Resolution Nr. 115, S. of 2014: Revisited (Part 2)
February 14, 2015
In part 1 of this article, this writer delved on the reason for saying that Resolution Nr. 115, S. of 2014 passed by the City Council was without factual basis. The principal reasons being that there is an ordinance in the city, Ordinance 7-84 or the Comprehensive Transportation and Traffic Ordinance of Baguio City and there are franchises issued by the LTFRB authorizing the inter-municipality jeepneys to operate inside the city. On this basis, the City Council cannot just prohibit these jeepneys from picking up passengers on intra-city routes by mere Resolution.
In this part 2, it will be shown that such prohibition to pick up passengers within the city routes commonly authorized with intra-city jeepneys has no legal moorings to stand on, so to speak.
Firstly, as grantees of franchises or Certificates of Public Convenience (CPCs) by the LTFRB, the only government agency authorized by law to issue, modify and/or revoke these CPCs, they have rights as well as obligations to pick up passengers on these routes. To deny them these rights is a violation not only of their franchises, the essence of which is the freedom to serve the public and earn a living as an offshoot of their investment, but also it is a violation of Section 1, Article III of the Bill of Rights of our Constitution which provides:
“Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”
Secondly, the fact that Resolution (purporting to be an ordinance) was allegedly done as an exercise of police power under the “general welfare clause” of the Local Government Code does not make its passage valid. In the case of “White Light Corp., et. al. vs City of Manila, Jan. 20, 2009, the Supreme Court held that an ordinance to be valid, it must conform to the following requirements:
(1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute;
(2) must not be unfair or oppressive;
(3) must not be partial or discriminatory;
(4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade;
(5) must be general and consistent with public policy; and
(6) must not be unreasonable
Obviously, the Resolution (purporting to be ordinance) does not even approximate the above requirements.
Thirdly, as an exercise of Police Power allegedly, the Resolution does not pass the requirements set forth by the Supreme Court in Restituto Ynot vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, Et. Al., March 20, 1987, which are:
1) The interest of the public, not mere particular class require the exercise of police power.
2) The means employed is reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive to individuals.
Sad to note in Resolution Nr. 115, the interest of the intra-city jeepney operators was made primordial over the interest of the commuting public and was prejudicial to other class of operators. As stated clearly in the Resolution, its purpose is to increase the daily income of the intra-city operators irregardless of the consequence to the prejudiced inter-municipality operators and the riding public deprived of timely service. Other than the mandated prohibition to pick up passengers through a resolution, there are other means less intrusive to the public and oppressive to the inter-municipality operators like, for instance, the authorities continuously impressing and pounding upon all jeepney operators that they have equal rights to pick up passengers on the common route, to maintain peace and avoid disorder. As it is, however, the means employed by this exercise of police power is oppressive since it prejudice the interest of the riding public and it prevents the legitimate business of the other operators.
Fourthly, the Resolution transgressed on the doctrine of non-delegability of power. The fact is the power of Congress to issue, modify and revoke Certificate of Public Convenience has been delegated by law to the Public Service Commission, now the LTFRB, as cited in the Public Service Law. It is a hornbook principle that power delegated cannot further be delegated “DELEGATUS NON PROTEST DELEGARE.” In prohibiting the inter-municipality jeepneys to pick up passengers which admittedly is an act modifying the franchise issued by the LTFRB, the City Council is violating the doctrine on non-delegability of power.
Under the Local Government Code, the power given to the City are only the following:
a) to regulate and grant permit to tricycle;
b) to regulate traffic, use of streets and garages;
c) establishment and regulation of bus and vehicle stops and terminals;
d) regulate the operations of conveyances for hire (and this include the authority to re-route)
Definitely, to modify the condition of the franchises issued by LTFRB is not one of the powers of the City Council.