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Gerochi vs DOE

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Gerochi vs DOE
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  Gerochi vs DOEFacts : Petitioners Romeo P. Gerochi, Katulong Ng Bayan (KB), and EnvironmentalistConsumers Netor!, nc. (ECN) (#etitioners), is #raying that $ection %& o' Re#ulic ct (R)*+%, otherise !non as the -Electric Poer ndustry Re'orm ct o' //+0 (EP R),im#osing the 1niversal Charge, and Rule +2 o' the Rules and Regulations ( RR) hich see!sto im#lement the said im#osition, e declared unconstitutional. Petitioners also #ray that the1niversal Charge im#osed u#on the consumers e re'unded and that a #reliminaryin3unction and4or tem#orary restraining order (5R6) e issued directing the res#ondents tore'rain 'rom im#lementing, charging, and collecting the said charge.$EC5 6N %&. 1niversal Charge. 7 8ithin one (+) year 'rom thee9ectivity o' this ct, a universal charge to e determined, ;ed and a##rovedy the ERC, shall e im#osed on all electricity end<users 'or the 'olloing#ur#oses: (a) Payment 'or the stranded dets in e;cess o' the amount assumed y theNational Government and stranded contract costs o' NPC and as ell as=ualied stranded contract costs o' distriution utilities resulting 'rom therestructuring o' the industry> () ?issionary electrication> (c) 5he e=uali@ation o' the ta;es and royalties a##lied to indigenous orreneale sources o' energy vis<A<vis im#orted energy 'uels>(d) n environmental charge e=uivalent to one<'ourth o' one centavo#er !iloatt<hour (P/.//4!8h), hich shall accrue to anenvironmental 'und to e used solely 'or atershed rehailitation andmanagement. $aid 'und shall e managed y NPC under e;istingarrangements> and (e)  charge to account 'or all 'orms o' cross<susidies 'or a #eriod note;ceeding three (%) years.R   es#ondent National Poer Cor#oration<$trategic Poer 1tilities Grou# (NPC<$P1G) ledith res#ondent Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) a #etition 'or the availment 'rom the1niversal Charge o' its share 'or ?issionary Electrication. NPC led another #etition ithERC #raying that the #ro#osed share 'rom the 1niversal Charge 'or the Environmentalcharge o' P/.// #er !iloatt<hour (4!8h), or a total o'P++*,&22,2&.*, e a##roved 'orithdraal 'rom the $#ecial 5rust Dund ($5D) managed y res#ondent Poer $ector ssets and iailities?anagement Grou# (P$?) 'or the rehailitation and management o' atershed areas.   ERC authori@ed the NPC to dra u# toP   /,///,///.// 'rom P$? 'or its //% 8atershedRehailitation Budget su3ect to the availaility o' 'unds 'or the Environmental Dundcom#onent o' the 1niversal Charge. 6n the asis o' the said ERC decisions, res#ondentPanay Electric Com#any, nc. (PEC6) charged #etitioner Romeo P. Gerochi and all otherend<users ith the 1niversal Charge as reFected in their res#ective electric ills starting'rom the month o' uly //%. Petitioners sumit that the assailed #rovision o' la and its RR hich sought to im#lementthe same are unconstitutional on the 'olloing grounds:+) 5he universal charge #rovided 'or under $ec. %& o' the EP R and sought to eim#lemented under $ec. , Rule +2 o' the RR o' the said la is a ta; hich is to ecollected 'rom all electric end<users and sel'<generating entities. 5he #oer to ta; isstrictly a legislative 'unction and as such, the delegation o' said #oer to anye;ecutive or administrative agency li!e the ERC is unconstitutional, giving the sameunlimited authority. 5he assailed #rovision clearly #rovides that the 1niversal Chargeis to e determined, ;ed and a##roved y the ERC, hence leaving to the lattercom#lete discretionary legislative authority.  ) 5he ERC is also em#oered to a##rove and determine here the 'undsgcollected should e used. %) 5he im#osition o' the 1niversal Charge on all end<users is o##ressive andconscatory and amounts to ta;ation ithout re#resentation as theconsumers ere not given a chance to e heard and re#resented.Petitioners contend that the 1niversal Charge has the characteristics o' a ta; and iscollected to 'und the o#erations o' the NPC. 6n the other hand, res#ondent P$?through the 6Hce o' the Government Cor#orate Counsel (6GCC) contends that unli!ea ta; hich is im#osed to #rovide income 'or #ulic #ur#oses, the assailed 1niversalCharge is levied 'or a s#ecic regulatory #ur#ose, hich is to ensure the viaility o' the countryIs electric #oer industry. 