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Equi-Asia Placement, Inc. v.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Labor and Employment GR 152214 September 19, 2006 OFW Manny dela Rosa Razon died of ied of acute cardiac arrest while asleep at the dormitory of the Samsong Textile Processing Factory in South Korea. As a result thereof, the OWWA requested petitioner EquiAsia, the agency responsible for Razons recruitment and deployment, to provide for Prepaid Ticket Advice (PTA) and assistance for the repatriation of Razons remains. Equi-Asia denied responsibility for providing such assistance arguing that Razon violated his employment contract by unlawfully escaping from his company assignment without prior authorization. In lieu of such assistance, it suggested that Razons relatives can avail of the benefits provided for by OWWA in cases involving undocumented/illegal Filipino workers abroad. OWWA, in response to 1 petitioners denials, invoked Sections 52 to 55 of the Implementing Rules Governing RA 8042 provding that the repatriation of OFW, his/her remains and transport of his personal effects is the primary responsibility of the principal or agency and to immediately advance the cost of plane farewithout prior determination of the cause of worker's repatriation. In consequence thereof, Equi-Asia filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals questioning the legality and constitutionality of said provisions in the implementing rules on the ground that it 2 expanded Section 15 of RA 8042. It contends thus - Sec. 15 of R.A. 8042 clearly contemplates prior notice and hearing before responsibility thereunder could be established against the agency that sets up the defense of sole fault in avoidance of said responsibility -.Besides, the sections in question unduly grant the powers to require advance payment of the plane fare, to impose the corresponding penalty of suspension in case of non-compliance therewith, within 48 hours and to recover said advance payment from the dead worker's estate upon the return of his remains to the country before the NLRC, when the law itself does not expressly provide for the grant of such powers. Issue: Whether or not Sections 52, 53, 54 and 55 of the Omnibus Rules and Regulations Implementing RA 8042, issued by DFA and POEA, is illegal and/or violative of due process such that POEA acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction and/or in grave abuse of discretion in issuing said order to pay said expenses. Held: The petition of the petitioner should be dismissed on the following grounds: (1) [Procedural] For a petition for certiorari to prosper, the writ must be directed against a tribunal, a board or an officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions. Citing Abella, Jr. v. Civil Service Commission, the Court prefatorily defined and distinguished between quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative powers exercised by administrative agencies. In exercising its quasi-judicial function, an administrative body adjudicates the rights of persons before it, in accordance with the standards laid down by the law. The determination of facts and the applicable law, as basis for official action and the exercise of judicial discretion, are essential for the performance of this function. On these considerations, it is elementary that due process requirements, must be observed. Other hand, quasi-legislative power is exercised by administrative agencies through the promulgation of rules and regulations within the confines of the granting statute and the doctrine of non-delegation of certain powers flowing from the separation of the great branches of the government. Prior notice to and hearing of every affected party, as elements of due process, are not required since there is no determination of past events or facts that have to be established or ascertained. In this case, petitioner assails certain provisions of the Omnibus Rules. However, these rules were clearly promulgated by respondents Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Labor and Employment in the exercise of their quasi-legislative powers or the authority to promulgate rules and regulations. Because of this, petitioner was, thus, mistaken in availing himself of the remedy of an original action for certiorari as obviously, only judicial or quasi-judicial acts are proper subjects thereof.
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Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995

The repatriation of the worker and the transport of his personal belongings shall be the primary responsibility of the agency which, recruited or deployed the worker overseas.All costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne by or charged to the agency concerned and/or its principal.Likewise, the repatriation of remains and transport of the personal belongings of a deceased worker and all costs attendant thereto shall be borne by the principal and/or the local agency.However, in cases where the termination of employment is due solely to the fault of the worker, the principal/employer or agency shall not in any manner be responsible for the repatriation of the former and/or his belongings.

