It is difficult for a man, scavenging on the garbage dump created by affluence and profligate consumption and extravagance of the rich or fishing in the murky waters of the Pasig River and the Laguna Lake or making a clearing in the forest so that he can produce food for his family, to understand why protecting birds, fish, and trees is more important than protecting him and keeping his family alive.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary
How do we strike a balance between environmental protection, on the one hand, and the individual personal interests of people, on the other?
Towards environmental protection and ecology, navigational safety, and sustainable development, Republic Act No. 4850 created the "Laguna Lake Development Authority." This Government Agency is supposed to carry out and effectuate the aforesaid declared policy, so as to accelerate the development and balanced growth of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces, cities and towns, in the act clearly named, within the context of the national and regional plans and policies for social and economic development.
Presidential Decree No. 813 of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos amended certain sections of Republic Act No. 4850 because of the concern for the rapid expansion of Metropolitan Manila, the suburbs and the lakeshore towns of Laguna de Bay, combined with current and prospective uses of the lake for municipal-industrial water supply, irrigation, fisheries, and the like. Concern on the part of the Government and the general public over: — the environment impact of development on the water quality and ecology of the lake and its related river Systems; the inflow of polluted water from the Pasig River, industrial, domestic and agricultural wastes from developed areas around the lake; the increasing urbanization which induced the deterioration of the lake, since water quality studies have shown that the lake will deteriorate further if steps are not taken to check the same; and the floods in Metropolitan Manila area and the lakeshore towns which will influence the hydraulic system of Laguna de Bay, since any scheme of controlling the floods will necessarily involve the lake and its river systems, — likewise gave impetus to the creation of the Authority.
Section 1 of Republic Act No. 4850 was amended to read as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"SECTION 1. Declaration of Policy. — It is hereby declared to be the national policy to promote, and accelerate the development and balanced growth of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces, cities and towns hereinafter referred to as the region, within the context of the national and regional plans and policies for social and economic development and to carry out the development of the Laguna Lake region with due regard and adequate provisions for environmental management and control, preservation of the quality of human life and ecological systems, and the prevention of undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution." 1
Special powers of the Authority, pertinent to the issues in this case, include:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"SEC. 3. Section 4 of the same Act is hereby further amended by adding thereto seven new paragraphs to be known as paragraphs (j), (k), (1), (m), (n), (o), and (p) which shall read as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
x x x
‘(j) The provisions of existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding, to engage in fish production and other aqua-culture projects in Laguna de Bay and other bodies of water within its jurisdiction and in pursuance thereof to conduct studies and make experiments, whenever necessary, with the collaboration and assistance of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, with the end in view of improving present techniques and practices. Provided, that until modified, altered or amended by the procedure provided in the following sub-paragraph, the present laws, rules and permits or authorizations remain in force;
(k) For the purpose of effectively regulating and monitoring activities in Laguna de Bay, the Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue new permit for the use of the lake waters for any projects or activities in or affecting the said lake including navigation. construction, and operation of fishpens, fish enclosures, fish corrals and the like, and to impose necessary safeguards for lake quality control and management and to collect necessary fees for said activities and projects: Provided, That the fees collected for fisheries may be shared between the Authority and other government agencies and political sub-divisions in such proportion as may be determined by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Authority’s Board: Provided, further, That the Authority’s Board may determine new areas of fishery development or activities which it may place under the supervision of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources taking into account the overall development plans and programs for Laguna de Bay and related bodies of water: Provided, finally, That the Authority shall subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines promulgate such rules and regulations which shall govern fisheries development activities in Laguna de Bay which shall take into consideration among others the following: socio-economic amelioration of bonafide resident fishermen whether individually or collectively in the form of cooperatives, lakeshore town development, a master plan for fishpen construction and operation, communal fishing ground for lake shore town residents, and preference to lake shore town residents in hiring laborers for fishery projects;
(l) To require the cities and municipalities embraced within the region to pass appropriate zoning ordinances and other regulatory measures necessary to carry out the objectives of the Authority and enforce the same with the assistance of the Authority;
(m) The provisions of existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding, to exercise water rights over public waters within the Laguna de Bay region whenever necessary to carry out the Authority’s projects;
(n) To act in coordination with existing governmental agencies in establishing water quality standards for industrial, agricultural and municipal waste discharges into the lake and to cooperate with said existing agencies of the government of the Philippines in enforcing such standards, or to separately pursue enforcement and penalty actions as provided for in Section 4 (d) and Section 39-A of this Act: Provided, That in case of conflict on the appropriate water quality standard to be enforced such conflict shall be resolved thru the NEDA Board;’" 2
To more effectively perform the role of the Authority under Republic Act No. 4850, as though Presidential Decree No. 813 were not thought to be completely effective, the Chief Executive, feeling that the land and waters of the Laguna Lake Region are limited natural resources requiring judicious management to their optimal utilization to insure renewability and to preserve the ecological balance, the competing options for the use of such resources and conflicting jurisdictions over such uses having created undue constraints on the institutional capabilities of the Authority in the light of the limited powers vested in it by its charter, Order No. 927 further defined and enlarged the functions and powers of the Authority and named and enumerated the towns, cities and provinces encompassed by the term "Laguna de Bay Region" .