5hus, it is e;acted y the $tate in the e;erciseo' its inherent #olice #oer. 6n this #remise, P$? sumits that there is no unduedelegation o' legislative #oer to the ERC since the latter merely e;ercises a limitedauthority or discretion as to the e;ecution and im#lementation o' the #rovisions o' the EP R. Res#ondents Je#artment o' Energy (J6E), ERC, and NPC, through the6Hce o' the $olicitor General (6$G), share the same vie that the 1niversal Chargeis not a ta; ecause it is levied 'or a s#ecic regulatory #ur#ose, hich is to ensurethe viaility o' the countryIs electric #oer industry, and is, there'ore, an e;action inthe e;ercise o' the $tateIs #olice #oer. Issues: +) Whether or not, the Universal Charge imposed under Sec. ! o theE#I$% is a ta&  5he #oer to ta; is an incident o' sovereignty, it is ased on the #rinci#le that ta;esare the li'elood o' the government, thus, the theory ehind the e;ercise o' the#oer to ta; emanates 'rom necessity> ithout ta;es, government cannot 'ulll itsmandate o' #romoting the general el'are and ell<eing o' the #eo#le.6n the other hand, #olice #oer is the #oer o' the state to #romote #ulicel'are y restraining and regulating the use o' lierty and #ro#erty. 5he 3usticationis 'ound in the atin ma;ims salus #o#uli est su#rema le; (the el'are o' the #eo#leis the su#reme la) and sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas (so use your #ro#erty asnot to in3ure the #ro#erty o' others). ' generation o' revenue is the #rimary #ur#oseand regulation is merely incidental, the im#osition is a ta;> ut i' regulation is the#rimary #ur#ose, the 'act that revenue is incidentally raised does not ma!e theim#osition a ta;. 5he assailed 1niversal Charge is not a ta;, ut an e;action in the e;ercise o' the $tateIs #olice #oer. Pulic el'are is surely #romoted. t is a ell<estalisheddoctrine that the ta;ing #oer may e used as an im#lement o' #olice #oer. ' Whether or not there is undue delegation o legislative po(er to ta&on the part o the E$C)  5he #rinci#le o' non<delegation o' #oers, as e;#ressed in the atin ma;im #otestasdelegata non delegari #otest (hat has een delegated cannot e delegated) isased on the ethical #rinci#le that such delegated #oer constitutes not only a rightut a duty to e #er'ormed y the delegate through the instrumentality o' his on 3udgment and not through the intervening mind o' another. n the 'ace o' theincreasing com#le;ity o' modern li'e, delegation o' legislative #oer to variouss#eciali@ed administrative agencies is alloed as an e;ce#tion to this #rinci#le. ll that is re=uired 'or the valid e;ercise o' this #oer o' suordinatelegislation is that the regulation e germane to the o3ects and #ur#oses o' the laand that the regulation e not in contradiction to, ut in con'ormity ith, thestandards #rescried y the la. 5hese re=uirements are denominated as thecom#leteness test and the suHcient standard test. 1nder the rst test, the la muste com#lete in all its terms and conditions hen it leaves the legislature such thathen it reaches the delegate, the only thing he ill have to do is to en'orce it. 5he  second test mandates ade=uate guidelines or limitations in the la to determine theoundaries o' the delegateIs authority and #revent the delegation 'rom running riot.  5he Court nds that the EP R, read and a##reciated in its entirety, in relationto $ec. %& thereo', is com#lete in all its essential terms and conditions, and that itcontains suHcient standards, and that there is no undue delegation o' legislative#oer to the ERC. Dinally, every la has in its 'avor the #resum#tion o' constitutionality, and to 3usti'y its nullication, there must e a clear and une=uivocalreach o' the Constitution and not one that is dout'ul, s#eculative, orargumentative. nduitaly, #etitioners 'ailed to overcome this #resum#tion in 'avoro' the EP R. 8e nd no clear violation o' the Constitution hich ould arrant a#ronouncement that $ec. %& o' the EP R and Rule +2 o' its RR are unconstitutionaland void.Ruling: Petitioners violated the doctrine o' hierarchy o' courts hen they led this-Com#laint0 directly ith us. Durthermore, the Com#laint is ere't o' any allegation o' graveause o' discretion on the #art o' the ERC or any o' the #ulic res#ondents, in order 'or theCourt to consider it as a #etition 'or certiorari or #rohiition. DECISIO* *%C+U$%, .:  Petitioners Romeo P. Gerochi, Katulong Ng Bayan (KB), and EnvironmentalistConsumers Netor!, nc. (ECN) (#etitioners), come e'ore this Court in this srcinal action#raying that $ection %& o' Re#ulic ct (R) *+%, otherise !non as the -Electric Poer ndustry Re'orm ct o' //+0 (EP R), im#osing the 1niversal Charge, L+M  and Rule +2 o' theRules and Regulations ( RR) LM  hich see!s to im#lement the said im#osition, e declaredunconstitutional. Petitioners also #ray that the 1niversal Charge im#osed u#on theconsumers e re'unded and that a #reliminary in3unction and4or tem#orary restraining order(5R6) e issued directing the res#ondents to re'rain 'rom im#lementing, charging, andcollecting the said charge. L%M  5he assailed #rovision o' la reads:$EC5 6N %&. 1niversal Charge. 