(2) [Delegation of Administrative functions; Rationale] It is now well-settled that delegation of legislative power to various specialized administrative agencies is allowed in the face of increasing complexity of modern life. Given the volume and variety of interactions involving the members of today's society, it is doubtful if the legislature can promulgate laws dealing with the minutiae aspects of everyday life. Hence, the need to delegate to administrative bodies, as the principal agencies tasked to execute laws with respect to their specialized fields, the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given statute and effectuate its policies. All that is required for the valid exercise of this power of subordinate legislation is that the regulation must be germane to the objects and purposes of the law; and that the regulation be not in contradiction to, but in conformity with, the standards prescribed by the law. Under the first test or the so-called completeness test, the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature such that when it reaches the delegate, the only thing he will have to do is to enforce it. The second test or the sufficient standard test, mandates that there should be adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to determine the boundaries of the delegate's authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. (3) [Compliance with test of delegation] Section 53 of the Omnibus Rules is not invalid for contravening Section 15 of the law which states that a placement agency shall not be responsible for a worker's repatriation should the termination of the employer-employee relationship be due to the fault of the OFW. The statute merely states the general principle that in case the severance of the employment was because of the OFW's own undoing, it is only fair that he or she should shoulder the costs of his or her homecoming. Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8042, however, certainly does not preclude a placement agency from establishing the circumstances surrounding an OFW's dismissal from service in an appropriate proceeding. As such determination would most likely take some time, it is only proper that an OFW be brought back here in our country at the soonest possible time lest he remains stranded in a foreign land during the whole time that recruitment agency contests its liability for repatriation. Repatriation is in effect an unconditional responsibility of the agency and/or its principal that cannot be delayed by an investigation of why the worker was terminated from employment. To be left stranded in a foreign land without the financial means to return home and being at the mercy of unscrupulous individuals is a violation of the OFW's dignity and his human rights. These are the same rights R.A. No. 8042 seeks to protect.

Romeo Gerochi v. Department Of Energy (DOE), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), National Power Corporation (NPC), Power Sector Assets And Liabilities Management Group (PSALM Corp.), Strategic Power Utilities Group (Spug), And Panayelectric Company Inc. (PECO) G.R. No. 159796 July 17, 2007 Petitioners filed an original petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court praying that Section 34 of Republic Act (RA) 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), imposing the Universal Charge, and Rule 18 of the Rules and Regulations (IRR) which seeks to implement the said imposition, be declared unconstitutional. Petitioners also pray that the Universal Charge imposed upon the consumers be refunded and that a preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order (TRO) be issued directing the respondents to refrain from implementing, charging, and collecting the said charge. It mainly challenges the said provisions on the ground that the universal charge provided for and sought to be implemented under said provisions is a tax which is to be collected from all electric end-users and self-generating entities. The power to tax is strictly a legislative function and as such, the delegation of said power to any executive or administrative agency like the ERC is unconstitutional, giving the same unlimited authority. The assailed provision clearly provides that the Universal Charge is to be determined, fixed and approved by the ERC, hence leaving to the latter complete discretionary legislative authority. Issue: Whether or not there is undue delegation of legislative power to tax on the part of the ERC. Held: (1) [Delegation of Powers] Potestas delegata non delegari potest( what has been delegated cannot be delegated). This is based on the ethical principle that such delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate through the instrumentality of his own judgment and not through the intervening mind of another. + Reiteration of Equi-Asia ruling on rationale of delegation of administrative functions. (2) [Compliance with test of delegation] The EPIRA, read and appreciated in its entirety, in relation to Sec. 34 thereof, is complete in all its essential terms and conditions, and that it contains sufficient standards. Although Sec. 34 of the EPIRA merely provides that within one (1) year from the effectivity thereof, a Universal Charge to be determined, fixed and approved by the ERC, shall be imposed on all electricity end-users, and therefore, does not state the specific amount to be paid as Universal Charge, the amount nevertheless is made certain by the legislative parameters provided in the law itself. Sec. 43(b)(ii) of the EPIRA provides that the ERC shall promulgate and enforce Financial capability standards fo rthe generating companies, the TRANSCO, distribution utilities and suppliers: Provided, That in the formulation of the financial capability standards, the nature and function of the entity shall be considered: Provided, further, That such standards are set to ensure that the electric power industry participants meet the minimum financial standards to protect the public interest. Moreover, the ERC does not enjoy a wide latitude of discretion in the determination of the Universal Charge. Sec. 51(d) and (e) of the EPIRA clearly provides that the ERC, in the performance of its functions, shall have the
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A universal charge to be determined, fixed and approved by the ERC, shall be imposed on all electricity end-users for the following purposes:

