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Carlo L. Cruz

Rules and regulations issued by the administrative
bodies e.g. Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code.
4. Determinations and orders of the administrative bodies
in the settlement of controversies

Chapter 1
General Considerations



Administration is understood in two senses:

Administrative Law that branch of modern law under which the

executive department of the government, acting in a quasilegislative or quasi-judicial capacity, interferes with the conduct of
the individual for the purpose of promoting the well-being of the

1. institution administration as the aggregate of individuals in

whose hands the reins of government are for the time being.

Administrative law is a recent development, being a consequence

of the ever increasing complexities of society and the proliferation
of problems of government that cannot readily or effectively be
addressed by the public agencies or solved by other disciplines of
public law.
It was felt that thelegislative and judicial departments no longer
had either the time or the needed expertise to attend to these new
Thus, the obvious solution was delegation of power.

function administration as the actual running of the
government by the executive authorities through the enforcement
of laws and implementation of policies.
Government (as distinguished from administration) is the agency or
instrumentality through which the will of the State is formulated,
expressed and realized.
Administration Distinguished from Law
Law is impersonal command provided with sanctions to be applied
in case of violation, while Administration is preventive rather
punitive and is accepted to be more personal than law.
Law maintains a watchful eye on those who would violate its order.
While administration on the other hand seeks to spare individuals
from punishments of the law by persuading him to observe its

Two major powers of the administrative agency:

1. Quasi-legislative authority or rule making power
2. Quasi-judicial power or adjudicatory function
Sources of Administrative Law
Addministrative law is derived from four sources or is of four (4)
1. Constitution or statutory enactments e.g. Social Security
Act which established the Social Security Commission.
Decisions of courts
administrative bodies





Chapter 2
Administrative Agencies
Administrative agency a body endowed with quasi-legislative
and quasi-judicial powers for the purpose of enabling it to carry out
the laws entrusted to it for enforcement or execution.
Administrative agency may be regarded as an arm of the
legislature insofar as it is authorize to promulgate rules. It may

also be loosely considered a court because it performs functions of

a particular judicial character, as when it decides factual and
sometimes even legal questions as an incident of its general power
of regulation.
Creation and Abolition
The administrative body may be created by the Constitution or by
a Statute.
If created by the Constitution itself, the administrative body can be
altered or abolished only by Constitution. But where the body was
created only by statute, the legislature that breathed life into it can
amend or even repeal its charter, thereby resulting in its abolition
which is justified if made in good faith.

Chapter 3
Powers of Administrative Agencies

Kinds of Administrative Regulations

Legislative the administrative agency is acting in a
legislative capacity, supplementing the statute, filling in the details,
or making the law, and usually acting pursuant to a specific
delegation of legislative power.
(b) Interpretative are those which purport to do no more than
interpret the statute being administered, to say what it means.
They constitute the administrator's construction of a statute.
The interpretative regulation is issued by the administrative body
as an incident to its power to enforce the law and is intended
merely to clarify its provisions for proper observance by the people.
It is an elementary rule in administrative law that administrative
regulations and policies enacted by administrative bodies
to interpret which they are entrusted to enforce, have the
force of law, are entitled to great respect, and have in their favor a
presumpption of legality.

Quasi-Legislative Power the authority delegated by the lawmaking body to the administrative body to adopt rules and
regulations intended to carry out the provisions of a law and
implement legislative policy.

By contrast, the legislative regulation is issued by the

administrative body pursuant to a valid delegation of
legislative power and is intended to have the binding the
force and effect of a law enacted by the legislature itself.

Quasi-Judicial Power the power of the administrative

authorities to make determinations of facts in the performance of
their official duties and to apply the law as they construe it to the
facts so found.

Classification of Legislative Regulation

Chapter 4
The Quasi-Legislative Power
It has already been remarked that the rule-making power of the
administrative body is intended to enable it to implement the policy
of the law and to provide for the more effective enforcement of its
Through the exercise of this power of subordinate legislation, it is
possible for the administrative body to transmit the active power
of the state from its source to the point of application, that is,
apply the law and so fulfill the mandate of the legislature.

