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BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 1

AN ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE OPERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY ONE TO DECEMBER THIRTY-ONE, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-NINE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Section 1. Appropriation of funds. — The following sums, or so much thereof as may be necessary, are hereby appropriated out of any funds in the National Treasury of the Philippines not otherwise appropriated, for the operation of the government of the Republic of the Philippines from January one to December thirty-one, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine except where otherwise specifically provided:

[For brevity, the enumeration under this Section of the funds appropriated for the operation of the government had been deleted. Please refer to the unabridged copy of the General Appropriations Act for the details]

General Provisions

Definitions

Section 2. Expenditure Components. — Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, any change or modification in the definition of items and objects of expenditure referred to in the General Appropriations Act and other Appropriation Laws or Executive issuances promulgated pursuant thereto shall require the concurrence of the Minister of the Budget.

Receipts and Income

Section 3. Fees and Charges. — Ministries, bureaus, offices or agencies are authorized to collect fees for services rendered in the exercise of their functions at such rates as may be approved by the Minister concerned. The income from such fees or charges shall accrue to the General Fund and shall be deposited with the National Treasury, unless otherwise provided by law.

Section 4. Sale of Products. — Ministries, bureaus, offices or agencies are authorized to sell output from agricultural, industrial or other projects, including official publications, with the proceeds thereof to accrue to the General Fund, unless otherwise provided by law.

Section 5. Seminar Fees. — Ministries, bureaus, offices or agencies which conduct training programs are authorized to collect seminar and conferences fees from government and private agency participants, the rates of which shall be determined in accordance with Letter of Instructions No. 565. The proceeds derived therefrom shall be deposited with the National Treasury and shall be made available for expenditure to defray the costs incurred, including speakers' honoraria, handouts, meals and other incidental expenses, subject to Section 40 and 52 of P.D. No. 1177.

Section 6. Loan Proceeds. — The proceeds from foreign or domestic borrowings, whether in cash or in kind, shall not be utilized unless covered by an appropriation that is programmed for expenditure.

Section 7. Donations. — Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, ministries, bureaus, offices or agencies are authorized to accept donations, contributions, grants, bequests, or gifts, in cash or in kind. The proceeds thereof, if in cash, shall be deposited with the National Treasury in a Special Account and shall be used or expended only in accordance with the wishes of, and purposes specified by the benefactor or donor, subject to Section 40, P.D. No. 1177: Provided, however, That if such donations, contributions or gifts are in kind and their storage or distribution to intended beneficiaries would entail an expenditure of more than forty percent of their current market value and that they are of a perishable nature, the same may be sold at public auction and the proceeds thereof shall be deposited in like manner as if they were in cash, if permitted by and subject to the conditions imposed by the donor; and, Provided, finally, That such receipts, including equipment and other fixed assets, shall be recorded in the books of government and subject to pertinent accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

Section 8. Performance Bonds. — Performance bonds filed or posted by private persons or entities with offices or agencies of the government shall be deposited with authorized government depository banks as trust liabilities of the office or agency concerned. Upon faithful performance of the undertaking or termination of the obligation for which the bond was required, any amount due shall be returned to the filing party and the office or agency concerned is authorized to withdraw said amount without the need for a Cash Disbursement Ceiling: Provided, That the interest accruing thereto, including any forfeited amount shall be recorded as income of the General Fund. This provision shall apply to all other bonds posted in cash, such as bidder's bonds, guarantee bonds, bail bonds, judicial bonds and all bonds required by law, rules or regulations to be posted to insure the faithful performance of an activity or undertaking.

Savings

Section 9. Use of Savings. — The President (Prime Minister) of the Philippines is authorized to use savings in the current appropriations for the Ministries provided in this Act for the settlement of the following obligations incurred during the budget year:

a. Payment of gratuity or separation pay of employees who are entitled thereto under existing law or are laid off as a result of the elimination of their positions under authorized procedures;

b. Payment of the share of the National Government in the salaries of officials and employee in newly created and/or reclassified local government units where no appropriations has been provided in this Act or where the authorized appropriation is not sufficient to cover the salaries of the said officials and employees;

c. Payment of hazard pay to officials and employees who are authorized to receive such pay under existing law;

d. Provision of social and economic opportunities and such other activities intended for the welfare of the national minorities as may be undertaken by the Presidential Assistant on National Minorities;

e. Rural improvement and community development projects such as feeder roads, artesian wells, spring development, river and flood control, sea walls, communal irrigation, schoolhouses, bridges, environmental sanitation, and other agricultural and health projects to promote the economic well-being of the rural areas;

f. Organization, activation, training and operation of military units for the purpose of implementing agency development projects in areas adversely affected by peace and order problems, including salaries and allowances of all military personnel assigned thereto;

g. Payment of obligations of the National Government or any of its Ministries or agencies arising from perfected and valid contracts or international agreements;

h. Payment to the Government Service Insurance System of annual life insurance premiums of barangay officials and Kabataang Barangay chairmen as authorized by law;

i. Purchase of equipment, including motor vehicles, to replace those lost through theft or robbery, accident, fire or typhoon and other natural calamities, and to replace unserviceable and condemned items;

j. Expansion of essential facilities and services, including the opening of additional classes in elementary, secondary and vocational schools, as may be approved by the President (Prime Minister);

k. Funding of foreign exchange requirements of foreign-assisted projects; and

l. Implementation of the provisions of Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972 and all Presidential Orders, Decrees and Instructions issued as a consequence of said Proclamation.

Any provision in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding, the authority granted in the special provisions of the budgets of the different Ministries, offices or agencies under the Executive Branch to utilize, by way of transfer, savings in appropriations to augment other items of appropriation in the same Ministry , office or agency, shall be subject to the approval of, or upon authority by, the President (Prime Minister), pursuant to Section 45, P.D. No. 1177 and Letter of Implementation No. 29.

Section 10. Transfer of Salary Savings. — The provisions of Section 7 (c) of CA.. No. 186, as amended, to the contrary notwithstanding, no savings from personal services shall be transferred to the Government Service Insurance System for payment of benefits.

Authorized Expenditures

Section 11. Key Budgetary Inclusions. — The Key Budgetary Inclusions (KBI) of Ministries, bureaus, offices or agencies shall be released and used only for the indicated purposes and conditions, except as may be otherwise approved by the Minister of the Budget: Provided, That the amounts of loan proceeds or donations shall be released only to the extent of actual drawdowns or receipts, as the case may be, and shall not be used for any purpose other than that specified.

Section 12. Funding for Contracts. — Ministries, bureaus, offices or agencies, concerned, before entering into a contract requiring government funding, including contracts of lease, equipment rental, construction of partitions or improvements in a leased building or contracts involving an increase or in excess of authorized appropriations, and contracts for services or consultancy, shall secure a certification of availability of funds for the purpose, subject to applicable rules and regulations as may be issued by the Ministry of the Budget, and to Section 64, P.D. No. 1177. scatt

Section 13. Foreign Exchange Requirements. — Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the appropriations for Ministries, bureaus, offices, or agencies allotted for maintenance and other operating expenses may be used to pay foreign exchange requirements of duly approved activities.

Section 14. Seminar Expenses. — Ministries, bureaus, offices or agencies are authorized to conduct seminars, workshops, conferences, and in-service training courses for their respective staff members, including employees of other government agencies and private sector. The expenses incurred shall be chargeable to the appropriations allotted for maintenance and other operating expenses of their respective offices and to the proceeds from fees collected under Section 5 hereof. Per diems and allowances of employees attending such courses may be withheld to the extent paid by the agency for board, lodging and/or transportation from its appropriations.