(a) Payment for the stranded debts in excess of the amount assumed by the National Government and stranded contract costs of NPC and as well as qualified stranded contract costs of distribution utilities resulting from the restructuring of the industry; (b) Missionary electrification; (c) The equalization of the taxes and royalties applied to indigenous or renewable sources of energy vis--vis imported energy fuels; (d)An environmental charge equivalent to one-fourth of one centavo per kilowatt-hour (P0.0025/kWh), which shall accrue to an environmental fund to be used solely for watershed rehabilitation and management. Said fund shall be managed by NPC under existing arrangements; and (e)A charge to account for all forms of cross-subsidies for a period not exceeding three (3) years. The universal charge shall be a non-bypassable charge which shall be passed on and collected from all end-users on a monthly basis by the distribution utilities. Collections by the distribution utilities and the TRANSCO in any given month shall be remitted to the PSALM Corp. on or before the fifteenth (15th) of the succeeding month, net of any amount due to the distribution utility. Any end-user or self-generating entity not connected to a distribution utility shall remit its corresponding universal charge directly to the TRANSCO.The PSALM Corp., as administrator of the fund, shall create a Special Trust Fund which shall be disbursed only for the purposes specified herein in an open and transparent manner. All amount collected for the universal charge shall be distributed to the respective beneficiaries within a reasonable period to be provided by the ERC.

power to calculate the amount of the stranded debts and stranded contract costs of NPC which shall form the basis for ERC in the determination of the universal charge. When police power is delegated to administrative bodies with regulatory functions, its exercise should be given a wide latitude. Police power takes on an even broader dimension in developing countries such as ours, where the State must take a more active role in balancing the many conflicting interests in society. The Questioned Order was issued by the ERC, acting as an agent of the State in the exercise of police power. There should be exceptionally good grounds to curtail its exercise. This approach is more compelling in the field of rate-regulation of electric power rates. Electric power generation and distribution is a traditional instrument of economic growth that affects not only a few but the entire nation. It is an important factor in encouraging investment and promoting business. The engines of progress may come to a screeching halt if the delivery of electric power is impaired. Billions of pesos would be lost as a result of power outages or unreliable electric power services. The State thru the ERC should be able to exercise its police power with great flexibility, when the need arises.

Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency G.R. No. 157870, November 03, 2008 Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. v. Commission On Elections [consolidated] G.R. No. 161658
The constitutionality of Section 364 of Republic Act No. (RA) 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, insofar as it requires mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office, students of secondary and tertiary schools, officers and employees of public and private offices, and persons charged before the prosecutor's office with certain offenses, among other personalities, is put in issue. On December 23, 2003, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued Resolution No. 64865, prescribing the rules and regulations on the mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office in connection with the May 10, 2004 synchronized national and local elections. In its Petition for Prohibition under Rule 65, petitioner Social Justice Society (SJS), a registered political party, seeks to prohibit the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) from enforcing paragraphs (c), (d), (f), and (g) of Sec. 36 of RA 9165 on the ground that they are constitutionally infirm. The provisions constitute undue delegation of legislative power when they give unbridled discretion to schools and employers to determine the manner of drug testing. Issue: Whether or not the assailed provisions are unconstitutional in violation of the principle of undue delegation of legislative powers. Held: (1) [Constitutionality] Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 illegally impose an additional qualification on candidates for senator. Subject to the provisions on nuisance candidates, a candidate for senator needs only to meet the qualifications laid down in Sec. 3, Art. VI of the Constitution: (1) citizenship, (2) voter registration, (3) literacy, (4) age, and (5) residency. Beyond these stated qualification requirements, candidates for senator need not possess any other qualification to run for senator and be voted upon and elected as member of the Senate. The Congress cannot validly amend or otherwise modify these qualification standards, as it cannot disregard, evade, or weaken the force of a constitutional mandate, or alter or enlarge the Constitution. In the same vein, the COMELEC cannot, in the guise of enforcing and administering election laws or promulgating rules and regulations to implement Sec. 36(g), validly impose qualifications on candidates for senator in addition to what the Constitution prescribes. If Congress cannot require a candidate for senator to meet such additional qualification, the COMELEC, to be sure, is also without such power