Also, pertinent to the issues in this case are the following provisions of Executive Order No. 927 which include in particular the sharing of fees:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"SEC 2. Water Rights Over Laguna de Bay and Other Bodies of Water within the Lake Region: To effectively regulate and monitor activities in the Laguna de Bay region, the Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue permit for the use of all surface water for any projects or activities in or affecting the said region including navigation, construction, and operation of fishpens, fish enclosures, fish corrals and the like.
For the purpose of this Executive Order, the term ‘Laguna de Bay Region’ shall refer to the Provinces of Rizal and Laguna; the Cities of San Pablo, Pasay, Caloocan, Quezon, Manila and Tagaytay; the towns of Tanauan, Sto. Tomas and Malvar in Batangas Province; the towns of Silang and Carmona in Cavite Province; the town of Lucban in Quezon Province; and the towns of Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, Muntinlupa, and Pateros in Metro Manila.
SEC. 3. Collection of Fees. — The Authority is hereby empowered to collect fees for the use of the lake water and its tributaries for all beneficial purposes including but not limited to fisheries, recreation, municipal, industrial, agricultural, navigation, irrigation, and waste disposal purpose; Provided, that the rates of the fees to be collected, and the sharing with other government agencies and political subdivisions, if necessary, shall be subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Authority’s Board, except fishpen fee, which will be shared in the following manner: 20 percent of the fee shall go to the lakeshore local governments, 5 percent shall go to the Project Development Fund which shall be administered by a Council and the remaining 75 percent shall constitute the share of LLDA. However, after the implementation within the three-year period of the Laguna Lake Fishery Zoning and Management Plan the sharing will be modified as follows: 35 percent of the fishpen fee goes to the lakeshore local governments, 5 percent goes to the Project Development Fund and the remaining 60 percent shall be retained by LLDA; Provided, however, that the share of LLDA shall form part of its corporate funds and shall not be remitted to the National Treasury as an exception to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1234." (Emphasis supplied
It is important to note that Section 29 the term "Laguna Lake" in this manner:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"SECTION 41. Definition of Terms.
(11) Laguna Lake or Lake. Whenever Laguna Lake or lake is used in this Act Laguna de Bay which is that a water when it is at the average level of elevation 12.50 meters, 10.00 meters below mean lower low Lands located at and below such elevation are public lands which form part of the bed of said lake."cralaw virtua1aw library
Then came Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991. The municipalities in the Laguna Lake Region interpreted the provisions of this law to mean that the newly passed law gave municipal governments the exclusive jurisdiction to issue fishing privileges within their municipal waters because R.A. 7160 provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"Sec. 149. Fishery Rentals; Fees and Charges. (a) Municipalities shall have the exclusive authority to grant fishery privileges in the municipal waters and impose rental fees or charges therefor in accordance with the provisions of this Section.chanrobles virtualawlibrary chanrobles.com:chanrobles.com.ph
(b) The Sangguniang Bayan may:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
(1) Grant fishing privileges to erect fish corrals oyster, mussel or other aquatic beds or bangus fry areas within a definite zone of the municipal waters, as determined by it; . . .
(2) Grant privilege to gather, take or catch bangus fry, prawn fry or kawag-kawag or fry of other species and fish from the municipal waters by nets, traps or other fishing gears to marginal fishermen free from any rental fee, charges or any other imposition whatsoever.
x x x
Sec. 447. Power, Duties, Functions and Compensation. . . .,
(1) . . .
(2) . . .
