violations y.––
of laws concerning the habitat of the Resident Where the quality of water has deter
Marine Mammals, are therefore declared to iorated t o a degree where it s state
possess the legal standing to file this will adversely affect its best u
petition. (Resident Marine Mammals of the sage, the government agencies
Protected Seascape Tanon Strait, E.G. Toothed concerned shall
Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises and Other take such measures as may be necessa
Cetacean Species, Joined in and Represented by ry to upgrade the quality of such
Human Beings Gloria Ramos & Rose Liza Eismia- water to meet the prescribed water
Osorio, etc. v. Sec. Angelo Reyes, et al., quality standards. Section 20. Clean-up
G.R. No. 180771, April 21, 2015 & companion Operations.––It shall be the
cases, Leonardo-De Castro, J). responsibility of the polluter to contain
, remove and clean -
up water pollution incidents at his
own expense. In
case of his failure to do so, the
government agencies concerned
shall undertake containment, removal and
clean-up operations and expenses incurred
in said operation shall be charged
against the persons and/ or entities In 1999, the Concerned Residents of Manila
responsible for such pollution. Bay (CROMB) filed an action for mandamus to
compel the Metropolitan Manila Development
Authority (MMDA) and other government
agencies to clean up the Manila Bay. CROMB
argued that the environmental state of the
Manila Bay is already dangerous to their
health and the inaction of MMDA and the
other concerned government agencies violates
their rights to life, health, and a balanced
(1) ecology guaranteed by the Constitution.
Sec. 17 does not in any way state that CROMB also averred under the Environmental
the government agencies Code, it is MMDA’s duty to clean up the
concerned ought to confine themselves Manila Bay.
to the containment, removal, and cleaning
operations when a specific pollution The trial court agreed with CROMB and
incident occurs. On the contrary, ordered MMDA et al to clean up the Manila
Sec. 17 requires them to act even in Bay. MMDA assailed the decision on the
the absence of a specific pollution i ground that MMDA’s duty under the
ncident, as long as water quality Environmental Code is merely a discretionary
“has deteriorated to a degree where duty hence it cannot be compelled by
its state will adversely affect its best mandamus. Further, MMDA argued that the
usage.” Section 17 & 20 are of general RTC’s order was for a general clean up of
application and are not for specific pollution the Manila Bay yet under the Environmental
incidents only. The fact that the pollution Code, MMDA was only tasked to attend to
of the Manila Bay is of such specific incidents of pollution and not to
magnitude and scope that it is well - undertake a massive clean up such as that
nigh impossible to draw the ordered by the court.
line between a specific and a general
pollution incident.
ISSUE: Whether or not MMDA may be compelled
by mandamus to clean up Manila Bay.

HELD: Yes. It is true that in order for MMDA

(2) The Cleaning or Rehabilitation of Manila to implement laws like the Environmental
Bay Can be Compelled by Mandamus. While the Code, the process of implementing
implementation of the usually involves the exercise of discretion
MMDA's mandated tasks may entail a i.e., where to set up landfills. But this
decision-making process, the does not mean that their function or mandate
enforcement of the law or the under the law is already discretionary.
very act of doing what the law Looking closer, MMDA’s function to alleviate
exacts to be done is ministerial in the problem on solid and liquid waste
nature and may disposal problems is a ministerial function.
be compelled by mandamus. Under what o In short, MMDA does not have the discretion
ther judicial discipline describes as to whether or not alleviate the garbage
“continuing mandamus ,” the disposal problem in Metro Manila,
Court may, under extraordinary particularly in the Manila Bay area. While
circumstances, issue directives with the the implementation of the MMDA’s mandated
end in view of ensuring that tasks may entail a decision-making process,
its decision would not be set to naught by the enforcement of the law or the very act
administrative inaction or indifference. of doing what the law exacts to be done is
ministerial in nature and may be compelled
by mandamus.

NOTE: This continuing mandamus is no longer Anent the issue on whether or not MMDA’s
applicable, since this is institutionalized in task under the Environmental Code involves a
the rules of procedure for environmental general clean up, the Supreme Court ruled
cases. that MMDA’s mandate under the Environmental
Code is to perform cleaning in general and
not just to attend to specific incidents of
pollution. Hence, MMDA, together with the
20 days – Temporary restraining order other government agencies, must act to clean
up the Manila Bay as ordered by the RTC.