(2) [Delegation of Powers] Petitioner SJS posture that Sec. 36 of RA 9165 is objectionable on the ground of undue delegation of power hardly commends itself for concurrence. Contrary to its position, the provision in question is not so extensively drawn as to give unbridled options to schools and employers to determine the manner of drug testing. Sec. 36 expressly provides how drug testing for students of secondary and tertiary schools and officers/employees of public/private offices should be conducted. It enumerates the persons who shall undergo drug testing. In the case of students, the testing shall be in accordance with the school rules as contained in the student handbook and with notice to parents. On the part of officers/employees, the testing shall take into account the company's work rules. In either case, the random procedure shall be observed, meaning that the

SEC. 36. Authorized Drug Testing.Authorized drug testing shall be done by any government forensic laboratories or by any of the drug testing laboratories accredited and monitored by the DOH to safeguard the quality of the test results. x x x The drug testing shall employ, among others, two (2) testing methods, the screening test which will determine the positive result as well as the type of drug used and the confirmatory test which will confirm a positive screening test. 5 SEC 1. Coverage. All candidates for public office, both national and local, in the May 10, 2004 Synchronized National and Local Elections shall undergo mandatory drug test in government forensic laboratories or any drug testing laboratories monitored and accredited by the Department of Health. SEC. 3. x x x in addition to the drug certificates filed with their respective offices, the Comelec Offices and employees concerned shall submit to the Law Department two (2) separate lists of candidates. The first list shall consist of those candidates who complied with the mandatory drug test while the second list shall consist of those candidates who failed to comply. SEC. 5. Effect of failure to undergo mandatory drug test and file drug test certificate. No person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has undergone mandatory drug test and filed with the offices enumerated under Section 2 hereof the drug test certificate herein required.

persons to be subjected to drug test shall be picked by chance or in an unplanned way. And in all cases, safeguards against misusing and compromising the confidentiality of the test results are established. Lest it be overlooked, Sec. 94 of RA 9165 charges the DDB to issue, in consultation with the DOH, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, and Department of Labor and Employment, among other agencies, the IRR necessary to enforce the law. In net effect then, the participation of schools and offices in the drug testing scheme shall always be subject to the IRR of RA 9165. It is, therefore, incorrect to say that schools and employers have unchecked discretion to determine how often, under what conditions, and where the drug tests shall be conducted. The validity of delegating legislative power is now a quiet area in the constitutional landscape. In the face of the increasing complexity of the task of the government and the increasing inability of the legislature to cope directly with the many problems demanding its attention, resort to delegation of power, or entrusting to administrative agencies the power of subordinate legislation, has become imperative, as here.

