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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
January-2000 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 123951 January 10, 2000 - ROMEO RANOLA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1360 January 18, 2000 - ELISEO SOREÑO v. RHODERICK MAXINO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114683 January 18, 2000 - JESUS C. OCAMPO v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118441-42 January 18, 2000 - ARMANDO JOSE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119594 January 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENZON ONG

  • G.R. No. 125994 January 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN ANDALES

  • G.R. No. 127135 January 18, 2000 - EASTERN ASSURANCE AND SURETY CORP. (EASCO) v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129846 January 18, 2000 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130944 January 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE ALIB, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131675 January 18, 2000 - PEDRO C. LAMEYRA v. GEORGE S. PANGILINAN

  • G.R. No. 132378 January 18, 2000 - ROGELIO JUAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 132767 January 18, 2000 - PHIL. VETERANS BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134854 January 18, 2000 - FELIZARDO S. OBANDO, ET AL. v. EDUARDO F. FIGUERAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139465 January 18, 2000 - SECRETARY OF JUSTICE v. RALPH C. LANTION, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1245 January 19, 2000 - ANTONIO YU-ASENSI v. FRANCISCO D. VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-97-1129 January 19, 2000 - FLAVIANO B. CORTES v. FELINO BANGALAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1513 January 19, 2000 - ALFREDO B. ENOJAS v. EUSTAQUIO Z. GACOTT

  • G.R. No. 107320 January 19, 2000 - A’ PRIME SECURITY SERVICES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113666-68 January 19, 2000 - GOLDEN DONUTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114761 January 19, 2000 - ALEMAR’S SIBAL & SONS v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119217 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MIGUEL S. LUCBAN

  • G.R. No. 122104 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEPITO ORBITA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 122297-98 January 19, 2000 - CRESCENTE Y. LLORENTE v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122739 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE M. PANTORILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123655 January 19, 2000 - ANGEL BAUTISTA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123183 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN SISON

  • G.R. No. 126516 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SHIRLEY ALAO

  • G.R. No. 127572 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SALVADOR VILLAR

  • G.R. No. 129072 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO ABUBU

  • G.R. No. 130957 January 19, 2000 - VH MANUFACTURING v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132152 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO ADRALES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132248 January 19, 2000 - ERLINDA C. PEFIANCO v. MARIA LUISA C. MORAL

  • G.R. No. 132657 January 19, 2000 - WILLIAM DIU, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR IBAJAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 132779-82 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONATO BERNALDEZ

  • G.R. No. 134003 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERT NAGUM

  • G.R. No. 134329 January 19, 2000 - VERONA PADA-KILARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134535 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO MAGNO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137560 January 19, 2000 - MARIA G. CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4749 January 20, 2000 - SOLIMAN M. SANTOS, JR. v. FRANCISCO R. LLAMAS

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-00-1241 January 20, 2000 - NAPOLEON S. VALENZUELA v. REYNALDO B. BELLOSILLO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1242 January 20, 2000 - DANIEL DUMO, ET AL. v. ROMEO V. PEREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1522 January 20, 2000 - ROMULO SJ TOLENTINO v. POLICARPIO S. CAMANO

  • G.R. No. 76371 January 20, 2000 - MARIANO TURQUESA, ET AL. v. ROSARIO VALERA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 87134 January 20, 2000 - PHIL. REGISTERED ELECTRICAL PRACTITIONERS, ET AL. v. JULIO FRANCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 100718-19 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FREDDIE JUAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106282 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. QUINCIANO RENDOQUE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108067 January 20, 2000 - CYANAMID PHIL., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109376 January 20, 2000 - PANFILO O. DOMINGO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110807 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALD T. NARVASA

  • G.R. No. 110929 January 20, 2000 - ABELARDO LOPEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119652 & A.M. No. P-00-1358 January 20, 2000 - VENTURA O. DUCAT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123860 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDWIN NAAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125451 January 20, 2000 - MARCIANA MUÑOZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126151 January 20, 2000 - MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. SERGIO D. MABUNAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128887 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. EDGARDO AQUINO

  • G.R. No. 130713 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GABRIEL FLORES

  • G.R. No. 130986 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTOR PAILANCO

  • G.R. No. 131512 January 20, 2000 - LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE [LTO] v. CITY OF BUTUAN

  • G.R. No. 132368 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PACITO GARCES, JR.