(XI) Subject to the provisions of Book II of this Code, grant exclusive privileges of constructing fish corrals or fishpens, or the taking or catching of bangus fry, prawn fry or kawag-kawag or fry of any species or fish within the municipal waters.
x x x"
Municipal governments thereupon assumed the authority to issue fishing privileges and fishpen permits. Big fishpen operators took advantage of the occasion to establish fishpens and fishcages to the consternation of the Authority. Unregulated fishpens and fishcages, as of July, 1995, occupied almost one-third the entire lake water surface area, increasing the occupation drastically from 7,000 hectares in 1990 to almost 21,000 hectares in 1995. The Mayor’s permit to construct fishpens and fishcages were all undertaken in violation of the policies adopted by the Authority on fishpen zoning and the Laguna Lake carrying capacity.
To be sure, the implementation by the lakeshore municipalities of separate independent policies in the operation of fishpens and fishcages within their claimed territorial municipal waters in the lake and their indiscriminate grant of fishpens permits have already saturated the lake area with fishpens, thereby aggravating the current environmental problems and ecological stress of Laguna Lake.
In view of the foregoing circumstances, the Authority served notice to the general public that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"In compliance with the instructions of His Excellency PRESIDENT FIDEL V. RAMOS given on June 23, 1993 at Pila, Laguna, pursuant to Republic Act 4850 as amended by Presidential Decree 813 and Executive Order 927 series of 1983 and in line with the policies and programs of the Presidential Task Force on Illegal Fishpens and Illegal Fishing, the general public is hereby notified that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
1. All fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures in the Laguna de Bay Region, which were not registered or to which no application for registration and/or permit has been filed with Laguna Lake Development Authority as of March 31, 1993 are hereby declared outrightly as illegal.
2. All fishpens; fishcages and other aqua-culture structures so declared as illegal shall be subject to demolition which shall be undertaken by the Presidential Task Force for illegal Fishpen and Illegal Fishing.
3. Owners of fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures declared as illegal shall, without prejudice to demolition of their structures be criminally charged in accordance with Section 39-A of Republic Act 4850 as amended by P.D. 813 for violation of the same laws. Violations of these laws carries a penalty of imprisonment of not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Pesos or both at the discretion of the court.
All operators of fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures declared as illegal in accordance with the foregoing Notice shall have one (1) month on or before 27 October 1993 to show cause before the LLDA why their said fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures should not be demolished/dismantled." chanrobles virtual lawlibrary
One month, thereafter, the Authority sent notices to the concerned owners of the illegally constructed fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures advising them to dismantle their respective structures within 10 days from receipt thereof, otherwise, demolition shall be effected.
Reacting thereto, the affected fishpen owners filed injunction cases against the Authority before various regional trial courts, to wit: (a) Civil Case No. 759-B, for Prohibition, Injunction and Damages, Regional Trial Court, Branch 70, Binangonan, Rizal, filed by Fleet Development, Inc. and Carlito Arroyo; (b) Civil Case No. 64049, for Injunction, Regional Trial Court, Branch 162, Pasig, filed by IRMA Fishing and Trading Corp., ARTM Fishing Corp., BDR Corp., MIRT Corp. and TRIM Corp.; (c) Civil Case No. 566, for Declaratory Relief and Injunction, Regional Trial Court, Branch 163, Pasig, filed by Manila Marine Life Business Resources, Inc. and Tobias Reynaldo M. Tianco; (d) Civil Case No. 556-M, for Prohibition, Injunction and Damages, Regional Trial Court, Branch 78, Morong, Rizal, filed by AGP Fishing Ventures, Inc.; (e) Civil Case No. 522-M, for Prohibition, Injunction and Damages, Regional Trial Court, Branch 78, Morong, Rizal, filed by Blue Lagoon and Alcris Chicken Growers, Inc.; (f) Civil Case No. 554-, for Certiorari
and Prohibition, Regional Trial Court, Branch 79, Morong, Rizal, filed by Greenfields Ventures Industrial Corp. and R.J. Orion Development Corp.; and (g) Civil Case No. 64124, for Injunction, Regional Trial Court, Branch 15, Pasig, filed by SEA-MAR Trading Co., Inc. and Eastern Lagoon Fishing Corp. and Minamar Fishing Corporation.
The Authority filed motions to dismiss the cases against it on jurisdictional grounds. The motions to dismiss were invariably denied. Meanwhile, temporary restraining order/writs of preliminary mandatory injunction were issued in Civil Cases Nos. 64124, 759 and 566 enjoining the Authority from demolishing the fishpens and similar structures in question.
