– PRESCRIBING THE IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF WHEREAS, Section 25, Article II of . Local Government Code of , affirms, among others, that the territorial and under RA and the implementing rules and regulations issued pursuant . This Act shall be known and cited as the “Local Government Code of ”. SECTION 2. Declaration of Policy. – (a) It is hereby declared the policy of the State.

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Every statute has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality. This presumption is rooted in the doctrine of separation of powers which enjoins upon the three coordinate departments of the Government a becoming courtesy for each other’s acts. The theory is that every law, being the joint act of the Legislature and the Executive, has passed careful scrutiny to ensure that it is in accord with the fundamental law. This Court, however, may declare a law, or portions thereof, unconstitutional, where a petitioner has shown a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not merely a doubtful or argumentative one.

In other words, the grounds for nullity must be beyond reasonable doubt, for to doubt is to sustain. The spirit of the foregoing pronouncements enunciated in Cawaling, Jr. Executive Secretary [1] animates this dissent to the denial of the motion for reconsideration of the February 10, En Banc Decision handed down in the case at bench, declaring as unconstitutional Republic Act No.

The factual and procedural antecedents are not in dispute. A group of islands composed of the municipalities of Basilisa, Cagdianao, Dinagat, Libjo, Loreto, San Jose and Tubajon with an aggregate land area of In support of the house bill for the creation of the Dinagat Islands as a separate province, it appears that a special census conducted by the province of Surigao Del Norte and the National Statistics Office NSO District Census Coordinator in July yielded a population count ofinhabitants.

With the certification from the Bureau of Local Government Finance that the proposed province had an average annual income of P 82, The plebiscite conducted by the Commission on Elections COMELEC on December 3, in the local government units directly affected by the creation of the new province yielded 69, affirmative votes and 63, negative votes. Subsequent to the proclamation of said vote by the Plebiscite Provincial Board of Canvassers on December 3,the President appointed a new set of provincial officials who took their oath of office on January 26, In the May 14, synchronized National and Local Elections, the constituents of the new province elected a new set of provincial officers who eventually assumed office on July 1, Petitioners initially assailed the constitutionality of Republic Act No.

Undaunted by the dismissal of said petition on technical grounds and the denial of their motion for reconsideration thereof, petitioners filed the petition for certiorari to which the case at bench traces its provenance.

Art. , Rule XXIII, IRR of RA

Reiterating the arguments in their previous petition, petitioners maintained that the law failed to comply with either the land area and population requirements prescribed under the Local Government Code of In addition to the invalidation of the law as unconstitutional, petitioners prayed for the nullification of the appointment and election of the provincial officers of Dinagat Islands as well as the return of its municipalities and districts to the province of Surigao Del Norte. On February 10,a decision was rendered declaring Republic Act No.

The decision invoked the case of Tan v. COMELEC [2] which declared that the term territory only refers to the mass of land area and excludes the waters over which the local government lc exercises control. Likewise brushing aside the result of the special census for lack of certification from the NSO, the decision also ruled that the population requirement was not complied with, based on the NSO Census of Population which pegged the official population of Dinagat Islands atAfter a circumspect consideration of the lg for and against the validity of the creation of the Province of Dinagat Islands, I am convinced, with all due respect, that a reconsideration of the decision is in order.

The creation of local government units is governed by Section 10, Article X of the Constitution which provides that, n o province, city, municipality, or barangay may 19991 created, divided, merged, abolished or its boundary substantially altered except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.

Correlatively, Section of the Local Government Code prescribes the criteria for the creation of a province in the following wise: ProvidedThat, the creation thereof shall not reduce the land area, population, and income of the original unit or units at the time of said creation to less than the minimum requirements prescribed herein.

Considered the most important factor insofar as the creation of a new province is concerned, the income requirement under the Local Government Code has been more than four-fold complied with, as may be gleaned from the Bureau of Local Government Finance Certification that, based on the constant prices, the average annual income of the Province of Dinagat Islands is Lgv 82, Despite its aggregate land area of Although the exemption in paragraph b appears to extend only to the requirement of contiguity, I am convinced by Mr.


Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachuras opinion that, from the tenor of the same provision, the contiguity and land area requirements cannot be considered separate and distinct from each other.

As eloquently stated in his dissent: By rough analogy, the two components are like dicephalic conjoined twins two heads are attached to a single body. If one head is separated from the other, then the twins die. In the same manner, the law, by providing in paragraph b of Section lggc the territory need not be contiguous if the same is comprised of islands, must be interpreted as intended to exempt such territory from the land area component of 2, sq.

Because the two component requirements are inseparable, the elimination of contiguity from the territorial criterion has the effect of a co-existent eradication of the land area component. The territory of the province of Dinagat Islandstherefore, comprising the major islands of Dinagat and Hibuson, and lrr 47 islets, need not be contiguous and need not have an area of at least 2, sq.

It will result in superfluity, if not absurdity, if lrr b of the provision is interpreted as referring only to the component requirement of contiguity and not to both component requirements of contiguity and land area. This is because contiguity does not always mean contact by land. Thus, insofar as islands are concerned, they are deemed contiguous although separated by wide spans of navigable deep waters, with the exception of the high seas, because all lands separated by water touch one another, in a sense, beneath the water.

The provision, then, as worded, only means that the exemption in paragraph b refers to both the components of territory, that is, contiguity and land area, and not merely the first, standing alone. For, indeed, why will the law still exempt the islands from the requirement of contiguity when they are already legally contiguous? Compliance with the land area requirement by the Province of Dinagat Islands is cast in even relief when gauged from the clear and unambiguous language of the IRR which was formulated in accordance with Section of the Local Government Code, by the Oversight Committee chaired by the Executive Secretary and composed of representatives from the Senate, [3] the House of Representatives, [4] the Cabinet [5] and the leagues of local government units.

A province shall not be created unless the following requisites lc income and either population or land area are present:. The average annual income shall include the income accruing to the general fund, exclusive of special funds, special accounts, transfers, and nonrecurring income; and.

The territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two 2 or more islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute to the income of the province.

Art. 182, Rule XXIII, IRR of RA 7160

The land area requirement shall not apply where the proposed province is composed of one 1 or more islands. The territorial jurisdiction of a province sought to be created 191 be properly identified by metes and bounds. The creation of a new province shall not reduce the land area, population, and income of the original LGU or LGUs at the time of said creation to less than the prescribed minimum requirements. All expenses incidental to the creation shall be borne by the petitioners.

Alongside declaring Republic 19911 No. COMELEC[8] it held that t he Constitution requires that the criteria for the creation of a urr, including any exemption from such criteria, must all be written in the Local Government Code.

In case of discrepancy between the basic law and the rules and regulations implementing the same, the ponencia went on to state that, the basic law prevails, because the rules and regulations cannot go beyond the terms and provisions of the basic law.

The League of Cities jrr concerned the constitutionality of sixteen cityhood laws, ,gc converting the municipalities covered into a city, for non-compliance with Republic Act. Initially declared unconstitutional in the aforesaid November 18, Decision, the constitutionality of the subject cityhood laws were eventually upheld in the December 21, Decision subsequently rendered in the case on the ground, among others, that the Local Government Code, despite its being the ideal repository for the same, need not be the only vessel of all the criteria for the creation of local government units.

Taking into consideration the circumstances under which Republic Act No. Legislative intent is part and parcel of the law, the controlling factor in interpreting a statute. In construing a statute, the proper course ,gc to start out and follow the true intent lfc the Legislature and to adopt the sense that best harmonizes with the context and promotes in the fullest manner the policy and irf of the legislature. Lbc fact, any interpretation that runs counter to the legislative intent is unacceptable and invalid.

Limjap could not have been more precise:. The intent of a Statute is the Law. If a statute is valid, it is to have effect according to the purpose and intent of the lawmaker. The intent is x x x the essence of the law and the primary rule of construction is to ascertain and give effect to that intent.