(a) Supplementary intended to fill in the details of the law and

to make explicit what is only general.
Contingent issued upon the happening of a certain
contingency which the administrative body is given the discretion
to determine or to ascertain some circumstances and on the basis
thereof may enforce or suspend the operation of a law.
Requisites of Administrative Regulation
(a) Its promulgation must be authorized by the legislature;
(b) It must be within the scope of the authority given by the
(c) It must be promulgated in accordance with the prescribed

(d) It must be reasonable.

First Requisite:

Promulgation Must Be Authorized by the

Authority to promulgate the regulation is usually conferred by the

Charter itself of the administrative body or by the law it is supposed
to enforce.
When Congress authorizes promulgation of administrative rules and
regulations to implement given legislation, all that is required is
that the regulation be not in contravention with it, but to conform
to the standards that the law prescribes.
Second Requisite: Regulation Must Be Within the Scope of
the Authority Given by the Legislature
Assuming a valid authorization, it is still necessary that the
regulation promulgated must not be ultra vires or beyond the
authority conferred.
Third Requisite:
Regulation Must Be Promulgated in
Accordance with the Prescribed Procedure
As in the enactment of laws, the promulgation of administrative
regulations of general application does not require previous notice
and hearing, the only exception being where the legislature itself
requires it .
In the absence of such a requirement, the
administrative body can promulgate the regulation in its exclusive
But where the regulation is in effect a settlement of a controversy
between specific parties, it is considered an administrative
adjudication and so will require notice and hearing.
As for publication, the applicable rule is now found in Executive
Order No. 200 which provides that laws shall take effect after
fifteen (15) days following the completion of their publication either
in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in
the Philippines, unless it is otherwise provided.
Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in nature, that
is, regulating only the personnel of the administrative agency and
not the public, need not be published.

Publication must be in full or it is no publication at all since its

purpose is to inform the public of the contents of the law.
The Supreme Court, it would seem, requires publication of the
administrative regulation only if it is of general application and
penal in nature.
Fourth Requisite: Regulation Must Be Reasonable
Like statutes, administrative regulations promulgated thereunder
must not be unreasonable or arbitrary as to violate due process.
Penal Regulations
The power to define and punish crime is exclusively legislative and
may not be delegated to the administrative authorities. While
administrative regulations may have the force and effect of law,
their violation cannot give rise to criminal prosecution unless the
legislature makes such violation punishable and imposes the
corresponding sanctions.
Special requisites of a valid administrative regulation with
a penal sanction:
(a) The law itself must make violation of the administrative
regulation punishable;
(b) The law itself must impose and specify the penalty for the
violation of the regulation;
(c) The regulation must be published.
Construction and Interpretation
Regulation should be read in harmony with the statute and not in
violation of the authority conferred on the administrative
The administrative regulation that contravenes the statute is, of
course, invalid.
It is established that the power to promulgate administrative
regulations carries with it the implied power to enforce them. This

may be effected through judicial action or through sanctions that

the statute itself may allow the administrative body to impose.
Amendment or Repeal
Like the statute, the administrative regulation promulgated
thereunder is subject to amendment or repeal by the authorities
that promulgated them in the first place. Of course, it may be
changed directly by the legislature.
Chapter 5
The Quasi-Judicial Power
Quasi-judicial power is the power of the administrative agency
to determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to
apply, in accordance with the standards laid down by the law itself.

The law may allow some administrative bodies to award certain

kinds of damages while denying the same power, for no apparent
reason, to other administrative bodies.
For example, the SEC and NLRC are allowed to award damages
virtually to the same extent as a court of justice. Yet similar
authority has not been conferred by its charter to NTC.
It is a well-settled principle that unless expressly empowered,
administrative agencies are bereft of quasi-judicial power.
1. Rules of Procedure
Where an administrative body is expressly granted the power of
adjudication, it is deemed also vested with the implied power to
precribe the rules to be observed in the conduct of its proceedings.
But to be valid, the rules must not violate fundamental rights or
encroach upon constitutional prerogatives.

The proper exercise of the quasi-judicial power requires compliance

with two conditions, to wit:

2. The Subpoena Power

(1) Jurisdiction must be properly acquired by the administrative


The power to issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum is not

inherent in administrative bodies.