Hence, the herein petition for certiorari
, prohibition and injunction, G.R Nos. 120865-71, were filed by the Authority with this court. Impleaded as parties-respondents are concerned regional trial courts and respective private parties, and the municipalities and/or respective Mayors of Binangonan, Taguig and Jala-jala, who issued permits for the construction and operation of fishpens in Laguna de Bay. The Authority sought the following reliefs, viz.:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"(A) Nullification of the temporary restraining order/writs of preliminary injunction issued in civil Cases Nos. 64125, 759 and 566;
(B) Permanent prohibition against the regional trial courts from exercising jurisdiction over cases involving the Authority which is a co-equal body;
(C) Judicial pronouncement that R.A. 7610 (Local Government Code of 1991) did not repeal, after or modify the provisions of R.A. 4850, as amended, empowering the Authority to issue permits for fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures in Laguna de Bay and that, the Authority the government agency vested with exclusive authority to issue said permits."cralaw virtua1aw library
By this Court’s resolution of May 2, 1994, the Authority’s consolidated petitions were referred to the Court of Appeals.
In a Decision, dated June 29, 1995, the Court of Appeals dismissed the Authority’s consolidated petitions, the Court of Appeals holding that: (A) LLDA is not among those quasi-judicial agencies of government appealable only to the Court of Appeals; (B) the LLDA charter does vest LLDA with quasi-judicial functions insofar as fishpens are concerned; (C) the provisions of the LLDA charter insofar as fishing privileges in Laguna de Bay are concerned had been repealed by the Local Government Code of 1991; (D) in view of the aforesaid repeal, the power to grant permits devolved to respective local government units concerned.
Not satisfied with the Court of Appeals decision to this Court charging the following errors:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"1. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS PROBABLY COMMITTED AN ERROR WHEN IT RULED THAT THE LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY IS NOT A QUASI-JUDICIAL AGENCY.
2. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR WHEN IT RULED THAT R.A. 4850 AS AMENDED BY P.D. 813 AND E.O. 927 SERIES OF 1983 HAS BEEN REPEALED BY REPUBLIC ACT 7160. THE SAID RULING IS CONTRARY TO ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLES AND JURISPRUDENCE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION.
3. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR WHEN IT RULED THAT THE POWER TO ISSUE FISHPEN PERMITS IN LAGUNA DE BAY HAS BEEN DEVOLVED TO CONCERNED (LAKESHORE) LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS."cralaw virtua1aw library
We take a simplistic view of the controversy. Actually, the main and only use posed is: Which agency of the Government - the Laguna Lake Development Authority or the towns and municipalities comprising the region — should exercise jurisdiction over the Laguna Lake and its environs insofar as the issuance of permits for fishery privileges is concerned?
Section 4 (k) of the charter of the Laguna Lake Development Authority, Republic Act No. 4850, the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 813, and Section 2 of Executive Order No. 927, cited above, specifically provide that the Laguna Lake Development Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for the use or all surface water for any projects or activities in or affecting the said region, including navigation, construction, and operation of fishpens, fish enclosures, fish corrals and the like. On the other hand, Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991, has granted to the municipalities the exclusive authority to grant fishery privileges in municipal waters. The Sangguniang Bayan may grant fishery privileges to erect fish corrals, oyster, mussels or other aquatic beds or bangus fry area within a definite zone of the municipal waters.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
We hold that the provisions of Republic Act No. 7160 do not necessarily repeal the aforementioned laws creating the Laguna Lake Development Authority and granting the latter water rights authority over Laguna de Bay and the lake region.
The Local Government Code of 1991 does not contain any express provision which categorically expressly repeal the charter of the Authority. It has to be conceded that there was no intent on the part of the legislature to repeal Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendments. The repeal of laws should be made clear and expressed.
It has to be conceded that the charter of the Laguna Lake Development Authority constitutes a special law. Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991, is a general law. It is basic is basic in statutory construction that the enactment of a later legislation which is a general law cannot be construed to have repealed a special law. It is a well-settled rule in this jurisdiction that "a special statute, provided for a particular case or class of cases, is not repealed by a subsequent statute, general in its terms, provisions and application, unless the intent to repeal or alter is manifest, although the terms of the general law are broad enough to include the cases embraced in the special law." 3
Where there is a conflict between a general law and a special statute, the special statute should prevail since it evinces the legislative intent more clearly that the general statute. The special law is to be taken as an exception to the general law in the absence of special circumstances forcing a contrary conclusion. This is because implied repeals are not favored and as much as possible, given to all enactments of the legislature. A special law cannot be repealed, amended or altered by a subsequent general law by mere implication. 4
Thus, it has to be concluded that the charter of the Authority should prevail over the Local Government Code of 1991.