The intention of the legislature in enacting a law is the law itself, and must be enforced when ascertained, although it may not be consistent with the strict letter of the statute. Courts will not follow the letter of a statute when lvc leads away from the true intent and purpose of the legislature and to conclusions inconsistent with the general purpose of the act.


Intent is the spirit which gives life to a legislative enactment. In construing statutes the proper course is to start out and follow the true intent of the legislature.

When viewed in the light of the legislative intent underlying Section of the Local Government Code, I respectfully submit that Article 9 of the IRR is not in conflict with the criteria for the creation of provinces ensconced in said provision of the basic law. Unlike Section [9] of Batas Pambansa Blg. This is readily evident from the fact that, after prescribing the P 20, Already quoted in Justice Nachuras dissent to the ponenciathe following transcript 1919 the congressional deliberations on the house bill from which the present Local Government Code originated is particularly enlightening regarding the legislative intent for said new requirements, viz.: We can even have this doubled because we thought.

In other words, the primordial considerations here is the economic viability of the new local government unit, the new province?

The reason why we are willing to lc the income, double than the House version, because we also believe that economic viability is really a minimum.

Land area and population are functions really of the viability of the area, because where you have an income level which would be the trigger point for economic development, population will naturally increase because there will be an immigration. However, if you disallow the particular area from being converted into a province because of population problems in the beginning, it will never be able to reach the point where it could become a province simply because it will never have the economic take off for it to trigger off that economic development.

Now, we are saying that maybe Fourteen Million Pesos is a floor area where it could pay for overhead, and provide a minimum of basic services to the population. Over and above that, the provincial officials should be able to trigger off economic development which will attract new investments from the private sector.

This is now the concern of their local officials. But if we are going to tie the hands of the proponents, simply by telling them, Sorry, you are now at thousand orthousand, you will never be able to become a province because nobody wants to go to that place. Because you never have any reason for economic viability. Okay, what about land area? Walang problema yonthats not very critical, yong land area because. Okay, ya, our, the Senate version is 3. A province is constituted for the purpose of administrative efficiency and delivery of basic services.

Actually, when you come down to it, when government was instituted, there is only one central government and then everybody falls under that. But it was later on subdivided into provinces for purposes of administrative efficiency. Now, what were seeing now is that the administrative efficiency is no longer there because the land areas that we are giving to our governors is so wide that no one man could possibly administer all of the complex machineries that are needed.

Secondly, when you say delivery of basic services, as pointed out by Cong. Alfelor, there are sections of the province which have never been visited by public officials precisely because they dont have the time nor the energy anymore because it is so wide.

Now, by compressing the land area and by reducing the population requirement, we are, in effect, trying to follow the basic policy of why we are creating provinces, which is to deliver basic services and to make it more efficient in administration. Yeah, thats correct, but on the assumption that the province is able to do it without being a burden to the national government. Thats why were going into the minimum income level. As we said, if we go on a minimum income level, then we say, this is the trigger point at which this administration can take place.

In exempting provinces composed of one or more islands from both the contiguity and land area requirements, Article 9 of the IRR cannot be considered inconsistent with the criteria under Section of the Local Government Code. Far from being absolute regarding application of the requirement of a contiguous territory of at least 2, square kilometers as certified by the Land Management Bureau, Section allows for said exemption by providing, under paragraph b thereof, that t he territory need not be contiguous if the new province comprises two or more islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute to the income of the province.

For as long as there is compliance with the income requirement, the legislative intent is, after all, to the effect that the land area and population requirements may be overridden by the established economic viability of the proposed province.

In the aforesaid December 21, Decision in the League of Cities case, the Court sagely ruled that t he legislative intent is not at all times accurately reflected in the manner in which the resulting law is couched. Thus, applying a verba legis or strictly literal interpretation of a statute may render it meaningless and lead to inconvenience, an absurd situation or injustice.