Section 15. Dues to International Organizations. — Except as otherwise provided in this Act, appropriations allotted for maintenance and other operating expenses may be used for the payment of dues to international organizations, membership in which is duly approved by competent authority.

Section 16. Repair of Buildings. — Ministries, bureaus, offices, or agencies, including public schools, courts of justice and hospitals, are authorized to use their appropriations allotted for maintenance and other operating expenses for minor repairs of their offices and buildings.

Section 17. Cultural and Athletic Activities. — Except as otherwise provided in this Act, appropriations allotted for maintenance and other operating expenses not exceeding P10,000 per annum for each non-regionalized bureau, office or agency, or P25,000 for each regionalized bureau, office or agency, may be used for cultural and athletic activities, including purchase of uniforms at not more than P100 for each participant, and for supplies and necessary expenses for said activities, subject to Section 40, P.D. No. 1177.

Section 18. Information Outlay. — The appropriations pertaining to information of the various Ministries, bureaus, offices and agencies shall be released upon presentation of an appropriate program of activities, a copy of which shall be furnished to the Ministry of Public Information.

Section 19. Miscellaneous and Extraordinary Expenses. — Except as otherwise provided in this Act, each bureau, office or central organization of equal rank is authorized to use an amount not exceeding P6,000 per annum for official entertainment and other miscellaneous expenses. In addition and unless otherwise provided in this Act P30,000 is authorized as extraordinary expenses for each Minister or equivalent, P10,000 for each Deputy Minister or equivalent, P4,000 for each Assistant Minister or equivalent, and head of bureau, office, or central organization of equal rank, and P2,000 for each regional director. These expenditures shall be chargeable to appropriations allotted for maintenance and other operating expenses.

Personal Services and Benefits

Section 20. Transportation and Representation Allowances. — The following officials and those of equivalent rank are hereby granted monthly commutable transportation and representation allowances which shall be paid from the programmed appropriations provided for their respective offices, not exceeding the rates indicated below, which shall apply to each type of allowance.

a. At P400 for Ministers;

b. At P350 for Career Executive Service Rank I officials;

c. At P300 for Career Executive Service Rank II officials;

d. At P250 for Career Executive Service Rank III officials;

e. At P200 for Career Executive Service Rank IV officials;

f. At P150 for Career Executive Service Rank V officials; and

g. At P100 for Chiefs of Technical Divisions declared as such by the Minister of the Budget.

The transportation allowance herein authorized shall not be granted to officials who use government motor transportation, except as may be approved by the President (Prime Minister). Unless otherwise provided by law, no amount appropriated in this Act shall be used to pay for representation and/or transportation allowances, whether commutable or reimbursable, which exceed the rates authorized under this Section. Previous administrative authorizations not consistent with the rates and conditions herein specified shall no longer be valid and payment shall not be allowed.

Section 21. Official Vehicles and Transport. — Government motor transportation may be used by the following officials, and those who may be specifically authorized by the President (Prime Minister), with costs chargeable to the appropriations authorized for their respective offices: scatt

a. The President (Prime Minister) of the Philippines;

b. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court;

c. The Speaker of the Interim Batasang Pambansa;

d. The Deputy Prime Minister;

e. The Ministers and Deputy Ministers, and officials of equivalent rank;

f. The Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals;

g. The Ambassadors, Ministers Plenipotentiary and Consuls in charge of Consulates, in their respective stations abroad; and

h. The Chief of Staff, the Vice Chief of Staff and the Commanding Generals of the major services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Section 22. Uniform/Clothing Allowance. — Except as otherwise provided in this Act, or as may be authorized by the President (Prime Minister), appropriations for each Ministry, bureau or office, at such sums as may be necessary, may be used for uniform allowance of employees at not more than P150 each per annum. Savings in the appropriations for each Ministry, bureau or office may be used for this purpose where no amount is specifically appropriated in this Act. The allowance herein authorized shall be used for the purchase of clothing material of the same quality, cut and style as may be prescribed by the Minister concerned for each office or group of employees.

Section 23. Hazardous Duty Pay. — Authorizations for the payment of hazardous duty pay shall be reviewed from time to time by the Minister of the Budget with the Minister of National Defense or other authorities involved, and shall terminate authorizations earlier issued if conditions no longer justify the continuation of hazardous duty pay.

Section 24. Honoraria. — Ministries, bureaus, offices or agencies are authorized to pay from their respective appropriations, honoraria to resource speakers, researchers, experts, and specialists who are acknowledged authorities in their fields of specialization, for services rendered at such rates as the Minister of the Budget may authorize, unless otherwise specifically provided by law.

Section 25. Compensation of Contractual Personnel. — Consultants, experts and other contractual personnel may be hired by a Ministry, bureau or office only when their services are vitally needed and only for such period as their services are reasonably required and when authorized in their respective appropriations in this Act, shall be paid an annual compensation not exceeding one hundred twenty per centum of the minimum salary of an equivalent position in the National Position and Compensation Plan, as the aggregate of salaries, fees, honoraria, and allowances, except as may be authorized by the Minister of the Budget in accordance with guidelines issued by the President (Prime Minister): Provided; That in no case shall such compensation exceed the salary of his immediate superior, except as may be otherwise approved by the Civil Service Commission and the Ministry of the Budget: Provided, further, That services rendered under contractual employment shall not be credited nor the compensation received for the period be used as basis for computation of gratuity benefits for retirement purposes or for the commutation of all leave benefits, the provisions of Sec. 12 (c) of CA.. No. 186, as amended, and other laws to the contrary notwithstanding. For purposes of this Section, appointments to positions funded from lump-sum appropriations for the payment of consultants, technical, professional and expert services, confidential assistants, or other similar positions, including those funded from subsidies and contributions from other agencies, shall be considered as contractual in nature.

Section 26. Incentive or Service Fees. — Incentive or service fees paid by the Government Service Insurance System or by private companies which are intended for employees shall be deposited with the National Treasury as trust funds, and shall be made available for payment to employees in accordance with rates approved by the Minister concerned, subject to Section 40 of P.D. No. 1177: Provided; That the share of any employee may not, in the aggregate, exceed fifty per centum of his annual salary.

Section 27. Special Counsel. — Lawyer-personnel in the legal staffs of Ministries, bureaus or offices of the National Government appearing in Court as special counsel in collaboration with the Solicitor-General and/or Fiscals concerned are hereby authorized an allowance of P100 for each appearance, chargeable to savings in the appropriations allotted for personal services of their respective offices, but not exceeding P400 a month.

Section 28. Per Diems Abroad. — No per diem in excess of fifty US. dollars shall be paid to any official or employee travelling outside the Philippines, except as may be approved under Section 79, P.D. No. 1177.

Administrative Procedures

Section 29. Cash Advances for Foreign-Assisted Projects. — Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, cash advances may be authorized to meet the expenditure requirements of foreign-assisted projects in cases where the approved project/loan agreement provides specifically for a reimbursement mechanism for expenses incurred, subject to the approval of the Minister of the Budget and to applicable accounting and auditing regulations.

Section 30. Emergency Purchases. — Unless otherwise provided in this Act, Ministries, bureaus or offices of the National Government are authorized to make emergency purchases of supplies, materials and spare parts of equipment that are urgently needed to meet an emergency which may involve the loss of, or danger to, life and/or property or are to be used in connection with project or activity which cannot be delayed without causing detriment to the public service, in a monthly not exceeding four per centum of the annual agency expenditure program for supplies and materials, out of the appropriations allotted for maintenance and other operating expenses of the agency concerned, except as may be authorized by the Office of the President upon the joint recommendation of the Chairman, Commission on Audit and the Minister of the Budget.