Considering the reasons behind the establishment of the Authority, which are environmental protection, navigational safety, and sustainable development, there is every indication that the legislative intent is for the Authority to proceed with its mission.
We are on all fours with the manifestation of petitioner Laguna Lake Development Authority that "Laguna de Bay, like any other single body of water has its own unique natural ecosystem. The 900 km2 lake surface water, the eight (8) major river tributaries and several other smaller rivers that drain into the lake, the 2,920 km2 basin or watershed transcending the boundaries of Laguna and Rizal provinces, constitute one integrated delicate natural ecosystem that needs to be protected with uniform set of policies; if we are to be serious in our aims of attaining sustainable development. This is an exhaustible natural resource — a very limited one — which requires judicious management and optimal utilization to ensure renewability and preserve its ecological integrity and balance."cralaw virtua1aw library
"Managing the lake resources would mean the implementation of a national policy geared towards the protection, conservation, balanced growth and sustainable development of the region with due regard to the inter-generational use of its resources by the inhabitants in this part of the earth. The authors of Republic Act 4850 have foreseen this need when they passed this LLDA law — the special law designed to govern the management of our Laguna de Bay lake resources."cralaw virtua1aw library
"Laguna de Bay therefore cannot be subjected to fragmented concepts of management policies where lakeshore local government units exercise exclusive dominion over specific portions of the lake water. The garbage thrown or sewage discharged into the lake, abstraction of water therefrom or construction of fishpens by enclosing its certain area, affect not only that specific portion but the entire 900 km2 of lake water. The implementation of a cohesive and integrated lake water resource management policy, therefore, is necessary to conserve, protect and sustainably develop Laguna de Bay." 5
The power of the local government units to issue fishing privileges was clearly granted for revenue purposes. This is evident from the fact that Section 149 of the New Local Government Code empowering local governments to issue fishing permits is embodied in Chapter 2, Book II, of Republic Act No. 7160 under the heading, "Specific Provisions On The Taxing And Other Revenue Raising Power of Local Government Units."cralaw virtua1aw library
On the other hand, the power of the Authority to grant permits for fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures is for the purpose of effectively regulating and monitoring activities in the Laguna de Bay region (Section 2, Executive Order No. 927) and for lake quality control and management. 6 It does partake of the nature of police power which is the most pervasive, the least limitable and the most demanding of all State powers including the power of taxation. Accordingly, the charter of the Authority which embodies a valid exercise of police power should prevail over the Local Government Code of 1991 on matters affecting Laguna de Bay.
There should be no quarrel over permit fees for fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures in the Laguna de Bay area. Section 3 of Executive Order No. 927 provides for the proper sharing of fees collected.
In respect to the question as to whether the Authority is a quasi-judicial agency or not, it is our holding that, considering the provisions of Section 4 of Republic Act No. 4850 and Section 4 of Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, and the ruling of this Court in Laguna Lake Development Authority v. Court of Appeals, 231 SCRA 304, 306, which we quote:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
x x x
As a general rule, the adjudication of pollution cases generally pertains to the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAR), except in cases where the special law provides for another forum It must be recognized in this regard that the LLDA, as a specialized administrative agency, is specifically mandated under Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendatory laws to carry out and make effective the declared national policy of promoting and accelerating the development and balanced growth of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces of Rizal and Laguna and the cities of San Pablo, Manila, Pasay, Quezon and Caloocan with due regard and adequate provisions for environmental management and control, preservation of the quality of human life and ecological systems, and the prevention of undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution. Under such a broad grant of power and authority, the LLDA, by virtue of its special charter, obviously has the responsibility to protect the inhabitants of the Laguna Lake region from the deleterious effects of pollutants emanating from the discharge of wastes from the surrounding areas. In carrying out the aforementioned declared policy, the LLDA is mandated, among others, to pass upon and approve or disapprove all plans, programs, and projects proposed by local government offices/agencies within the region, public corporations, and private persons or enterprises where such plans, programs and/or projects are related to those of the LLDA for the development of the region.
x x x
. . . While it is a fundamental rule that an administrative agency has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by law, it is likewise a settled rule that an administrative agency has also such powers as are necessarily implied in the exercise of its express powers. In the exercise, therefore, of its express powers under its charter, as a regulatory and quasi-judicial body with respect to pollution cases in the Laguna Lake region, the authority of the LLDA to issue a ‘cease and desist order’ is, perforce, implied Otherwise, it may well be reduced to a ‘toothless’ paper agency." chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary:red
there is no question that the Authority has express powers as a regulatory a quasi-judicial body in respect to pollution cases with authority to issue a "cease a desist order" and on matters affecting the construction of illegal fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures in Laguna de Bay. The Authority’s pretense, however, that it is co-equal to the Regional Trial Courts such that all actions against it may only be instituted before the Court of Appeals cannot be sustained. On actions necessitating the resolution of legal questions affecting the powers of the Authority as provided for in its charter, the Regional Trial Courts have jurisdiction.