  • G.R. No. 133775 January 20, 2000 - FIDEL DABUCO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131894-98 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. JESUS DOCENA

  • G.R. No. 134167 January 20, 2000 - NASSER IMMAM v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125965 January 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PATRICIO GOZANO

  • G.R. No. 133477 January 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN RAFALES

  • G.R. No. 135904 January 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALVIN TAN

  • G.R. Nos. 89591-96 January 24, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BONIFACIO SANZ MACEDA

  • G.R. No. 100518 January 24, 2000 - ASSOCIATION OF TRADE UNIONS (ATU), ET AL. v. OSCAR N. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101932 January 24, 2000 - FRANCISCO H. ESCAÑO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111285 January 24, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE VALLA

  • G.R. No. 116066 January 24, 2000 - NUEVA ECIJA I ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124715 January 24, 2000 - RUFINA LUY LIM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125031 January 24, 2000 - PERMEX INC., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129693 January 24, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY CORTES

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1525 January 25, 2000 - MARTIN D. PANTALEON v. TEOFILO L. GUADIZ, JR.

  • G.R. No. 80129 January 25, 2000 - GERARDO RUPA, SR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 102706 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEON LUMILAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107427 January 25, 2000 - JAMES R. BRACEWELL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113518 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ESTEBAN ARLEE

  • G.R. No. 113684 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO GALLARDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116332 January 25, 2000 - BAYNE ADJUSTERS AND SURVEYORS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119595 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOVITO BARONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120267 January 25, 2000 - CLARA ESPIRITU BORLONGAN, ET AL. v. CONSUELO MADRIDEO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121439 January 25, 2000 - AKLAN ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE INCORPORATED (AKELCO) v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129246 January 25, 2000 - GREENFIELD REALTY CORP., ET AL. v. LORETO CARDAMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131633-34 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRESENCIANO ENOLVA

  • G.R. No. 133132 January 25, 2000 - ALEXIS C. CANONIZADO, ET AL. v. ALEXANDER P. AGUIRRE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135874 January 25, 2000 - SECURITY BANK CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-12-192-MTC January 26, 2000 - HOLD DEPARTURE ORDER ISSUED BY ACTING JUDGE ANICETO L. MADRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1524 January 26, 2000 - LUCIA F. LAYOLA v. BASILIO R. GABO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 107395 January 26, 2000 - TOURIST DUTY FREE SHOPS v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126115 January 26, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFONSO BALGOS

  • G.R. No. 131374 January 26, 2000 - ABBOTT LABORATORIES PHIL. v. ABBOTT LABORATORIES EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133842 January 26, 2000 - FEDERICO S. SANDOVAL v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133969 January 26, 2000 - NEMESIO GARCIA v. NICOLAS JOMOUAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 102961-62, 107625 & 108759 January 27, 2000 - JESUS P. LIAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117040 January 27, 2000 - RUBEN SERRANO v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130843 January 27, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZOILO BORROMEO

  • Adm. Case No. 1474 January 28, 2000 - CRISTINO G. CALUB v. ABRAHAM SULLER

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1246 January 28, 2000 - HEIRS OF JUAN and NATIVIDAD GERMINANDA v. RICARDO SALVANERA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1211 January 28, 2000 - ZENAIDA S. BESO v. JUAN DAGUMAN

  • A.M. No. P-93-985 January 28, 2000 - MARTA BUCATCAT v. EDGAR BUCATCAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112177 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TITO ZUELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112329 January 28, 2000 - VIRGINIA A. PEREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115824 January 28, 2000 - RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, ET AL. v. MAXIMIANO C. ASUNCION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125279 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS TANAIL

  • G.R. No. 124129 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO BRIGILDO