Section 31. Construction Outlays. — In the implementation of construction projects covered by appropriations authorized in this Act under the various Ministries, bureaus, offices and agencies of the National Government, including the construction of buildings for state colleges, universities, schools, hospitals, sanitaria, health centers and health stations, roads, and bridges, the appropriate standards and specifications for the planning, survey, design, and construction of the projects shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications or the Ministry of Public Highways, as the case may be, in addition, land use and zoning guidelines shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Human Settlements.

Section 32. Computer Equipment. — The appropriations authorized in this Act for the purchase of computer equipment shall be released only with the approval by the President (Prime Minister) upon recommendation of the National Computer Center.

Section 33. Motor Vehicles. — The appropriation allotted for equipment of any Ministry, bureau, office or agency may be used for the purchase of motor vehicles upon recommendation of the Minister of the Budget and approval of the President (Prime Minister) of the Philippines, as provided by Letter of Implementation No. 29.

Concluding Provisions

Section 34. Repealing Clause. — All laws, rules and regulations inconsistent with this Act except P.D. No. 711 and 1177, as amended, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 35. Separability Clause. — If for any reason, any section or provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or invalid, other sections or provisions thereof which are not affected thereby, shall continue to be in force and effect.

Section 36. Effectivity. — This Act shall take effect on January one, nineteen hundred seventy-nine, unless otherwise provided.

Approved, August 18, 1978.

 

BATAS PAMBANSA Blg. 6             November 21, 1978

AN ACT REDUCING THE PENALTY FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF BLADED, POINTED OR BLUNT WEAPONS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NUMBERED NINE.

Section 1. Paragraph three of Presidential Decree Numbered Nine is hereby amended to read as follows:

"3. It is unlawful to carry outside of one's residence any bladed, pointed or blunt weapon such as "knife", "spear", "pana", "dagger", "bolo", "barong", "kris", or "chako", except where such articles are being used as necessary tools or implements to earn a livelihood or in pursuit of a lawful activity. Any person found guilty thereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than one month nor more than one year or a fine of not less than Two Hundred Pesos nor more than Two Thousand Pesos, or both such imprisonment and fine as the Court may direct."

Section 2. Article twenty-two of the Revised Penal Code shall apply to persons previously convicted under paragraph three of Presidential Decree Numbered Nine.

Section 3. Any law or ordinance which is inconsistent herewith is hereby repealed.|avvphil.nê+

Section 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved: November 21, 1978


BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 22

AN ACT PENALIZING THE MAKING OR DRAWING AND ISSUANCE OF A CHECK WITHOUT SUFFICIENT FUNDS OR CREDIT AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Section 1. Checks without sufficient funds. - Any person who makes or draws and issues any check to apply on account or for value, knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment, which check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than thirty days but not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not less than but not more than double the amount of the check which fine shall in no case exceed Two Hundred Thousand Pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who, having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank.

Where the check is drawn by a corporation, company or entity, the person or persons who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer shall be liable under this Act.

Section 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. - The making, drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank, when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check, shall be prima facie evidence of knowledge of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or drawer pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon, or makes arrangements for payment in full by the drawee of such check within (5) banking days after receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee.

Section 3. Duty of drawee; rules of evidence. - It shall be the duty of the drawee of any check, when refusing to pay the same to the holder thereof upon presentment, to cause to be written, printed, or stamped in plain language thereon, or attached thereto, the reason for drawee's dishonor or refusal to pay the same: Provided, That where there are no sufficient funds in or credit with such drawee bank, such fact shall always be explicitly stated in the notice of dishonor or refusal. In all prosecutions under this Act, the introduction in evidence of any unpaid and dishonored check, having the drawee's refusal to pay stamped or written thereon or attached thereto, with the reason therefor as aforesaid, shall be prima facie evidence of the making or issuance of said check, and the due presentment to the drawee for payment and the dishonor thereof, and that the same was properly dishonored for the reason written, stamped or attached by the drawee on such dishonored check.

Not with standing receipt of an order to stop payment, the drawee shall state in the notice that there were no sufficient funds in or credit with such bank for the payment in full of such check, if such be the fact.

Section 4. Credit construed. - The word "credit" as used herein shall be construed to mean an arrangement or understanding with the bank for the payment of such check.

Section 5. Liability under the Revised Penal Code. - Prosecution under this Act shall be without prejudice to any liability for violation of any provision of the Revised Penal Code.

Section 6. Separability clause. - If any separable provision of this Act be declared unconstitutional, the remaining provisions shall continue to be in force.

Section 7. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect fifteen days after publication in the Official Gazette.

Approved: April 3, 1979.

BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 25

AN ACT REGULATING RENTALS OF DWELLING UNITS OR OF LAND ON WHICH ANOTHER'S DWELLING IS LOCATED AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Section 1. Authority to Increase Rentals. - Upon the effectivity of this Act and for a duration of five years thereafter the monthly rentals of all residential units not exceeding three hundred pesos shall not be increased, for any one year period, by more than ten percent (10%) of the monthly rentals existing at the time of the approval of this Act.

The yearly increases authorized herein shall be cumulative.

Section 2. Definition of Terms. - Unless otherwise indicated wherever in this Act, the following terms shall have the following meaning:

a. Rental - shall mean the amount paid for the use or occupancy of residential units whether payment is made on a monthly or other basis.

b. A residential unit - refers to an apartment, house and/or land which another's dwelling is located used for residential purposes shall include not only buildings, parts or units solely as dwelling places, except motels, motel rooms, hotels, hotel rooms, boarding houses, dormitories, rooms and bedspaces for rent, but also those used for home industries, retail stores or other business purposes if the owner thereof and his family actually live therein and use it principally for dwelling purposes: Provided, That in the case of a retail store, home industry or business, the capitalization thereof shall not exceed five thousand pesos (P5,000.00): and Provided, further, That in the operation shall not require industry or business, the owner thereof shall not require the services of any person other than the immediate members of his family.

c. Immediate members of family of the lessee or lessor shall be limited to his direct ascendants or descendants, and collateral within the second civil degree by consanguinity or affinity.

d. Lessee - shall mean the person renting a residential unit.

e. Owner/Lessor - shall include the owner or administrators or agents of the owner of the residential unit.

f. Sublessor - shall mean the person who leases or rents out a residential unit previously leased to him by an owner.

g. Sublessee - shall mean the person who leases or rents a residential unit from a sublessor.

h. Assignment of lease - shall mean that act contemplated in Article 1649 of the New Civil Code.

Section 3. Advance Rental and Deposit. - Advance rental intended to cover the initial month's rent may be demand by the lessor or sublessor but not to exceed one month's rental.

Deposit may also be demanded but not to exceed one month's rental.

Section 4. Subleasing or Assignment of Lease. - Subleasing or assignment of lease of the whole or any portion of the residential unit without the written consent of the owner lessor is prohibited. In no case shall the sublessor or assignor charge rentals higher than the rental charged on the property by the owner lessor: Provided, That if the subleased or assigned area in less than the total area originally leased, the rental shall be proportionately reduced.lawphil.net

Section 5. Grounds for Judicial Ejectment. - Ejectment shall be allowed on the following grounds:

a. Subleasing or assignment of lease of residential units in whole or in part, without the written consent of the owner/lessor: Provided, That in case of subleases or assignments executed prior to the approval of this Act, the sublessor/assignor shall have sixty days from the effectivity of this Act within which to obtain the written approval of the owner/lessor or terminate the sublease or assignment.

b. Arrears in payment of rent for three (3) months at any one time: Provided, That in case of refusal by the lessor to accept payment of the rental agreed upon, the lessee shall either deposit, by way of consignation, the amount in court, or in a bank in the name of and with notice to the lessor.

c. Need of owner/lessor to repossess his property for his own use for the use of any immediate member of his family as a residential unit, such owner or immediate member not being the owner of any other available residential unit: Provided, however, That the period of lease has expired: Provided, further, That the lessor has given the lessee notice three months in advance of the lessor's intention to repossess the property: and Provided, finally, That the owner/lessor or immediate member stays in the residential unit for at least one year, except for justifiable cause.

d. Ownership by the lessee of another residential unit which he may use as his residence: Provided, That the lessee shall have been notified by the lessor of the intended ejectment three months in advance.

e. Need of the lessor to make necessary repairs of the leased premises which is the subject of an existing order of condemnation by the appropriate administrative authorities concerned in order to make the said premises safe and habitable: Provided, That after said repair, the lessee ejected shall have the right of first refusal of the lease of the same premises.

f. Expiration of the period of a written lease contract.

