Eastern Shipping Lines vs Poea
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EASTERN SHIPPING LINES VS. POEA (166 SCRA 533) • • •
GENERAL RULE: Non-delegation of Legislative Power EXCEPTION: Subordinate Legislation Tests for Valid Delegation of Legislative Power
FACTS: Vitaliano Saco, the Chief Officer of a ship, was killed in an accident in Tokyo, Japan. The widow filed a complaint for damages against the Eastern Shipping Lines with the POEA, based on Memorandum Circular No. 2 issued by the latter which stipulated death benefits and burial expenses for the family of an overseas worker. Eastern Shipping Lines questioned the validity of the memorandum circular. Nevertheless, the POEA assumed jurisdiction and decided the case. ISSUE: •
W/N the issuance of Memorandum Circular No. 2 is a violation of non-delegation of power
HELD: SC held that there was valid delegation of powers. In questioning the validity of the memorandum circular, Eastern Shipping Lines contended that POEA was given no authority to promulgate the regulation, and even with such authorization, the regulation represents an exercise of legislative discretion which, under the principle, is not subject to delegation. GENERAL RULE: Non-delegation of powers; exception It is true that legislative discretion as to
the substantive contents of the law cannot be delegated. What can be delegated is the discretion to determine how the law may be enforced, not what the law shall be. The ascertainment of the latter subject is a prerogative of the legislature. This prerogative cannot be abdicated or surrendered by the legislature to the delegate. Two Tests of Valid Delegation of Legislative Power There are two accepted tests to determine whether or not there is a valid delegation of legislative power, viz, the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. Under the first test, the law must be complete in all its terms andconditions when it leaves the legislature such that when it reaches the delegate the only thing he will have to do is to enforce it. Under the sufficient standard test, there must be adequate guidelines or stations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegate’s authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. Both tests are intended to prevent a total transference of legislative authority to the delegate, who is not allowed to step into the shoes of the legislature and exercise a power essentially legislative. Xxx The delegation of legislative power has become the rule and its nondelegation the exception. Rationale for Delegation of Legislative Power The reason is the increasing complexity of the task of government and the growing inability of the legislature to cope directly with the myriad problems demanding its attention. The growth of society has ramified its activities and created peculiar and sophisticated problems that the legislature cannot be expected to reasonably comprehend. Specialization even in legislation has become necessary. Too many of the problems attendant upon present-day undertakings, the legislature may not have the competence to provide
the required direct and efficacious, not to say, specific solutions. These solutions may, however, be expected from its delegates, who are supposed to be experts in the particular fields. Power of Subordinate Legislation The reasons given above for the delegation of legislative powers in general are particularly applicable to administrative bodies. With the proliferation of specialized activities and their attendant peculiar problems, the national legislature has found it more and more necessary to entrust to administrative agencies the authority to issue rules to carry out the general provisions of the statute. This is called the “power of subordinate legislation.” With this power, administrative bodies may implement the broad policies laid down in statute by “filling in” the details which the Congress may not have the opportunity or competence to provide. Memorandum Circular No. 2 is one such administrative regulation. LEO ECHEGARAY VS SEC OF JUSTICE 297 SCRA 754 Facts of the Case: In their Supplemental Motion to Urgent Motion for Reconsideration,public respondents attached a copy of House Resolution No. 629 introduced by Congressman Golez entitled "Resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representative to reject any move to review Republic Act No. 7659 which provided for the re-imposition of death penalty, notifying the Senate, the Judiciary and the Executive Department of the position of the House of Representatives on this matter, and urging the President to exhaust all means under the law to immediately implement the death penalty law." The Resolution was concurred in by one hundred thirteen (113) congressmen. In their Consolidated Comment, petitioner contends:
(1) the stay order x x x is within the
scope of judicial power and duty
and does not trench on executive powers nor on congressional prerogatives;
(2) the exercise by this Court of its power to stay execution was reasonable; (3) the Court did not lose jurisdiction to address incidental matters involved or arising from the petition; (4) public respondents are estopped from challenging the Court's jurisdiction; and (5) there is no certainty that the law on capital punishment will not be repealed or modified until Congress convenes and considers all the various resolutions and bills filed before it. Issue: Whether or not the court has exhausted the means of restraining or reconsidering the execution of the petitioner. Courts Opinion: The finality of a judgment does not mean that the Court has lost all its powers nor the case. By the finality of the judgment, what the court loses is its jurisdiction to amend, modify or alter the same. Even after the judgment has become final the court retains its jurisdiction to execute and enforce it.  There is a difference between the jurisdiction of the court to execute its judgment and its jurisdiction to amend, modify or alter the same. The former continues even after the judgment has become final for the purpose of enforcement of judgment; the latter terminates when the judgment becomes final.  x x x For after the judgment has become final
facts and circumstances may transpire which can render the execution unjust or impossible.  The 1987 Constitution molded an even stronger and more independent judiciary. Among others, it enhanced the rule making power of this Court. Its Section 5(5), Article VIII provides: "Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court." IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court grants the public respondents' Urgent Motion for Reconsideration and Supplemental Motion to Urgent Motion for Reconsideration and lifts the Temporary Restraining Order issued in its Resolution of January 4, 1999. The Court also orders respondent trial court judge (Hon. Thelma A. Ponferrada, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 104) to set anew the date for execution of
the convict/petitioner in accordance with applicable provisions of law and the Rules of Court, without further delay.