  • G.R. Nos. 124384-86 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMENCIANO "OMENG" RICAFRANCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125671 January 28, 2000 - CONDO SUITE CLUB TRAVEL v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125865 January 28, 2000 - JEFFREY LIANG (HUEFENG) v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 126802 January 28, 2000 - ROBERTO G. ALARCON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127568 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO BACULE

  • G.R. Nos. 129756-58 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIAN DEEN ESCAÑO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131520 January 28, 2000 - ESTELITA AGUIRRE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131778 January 28, 2000 - HERMAN TIU LAUREL v. PRESIDING JUDGE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132138 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ROMEO LLAMO

  • G.R. No. 133486 January 28, 2000 - ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORP. v. COMELEC

  • G.R. No. 133987 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY BARTOLOME

  • G.R. No. 136805 January 28, 2000 - DIESEL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY INC. v. JOLLIBEE FOODS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 137537 January 28, 2000 - SMI DEVT. CORP. v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 137718 January 28, 2000 - REYNALDO O. MALONZO, ET AL. v. RONALDO B. ZAMORA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139545 January 28, 2000 - MAIMONA H. N. M. S. DIANGKA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1226 January 31, 2000 - GLORIA LUCAS v. AMELIA A. FABROS

  • G.R. Nos. 88521-22 & 89366-67 January 31, 2000 - HEIRS OF EULALIO RAGUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105827 January 31, 2000 - J.L. BERNARDO CONSTRUCTION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112139 January 31, 2000 - LAPANDAY AGRICULTURAL DEVT. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115045 January 31, 2000 - UNIVERSITY PHYSICIANS SERVICES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116729 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARLON LERIO

  • G.R. No. 120706 January 31, 2000 - RODRIGO CONCEPCION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123094 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUISITO PAGLINAWAN

  • G.R. No. 125440 January 31, 2000 - GENERAL BANK AND TRUST CO., ET AL. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127797 January 31, 2000 - ALEJANDRO MILLENA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128536 January 31, 2000 - ROQUE G. GALANG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128607 January 31, 2000 - ALFREDO MALLARI SR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129071 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO MILLIAM, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129505 & 133359 January 31, 2000 - OCTAVIO S. MALOLES II v. PACITA DE LOS REYES PHILLIPS

  • G.R. No. 130104 January 31, 2000 - ELIZABETH SUBLAY v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130666 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CASIMIRO JOSE

  • G.R. No. 134437 January 31, 2000 - NATIONAL STEEL CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139758 January 31, 2000 - LUCIEN TRAN VAN NGHIA v. RUFUS B. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 134437   January 31, 2000 - NATIONAL STEEL CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 134437. January 31, 2000.]

    NATIONAL STEEL CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THE ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD, THE NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION and ILIGAN LIGHT AND POWER, INC., Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    VITUG, J.:


    National Steel Corporation ("NSC"), the petitioner, is engaged in steel manufacturing and operates a steel plant in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Mindanao. It is registered with the Board of Investments and has, since 1974, been sourcing its electric power directly from the National Power Corporation ("NAPOCOR"). Private respondent Iligan Light and Power, Inc. ("ILIGAN"), is the sole power utility firm generally servicing the area where the NSC plant is located.

    The instant controversy was spawned by a decision, dated 28 February 1997, of the Energy Regulatory Board ("ERB") in ERB Case No. 95-233, the 11th March 1997 order amending the said decision, the 10th April 1197 order directing NAPOCOR to implement the decision, and the 20th May 1997 order reiterating the 10th April 1997 issuance.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    The antecedents. —

    On 09 June 1995, NAPOCOR filed an application with the ERB for authority to implement a new power rate structure in its "Mindanao Grid" (ERB Case No. 95-233). The application sought an increase in the Mindanao Grid’s average power rate for "non-utilities" (customers who directly source their power from NAPOCOR like herein petitioner) and "utilities" (local power entities which source their power from NAPOCOR for distribution to end-users). In its application, NAPOCOR prayed for a provisional approval of its proposed rate schedule in the Mindanao Grid, pursuant to Section 8 of Executive Order No. 172, viz:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Small utilities:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Average Rate (P/kwh) 1.3116