Bai Sandra S. A. Sema vs. Commission on Elections and Didagen P. Dilangalen G.R. No. 177597, July 16, 2008 The Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution apportioned two legislative districts for the Province of Maguindanao. The first legislative district consists of Cotabato City and eight municipalities. Maguindanao forms part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Although under the Ordinance, Cotabato City forms part of Maguindanao's first legislative district, it is not part of the ARMM but of Region XII, having voted against its inclusion in the ARMM in the plebiscite held in November 1989. On 28 August 2006, the ARMM's legislature, the ARMM Regional Assembly, exercising its power to create provinces under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, enacted Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201 (MMA Act 201) creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan composed of the eight municipalities in the first district of Maguindanao. Later, three new municipalities were carved out of the original nine municipalities constituting
Shariff Kabunsuan, bringing its total number of municipalities to 11. The voters of Maguindanao ratified Shariff Kabunsuan's creation in a plebiscite held on 29 October 2006. In answer to Cotabato City's query, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 07-0407 on 6 March 2007 "maintaining the status quo with Cotabato City as part of Shariff Kabunsuan in the First Legislative District of Maguindanao." Resolution No. 07-0407 adopted the recommendation of the COMELEC's Law Department under a Memorandum. However, in preparation for the May 14 elections, the COMELEC promulgated on Resn No. 7845 stating that Maguindanao's first legislative district is composed only of Cotabato City because of the enactment of MMA Act 201. On May 10 2007, the COMELEC issued Resn No. 7902, amending Resolution No. 07-0407 by renaming the legislative district in question as "Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City (formerly First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City)." Sema, who was a candidate in the 14 May 2007 elections for Representative of "Shariff Kabunsuan with Cotabato City," prayed for the nullification of COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 and the exclusion from canvassing of the votes cast in Cotabato City for that office. Sema contended that Shariff Kabunsuan is entitled to one representative in Congress under Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. Thus, Sema asserted that the COMELEC acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in issuing Resolution No. 7902 which maintained the status quo in Maguindanao's first legislative district despite the COMELEC's earlier directive in Resolution No. 7845 designating Cotabato City as the lone component of Maguindanao's reapportioned first legislative district. Sema further claimed that in issuing Resolution No. 7902, the COMELEC usurped Congress' power to create or reapportion legislative districts. In its Comment, the COMELEC, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), chose not to reach the merits of the case and merely contended that (1) Sema wrongly availed of the writ of certiorari to nullify COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 because the COMELEC issued the same in the exercise of its administrative, not quasi-judicial, power. Issues: (1) Whether or not the writs of Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus are proper to test the constitutionality of COMELEC Resolution No. 7902. (2) Whether or not Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, delegating to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays, is constitutional.

Held: (1) The Writ of Prohibition is appropriate to test the constitutionality of Election Laws, Rules and Regulation. The purpose of the writ of Certiorari is to correct grave abuse of discretion by "any tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions." On the other hand, the writ of Mandamus will issue to compel a tribunal, corporation, board, officer, or person to perform an act "which the law specifically enjoins as a duty." True, the COMELEC did not issue Resolution No. 7902 in the exercise of its judicial or quasi-judicial functions. Nor is there a law which specifically enjoins the COMELEC to exclude from canvassing the votes cast in Cotabato City for representative of "Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City." These, however, do not justify the outright dismissal of the petition in G.R. No. 177597

because Sema also prayed for the issuance of the writ of Prohibition and we have long recognized this writ as proper for testing the constitutionality of election laws, rules, and regulations. (2) There is neither an express prohibition nor an express grant of authority in the Constitution for Congress to delegate to regional or local legislative bodies the power to create local government units. However, under its plenary legislative powers, Congress can delegate to local legislative bodies the power to create local government units, subject to reasonable standards and provided no conflict arises with any provision of the Constitution. In fact, Congress has delegated to provincial boards, and city and municipal councils, the power to create barangays within their jurisdiction, subject to compliance with the criteria established in the Local Government Code, and the plebiscite requirement in Section 10, Article X of the Constitution. However, under the Local Government Code, "only x x x an Act of Congress" can create provinces, cities or municipalities.
Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, insofar as it grants to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces and cities, is void for being contrary to Section 5 of Article VI and Section 20 of Article X of the Constitution, as well as Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. Only Congress can create provinces and cities because the creation of provinces and cities necessarily includes the creation of legislative districts, a power only Congress can exercise under Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. The ARMM Regional Assembly cannot create a province without a legislative district because the Constitution mandates that every province shall have a legislative district. Moreover, the ARMM Regional Assembly cannot enact a law creating a national office like the office of a district representative of Congress because the legislative powers of the ARMM Regional Assembly operate only within its territorial jurisdiction as provided in Section 20, Article X of the Constitution. Thus, MMA Act 201, enacted by the ARMM Regional Assembly and creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan, is void. Consequently, COMELEC Resolution No. 7902, preserving the geographic and legislative district of the First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City, is valid as it merely complies with Section 5 of Article VI and Section 20 of Article X of the Constitution, as well as Section 1 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.