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ROWELA DESCALLAR

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW (EVERY MONDAYS AND TUESDAYS)


ROOM 306

1. Give an illustration (example) of how the doctrine of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies is


applied.

The DOCTRINE OF EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES requires that where a remedy before
an administrative agency is provided or available against the action of an administrative board, body, or officer,
and can still be resorted to by giving the said agency every opportunity to decide correctly a given matter that
comes within its jurisdiction, relief must be first sought by availing this remedy before bringing an action in or
elevating it to the courts of justice for review. The thrust of the doctrine is to allow the first the administrative
agency to carry out its functions and discharge its responsibilities within the specialized areas of its
competence before resort can be made to courts.

The illustration of how the Doctrine of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies is applied can be viewed in a
catena of cases in Philippine jurisprudence. In the case of PADUA VS RANADA (G.R. No. 141949, October
14, 2002 ) where the focal point upon which these two consolidated cases converge is whether Resolution No.
2001-89 issued by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) is valid. The issued Resolution No. 2001-89 grants to the
Metro Manila Skyway Project, Provisional Relief in accordance with Rule 10, Section 3 of the Rules of Practice
and Procedure Governing Hearing before the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) which states, among others "that
the Board may grant (provisional relief)…in its own initiative…without prejudice to the final decision after
completion of the hearing…;" Thereafter it was published in newspapers of general circulation for three (3)
consecutive weeks. However, there was no hearing conducted for the matter. Deliberations were not even
attended by Board Members except TRB Executive Director Jaime Dumlao, Jr. One of the issues raised was
the provisional toll rate adjustments are exorbitant, oppressive, onerous and unconscionable and the High
Court ruled that it is obviously a question of fact requiring knowledge of the formula used and the factors
considered in determining the assailed rates. Definitely, this task is within the province of the TRB. The
Supreme Court takes cognizance of the wealth of jurisprudence on the doctrine of primary administrative
jurisdiction and exhaustion of administrative remedies. In this era of clogged court dockets, the need for
specialized administrative boards or commissions with the special knowledge, experience and capability to
hear and determine promptly disputes on technical matters or intricate questions of facts, subject to judicial
review in case of grave abuse of discretion, is indispensable. Between the power lodged in an administrative
body and a court, the unmistakable trend is to refer it to the former.”

Also in PAAT VS COURT OF APPEALS (G.R. No. 111107 January 10, 1997) , the case involves an incident
where the truck of private respondent Victoria de Guzman while on its way to Bulacan from San Jose, Baggao,
Cagayan, was seized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources personnel in Aritao, Nueva
Vizcaya because the driver could not produce the required documents for the forest products found concealed
in the truck. Petitioner Jovito Layugan, CENRO ordered the confiscation of the truck and required the owner to
explain but the private respondents failed to submit the required explanation. The DENR Regional Executive
Director Rogelio Baggayan sustained Layugan’s action for confiscation and ordered the forfeiture of the truck.
Private respondents brought the case to the DENR Secretary. Pending appeal, private respondents filed a
replevin case before the RTC against petitioner Layugan and Baggayan and RTC granted the same.
Petitioners moved to dismiss the case contending, inter alia, that private respondents had no cause of action
for their failure to exhaust administrative remedies and the trial court denied their motion. The instant case
does not fall within the exceptions provided by law. The Court held that before a party is allowed to seek the
intervention of the court, it is a pre-condition that he should have availed of all the means of administrative
processed afforded him. Hence, if a remedy within the administrative machinery can still be resorted to by
giving the administrative officer concerned every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his
jurisdiction then such remedy should be exhausted first before court’s judicial power can be sought. The
premature invocation of court’ intervention is fatal to one’s cause of action.The doctrine is a relative one and its
flexibility is called upon by the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial settings of a case.
Hence, it is disregarded (1) when there is violation of due process, (2) when the issue involved is purely a legal
question, (3) when the administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, (4)
when there is estoppels on the part of the administrative agency concerned, (5) when there is irreparable
injury, (6) when the respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter ego of the President bears
the implied and assumed approval of the latter, (7) when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies
would be unreasonable, (8) when it would amount to nullification of a claim, (9) when the subject matter is a
private land in land case proceedings, (10) when the rule does not provide a plain, speedy and adequate
remedy, and (11) when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention.

2. Submit a case digest/summary of a Supreme Court decision where the doctrine of Primary
Jurisdiction is applied. The summary/digest must contain the FACTS/ISSUES/RATIONALE/ AND
RULING.

Title:
THE ALEXANDRA CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION, Petitioner,
vs.
LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, Respondent.

Citation:

G.R. No. 169228 , September 11, 2009

Facts:

 Philippine Realty and Holdings, Inc. (PhilRealty) developed, established, and constructed The
Alexandra Condominium Complex from 1987 to 1993.