    Demand Charge (P/kwh) 14.69

    Energy Charge (P/kwh) 1.2455

    "Medium (Provincial) Utilities:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Average Rate (P/kwh) 1.3157

    Demand Charge (P/kwh) 128.14

    Energy Charge (P/kwh) 0.9868

    "Large (Urban) Utilities:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Average Rate (P/kwh) 1.3166

    Demand Charge (P/kwh) 177.65

    Energy Charge (P/kwh) 0.9216

    "Non-Utilities

    Average Rate (P/kwh) 1.3463

    Demand Charge (P/kwh) 205.09

    Energy Charge (P/kwh) 0.8751" 1

    The Association of Mindanao Industries ("AMI"), of which petitioner is a member, participated in the proceedings in the ERB case. AMI, on 20 October 1995, submitted a "Manifestation/Comment" showing that it was in full agreement with the proposal of NAPOCOR for a power rate restructuring in the Mindanao Grid contending that under the then prevailing power rate structure, "the efficient consumers of power (had) been subsidizing the inefficient consumers." Several oppositors to the application of NAPOCOR sought a twelve (12%) percent power rate difference between "utilities" and "non-utilities," i.e., that the utility rates would be 12% less than the non-utility rates, claiming that the minimal two (2%) percent rate difference proposed by NAPOCOR in its application discriminated against the Mindanao utilities and favored the industries directly supplied by NAPOCOR.

    After due notice and hearing, the ERB issued its assailed decision, dated 28 February 1997, approving and ratiocinating a new rate structure for the Mindanao Grid, later modified by an order, dated 11 March 1997, as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Demand Energy Average

    "Customer Charge Charge Rate D/E

    Classification P/Kw P/Kwh P/Kwh Allocation

    Small utilities 19.06 1.1972 1.2602 5% 95%

    Medium

    (Provincial)

    Utilities 136.29 0.9534 1.2712 25% 75%

    Large (Urban)

    Utilities 181.12 0.8934 1.2762 30% 70%

    Non-utilities 238.81 0.9291 1.4293 35% 65%

    Over-all

    Mindanao 181.95 0.9258 1.3226 30% 70%

    "Eventhough, the new rate structure is revenue neutral, most of the utilities will experience a decrease in their rates. On the average, the rate of Small Utilities will decrease by P0.0422/kwh, P0.0428/kwh for Medium (Provincial) Utilities and P0.0395/kwh for Large (Urban) Utilities, while Non-Utilities will experience an increase in rate of P0.0898/kwh.

    "The impact to individual customers were, likewise, simulated in order to determine the magnitude of effect to each individual customer for all customer classification. Seventeen (17) out of twenty six (26) medium (Provincial) utilities or 65% will experience a decrease in rate ranging from P0.0829 to P0.0122 while nine (9) utilities or 35% will have a rate increase ranging from P0.0011 to P0.0764. For Large (Urban) Utilities, each will have a rate decrease ranging from P0.0645 to P0.0286. Upon the other hand, 100% of the customers under the category for Non-Utilities will experience a rate increase ranging from P0.0121 to P0.6321." 2

    Intervenors AMI and NAPOCOR filed their separate motions for reconsideration on, respectively, 21 March 1997 and 25 March 1997. In its orders, dated 10 April 1997 and 20 May 1997, the ERB directed NAPOCOR to implement its 28 February 1997 decision despite the still unresolved motions for reconsideration. The decretal portion of the 10 April 1997 order stated:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, premises considered, applicant NPC is hereby directed to implement the Decision dated February 28, 1997 including its Order dated March 11, 1997. In this connection, applicant NPC is hereby directed to show cause in writing why it should not be cited for contempt by a fine of P5,000.00, pursuant to Section 7 of Executive Order No. 172 and why it should not be penalized pursuant to Section 21 of Commonwealth Act No. 146, for its willful refusal and continuous disregard of the Board’s Decision dated February 28, 1997 and Order dated March 11, 1997, within five (5) days from receipt hereof." 3