In no case shall the lessor or his successor-in-interest be entitled to eject the lessee upon the ground that the leased premises has been or mortgaged to a third person.

Section 6. Application of the Civil Code and Rules of Court of the Philippines. - Except when the lease is for a definite period, the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 1673 of the Civil Code of the Philippines insofar as they refer to residential units covered by this Act shall be suspended during the effectivity of this Act but other provisions of the Civil Code and the Rules of Court on lease contracts, insofar as they are not in conflict with the provisions of this Act, shall apply.

Section 7. Coverage of the Act. - All residential units the total monthly rental of which does not exceed three hundred pesos (P300.00) as of the effective date of this Act shall be covered by this Act and shall continue to be so covered notwithstanding that the monthly rental shall have already exceeded the three hundred peso-limit as a result of the application of section one hereof: Provided, however, That this Act shall not be applicable to new residential units construed during its effectivity.

Section 8. Penalty Clause. - Any person violating any provision of this Act shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than three (3) months or more than two (2) years and a fine of not less than one thousand pesos (P1,000.00) nor more than two thousand pesos (P2,000.00). Where the offender is a corporation or a juridical entity, the President or General Manager thereof shall suffer penalty, without prejudice to the imposition of the fine on such corporation or juridical entity.

Section 9. Separability Clause. - If for any reason, any section or provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or invalid, the other sections or provisions hereof which are not affected thereby, shall continue in full force and effect.

Section 10. Repealing Clause. - Presidential Decree Numbered Twenty and all laws, decrees, orders or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 11. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect immediately upon its approval and shall remain in force for five (5) years thereafter.

Approved, April 10, 1979.

BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 33

AN ACT DEFINING AND PENALIZING CERTAIN PROHIBITING ACTS

INIMICAL TO THE PUBLIC INTEREST AND NATIONAL SECURITY

INVOLVING PETROLEUM AND/OR PETROLEUM PRODUCTS,

PRESCRIBING PENALTIES THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Be it enacted by the Batasang Pambansa in session assembled:

Section 1. Declaration of Policy.- It is the declared policy of the State to institutionalize as a national way of life energy conservation geared towards the judicious and efficient use of energy in order to enhance availability of energy supplies required to support economic, social and development goals. In view of the continuing uncertainty of the international oil supply , it is imperative that measures to conserve energy be strengthened and that acts involving petroleum and/or petroleum products contrary to the intent and spirit of judicious usage and conservation of energy, which are inimical to the public interest and national security, be prohibited and appropriate sanction therefor be imposed.

 

SEC. 2. Prohibited Acts. - The following acts are prohibited and penalized:

 

(a) Illegal trading in petroleum and/or petroleum products;

(b) Hoarding of petroleum and/or petroleum products;

(c) Overpricing in the sale of petroleum and/or petroleum products;

(d) Misuse of petroleum allocations;

(e) Speed contests and rallies involving mainly the use of motor vehicles, motor-driven watercraft or aircraft utilizing petroleum-derived fuels, including car and motorcycle rallies and drag racing; and

(f) Sky-diving and water skiing.

 

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. - For the purposes of this Act, the following terms shall be understood to mean:

 

“Illegal trading in petroleum and/or petroleum products” - the sale or distribution of petroleum and/or petroleum products for profit without license or authority from the Government; non-issuance of receipts by licensed traders; misrepresentation as to quality and/or quantity; and sale by oil companies, distributors and/or dealers violative of government rules and regulations.

 

“ Hoarding’ - the undue accumulation by a trader of petroleum and/or petroleum products

beyond his or its normal inventory levels and/or the unjustified refusal to dispose of, sell or distribute the same to consumers; or the unreasonable accumulation by a person other than a trader of petroleum and/or petroleum products.

 

“Overpricing” - the sale of petroleum and/or petroleum products at prices in excess of those duly authorized by the Government.

“Misuse of allocation” - the sale, transfer or diversion of mandated petroleum fuel allocations by oil companies, distributors, dealers of consumers contrary to the declared intent of the government in making such allocation.

SEC. 4. Penalties - Any person who commits any act herein prohibited shall, upon conviction, be punished with a fine of not less Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000) but not more than Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000), or imprisonment of at least two ( 2 ) months but not more than one (1) year, or both , in the discretion of the court. Furthermore, the petroleum and/or petroleum products, subject matter of the illegal trading, hoarding, overpricing and misuse, shall be forfeited in favor of the Government: Provided, That if

the petroleum and/or petroleum products have already been delivered and paid, the payment made shall be the subject of the forfeiture, and if the seller who has not yet delivered has been paid, the price received shall be returned to the buyer; and in addition, if the offender is a trader, the cancellation of his license.  Trials of cases arising under this Act shall be terminated within thirty (30) days after arraignment.  When the offender is a corporation, partnership, or other juridical person, the president, general manager, managing partner, or such other officer charged with the management of the business affairs thereof shall be criminally liable.  If the offender is a government official or employee, he shall perpetually be disqualified from office.

 

SEC. 5. Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, orders, instructions, rules and regulations which are inconsistent with, or contrary to, the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

 

SEC. 6. Effectivity - Upon its approval, this Act shall take effect after five days from its publication in at least two newspapers of general circulation.

 

Approved, June 6, 1979.

 

BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 129

AN ACT REORGANIZING THE JUDICIARY, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

PRELIMINARY CHAPTER

Section 1. Title. — This Act shall be known as "The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980."

Section 2. Scope. — The reorganization herein provided shall include the Court of Appeals, the Court of First Instance, the Circuit Criminal Courts, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, the Courts of Agrarian Relations, the City Courts, the Municipal Courts, and the Municipal Circuit Courts.

CHAPTER I
THE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT

Section 3. Organization. — There is hereby created an Intermediate Appellate Court which shall consist of a Presiding Appellate Justice and forty-nine Associate Appellate Justices who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines. The Presiding Appellate Justice shall be so designated in his appointment, and the Associate Appellate Justices shall have precedence according to the dates of their respective appointments, or when the appointments of two or more of them shall bear the same date, according to the order in which their appointments were issued by the President. Any member who is reappointed to the Court after rendering service in any other position in the government shall retain the precedence to which he was entitled under his original appointment, and his service in the Court shall, to all intents and purposes, be considered as continuous and uninterrupted.

Section 4. Exercise of powers and functions. — The Intermediate Appellate Court shall exercise its powers, functions, and duties, through ten (10) divisions, each composed of five members. The court may sit en banc only for the purpose of exercising administrative, ceremonial, or other non-adjudicatory functions.

Section 5. Succession to Office of Presiding Appellate Justice. — In case of a vacancy in the Office of the Presiding Appellate Justice or in the event of his absence or inability to perform the powers, functions, and duties of his office, the Associate Appellate Justice who is first in precedence shall perform his powers, functions, and duties until such disability is removed, or another Presiding Appellate Justice is appointed and has qualified.

