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Maritime Manning Agencies, Inc v. POEA
G.R. No. 114714
The Governing Board of the POEA enacted Governing Resolution No. 01 s. 1994 fixing for the rates of workmen’s compensation of Filipino seamen working in ocean-going vessels. Consequently, Memorandum Circular No. 05 was issued on 19 January 19942 by POEA Administrator adjusting the rates of compensation and other benefits of Filipino seafarers. Petitioners assailed both issuances on the following grounds:
1. The POEA does not have the power and authority to fix and promulgate rates affecting death and workmen's compensation of Filipino seamen working in ocean-going vessels; only Congress can.
2. Even granting that the POEA has that power, it, nevertheless, violated the standards for its exercise.
3. The resolution and the memorandum circular are unconstitutional because they violate the equal protection and non-impairment of obligation of contracts clauses of the Constitution.
4. The resolution and the memorandum circular are not, valid acts of the Governing Board because the private sector representative mandated by law has not been appointed by the President since the creation of the POEA.
Public respondents contend that the petition is without merit and should de dismissed because (a) the issuance of the challenged resolution and memorandum circular was a valid exercise of the POEA's rule-making authority or power of subordinate legislation.
Does the POEA have the power to fix and promulgate rates of Filipino seamen.
The authority to issue the said regulation is clearly provided in Section 4(a) of Executive Order No. 797: “The governing Board of the Administration (POEA), as hereunder provided, shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to govern the exercise of the adjudicatory functions of the Administration (POEA).” It is true that legislative discretion as to the substantive contents of the law cannot be delegated. What can be delegated is the discretion to determine how the law may be enforced, not what the law shall be. But due to increasing complexity of the task of government and the growing inability of the legislature to cope directly with the myriad problems demanding its attention, delegation of legislative powers in general are particularly applicable to administrative bodies. With this power, administrative bodies may implement the broad policies laid down in a statute by "filling in" the details which the Congress may not have the opportunity or competence to provide. Memorandum Circular No. 2 is one such administrative regulation.
The power of the POEA is not unlimited as there is a sufficient standard guiding the delegate in the exercise of the said authority, that standard is discoverable in the executive order itself which is "fair and equitable employment practices”. The challenged resolution and memorandum circular, which merely further amended the previous Memorandum Circular No. 02, strictly conform to the sufficient and valid standard of "fair and equitable employment practices" prescribed in E.O. No. 797 can no longer be disputed.