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TANO v.

SOCRATES

Facts:

The petitioners filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition assailing the constitutionality of:

(1) Ordinance No. 15-92 entitled: "AN ORDINANCE BANNING THE SHIPMENT OF ALL LIVE
FISH AND LOBSTER OUTSIDE PUERTO PRINCESA CITY FROM JANUARY 1, 1993 TO JANUARY 1,
1998 AND PROVIDING EXEMPTIONS, PENALTIES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES THEREOF"

(2) Office Order No. 23, requiring any person engaged or intending to engage in any business,
trade, occupation, calling or profession or having in his possession any of the articles for which a permit is
required to be had, to obtain first a Mayor’s and authorizing and directing to check or conduct necessary
inspections on cargoes containing live fish and lobster being shipped out from Puerto Princesa and,

(3) Resolution No. 33, Ordinance No. 2 entitled: "A RESOLUTION PROHIBITING THE
CATCHING, GATHERING, POSSESSING, BUYING, SELLING AND SHIPMENT OF LIVE MARINE
CORAL DWELLING AQUATIC ORGANISMS”
The petitioners contend that the said Ordinances deprived them of due process of law, their
livelihood, and unduly restricted them from the practice of their trade, in violation of Section 2, Article XII
and Sections 2 and 7 of Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution and that the Mayor had the absolute authority
to determine whether or not to issue the permit.
They also claim that it took away their right to earn their livelihood in lawful ways; and insofar as
the Airline Shippers Association are concerned, they were unduly prevented from pursuing their vocation
and entering "into contracts which are proper, necessary, and essential to carry out their business
endeavors to a successful conclusion

Public respondents Governor Socrates and Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of


Palawan defended the validity of Ordinance No. 2, Series of 1993, as a valid exercise of the Provincial
Government's power under the general welfare clause; they likewise maintained that there was no
violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution.

Issue: Whether or not the Ordinances in question are unconstitutional

Held: NO

Ratio:
In light then of the principles of decentralization and devolution enshrined in the LGC and the
powers granted therein to local government units under Section 16 (the General Welfare Clause), and
under Sections 149, 447(a) (1) (vi), 458 (a) (1) (vi) and 468 (a) (1) (vi), which unquestionably involve the
exercise of police power, the validity of the questioned Ordinances cannot be doubted.
***Sec. 16. General Welfare. — Every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted,
those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its
efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.
Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support, among
other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right of
the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant
scientific and technological capabilities, improve public morals, enhance economic prosperity and social
justice, promote full employment among their residents, maintain peace and order, and preserve the
comfort and convenience of their inhabitants. (emphasis supplied).
It is clear to the Court that both Ordinances have two principal objectives or purposes: (1) to
establish a "closed season" for the species of fish or aquatic animals covered therein for a period of five
years; and (2) to protect the coral in the marine waters of the City of Puerto Princesa and the Province of
Palawan from further destruction due to illegal fishing activities.
It imposes upon the sangguniang bayan, the sangguniang panlungsod, and the sangguniang
panlalawigan the duty to enact ordinances to "[p]rotect the environment and impose appropriate penalties
for acts which endanger the environment such as dynamite fishing and other forms of destructive
fishing . . . and such other activities which result in pollution, acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and
lakes or of ecological imbalance."

The petition is dismissed.

Sections 2 and 7 of Article XIII provide:


Sec. 2. The promotion of social justice shall include the commitment to create economic opportunities based on freedom of initiative
and self-reliance.
xxx xxx xxx
Sec. 7. The State shall protect the rights of subsistence fishermen, especially of local communities, to the preferential use of the
communal marine and fishing resources, both inland and offshore. It shall provide support to such fishermen through appropriate
technology and research, adequate financial, production, and marketing assistance, and other services. The State shall also protect,
develop, and conserve such resources. The protection shall extend to offshore fishing grounds of subsistence fishermen against
foreign intrusion. Fishworkers shall receive a just share from their labor in the utilization of marine and fishing resources.