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Kilusang Mayo Uno vs. Garcia
G.R. No. 115381
DOTC Sec. Oscar Orbos issued Memo Circular to LTFRB Chair Remedios Fernando to allow provincial bus to change passenger rates w/in a fare range of 15% above or below the LTFRB official rate for a 1yr. period. This is in line with the liberalization of regulation in the transport sector which the government intends to implement and to make progress towards greater reliance on free market forces. Fernando respectfully called attention of DOTC Sec. that the Public Service Act requires publication and notice to concerned parties and public hearing. In Dec. 1990, Provincial Bus Operators Assoc. of the Phils. (PBOAP) filed an application for across the board fare rate increase, which was granted by LTFRB. In 1992, then DOTC Sec. Garcia issued a memo to LTFRB suggesting a swift action on adoption of procedures to implement the Department Order & to lay down deregulation policies. Pursuant to LTFRB Guideline, PBOAP, w/o benefit of public hearing announced a 20% fare rate increase. Petitioner Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) opposed the move and filed a petition before LTFRB w/c was denied. Hence the instant petition for certiorari w/ urgent prayer for a TRO, w/c was readily granted by the Supreme Court.
Whether the authority granted by LTFB to provincial buses to set a fare range above existing authorized fare range is unconstitutional and invalid.
The grant of power by LTFRB of its delegated authority is unconstitutional. The doctrine of Potestas delegate non delegari (what has been delegated cannot be delegated) is applicable because a delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate thru instrumentality of his own judgment. To delegate this power is a negation of the duty in violation of the trust reposed in the delegate mandated to discharge such duty. Also, to give provincial buses the power to charge their fare rates will result to a chaotic state of affairs ad this would leave the riding public at the mercy of transport operators who can increase their rates arbitrarily whenever it pleases or when they deem it necessary.