CIT Vs ople digest for printing.docx
Case in Admin Law...
Cebu Institute of Technology (CIT) vs Hon. Blas Ople GR No. L-58870 December 18, 1987 FACTS: This is a consolidation of six cases involving various private schools as well as the then Minister of Labor and Employment inorder to dispose uniformly the common legal issue raised namely the allocation of the incremental proceeds of authorized tuition fee increases of private schools provided for in section 3 (a) of Presidential Decree No. 451, and thereafter, under the Education Act of 1982 (Batas Pambansa Blg. 232). 3(a) of Pres. Decree No. 451 which states: SEC. 3. Limitations. — The increase in tuition or other school fees or other charges as well as the new fees or charges authorized under the next preceding section shall be subject to the following conditions; (a) That no increase in tuition or other school fees or charges shall be approved unless sixty (60%)per centum of the proceeds is allocated for increase in salaries or wages of the members of the faculty and all other employees of the school concerned, and the balance for institutional development, student assistance and extension services, and return to investments: Provided That in no case shall the return to investments exceed twelve (12%) per centum of the incremental proceeds; CIT This case originated from a Complaint filed with the Regional Office No. VII of the Ministry of Labor on February 11, 1981 against petitioner Cebu Institute of Technology (CIT) by private respondents, Panfilo Canete, et al., teachers of CIT, for non-payment of: a) cost of living allowances (COLA) under Pres. Dec. Nos. 525, 1123, 1614, 1678 and 1713, b) thirteenth (13th) month pay differentials and c) service incentive leave. The position taken by CIT during the conference held by the labor management committee was that it had paid the allowances mandated by various decrees but the same had been integrated in the teacher's hourly rate. It alleged that the payment of COLA by way of salary increases is in line with Pres. Dec. No. 451. It also claimed in its position paper that it had paid thirteenth month pay to its employees and that it was exempt from the payment of service incentive leave to its teachers who were employed on contract basis. Minister of Labor and Employment held that the basic hourly rate designated in the Teachers' Program is regarded as the basic hourly rate of teachers exclusive of the COLA, and that COLA should not be taken from the 60% incremental proceeds of the approved increase in tuition fee. Petitioner assails the aforesaid Order in this Special Civil Action of certiorari with Preliminary Injunction and/or Restraining Order. The Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order on December 7, 1981 against the enforcement of the questioned Order of the Minister of Labor and Employment. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not allowances and other fringe benefits of employees may be charged against the 60% portion of the incremental proceeds provided for in sec. 3(a) of Pres. Dec. No. 451. Page 1 of 4
NO. 2. Whether or not allowances and other fringe benefits may be charged against the 60% portion of the incremental proceeds of tuition fee increases upon the effectivity of the Education Act of 1982 (B.P. Blg. 232). YES. RULING: Resolution of the common legal issue on the interpretation of section 3 (a) of Presidential Decree No. 45: Court cannot go beyond what the legislature has laid down. Its duty is to say what the law is as enacted by the lawmaking body. That is not the same as saying what the law should be or what is the correct rule in a given set of circumstances. It is not the province of the judiciary to look into the wisdom of the law nor to question the policies adopted by the legislative branch. Nor is it the business of this Tribunal to remedy every unjust situation that may arise from the application of a particular law. It is for the legislature to enact remedial legislation if that be necessary in the premises. But as always, with apt judicial caution and cold neutrality, the Court must carry out the delicate function of interpreting the law, guided by the Constitution and existing legislation and mindful of settled jurisprudence. The Court's function is therefore limited, and accordingly, must confine itself to the judicial task of saying what the law is, as enacted by the lawmaking body.
1. This Court has consistently held, beginning with the University of the East case, that if the schools have no resources other than those derived from tuition fee increases, allowances and benefits should be charged against the proceeds of tuition fee increases which the law allows for return on investments under section 3(a) of Pres. Dec. No. 451, therefore, not against the 60% portion allocated for increases in salaries and wages. This interpretation of the law is consistent with the legislative intent expressed in the Decree itself, i.e., to alleviate the sad plight of private schools and that of their personnel wrought by slump in enrollment and increasing operational costs on the part of the schools, and the increasing costs of living on the part of the personnel (Preamble, Pres. Dec. No. 451). While coming to the aid of the private school system by simplifying the procedure for increasing tuition fees, the Decree imposes as a condition for the approval of any such increase in fees, the allocation of 60% of the incremental proceeds thereof, to increases in salaries or wages of school personnel. This condition makes for a quid pro quo of the approval of any tuition fee hike by a school, thereby assuring the school personnel concerned, of a share in its proceeds. The condition having been imposed to attain one of the main objectives of the Decree, which is to help the school personnel cope with the increasing costs of living, the same cannot be interpreted in a sense that would diminish the benefit granted said personnel. As to the alleged implementing rules and regulations promulgated by the then MECS to the effect that allowances and other benefits may be charged against the 60% portion of the proceeds of tuition fee increases provided for in Section 3(a) of Pres. Dec. No. 45 1, suffice it to say that these were issued ultra vires, and therefore not binding upon this Court. The rule-making authority granted by Pres. Dec. No. 451 is confined to the implementation of the Decree and to the imposition of limitations upon the approval of tuition fee increases, to wit: SEC. 4. Rules and Regulations. — The Secretary of Education and Culture is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to issue the requisite rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this Decree. He may, in addition to the requirements and limitations provided for under Sections 2 and 3 hereof, impose other requirements and limitations as he may deem proper and reasonable.