Due process must be observed in the conduct of the

It is settled that administrative bodies may summon witnesses and

require the production of evidence only when duly allowed by law,
and always only in connection with the matter they are authorized
to investigate. Unless otherwise provided by law, the agency may,
in case of disobedience, invoke the aid or Regional Trial Court
within whose jurisdiction the contested case falls. The Court may
punish customacy or refusal as contempt.

A. Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction may be simply defined as the competence of an
office or body to act on a given matter or decide a certain question.
Without jurisdiction, the determination made by the administrative
bodies are absolutely null and without any legal effect whatsoever.
It is the legislature that has the power to confer jurisdiction upon
the administrative body and so limit or expand its authority.
It can be said that each administrative body has its own peculiar
jurisdiction as conferred upon it by the specific provisions of its

The Supreme Court distinguished between

investigate and the power to adjudicate:




The purpose of investigation, of course, is to discover, to finnd out,

to learn, obtain information. Nowhere included or intimated is the
notion of settling, deciding or resolving a controversy involve in the
facts inquired into by application of the law x x.
In the legal sense, adjudicate means to settle in the exercise of
judicial authority x x. Adjudge x x implies a judicial determination
of a fact, and the entry of judgment.
3. The Contempt Power

Like the subpoena power, the power to punish for contempt is

essentially judicial and cannot be claimed as an inherent right by
the administrative body.

Nevertheless, it is essential that due process must be observed, for

the requirements of fair play are not applicable to judicial
proceedings only.

To be validly exercised, it must be expressly conferred upon the

body and, additionally, must be used only in connection with its
quasi-judicial as distinguished from its purely administrative or
routinary functions.

Cardinal rights or principles to be observed in administrative


As a rule, where, say, a subpoena of the administrative body is

disregarded, the person summoned may not be directly discipline
by that body. The proper remedy id for the administrative body to
seek assistance of the courts of justice for the enforcement of its

b. the tribunal must consider the evidence presented;

The power to hold in contempt must be exercised not on the

vindictive, but on the preservative principle.
B. Notice and Hearing
The right to notice and hearing is essential to due process and its
non-observance will as a rule invalidate the administrative
proceedings. Persons are entitled to be notified of any pending
case affecting their interests so that, if they are minded, they may
claim the right to appear therein and present their side or refute
the position of opposing parties.
Nevertheless, there are instances when notice and hearing can
validly be omitted. Among the justifications for such omissions are
the urgency of immediate action (which does not preclude the
enjoyment of the right at a later time without prejudice to the
person affected) and the fact that the right had previously been
offered but not claimed.
1. Administrative Due Process
While administrative determinations of contested case are by their
nature judicial, there is no requirement for strict adherence to
technical rules as are observed in truly judicial proceedings.
It is a general rule that they are unrestricted by the technical or
formal rules of procedure which govern trials before a court. This
rule is applied to questions of evidence, pleading and other

a. the first of these rights is the right to a hearing;

c. the tribunal must have something to support its decision;

evidence must be substantial evidence relevant
evidence that a reasonable mind may accept as adequate to
support a conclusion
the decision must be rendered on the evidence
presented at the hearing, or at
least contained in the record
and disclosed to the parties;
f. the court must act on its or their own independent
consideration of the law and
facts of controversy, and not
simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving
the court should render its decision in such a manner
that the parties to the
proceeding can know the various
issues involved, and the reasons for the
decisions rendered
It is basic to due process that the tribunal
considering the
administrative question be impartial, to ensure a fair decision.
The law does not require another notice and hearing for a review of
the decision of the board.
In M.F. Violago Oiler Tank Trucks vs. NLRC, there was no denial of
due process where the petitioners received notice of the scheduled
investigation the day before said date of the hearing or
investigation but failed to present evidence. On the other hand,
there was clearly such a denial where it appears that a decision
rendered against a person who was not a party to or even notified
of the proceedings taken before a labor arbiter.