In view of the foregoing, this Court holds that Section 149 of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, has not repealed the provisions of the charter of the Laguna Lake Development Authority, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended. Thus, the Authority has the exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for the enjoyment of fishery privileges in Laguna de Bay to the exclusion of municipalities situated therein and the authority to exercise such powers as are by its charter vested on it.
Removal from the Authority of the aforesaid licensing authority will render nugatory its avowed purpose of protecting and developing the Laguna Lake Region. Otherwise stated, the abrogation of this power would render useless its reason for being and will in effect denigrate, if not abolish, the Laguna Lake Development Authority. This, the Local Government Code of 1991 had never intended to do.
WHEREFORE, the petitions for prohibition, certiorari
and injunction are hereby granted, insofar as they relate to the authority of the Laguna Lake Development Authority to grant fishing privileges within the Laguna Lake Region.
The restraining orders and/or writs of injunction issued by Judge Arturo Marave, RTC, Branch 78, Morong, Rizal; Judge Herculano Tech, RTC, Branch 70, Binangonan, Rizal; and Judge Aurelio Trampe, RTC, Branch 163, Pasig, Metro Manila, are hereby declared null and void and ordered set aside for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion.
The Municipal Mayors of the Laguna Lake Region are hereby prohibited from issuing permits to construct and operate fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures within the Laguna Lake Region, their previous issuances being declared null and void. Thus, the fishing permits issued by Mayors Isidro B. Pacis, Municipality of Binangonan; Ricardo D. Papa, Municipality of Taguig; and Walfredo M. de Ia Vega, Municipality of Jala-jala, specifically, are likewise declared null and void and ordered cancelled.
The fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures put up by operators by virtue of permits issued by Municipal Mayors within the Laguna Lake Region, specifically, permits issued to Fleet Development, Inc. and Carlito Arroyo; Manila Marine Life Business Resources, Inc., represented by, Mr. Tobias Reynald M. Tiangco; Greenfield Ventures Industrial Development Corporation and R.J. Orion Development Corporation; IRMA Fishing And Trading Corporation, ARTM Fishing Corporation, BDR Corporation, Mirt Corporation and Trim Corporation; Blue Lagoon Fishing Corporation and ALCRIS Chicken Growers, Inc.; AGP Fish Ventures, Inc., represented by its President Alfonso Puyat; SEA MAR Trading Co., Inc., Eastern Lagoon Fishing Corporation, and MINAMAR Fishing Corporation, are hereby declared illegal structures subject to demolition by the Laguna Lake Development Authority.
Davide, Jr., Bellosillo and Kapunan, JJ.
, concurring:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
I fully concur with the decision written by Mr. Justice R. Hermosisima, Jr.. I would only like to stress what the decision already states, i.e., that the local government units in the Laguna Lake area are not precluded from imposing permits on fishery operations for revenue raising purposes of such local government units. In other words, while the exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether or not projects or activities in the lake area should be allowed, as well as their regulation, is with the Laguna Lake Development Authority, once the Authority grants a permit, the permittee may still be subjected to an additional local permit or license for revenue purposes of the local government units concerned. This approach would clearly harmonize the special law, Rep. Act No. 4850, as amended, with Rep. Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code. It will also enable small towns and municipalities in the lake area, like Jala-Jala, to rise to some level of economic viability.chanrobles law library : red
1. Section 1, PD No. 813.
2. At pages 64-65.
3. Manila Railroad Company v. Rafferty, 40 Phils. 225; National Power Corporation v. Arca, 25 SCRA 935; Province of Misamis Oriental v. Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company, Inc., 181 SCRA 43.
4. Fajardo v. Villafuerte, G.R. No. 89135, December 21, 1989.
5. Petition, under caption, "Nature of Petition" .
6. Section 3 (k), Presidential Decree No. 813.