Section 6. Who presides over sessions of a division. — If the Presiding Appellate Justice is present in any session of a division of the Court, he shall preside. In his absence, the Associate Appellate Justice attending such session who has precedence shall preside.

Section 7. Qualifications. — The Presiding Appellate Justice and the Associate Appellate Justices shall have the same qualifications as those provided in the Constitution for Justices of the Supreme Court.

Section 8. Grouping of divisions. — Of the ten (10) divisions of the Court, four (4) divisions, to be known as Civil Cases Divisions, shall take cognizance of appeals in civil cases originating from the Regional Trial Courts; two (2) divisions, to be known as Criminal Cases Divisions, of appeals in criminal cases originating from the Regional Trial Courts; and four (4) divisions, to be known as Special Cases Divisions, of original actions or petitions, petitions for review, and appeals in all other cases, including those from administrative agencies, except as provided in Section 9 hereof.

Except with respect to the Presiding Appellate Justice, the appointment of a member of the Court shall specifically indicate whether it is for the Civil Cases Divisions, the Criminal Cases Divisions, or the Special Cases Divisions of the Court. No member of the Court appointed to any of three classes of divisions shall be assigned to any of the other classes of divisions, except when authorized by the Supreme Court, upon recommendation of the Intermediate Appellate Court en banc, if the exigencies of the service so require, but such transfer shall in no case be for more than six (6) months: Provided, however, That this prohibition shall not apply if the transfer occurs by reason of a permanent vacancy in the chairmanship of any division, in which case the Associate Appellate Justice who is next in precedence shall assume the chairmanship.

There shall be no seniority or precedence in rank among the divisions of the Court.

Section 9. Jurisdiction. — The Intermediate Appellate Court shall exercise:

(1) Original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, and quo warranto, and auxiliary writs or processes, whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction;

(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgments of Regional Trial Courts; and

(3) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders, or awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.

The Intermediate Appellate Court shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further proceedings.

These provisions shall not apply to decisions and interlocutory orders issued under the Labor Code of the Philippines and by the Central Board of Assessment Appeals.

Section 10. Place of holding sessions. — The Intermediate Appellate Court shall have its permanent station in the City of Manila. Whenever demanded by public interest, the Supreme Court, upon its own initiative or upon recommendation of the Presiding Appellate Justice, may authorize a division of the Court to hold sessions outside Manila, periodically, or for such periods and at such places as the Supreme Court may determine, for the purpose of hearing and deciding cases.

Section 11. Quorum. — A majority of the actual members of the Court shall constitute a quorum for its session en banc. Three members shall constitute a quorum for the sessions of a division. The affirmative votes of the majority of the members present shall be necessary to pass a resolution of the Court en banc. The affirmative votes of three members of a division shall be necessary for the pronouncement of a decision, or final resolution, which shall be reached in consultation before the writing of the opinion by any member of the division.

A motion for reconsideration of its decision or final resolution shall be resolved by the Court within ninety (90) days from the time it is submitted for resolution, and no second motion for reconsideration shall be entertained, unless the action upon the first motion for reconsideration shall have resulted in a reversal or substantial modification of the original decision or final resolution. The second motion for reconsideration shall be resolved by the Court within forty-five (45) days from the time it is submitted for resolution.

Section 12. Internal Rules. — The Court en banc is authorized to promulgate rules or orders governing the constitution of the divisions and the assignment of Appellate Justices thereto, the distribution of cases, and other matters pertaining to the operations of the Court or its divisions. Copies of such rules and orders shall be furnished the Supreme Court, which rules and orders shall be effective fifteen (15) days after receipt thereof, unless directed otherwise by the Supreme Court.

CHAPTER II
REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS

Section 13. Creation of Regional Trial Courts. — There are hereby created thirteen (13) Regional Trial Courts, one for each of the following judicial regions:

The First Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Mountain Province, and Pangasinan, and the cities of Baguio, Dagupan, Laoag, and San Carlos;

The Second Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Batanes, Cagayan, Ifugao, Isabela, Kalinga-Apayao, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino;

The Third Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, (except the municipality of Valenzuela), Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales, and the cities, of Angeles, Cabanatuan, Olongapo, Palayan, and San Jose;

The National Capital Judicial Region, consisting of the cities of Manila, Quezon, Pasay, and Caloocan, and the municipalities of Navotas, Malabon, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasig, Pateros, Taguig, Marikina, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, and Valenzuela;

The Fourth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Marinduque, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Palawan, Quezon, Rizal (except the cities and municipalities embraced within the National Capital Judicial Region), Romblon, and Aurora, and the cities of Batangas, Cavite, Lipa, Lucena, Puerto Princesa, San Pablo, Tagaytay, and Trece Martires;

The Fifth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon, and the cities of Legaspi, Naga, and Iriga;

The Sixth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental, and the cities of Bacolod, Bago, Cadiz, Iloilo, La Carlota, Roxas, San Carlos, and Silay, and the sub-province of Guimaras;

The Seventh Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor, and the cities of Bais, Canlaon, Cebu, Danao, Dumaguete, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Tagbilaran and Toledo;

The Eighth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Southern Leyte, and Samar, the sub-provinces of Biliran, and the cities of Calbayog, Ormoc, and Tacloban;

The Ninth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur, and the cities of Dapitan, Dipolog, Pagadian, and Zamboanga.

The Tenth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, and Surigao del Norte, and the cities of Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog, Ozamiz, Oroquieta, Surigao and Tangub.

The Eleventh Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato and Surigao del Sur, and the cities of Davao and General Santos; and

The Twelfth Judicial Region, consisting of the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat, and the cities of Cotabato, Iligan, and Marawi.

In case of transfer or redistribution of the provinces, sub-provinces, cities or municipalities comprising the regions established by law for purposes of the administrative field organization of the various departments and agencies of the government, the composition of the judicial regions herein constituted shall be deemed modified accordingly.

Section 14. Regional Trial Courts.

(a) Fifty-seven Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the First Judicial Region. There shall be:

Two branches (Branches I and II) for the province of Abra, with seats at Bangued;

Eight branches (Branches III to X) for the province of Benguet and the city of Baguio, Branches III to VII with seats at Baguio City, and Branches VIII to X at La Trinidad;

Nine branches (Branches XI to XIX) for the province of Ilocos Norte and the city of Laoag, Branches XI to XVI with seats at Laoag City, Branches XVII and XVIII at Batac, and Branch XIX at Bangui;

Six Branches (Branches XX to XXV) for the province of Ilocos Sur, Branches XX and XXI with seats at Vigan, Branch XXII at Narvacan, Branch XXIII at Candon, Branch XXIV at Cabugao, and Branch XXV at Tagudin;

Nine branches (Branches XXVI to XXXIV) for the province of La Union, Branches XXVI to XXX with seats at San Fernando, Branches XXXI and XXXII at Agoo, Branch XXXIII at Bauang, and Branch XXXIV at Balaoan;

Two branches (Branches XXXV and XXXVI) for the province of Mountain Province, with seats at Bontoc; and

Twenty-one branches (Branches XXXVII and LVII) for the province of Pangasinan and the cities of Dagupan and San Carlos, Branches XXXVII to XXXIX with seats at Lingayen, Branches XL to XLIV at Dagupan, Branches XLV to XLIV at Urdaneta, Branch L at Villasis, Branches LI and LII at Tayug, Branch LIII at Rosales, Branches LIV and LV at Alaminos, and Branches LVI and LVII at San Carlos.

