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ssociation of Medical Clinic for Overseas Workers Inc. v. GCC Approved Medical Center Association, GR 207132, 6 December 2016
Association of Medical Clinic for Overseas Workers Inc. v. GCC Approved Medical Center Association, GR 207132, 6 December 2016
Whether the DOH letters prohibiting GAMCA from implementing the referral decking system embodied under Section 16 of Republic Act No. 10022 violates Section 3, Article II of the 1987 Constitution for being an undue taking of property.
No,Police power includes (1) the imposition of restraint on liberty or property, (2) in order to foster the common good. The exercise of police power involves the "state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare."
By its very nature, the exercise of the State's police power limits individual rights and liberties, and subjects them to the "far more overriding demands and requirements of the greater number." Though vast and plenary, this State power also carries limitations, specifically, it may not be exercised arbitrarily or unreasonably. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose for which it is exercised, that is, the advancement of the public good.
The government's exercise of police power must satisfy the "valid object and valid means" method of analysis: first, the interest of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, requires interference; and second, the means employed are reasonably necessary to attain the objective sought and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.
These two elements of reasonableness are undeniably present in Section 16 of RA No. 10022. The prohibition against the referral decking system is consistent with the State's exercise of the police power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the people. Public interest demands State interference on health matters, since the welfare of migrant workers is a legitimate public concern.
These rules are part of the larger legal framework to ensure the Overseas Filipino Workers' (OFW) access to quality healthcare services, and to curb existing practices that limit their choices to specific clinics and facilities.