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CASE NO.

MIRASOL, ET AL VS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS AND TOLL REGULATORY BOARD
(G.R. NO.158793, June 8, 2006)

FACTS:

On January 10, 2001, petitioners filed before the trial court a Petition for Declaratory Judgment with
Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Injunction seeking the declaration of nullity of the
following administrative issuances for being inconsistent with the provisions of Republic Act 2000, entitled
“Limited Access Highway Act” of 1957:

a. DPWH Administrative Order No. 1 Series of 1968;


b. DPWH Department Order No. 74, Series of 1993;
c. Art. II, Sec. 3(a) of the Revised Rules on Limited Access Facilities promulgated in 1998 by the DPWH
thru the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).

Previously, DPWH issued on June 25, 1998 Department Order (DO) No. 215 declaring Manila-Cavite
(Coastal Road) Toll Expressway as limited access facilities.

Petitioners filed an Amended Petition on February 8, 2001 seeking the declaration of nullity of the
aforesaid administrative issuances and prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or
preliminary injunction to prevent the enforcement of the total ban on motorcycles along the entire
breadth of North and South Luzon Expressways and the Manila-Cavite (Coastal Road) Toll Expressway
under DO 215. On June 28, 2001 the petitioners’ application for preliminary injunction was granted.

On July 18, 2001, DPWH acting thru the TRB, Issued DO No. 123 allowing motorcycles with engine
displacement of 400 cubic centimeters inside the limited access facilities (toll ways).

On March 10, 2003, RTC dismissed the petition but declared invalid DO No. 123.

ISSUES:

1. Is the RTC’s decision already barred by res judicata?


2. Are DO No. 74, DO No. 215 and the TRB regulations valid in relation to RA 2000?
3. Is AO 1 constitutional?
4. Is DO No. 123 valid?

HELD:

1. No. The order granting the preliminary injunction was not an adjudication on the merits of the
case but merely a provisional remedy to preserve the status quo until the court could hear the
merits of the case. Thus, Section 9 of Rule 58 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure requires the
issuance of a final injunction to confirm the preliminary injunction should the court during trial
determine that the acts complained of deserve to be permanently enjoined.

2. No. DO No. 74, DO No. 215 and the TRB regulations are void. RA 2000 which was enacted in 1957
provides that “the Department of Public Works and Communications (DPWC) is authorized to so
design any limited access facility and to so regulate, restrict, or prohibit access to best serve the
traffic for which such facility is intended”. With the passage of EO 546 and EO 710 as well as the
ratification of the 1987 Constitution two departments were eventually created namely
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Transportation (DOTC)
and Communications. Among the functions of DOTC were to 1) Formulate and recommend
national policies and guidelines for the preparation and implementation of an integrated and
comprehensive transportation and communications systems at the national, regional, and local
levels; and 2) regulate, whenever necessary, activities relative to transportation and
communications and prescribe and collect fees in the exercise of such power. Clearly under EO
546, it is the DOTC, not the DPWH, which has the authority to regulate, restrict, or prohibit access
to limited access facilities. Since DPWH has no authority to declare certain expressways as limited
access facilities to regulate activities relative to transportation, TRB cannot derive its power from
DPWH to issue regulations governing limited access facilities hence rules implementing them are
likewise void.

3. Yes. AO 1 which restricts bicycle, tricycle, motorcycle or any vehicle (not motorized) on limited
access highways is a valid exercise of police power. The use of public highways by motor vehicles
is subject to regulation as an exercise of the police power of the state. The supreme court held
that AO1 does not impose unreasonable restrictions. It merely outlines several precautionary
measures to which toll way users must adhere. These rules were designed to ensure public safety
and the uninhibited flow of traffic within limited access facilities.

4. No, for want of authority of the DPWH to promulgate it.