 In a Deed of Conveyance dated 18 April 1988, PhilRealty transferred to The Alexandra Condominium
Corporation (TACC) a parcel of land with an area of 9,876 square meters located at 29 Meralco
Avenue, Pasig City as well as all the common areas of the project.

 On 2 September 1987, the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission issued a Development Permit
to PhilRealty to develop Cluster A of the project. PhilRealty submitted its condominium plans to
Architect Walter R. Perez, the Building Official of Pasig City. He issued a Building Permit and
Sanitary/Plumbing Permit acknowledging the fixtures to be installed but without indicating the System of
Disposal including a Waste Water Treatment Plan. Architect Perez then issued a Certificate of Final
Inspection and a Certificate of Occupancy. PhilRealty undertook the same process for Clusters B, C, D,
and E. Building Permits and Certificates of Final Inspection and Occupancy were issued for these
clusters from 1991 to 1993.

 On 31 December 1993, upon completion of Buildings E-1 and E-2, PhilRealty formally turned over the
project to TACC and the latter managed the project through Century Properties Management
Corporation.
 On 24 June 1998, Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) advised TACC that its wastewater did
not meet government effluent and was informed that it must put up its own Sewage Treatment Plant
(STP) for its effluent discharge to meet government standards.

 Since a sewage treatment plant would cost approximately P15 million to put up, TACC proposed a
solution from Larutan Resources Development Corporation, which treated the septic vault water with
biological enzymes. Still, it failed to meet the government standards.

 In a Notice of Violation dated 6 May 1999, LLDA directed TACC to submit corrective measures to abate
or control its water effluents discharged into the Laguna de Bay. LLDA imposed upon TACC a daily fine
ofP1,000 from 26 March 1999 until full cessation of pollutive wastewater discharge.

 TACC entered into an agreement with World Chem Marketing for the construction of the STP
for P7,550,000 and was completed by the second week of October 2001.

 In an Order dated 19 July 1999, LLDA stated that the daily penalty was imposed upon TACC for the
pollutive wastewater discharge, and to condone the penalty would be tantamount to tolerating the
pollution of the river bodies and the Laguna de Bay which is contrary to LLDA’s mandate.

 On 1 April 2002, TACC requested LLDA to dismiss the water pollution case against it because of the
favorable analysis undertaken by the LLDA’s Pollution Control. TACC requested LLDA to condone the
imposition of the penalty of P1,000 per day since March 1999 in recognition of the remedial and
corrective measures it undertook to comply with government standards.

 On 4 September 2003, LLDA issued an Order requiring TACC to pay a fine of P1,062,000 representing
the penalty from 26 March 1999 to 20 February 2002.

 TACC filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals with a prayer for the issuance of a
temporary restraining order.

 The Court of Appeals sustained LLDA’s contention that the petition for certiorari was prematurely filed
and also ruled that before a party is allowed to seek the court’s intervention, he should have availed of
all the means of administrative processes afforded him. The Court of Appeals ruled that the proper
remedy should have been to resort to an administrative remedy before the DENR Secretary prior to
judicial action. The Court of Appeals noted LLDA’s allegation of TACC’s offer to compromise and found
that TACC had not abandoned its administrative remedies despite simultaneous resort to judicial
action. TACC filed a motion for reconsideration but the motion was denied.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in disregarding TACC’s exhaustive efforts in complying with
the government’s standards on effluent discharge;

Ruling:

The petition has no merit.

Non-Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

The Court of Appeals ruled that due to the transfer of LLDA to the DENR under Executive Order No. 149 (EO
149), TACC should have first resorted to an administrative remedy before the DENR Secretary prior to filing a
petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals.

The doctrine of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies requires that resort be first made with the
administrative authorities in the resolution of a controversy falling under their jurisdiction before the
controversy may be elevated to a court of justice for review. A premature invocation of a court’s
intervention renders the complaint without cause of action and dismissible.

EO 149 transferred LLDA from the Office of the President to the DENR "for policy and program coordination
and/or administrative supervision x x x." Under EO 149, DENR only has administrative power over LLDA.
Administrative power is concerned with the work of applying policies and enforcing orders as determined by
proper governmental organs.

However, Executive Order No. 192 (EO 192), which reorganized the DENR, mandates the DENR to
"promulgate rules and regulations for the control of water, air and land pollution" and to "promulgate ambient
and effluent standards for water and air quality including the allowable levels of other pollutants and
radiations." EO 192 created the Pollution Adjudication Board under the Office of the DENR Secretary which
assumed the powers and functions of the NPCC with respect to the adjudication of pollution cases, including
NPCC’s function to "[s]erve as arbitrator for the determination of reparation, or restitution of the damages and
losses resulting from pollution." Hence, TACC has an administrative recourse before the DENR Secretary
which it should have first pursued before filing a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals.

The petition was DENIED and the decision of the Court of Appeals was also AFFIRMED.