Ponente: LAUREL, J.

Decision Date: 1940-12-02

GR Number: G.R. No. 47800

Chris Erwin Alquizalas 10 months ago
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Summary:

Calalang filed a petition for writ of prohibition against certain officials in enforcing the prohibition of animal-drawn vehicles in certain areas and during certain periods of the day. The Court ruled that Commonwealth Act No 548, the law in question, is constitutional. 

Doctrine:

Social justice is "neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy," but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated.

Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex. 

Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about "the greatest good to the greatest number."

Facts:

  • Maximo Calalang brought a petition for a writ of prohibition against the following respondents: Chairman of the National Traffic Commission (A.D. Williams), Director of Public Works (Vicente Fragante), Acting Secretary of Public Works and Communications (Sergio Bayan), Mayor of the City of Manila (Eulogio Rodriguez), and the Acting Chief of Police of Manila (Juan Dominguez).
  • It is alleged in the petition that the respondents have caused and enforced the prohibition of animal-drawn vehicles from passing along Rosario St. extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmarinas Street (from 7:30am-12:30pm and from 1:30-5:30p.m.); and Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to Echague Street (from 7-11a.m.) for a period of one year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge, to the detriment not only of their owners but of the riding public as well.
  • The petitioner avers that the rules and regulations to regulate and control the use of and traffic on national roads, pursuant to Commonwealth Act No. 548, infringe upon the constitutional precept regarding the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all the people

Issues Ratio:

  • WON CA No 548 is unconstitutional for being an undue delegation of legislative power – NO
    • The provisions of CA No 548 do not confer legislative power upon the Director of Public Works and the Secretary of Public Works and Communications.
    • The authority therein conferred upon them and under which they promulgated the rules and regulations now complained of is not to determine what public policy demands but merely to carry out the legislative policy laid down by the National Assembly.
    • The delegated power is not the determination of what the law shall be, but merely the ascertainment of the facts and circumstances upon which the application of said law is to be predicated.
    • To promulgate rules and regulations on the use of national roads and to determine when and how long a national road should be closed to traffic, in view of the condition of the road or the traffic thereon and the requirements of public convenience and interest, is an administrative function which cannot be directly discharged by the National Assembly. It must depend on the discretion of some other government official to whom is confided the duty of determining whether the proper occasion exists for executing the law. But it cannot be said that the exercise of such discretion is the making of the law. 

 

  • WON CA No 548 constitutes as an unlawful interference with legitimate business or trade and abridge the right to personal liberty and freedom of locomotion – NO  
    • Commonwealth Act No. 548 was passed by the National Assembly in the exercise of the paramount police power of the state.
    • In enacting said law, therefore, the National Assembly was prompted by considerations of public convenience and welfare. It was inspired by a desire to relieve congestion of traffic, a menace to public safety. Public welfare, then, lies at the bottom of the enactment of said law, and the state in order to promote the general welfare may interfere with personal liberty, with property, and with business and occupations.
    • Persons and property may be subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens, in order to secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity of the state. 

 

  • WON CA No 548 infringes upon the constitutional precept regarding the promotion of social justice – NO
    • The promotion of social justice is to be achieved not through a mistaken sympathy towards any given group. Social justice is "neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy," but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated.
    • Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex. 
    • Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about "the greatest good to the greatest number."

Dispositive:

In view of the foregoing, the writ of prohibition prayed for is hereby denied, with costs against the petitioner. So ordered. 
 

Other Notes:


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