C. Administrative Appeals and review

Unless otherwise provided by law or executive order, an appeal
from a final decision of the administrative agency may be taken to
the department head, whose decision may further be brought to
the regular courts of justice, in accordance with the procedure
specified by law.
D. Enforcement of Decision

It is now well-settled in our jurisprudence that the decisions and

orders of administrative agencies, rendered pursuant to their quasijudicial authority, have upon their finality, the force and binding
effect of a final judgment within the purview of the doctrine of res
This principle is, however, not applicable to all administrative
proceedings, such proceedings that are non-litigious and summary
in nature without regard to legal technicalities obtaining in courts of

In the absence of any statute providing for the enforcement of an

administrative determination, the same cannot be enforced except
possibly by appeal to the force of public opinion.
Usually, however, the administrative body is allowed certain
sanctions that it may impose directly for the enforcement of its
own decisions, i.e. revocation of or refusal to renew licenses,
destruction of unlawful articles, summary closure of stores, refusal
to grant clearances, issuance of cease and desist orders, detention
and deportation of aliens, and imposition of fines.
Significantly, many administrative bodies, such as the SEC and the
NLRC, have been vested with authority to grant provisional reliefs,
such as writs of preliminary attachment or injunction, intended to
ensure the enforcement of their adjudications.
It is established that administrative agencies who have not been
conferred the power to enforce their quasi-judicial decisions may
invoke court action for the purpose.
E. Res Judicata
The general rule is that an administrative decision is not considered
res judicata so as to preclude its subsequent reconsideration or
Decisions of the previous incumbents of the
administrative body may be modified or reversed by their
successors in the exercise of their own powers of adjudication.
Where the administrative decision has been affirmed by a court
decision, the doctrine of res judicata is applicable. The effect of res
judicata attaches to the judgment of the reviewing court rather
than to the administrative judgment.
This rule has however been modified in this jurisdiction.

Chapter 6
Judicial Review
General Rules
An administrative decision may be appealed to the courts of justice
only if the Constitution or the law permits it or if the question to be
reviewed is a question of law.
However, jurisprudence is replete with cases where the Supreme
Court has applied the exceptions rather than the rule.
In the case of the constitutional commission, i.e., the Commission
on Elections, the Commission on Audit, and the Civil Service
Commission, it is provided that any decision order or ruling of
each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on
certiorari by the aggrieved party within 30 days from receipt of a
copy thereof.
On the basis of Sec. 16 of the Interim Rules and Guideline
implementing Sec. 9 (3) of BP Blg. 129, the Court of Appeals may
review final decisions, orders, awards or resolutions or regional
trial courts and of all quasi-judicial bodies, except the Commission
on Elections, the Commission on Audit, the Sandiganbayan, and
decisions issued under the Labor Code of the Philippines and by
the Central Board of Assessment Appeals.
Other appeals are prescribed by special laws, such as RA No. 1125,
providing for appeal to the Court of Tax Appeals of any decision
rendered by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the

Commissioner of Customs, or any provincial or city board of

assessment appeals.

primary jurisdiction or prior resort; and (2)

exhaustion of administrative remedies.

Methods of review

The doctrine of primary jurisdiction simply calls for the

determination of administrative questions, which ordinarily
questions of fact, by administrative agencies rather courts
of justice.

The methods of judicial review are prescribed by the Constitution,

statutes or the Rules of the Court. These methods may be specific
or general.
It is provided in RA No. 5434 that an appeal from a final award,
order or decisions of the Patent Office shall be taken by filing with
said body and with the Court of Appeals a notice of appeal within
15 days from notice of such award, order or ruling, copies being
served on all interested parties.
The Administrative Code generally provides that an appeal from an
agency decision shall be perfected by filing with the agency within
15 days from receipt of a copy thereof a notice of appeal, and with
the reviewing court a petition for review of the order. Copies of the
petition shall be served upon the agency and all parties of record.
The petition shall contain a concise statement of the issues
involved and the grounds relied upon for the review, and shall be
accompanied with a true copy of the order appealed from, together
with copies of such material portions of the records as are referred
to therein and other supporting papers.
The Supreme Court instructed certain universally accepted axioms
governing judicial review through the extraordinary actions of
certiorari or prohibition of determinations of administrative officers
or agencies:
First, before said actions may be entertained, it must be shown that
all the administrative remedies prescribed by law or ordinance have
been exhausted; and,
Second, that the administrative decision may properly be annulled
or set aside only upon a clear showing that the administrative
official or tribunal has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or
with a grave abuse of discretion.
Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction or Prior Resort
There are two doctrines that must be considered in connection
with the judicial review of administrative decisions:(1) doctrine of