(b) Thirty-two Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the Second Judicial Region. There shall be:

Twelve branches (Branches I to XII) for the province of Cagayan, Branches I to V with seats at Tuguegarao, Branches VI to X at Aparri, Branch XI at Tuao, and Branch XII at Sanchez Mira;

One branch (Branch XIII) for the province of Batanes, with seat at Basco;

Two branches (Branches XIV and XV) for the province of Ifugao, Branch XIV with seat at Lagawe, and Branch XV at Potia;

Nine branches (Branches XVI to XXIV) for the province of Isabela, Branches XVI to XVIII with seats at Ilagan, Branches XIX and XX at Cauayan, Branch XXI at Santiago, Branch XXII at Cabagan, Branch XXIII at Roxas, and Branch XXIV at Echague;

Two branches (branches XXV and XXVI) for the province of Kalinga-Apayao, Branch XXV with seat at Tabuk, and Branch XXVI at Luna;

Four branches (Branches XXXII and XXX) for the province of Nueva Viscaya, Branches XXVII to XXIX with seats at Bayombong, and Branch XXX at Bambang; and

Two branches (Branches XXXI and XXXII) for the province of Quirino, with seats at Cabarroguis.

(c) Seventy-five Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the Third Judicial Region. There shall be:

Five branches (Branches I to V) for the province of Bataan, Branches I to III with seats at Balanga, Branch IV at Mariveles, and Branch V at Dinalupihan;

Seventeen branches (Branches XXIII to XL) for the province of Nueve Ecija and the cities of Cabanatuan, San Jose and Palayan, Branches XXIII to XXX with seats at Cabanatuan City, Branches XXXI to XXXIII at Guimba, Sto. Domingo, Branches XXXVIII and XXXIX at San Jose, and Branch XL at Palayan;

Twenty-two branches (Branches XLI to LXII) for the province of Pampanga and the city of Angeles, Branches XLI to XLVIII with seats at San Fernando, Branches XLIX to LIII at Guagua, Branches LVI and LV at Macabebe, and Branches LVI to LXII at Angeles City;

Six branches (Branches LXIII to LXVIII) for the province of Tarlac, Branches LXIII to LXV with seats at Tarlac, Branch LXVI at Capas, Branch LXVII at Paniqui, and Branch LXVIII at Camiling; and

Seven branches (Branches LXIX to LXXV) for the province of Zambales and the city of Olongapo, Branches LXIX to LXXI with seats at Iba and Branches LXXII to LXXV at Olongapo City.

(d) One hundred seventy-two Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the National Capital Judicial Region. There shall be:

Eighty-two branches (Branches I to LXXXII) for the city of Manila, with seats thereat;

Twenty-five branches (Branches LXXXIII to CVII) for Quezon City, with seats thereat;

Twelve branches (Branches CVIII to CXIX) for Pasay City, with seats thereat;

Twelve branches (Branches CXX to CXXXI) for Caloocan City, with seats thereat;

Thirty-nine branches (Branches CXXXII to CLXX) for the municipalities of Navotas, Malabon, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasig, Pateros, Taguig, Marikina, Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Muntinlupa, Branches CXXXII to CL with seats at Makati, Branches CLI to CLXVIII at Pasig, and Branches CLXIX and CLXX at Malabon; and

Two branches (Branches CLXXI and CLXXII) for the municipality of Valenzuela, with seats thereat.

(e) Eighty-two Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the Fourth Judicial Region. There shall be:

Fourteen branches (Branches I to XIV) for the province of Batangas and the cities of Lipa and Batangas, Branches I to IV with seats at Batangas City, Branch V at Lemery, Branches VI to VIII at Tanauan, Branches IX to XI at Balayan, Branches XII and XIII at Lipa, and Branch XIV at Nasugbu;

Nine branches (Branches XV to XXIII) for the province of Cavite and the cities of Cavite, Tagaytay and Trece Martires, Branch XV with seat at Naic, Branches XVI and XVII at Cavite City, Branch XVIII at Tagaytay City, Branch XIX at Bacoor, Branches XX to XXII at Imus, and Branch XXIII at Trece Martires;

Fourteen branches (Branches XXIV to XXXVII) for the province of Laguna and the City of San Pablo, Branches XXIV and XXV with seats at Biñan, Branches XXVI to XXVIII at Sta. Cruz, Branches XXIX to XXXII at San Pablo City, Branch XXXIII at Siniloan, and Branches XXXIV to XXXVII at Calamba;

One branch (Branch XXXVIII) for the province of Marinduque, with seat at Boac;

Five branches (Branches XXXIX to XLIII) for the province of Mindoro Oriental, Branches XXXIX and XL with seats of Calapan, Branches XLI and XLII at Pinamalayan, and Branch XLIII at Roxas;

Three branches (Branches XLIV to XLVI) for the province of Mindoro Occidental, branch XLIV with seat at Mamburao, and Branches XLV and XLVI at San Jose;

Six branches (Branches XLVII to LII) for the province of Palawan and the city of Puerto Princesa, with seats at Puerto Princesa City;

Thirteen branches (Branches LIII to LXV) for the province of Quezon and the city of Lucena, Branches LIII to LX with seats at Lucena City, Branches LXI and LXII at Gumaca, Branch LXIII at Calauag, Branch LXIV at Mauban, and Branch LXV at Infanta;

One branch (Branch LXVI) for the province of Aurora, with seat at Baler;

Fourteen branches (Branches LXVII to LXXX) for the province of Rizal Except the cities and municipalities embraced within the National Capitol Judicial Region, Branches LXVII to LXX with seats at Binangonan, Branches LXXI to LXXIV at Antipolo, Branches LXXV to LXXVII at San Mateo, and Branches LXXVIII to LXXX at Morong; and

Two branches (Branches LXXXI and LXXXII) for the province of Romblon, Branch LXXXI with seat at Romblon, and Branch LXXXII at Odiongan.

(f) Fifty-five Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the Fifth Judicial Region. There shall be:

Eighteen branches (Branches I to XVIII) for the province of Albay and the city of Legaspi, Branches I to X with seats at Legaspi City, Branches XI to XIV at Ligao, and Branches XV to XVIII at Tabaco;

Nineteen branches (Branches XIX to XXXVII) for the province of Camarines Sur and the cities of Naga and Iriga, Branches XIX to XXVIII with seats at Naga City, Branch XXIX at Libmanan, Branch XXX at Tigaon, Branches XXXI to XXXIII at Pili, and Branches XXXIV to XXXVII at Iriga City;

Four branches (Branches XXXVIII to XLI) for the province of Camarines Norte, with seats at Daet;

Two branches (Branches XLII and XLIII) for the province of Catanduanes, with seats at Virac;

Seven branches (Branches XLIV to L) for the province of Masbate, Branches XLIV to XLVIII with seats at Masbate, Branch XLIX at Cataingan, and Branch L at San Jacinto; and

Five branches (Branches LI to LV) for the province of Sorsogon, Branches LI to LIII with seats at Sorsogon, Branch LIV at Gubat, and Branch LV at Irosin.

(g) Sixty-three Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the Sixth Judicial Region. There shall be:

Nine branches (Branches I to IX) for the province of Aklan, with seats at Kalibo;

Four branches (Branches X to XIII) for the province of Antique, Branches X to XII with seats at San Jose, and Branch XIII at Culasi;

Eight branches (Branches XIV to XXI) for the province of Capiz and the city of Roxas, Branches XIV to XIX with seats at Roxas City and Branches XX and XXI at Mambusao;

Eighteen branches (Branches XXII to XXXIX) for the province of Iloilo, the sub-province of Guimaras, and the city of Iloilo, with seats at Iloilo City; and

Twenty-four branches (Branches XL to LXIII) for the province of Negros Occidental, and the cities of Bacolod, Bago, Cadiz, La Carlota, San Carlos and Silay, Branch XL with seat at Silay City, Branches XLI to LIV at Bacolod City, Branches LV and LVI at Himamaylan, Branches LVII to LIX at Kabankalan, Branch LXII at Bago City, and Branch LXIII at La Carlota City.