7 8ithin one (+) year 'rom the e9ectivity o' this ct,a universal charge to e determined, ;ed and a##roved y the ERC, shall eim#osed on all electricity end<users 'or the 'olloing #ur#oses: (a) Payment 'or the stranded dets L&M  in e;cess o' the amount assumed ythe National Government and stranded contract costs o' NPC LM  and as ell as=ualied stranded contract costs o' distriution utilities resulting 'rom therestructuring o' the industry> () ?issionary electrication> LM  (c) 5he e=uali@ation o' the ta;es and royalties a##lied to indigenous orreneale sources o' energy vis<A<vis im#orted energy 'uels>(d) n environmental charge e=uivalent to one<'ourth o' one centavo#er !iloatt<hour (P/.//4!8h), hich shall accrue to anenvironmental 'und to e used solely 'or atershed rehailitation andmanagement. $aid 'und shall e managed y NPC under e;istingarrangements> and (e)  charge to account 'or all 'orms o' cross<susidies 'or a #eriod note;ceeding three (%) years.  5he universal charge shall e a non<y#assale charge hich shall e #assedon and collected 'rom all end<users on a monthly asis y the distriutionutilities. Collections y the distriution utilities and the 5RN$C6 in any givenmonth shall e remitted to the P$? Cor#. on or e'ore the 'teenth (+th)o' the succeeding month, net o' any amount due to the distriution utility. nyend<user or sel'<generating entity not connected to a distriution utility shallremit its corres#onding universal charge directly to the 5RN$C6. 5he P$?Cor#., as administrator o' the 'und, shall create a $#ecial 5rust Dund hichshall e disursed only 'or the #ur#oses s#ecied herein in an o#en and  trans#arent manner. ll amount collected 'or the universal charge shall edistriuted to the res#ective eneciaries ithin a reasonale #eriod to e#rovided y the ERC.  5he Dacts Congress enacted the EP R on une 2, //+> on une , //+, it too! e9ect. LM  6n #ril , //, res#ondent National Poer Cor#oration<$trategic Poer 1tilitiesGrou# L2M  (NPC<$P1G) led ith res#ondent Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) a #etition'or the availment 'rom the 1niversal Charge o' its share 'or ?issionary Electrication,doc!eted as ERC Case No. //<+. L*M  6n ?ay , //, NPC led another #etition ith ERC, doc!eted as ERC Case No. //<+*&, #raying that the #ro#osed share 'rom the 1niversal Charge 'or the Environmentalcharge o' P/.// #er !iloatt<hour (4!8h), or a total o'P++*,&22,2&.*, e a##roved 'orithdraal 'rom the $#ecial 5rust Dund ($5D) managed y res#ondent Poer $ector ssets and iailities?anagement Grou# (P$?) L+/M  'or the rehailitation and management o' atershed areas. L++M  6n Jecemer /, //, the   ERC issued an 6rder L+M  in ERC Case No. //<+#rovisionally a##roving the com#uted amount o' P/./+24!8h as the share o' the NPC<$P1G'rom the 1niversal Charge 'or ?issionary Electrication and authori@ing the National 5ransmission Cor#oration (5RN$C6) and Jistriution 1tilities to collect the same 'rom itsend<users on a monthly asis. 6n une , //%, the   ERC rendered its Jecision L+%M  ('or ERC Case No. //<+)modi'ying its 6rder o' Jecemer /, //, thus:8ERED6RE, the 'oregoing #remises considered, the #rovisional authority granted to#etitioner National Poer Cor#oration<$trategic Poer 1tilities Grou# (NPC<$P1G) inthe 6rder dated Jecemer /, // is herey modied to the e9ect that anadditional amount o' P/.// #er !iloatt<hour should e added to the P/./+2 #er!iloatt<hour #rovisionally authori@ed y the Commission in the said 6rder.ccordingly, a total amount o' P/./%% #er !iloatt<hour is herey PPR6OEJ 'orithdraal 'rom the $#ecial 5rust Dund managed y P$? as its share 'rom the1niversal Charge 'or ?issionary Electrication (1C<?E) e9ective on the 'olloingilling cycles: (a) une <uly , //% 'or National 5ransmission Cor#oration(5RN$C6)> and() uly //% 'or Jistriution 1tilities (Jus). Relative thereto, 5RN$C6 and Jus are directed to collect the 1C<?Ein the amount o' P/./%% #er !iloatt<hour and remit the same to P$? onor e'ore the + th  day o' the succeeding month.  n the meantime, NPC<$P1G is directed to sumit, not later than #ril%/, //&, a detailed re#ort to include udited Dinancial $tatements and#hysical status (#ercentage o' com#letion) o' the #ro3ects using the #rescried'ormat. et co#ies o' this 6rder e 'urnished #etitioner NPC<$P1G and alldistriution utilities (Jus). $6 6RJEREJ. 6n ugust +%, //%, NPC<$P1G led a ?otion 'or Reconsiderationas!ing the ERC, among others, L+&M  to set aside the aove<mentioned Jecision,hich the   ERC granted in its 6rder dated 6ctoer , //%, dis#osing:8ERED6RE, the 'oregoing #remises considered, the -?otion 'orReconsideration0 led y #etitioner National Poer Cor#oration<$mall Poer1tilities Grou# (NPC<$P1G) is herey GRN5EJ. ccordingly, the Jecision dated une , //% is herey modied accordingly.
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