    While the motions for reconsideration aforementioned were still pending resolution, NSC, on 30 June 1997, filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition, with application for a temporary restraining order ("TRO") and writ of preliminary injunction, with the Court of Appeals (CA-G.R. SP No. 44550). In its comment on the petition, respondent NAPOCOR urged that the orders of the ERB should not be implemented pending the finality of its resolution and argued, in opposition to the application for a writ of preliminary injunction, that petitioner did not have a clear right to be protected by an injunctive writ. In a resolution, dated 07 July 1997, the appellate court resolved not to grant the prayer for a TRO. In its 10th October 1997 resolution, the same court likewise denied the application for a writ of preliminary injunction. Still later, in a resolution dated 02 December 1997, the petition for certiorari (CA-G.R. SP No. 44550) of NSC was itself denied due course and dismissed for lack of merit. A motion for the reconsideration of the aforesaid resolution was also denied.chanrobles virtuallawlibrary:red

    Meanwhile, on 27 March 1998, the ERB denied the pending motions for reconsideration of AMI and NAPOCOR in ERB Case No. 95-233. It would appear that AMI interposed an appeal to the Court of Appeals, docketed CA-G.R. No. 47533, assailing the 28th February 1997 decision and 11th March 1997 order of the ERB.

    The instant appeal by certiorari filed by NSC so assails as aforesaid the various resolutions and decision of 02 July 1998 of the Court of Appeals. Asserting that public interest could be best served if it were given reliable and direct power at the lowest cost, petitioner insists that the decision in ERB Case No. 95-233 prescribing the twelve (12%) percent power rate differential is all but intended to compel petitioner and other "non-utilities" to disconnect with NAPOCOR through unjust power rate increases.

    The Court sees no reversible error on the part of the appellate court.

    The object of the application of NAPOCOR with the ERB, it would appear indeed, was designed to correct the deficiency of power rates in the Mindanao Grid consistent with the rate restructuring priorly also applied for in Luzon and the Visayas grids (ERB Case No. 93-111 and No. 94-119) where NAPOCOR proposed, and the ERB approved, the widened margin of, respectively, 9% and 14% differential. In approving a new rate schedule for the Mindanao Grid, the ERB explained:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Applicant’s existing power rate structure in the Mindanao Grid has been designed and implemented in 1980 with demand and energy charges consisting of multi-blocking rate schedules. Theoretically, the said demand and energy charges reflect NPC’s Fixed Cost or capacity related costs and Variable costs or energy related costs, respectively. Since that time all power rate adjustments have been tucked into the Energy Charges resulting in an uneven and unbalanced increases of Demand and Energy Charges. So that there exists a serious disproportion between the two charges estimated to be 3%/97%. With this, the existing rates no longer reflect the real cost component of generating/transmitting electricity. The existing very small rate difference between the utilities and non-utilities in the Mindanao Grid, provides a little incentive for industrial customers to purchase power from the distribution utilities as it gives a strong incentive to the same customers to buy power directly from NPC.

    "It can be noticed, therefore, that NPC’s existing rate structure has the following deficiencies:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "1. It does not properly allocate between fixed and variable costs;

    2. It does not protect the distributing utilities as it competes with the said utilities by giving promotional rates for industries.

    3. It does not reflect the charges in the consumption profile of its customers." 4

    It found little justification to maintain a minimal margin between the utility and non-utility rates in the Mindanao Grid, which would be a little over 2%, proposed by NAPOCOR. The ERB added:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Records will bear it out that NPC’s rate structure, as designed in all the three major grids in 1980, classified its customers into utilities and non-utilities whereby the utility customers were given a 10% rate advantage over non-utilities in order to assist the former to attain viability by attracting bulk power customers into their system. But because all the rate adjustments since 1980 were tucked into the energy charge, the 10% rate difference was eroded to a little over 2% in the Mindanao Grid, thereby forgetting the thrust of assistance to the utilities. In the rate restructuring done in Luzon and Visayas Grids, (ERB Cases No. 93-111 and 94-119), NPC had proposed and the Board approved the widened margin of 9% and 14%, respectively, to correct the said deficiency in the power rates. With this, the applicant’s customers will then be encouraged to maximize capacity and energy cost allocation thereby promoting efficiency in the use of scarce energy resources which will enable the applicant to provide adequate and reliable service. Hence, if the Mindanao utilities will not be afforded a reasonable rate difference over the non-utilities (as what was done in the Luzon and Visayas Grids) not to mention the 2% franchise tax and other local taxes imposed upon utilities, then NPC’s thrust of assisting utilities to attract bulk power customers into their franchise area will become meaningless. The Board has noted that while this is the intention of NPC, yet the opposite is indicated in the proposed rate structures. In fact, NPC has a different treatment to non-utilities as far as the Mindanao Grid is concerned compared to those of the Luzon and Visayas Grids. Applicant’s proposal for a very minimal margin between utilities and non-utilities in the Mindanao Grid is allegedly the result of the LRMC study in 1989 conducted by the RCG/Hagler, Bailly. However, since the proposed rate structures are not based on strict LRMC as NPC itself has not used the abovementioned RCG/Hagler Report as basis for rate restructuring, then it follows, that NPC cannot use the same as a justification for the minimal rate difference." 5