the doctrine of

If the case is such that its determination requires the expertise,

specialized skills and knowledge of the proper administrative
bodies because technical matters or intricate questions of facts are
involved, then relief must first be obtained in an administrative
proceeding before a remedy will be supplied by the courts even
though the matter is within the proper jurisdiction of the court
Doctrine of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
Under the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies,
an administrative decision must first be appealed to the
administrative superior up to the highest level before it
may be elevated to a court of justice for review.
A. Reasons
(1) The administrative superiors, if given the opportunity, can
correct the errors committed by their subordinates;
(2) Courts should as much as possible refrain from disturbing
the findings of administrative bodies in deference to the
doctrine of separation of powers;
(3) On practical grounds, it is best that the courts should not be
saddled with the review of administrative cases;
(4) Judicial review of administrative cases is usually effected
through the special civil actions of certiorari, mandamus and
prohibition, which are available only if there is no other
plain, speedy and adequate remedy.
B. Exceptions
(1) When the question raised is purely legal (question of law is
(2) When the administrative body is estoppel;

(3) When the act complained of is patently illegal;

(4) When there is urgent need for judicial intervention;
(5) When the claim involved is small;
(6) When irreparable damage will be suffered;
(7) When there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy;
(8) When strong public interest is involved;
(9) When the subject of the controversy is private land;

In quo warranto proceedings

C. Appeal to the President

Of special interest is the question of whether or not a decision of
the cabinet member has to be appealed first to the President
before it may be brought to a court of justice. Jurisprudence on this
matter is rather indecisive.
In the early case of demaisip vs. Court of Appeals, the Court held
that appeal to the President was not necessary because the
Cabinet member was after all his alter ego and, under the doctrine
of qualified political agency, the acts of the secretary were the acts
of the President.
This view was abandoned in Calo vs. Fuertes, where it was held that
appeal to the President was the final step in the administrative
process and therefore a condition precedent to appeal to the
In Bartulata vs. Peralta,
however, the court reinstated the
Demaisip doctrine, again on the basis of alter ego justification.
Tan vs. Director of Forestry, thereafter revived Calo andagain
required appeal to the President as a prerequisite to an appeal of a
Cabinet member's decision to the courts of Justice.
D. Effect of Non-compliance
The failure to exhaust administrative remedies does not affect the
jurisdiction of the court and merely results in the lack of a cause of
action which may be invoked in a motion to dismiss.

If this ground to dismiss the court action is not properly or

reasonably invoked, the court may proceed to hear the case.
As previously noted, the court has the discretion to require the
observance of the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative
remedies and may, if it sees fit, dispense with it and proceed with
the disposition of the case.
Questions Reviewable
Two kinds of questions are reviewable by the courts of justice, to
wit: the question of fact and the question of law.
On the question of fact, review of the administrative decision lies in
the discretion of the legislature, which may or may not permit it as
it sees fit.
But when it comes to the question of law, the administrative
decision may be appealed to the courts of justice independently of
legislative permission or even against legislative prohibition. The
reason is that the judiciary cannot be deprived of its inherent power
to review all decisions on questions of law, whether made initially
by lower courts and more so by an administrative body.
A. Questions of fact
Even if allowed to review administrative decisions on questions of
fact, courts of justice generally defer to such decisions and will
decline to disturb them except only where there is a clear showing
of arbitrariness or grave abuse of discretion.
The Supreme Court ruled in Osias
Academy vs. DOLE that
findings of administrative agencies which have acquired
expertise because their jurisdiction is confined to specific
matters are generally accorded not only respect but
B. Questions of Law
Administrative bodies may be allowed to resolve questions of law in
the exercise of their quasi-judicial function as an incident of their
primary power of regulation.

However as a rule, it is only the judicial tribunal that can

interpret and decide the question of law with finality.