Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. vs. Drilon

No. L-81958. June 30,1988

FACTS:

The petitioner, Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc (PASEI), engaged principally in the recruitment of Filipino workers, male and female, for overseas placement, challenges the Constitutional validity of Department Order No. 1, Series of 1988, of the Department of Labor and Employment.

The Department Order No 1 or the “Temporary Suspension of Deployment of Filipino Domestic and Household Workers “ is discriminatory since it “does not apply to all Filipino workers but only to domestic helpers and females with similar skills;” and that it is violative of the right to travel.

It also contended that the passage of the Department Order is not in consonance with Section 3, of Article XIII of the Constitution, providing for worker participation “in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law.” Department Order No. 1, it is contended, was passed in the absence of prior consultations.

ISSUE:

Whether Department Order No. 1 is a valid  exercise of Police power under the Constitution.

HELD:

a. YES. The petitioner has shown no satisfactory reason why the contested measure should be nullified.

Police power is defined as the “state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare.” As defined, it consists of (1) an imposition of restraint upon liberty or property, (2) in order to foster the common good. It is not capable of an exact definition but has been, purposely, veiled in general terms to underscore its all-comprehensive embrace.

Its scope, ever-expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to anticipate the future where it could be done, provides enough room for an efficient and flexible response to conditions and circumstances thus assuring the greatest benefits.”

It constitutes an implied limitation on the Bill of Rights. Police power is not without its own limitations. For all its awesome consequences, it may not be exercised arbitrarily or unreasonably.

The Labor Code itself vests the Department of Labor and Employment with rule-making powers in the enforcement whereof.

The petitioners’s reliance on the Constitutional guaranty of worker participation “in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits” is not well-taken. The right granted by this provision, again, must submit to the demands and necessities of the State’s power of regulation. “Protection to labor” does not signify the promotion of employment alone. What concerns the Constitution more paramount is that such an employment be above all, decent, just, and humane.

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