    The ERB accordingly approved a widened margin of 12% to correct the deficiency in the power rates schedule for Mindanao Grid.

    The Court finds no "direct connection" issues as having been tackled by the ERB in approving the modified power rates that would render its decision vulnerable to jurisdictional challenge. Unlike the cases of NAPOCOR v. Court of Appeals and Phividec Industrial Authority v. Court of Appeals, 6 that involved the determination of which of the two public utilities should have the right to supply electric power to an area, a controversy clearly dealing with the question of regulation and distribution of energy resources, the present proceedings, upon the other hand, merely relates to basically rate-fixing matters. Neither is the case at bar to be likened to the Fine Chemicals case (NAPOCOR v. Court of Appeals 7) since NSC, herein petitioner, is already directly connected with the facilities of NAPOCOR, and any move by it to disconnect therefrom would essentially be a matter of choice. The appellate court has found "no element of compulsion" on petitioner to source its power through power utility firms; thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The 12% rate differential thus provided is admittedly intended to protect the utility companies like ILIGAN by allowing it to charge lower rates than those charged by NAPOCOR to non-utility companies like the petitioner. Thereby, the petitioner will be encouraged to transfer its business from NAPOCOR to ILIGAN.

    "But encouraging the petitioner to disconnect from NAPOCOR and connecting with ILIGAN is one thing; compelling it to do so is another. We see no element of compulsion in the assailed decision of the ERB. Petitioner is still left free to continue sourcing its power requirements from NAPOCOR.

    "A decision of the public respondent approving a power rate structure, which is clearly within its jurisdiction, does not become a decision ordaining a power distribution, simply because it will have the effect of encouraging the petitioner to disconnect from NAPOCOR and connect with ILIGAN ." 8

    The ERB is vested by law with the authority and jurisdiction "to determine, fix and prescribe the rates being charged" by NAPOCOR to its customers under Section 4 of R.A. No. 6395, as amended, 9 and in fixing the assailed new power rate schedules, it did, in the view of the Court, act well within, not in excess of, the powers conferred upon it by law.

    It should be implicit enough that the remedy of appeal, not the extraordinary remedy of a petition for certiorari, would be the appropriate recourse to assail the orders of the ERB here in question. The special civil action of certiorari can be made available only when "there is no appeal, nor plain speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law." 10

    All told, this Court finds no cogent reason for reversing the assailed decision of the appellate court.chanrobles.com : red

    WHEREFORE, the petition for review is DENIED for lack of merit and the resolution of the Court of Appeals, dated 02 December 1997, is AFFIRMED. No special pronouncement on costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    Melo, Panganiban, Purisima and Gonzaga-Reyes, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, p. 91.

    2. Rollo, pp. 107-108.

    3. Rollo, p. 116.

    4. Rollo, p. 51.

    5. Rollo, p. 52.

    6. 279 SCRA 506.

    7. 185 SCRA 169.

    8. Rollo, p. 53

    9. See Section 18 of R.A. No. 7638.

    10. See Province of Bulacan v. Court of Appeals, 299 SCRA 442.

    G.R. No. 134437   January 31, 2000 - NATIONAL STEEL CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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