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G.R. No. 48578   February 19, 1943 - PROV. OF MINDORO v. MARCELO E. CRUZ, ET AL. <br /><br />074 Phil 108

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 48578. February 19, 1943.]

THE PROVINCE OF MINDORO, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MARCELO E. CRUZ and CARMEN DESIDERIO, Defendants-Appellants.

Arsenio Santos for Appellants.

Provincial Fiscal of Mindoro for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


WHARVES AND WHARFAGE; RIGHT OF PROVINCE, AS PART OWNER OF WHARF, TO COLLECT WHARFAGE FEES. — The wharf in question was constructed by authority of the Public Service Commission and its cost was borne partly by the National Government and partly by the Province of Mindoro. Because of its part ownership, the Province of Mindoro has charged and collected fees for the use of the wharf apparently without any objection by the National Government. The subsequent classification of the port of Calapan as a national port did not, and was not intended to, divest the Province of Mindoro of its part ownership of the wharf and, accordingly, of its right to collect wharfage fees for its use as it had theretofore done. Not until its complete ownership has become vested in the National Government by the mode of transfer provided by law, may the Province of Mindoro be divested of this right. Defendants were, therefore, properly ordered to pay to the Province of Mindoro the sum of P936, by way of dockage fees.


D E C I S I O N


MORAN, J.:


The stipulation of facts and the evidence adduced at the trial of this case disclose that from July 13, 1937, to August 11, 1938, the motorboats Rogelio X and Marianito owned by defendants Marcelo E. Cruz and Carmen Desiderio used the wharf situated on the port of Calapan, Mindoro, without payment to the Province of Mindoro of the dockage fees therefor in the aggregate sum of P936. For failure to pay the dockage fees, the Province of Mindoro instituted an action for their recovery, and judgment was rendered by the trial court condemning defendants to pay the amount in question. This judgment is now the subject of review in this appeal.

Defendants contend that, under the Executive Order issued by the Chief Executive on December 3, 1936, which became effective on January 1, 1937, the port of Calapan, Mindoro, was declared a national port by virtue of which its maintenance, administration or operation became vested in the National Government through the Insular Collector of Customs, and that, accordingly, the Province of Mindoro has become deprived of its power, if it had any before, to administer the same and collect wharfage fees for its use. We cannot accept this view. The wharf was constructed by authority of the Public Service Commission and its cost was borne partly by the National Government and partly by the Province of Mindoro. Because of its part ownership, the Province of Mindoro has charged and collected fees for the use of the wharf apparently without any objection by the National Government. The subsequent classification of the port of Calapan as a national port did not, and was not intended to, divest the Province of Mindoro of its part ownership of the wharf and, accordingly, of its right to collect wharfage fees for its use as it had theretofore done. Not until its complete ownership has become vested in the National Government by the mode of transfer provided by law, may the Province of Mindoro be divested of this right. Judgment is affirmed, with costs against defendants.

Yulo, C.J., Ozaeta, Paras and Bocobo, JJ., concur.

G.R. No. 48578   February 19, 1943 - PROV. OF MINDORO v. MARCELO E. CRUZ, ET AL. <br /><br />074 Phil 108


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