(h) Forty-six Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the Seventh Judicial Region. There shall be:

Four branches (Branches I to IV) for the province of Bohol and the city of Tagbilaran, with seats at Tagbilaran City;

Twenty-five branches (Branches V to XXIX) for the province of Cebu and the cities of Cebu, Danao, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Toledo, Branches V to XXIV with seats at Cebu City, Branch XXV at Danao City, Branch XXVI at Argao, Branch XXVII at Lapu-Lapu City, Branch XXVIII at Mandaue City, and Branch XXIX at Toledo City;

Sixteen branches (Branches XXX to XLV) for the province of Negros Oriental and the cities of Dumaguete, Bais and Canlaon, Branches XXX to XLIV with seats at Dumaguete City, and Branch XLV at Bais City; and

One branch (Branch XLVI) for the province of Siquijor, with seat at Larena.

(i) Thirty-three Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the Eighth Judicial Region. There shall be:

Five branches (Branches I to V) for the province of Eastern Samar, Branches I and II with seats at Borongan, Branch III at Guiuan, Branch IV at Dolores, and Branch V at Oras;

Thirteen branches (Branches VI to XVIII) for the province of Leyte, the sub-province of Biliran, and the cities of Ormoc and Tacloban, Branches VI and IX with seats at Tacloban City, Branch X at Abuyog, Branch XI at Calubian, Branch XII at Ormoc City, Branch XIII at Carigara, Branch XIV at Baybay, Branch XV at Burauen, Branch XVI at Naval, Branch XVII at Palompon, and Branch XVIII at Hilongos;

Five branches (Branches XIX to XXIII) for the province of Northern Samar, Branches XIX and XX with seats at Catarman, Branches XXI and XXII at Laoang, and Branch XXIII at Allen;

Three branches (Branches XXIV to XXVI) for the province of Southern Leyte, Branches XXIV and XXV with seats at Maasin, and Branch XXVI at San Juan; and

Seven branches (Branches XXVII to XXXIII) for the province of Samar and the city of Calbayog, Branches XXVII to XXIX with seats at Catbalogan, Branch XXX at Basey, Branches XXXI and XXXII at Calbayog City, and Branch XXXIII at Calbiga.

(j) Twenty-four Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the Ninth Judicial Region. There shall be:

Two branches (Branches I and II) for the province of Basilan, with seats at Isabela;

Two branches (Branches III and IV) for the province of Sulu, Branch III with seat at Jolo, and Branch IV at Parang;

One branch (Branch V) for the province of Tawi-Tawi, with seat at Bongao;

Six branches (Branches VI to XI) for the province of Zamboanga del Norte, and the cities of Dipolog and Dapitan, Branches VI to X seats at Dipolog City, and Branch XI at Sindangan; and

Thirteen branches (Branches XII to XXIV) for the province of Zamboanga del Sur and the cities of Pagadian and Zamboanga Branches XII to XVII with seats at Zamboanga City, Branches, XVIII to XXII at Pagadian City, Branch XXIII at Molave, and Branch XXIV at Ipil.

(k) Thirty-two Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the Tenth Judicial Region. There shall be:

Five branches (Branches I to V) for the province of Agusan del Norte and the city of Butuan, with seats at Butuan City;

Two branches (Branches VI and XI) for the province of Bukidnon, Branches VIII to X with seats at Malaybalay and Branch XI at Manolo Fortich;

Five branches (Branches XII to XI) for the province of Misamis Occidental and the cities of Oroquieta, Ozamis, and Tangub, Branches XII to XIV with seats at Oroquieta City, Branch XV at Ozamis City, and Branch XVI at Tangub City;

Eleven branches (Branches XVII to XXVII) for the province of Misamis Oriental and the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Gingoog, Branches XVII to XXI with seats at Cagayan de Oro City, Branch XXVI at Medina, and Branch XXVII at Gingoog City;

One branch (Branch XXVIII) for the province of Camiguin, with seat at Mambajao; and

Four branches (Branches XXIX to XXXII) for the province of Surigao del Norte and the City of Surigao, Branches XXIX and XXX with seats at Surigao City, Branch XXXI at Dapa, and Branch XXXII at Dinagat, Dinagat Island.

(l) Twenty-nine Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the Eleventh Judicial Region. There shall be:

Four branches (Branches I to IV) for the province of Davao del Norte, Branches I and II with seats at Tagum, Branch III at Nabunturan, and Branch IV at Panabo;

Three branches (Branches V to VII) for the province of Davao Oriental, Branches V and VI with seats at Mati and Branch VII at Baganga;

Fourteen branches (Branches VIII to XXI) for the province of Davao del Sur and the city of Davao, Branches VIII to XVII with seats at Davao City, Branches XVIII and XIX at Digos, Branch XX at Malinta, and Branch XXI a Bansalan;

Five Branches (Branches XXII to XXVI) for the province of South Cotabato and the city of General Santos, Branches XXII and XXIII with seats at General Santos City, Branches XXIV and XXV at Koronadal, and Branch XXVI at Surallah; and

Three branches (Branches XXVII to XXIX) for the province of Surigao del Sur, Branch XXVII with seat at Tandag, Branch XXVIII at Lianga, and Branch XXIX at Bislig.

(m) Twenty Regional Trial Judges shall be commissioned for the Twelfth Judicial Region. There shall be:

Seven branches (Branches I to VII) for the province of Lanao del Norte and the city of Iligan, Branches I to VI with seats at Iligan City, and Branch VII at Tubod;

Five branches (Branches VIII to XII) for the province of Lanao del Sur and the city of Marawi, Branches VIII to X with seats at Marawi City, and Branches XI and XII at Malabang;

Three branches (Branches XIII to XV) for the province of Maguindanao and the city of Cotabato, Branches XIII and XIV with seats at Cotabato City, and Branch XV at Maganoy;

Three branches (Branches XVI to XVIII) for the province of North Cotabato, Branch XVI with seat at Kabacan, Branch XVII at Kidapawan, and Branch XVIII at Midsayap; and

Two branches (Branches XIX and XX) for the province of Sultan Kudarat, Branch XIX, with seat at Isulan, and Branch XX at Tacurong.

Section 15. Qualifications. — No persons shall be appointed Regional Trial Judge unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least thirty-five years of age, and for at least ten years, has been engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines or has held a public office in the Philippines requiring admission to the practice of law as an indispensable requisite.

Section 16. Time and duration of sessions. — The time and duration of daily sessions of the Regional Trial Courts shall be determined by the Supreme Court: Provided, however, That all motions, except those requiring immediate action, shall be heard in the afternoon of every Friday, unless it falls on a holiday, in which case, the hearing shall be held on the afternoon of the next succeeding business day: Provided, further, That the Supreme Court may, for good reasons, fix a different motion day in specified areas.

Section 17. Appointment and assignment of Regional Trial Judges. — Every Regional Trial Judge shall be appointed to a region which shall be his permanent station, and his appointment shall state the branch of the court and the seat thereof to which he shall be originally assigned. However, the Supreme Court may assign temporarily a Regional Trial Judge to another region as public interest may require, provided that such temporary assignment shall not last longer than six (6) months without the consent of the Regional Trial Judge concerned.

A Regional Trial Judge may be assigned by the Supreme Court to any branch or city or municipality within the same region as public interest may require, and such assignment shall not be deemed an assignment to another station within the meaning of this section.