Page 2 of 4
The power does not allow the inclusion of other items in addition to those for which 60% of the proceeds of tuition fee increases are allocated under Section 3(a) of the Decree. Rules and regulations promulgated in accordance with the power conferred by law would have the force and effect of law if the same are germane to the subjects of the legislation and if they conform with the standards prescribed by the same. Since the implementing rules and regulations cited by the private schools adds allowances and other benefits to the items included in the allocation of 60% of the proceeds of tuition fee increases expressly provided for by law , the same were issued in excess of the rule-making authority of said agency, and therefore without binding effect upon the courts. At best the same may be treated as administrative interpretations of the law and as such, they may be set aside by this Court in the final determination of what the law means. 2. The Court after comparing section 42 of B.P. Blg. 232 and Pres. Dec. No. 451, particularly section 3(a) thereof, finds evident irreconcilable differences. Under Pres. Dec. No. 451, the authority to regulate the imposition of tuition and other school fees or charges by private schools is lodged with the Secretary of Education and Culture (Sec. 1), where section 42 of B.P. Blg. 232 liberalized the procedure by empowering each private school to determine its rate of tuition and other school fees or charges. Pres. Dec. No. 451 provides that 60% of the incremental proceeds of tuition fee increases shall be applied or used to augment the salaries and wages of members of the faculty and other employees of the school, while B.P. Blg. 232 provides that the increment shall be applied or used in accordance with the regulations promulgated by the MECS. A closer look at these differences leads the Court to resolve the question in favor of repeal. As pointed out by the Solicitor General, three aspects of the disputed provisions of law support the above conclusion. First, the legislative authority under Pres. Dec. No. 451 retained the power to apportion the incremental proceeds of the tuition fee increases; such power is delegated to the Ministry of Education and Culture under B.P. Blg. 232.Second, Pres. Dec. No. 451 limits the application or use of the increment to salary or wage increase, institutional development, student assistance and extension services and return on investment, whereas B.P. Blg. 232 gives the MECS discretion to determine the application or use of the increments. Third, the extent of the application or use of the increment under Pres. Dec. No. 451 is fixed at the pre-determined percentage allocations; 60% for wage and salary increases, 12% for return in investment and the balance of 28% to institutional development, student assistance and extension services, while under B.P. Blg. 232, the extent of the allocation or use of the increment is likewise left to the discretion of the MECS. The legislative intent to depart from the statutory limitations under Pres. Dec. No. 451 is apparent in the second sentence of section 42 of B.P. Blg. 232. Pres. Dec. No. 451 and section 42 of B.P. Blg. 232 which cover the same subject matter, are so clearly inconsistent and incompatible with each other that there is no other conclusion but that the latter repeals the former in accordance with section 72 of B.P. Blg. 232 to wit: Sec. 72. Repealing clause. — All laws or parts thereof inconsistent with any provision of this Act shall be deemed repealed or modified, as the case may be. Under B.P. Blg. 232 the collection and application or use of tuition and other school fees are subject only to the limitations under the rules and regulations issued by the Ministry, hence, allowances and other fringe benefits may be charged against the 60% portion of the incremental proceeds of tuition fee increases upon the effectivity of the Education Act of 1982 (B.P. Blg. 232) As to the petitioners' insistence that the questioned rules and regulations contravene the statutory authority granted to the Minister of Education, this Court finds that there was a valid exercise of rule-making authority. Page 3 of 4
The statutory grant of rule-making power to administrative agencies like the Secretary of Education is a valid exception to the rule on non-delegation of legislative power provided two conditions concur, namely: 1) the statute is complete in itself, setting forth the policy to be executed by the agency, and 2) said statute fixes a standard to which the latter must conform. The Education Act of 1982 is "an act providing for the establishment and maintenance of an integrated system for education " provided with basic policy. The basic policy as well as, specific policies clearly set forth in its various provisions, the Act is complete in itself and does not leave any part of the policy-making, a strictly legislative function, to any administrative agency. JANICE P. BORJA
Page 4 of 4