Section 18. Authority to define territory appurtenant to each branch. — The Supreme Court shall define the territory over which a branch of the Regional Trial Court shall exercise its authority. The territory thus defined shall be deemed to be the territorial area of the branch concerned for purposes of determining the venue of all suits, proceedings or actions, whether civil or criminal, as well as determining the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts over the said branch may exercise appellate jurisdiction. The power herein granted shall be exercised with a view to making the courts readily accessible to the people of the different parts of the region and making the attendance of litigants and witnesses as inexpensive as possible.

Section 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. — Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:

(1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation;

(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein, except actions for forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts;

(3) In all actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where he demand or claim exceeds twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00);

(4) In all matters of probate, both testate and intestate, where the gross value of the estate exceeds twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00);

(5) In all actions involving the contract of marriage and marital relations;

(6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions;

(7) In all civil actions and special proceedings falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and of the Courts of Agrarian Relations as now provided by law; and

(8) In all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest and costs or the value of the property in controversy, amounts to more than twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00).

Section 20. Jurisdiction in criminal cases. — Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or body, except those now falling under the exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter.

Section 21. Original jurisdiction in other cases. — Regional Trial Courts shall exercise original jurisdiction:

(1) In the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and injunction which may be enforced in any part of their respective regions; and

(2) In actions affecting ambassadors and other public ministers and consuls.

Section 22. Appellate jurisdiction. — Regional Trial Courts shall exercise appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in their respective territorial jurisdictions. Such cases shall be decided on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings had in the court of origin and such memoranda and/or briefs as may be submitted by the parties or required by the Regional Trial Courts. The decision of the Regional Trial Courts in such cases shall be appealable by petition for review to the Intermediate Appellate Court which may give it due course only when the petition shows prima facie that the lower court has committed an error of fact or law that will warrant a reversal or modification of the decision or judgment sought to be reviewed.

Section 23. Special jurisdiction to try special cases. — The Supreme Court may designate certain branches of the Regional Trial Courts to handle exclusively criminal cases, juvenile and domestic relations cases, agrarian cases, urban land reform cases which do not fall under the jurisdiction of quasi-judicial bodies and agencies, and/or such other special cases as the Supreme Court may determine in the interest of a speedy and efficient administration of justice.

Section 24. Special Rules of Procedure. — Whenever a Regional Trial Court takes cognizance of juvenile and domestic relation cases and/or agrarian cases, the special rules of procedure applicable under present laws to such cases shall continue to be applied, unless subsequently amended by law or by rules of court promulgated by the Supreme Court.

CHAPTER III
METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS

Section 25. Establishment of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. — There shall be created a Metropolitan Trial Court in each metropolitan area established by law, a Municipal Trial Court in each of the other cities or municipalities, and a Municipal Circuit Trial Court in each circuit comprising such cities and/or municipalities as are grouped together pursuant to law.

Section 26. Qualifications. — No person shall be appointed judge of a Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, or Municipal Circuit Trial Court unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least 30 years of age, and, for at least five years, has been engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines, or has held a public office in the Philippines requiring admission to the practice of law as an indispensable requisite.

Section 27. Metropolitan Trial Courts of the National Capital Region. — There shall be a Metropolitan Trial Court in the National Capital Region, to be known as the Metropolitan Trial Court of Metro Manila, which shall be composed of eighty-two (82) branches. There shall be:

Thirty branches (Branches I to XXX) for the city of Manila with seats thereat;

Thirteen branches (Branches XXXI to XLIII) for Quezon City with seats thereat;

Five branches (Branches XLIV to XLVIII) for Pasay City with seats thereat;

Five branches (Branches XLIX to LIII) for Caloocan City with seats thereat;

One branch (Branch LIV) for Navotas with seat thereat;

Two branches (Branches LV and LVI) for Mindanao with seats thereat;

Two branches (Branches LVII and LVIII) for San Juan with seats thereat;

Two branches (Branches LIX and LX) for Mandaluyong with seats thereat;

Seven branches (Branches LXI and LXVII) for Makati with seats thereat;

Five branches (Branches LXVIII to LXXII) for Pasig with seats thereat;

One branch (Branch LXXIII) for Pateros with seat thereat;

One branch (Branch LXXIV) for Taguig with seat thereat;

Two branches (Branches LXXV and LXXVI) for Marikina with seats thereat;

Two branches (Branches LXXVII and LXXVIII) for Parañaque with seats thereat;

One branch (Branch LXXIX) for Las Piñas with seat thereat;

One branch (Branch LXXX) for Muntinlupa with seat thereat;

Two branches (Branches LXXXI and LXXXII) for Valenzuela with seats thereat;

Section 28. Other Metropolitan Trial Courts. — The Supreme Court shall constitute Metropolitan Trial Courts in such other metropolitan areas as may be established by law whose territorial jurisdiction shall be co-extensive with the cities and municipalities comprising the metropolitan area.

Every Metropolitan Trial Judge shall be appointed to a metropolitan area which shall be his permanent station and his appointment shall state branch of the court and the seat thereof to which he shall be originally assigned. A Metropolitan Trial Judge may be assigned by the Supreme Court to any branch within said metropolitan area as the interest of justice may require, and such assignment shall not be deemed an assignment to another station within the meaning of this section.

Section 29. Municipal Trial Courts in cities. — In every city which does not form part of a metropolitan area, there shall be a Municipal Trial Court with one branch, except as hereunder provided:

Two branches for Laoag City;

Four branches for Baguio City;

Three branches for Dagupan City;

Five branches for Olongapo City;

Three branches for Cabanatuan City;

Two branches for San Jose City;

Three branches for Angeles City;

Two branches for Cavite City;

Two branches for Batangas City;

Two branches for Lucena City;

Three branches for Naga City;

Two branches for Iriga City;

Three branches for Legaspi City;

Two branches for Roxas City;

Four branches for Iloilo City;

Seven branches for Bacolod City;

Two branches for Dumaguete City;

Two branches for Tacloban City;

Eight branches for Cebu City;

Three branches for Mandaue City;

Two branches for Tagbilaran City;

Two branches for Surigao City;

Two branches for Butuan City;

Five branches for Cagayan de Oro City;

Seven branches for Davao City;

Three branches for General Santos City;

Two branches for Oroquieta City;

Three branches for Ozamis City;

Two branches for Dipolog City;

Four branches for Zamboanga City;

Two branches for Pagadian City; and

Two branches for Iligan City.

Section 30. Municipal Trial Courts. — In each of the municipalities that are not comprised within a metropolitan area and a municipal circuit there shall be a Municipal Trial Court which shall have one branch, except as hereunder provided:

Two branches for San Fernando, La Union;

Four branches for Tuguegarao;

Three branches for Lallo, and two branches for Aparri, both of Cagayan;

Two branches for Santiago, Isabela;

Two branches each for Malolos, Meycauayan and Bulacan, all of Bulacan Province;

Four branches for San Fernando and two branches for Guagua, both of Pampanga;

Two branches for Tarlac, Tarlac;

Two branches for San Pedro, Laguna; and

Two branches each for Antipolo and Binangonan, both in Rizal.

Section 31. Municipal Circuit Trial Court. — There shall be a Municipal Circuit Trial Court in each area defined as a municipal circuit, comprising one or more cities and/or one or more municipalities. The municipalities comprising municipal circuits as organized under Administrative Order No. 33, issued on June 13, 1978 by the Supreme Court pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 537, are hereby constituted as municipal circuits for purposes of the establishment of the Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, and the appointment thereto of Municipal Circuit Trial Judges: Provided, however, That the Supreme Court may, as the interests of justice may require, further reorganize the said courts taking into account workload, geographical location, and such other factors as will contribute to a rational allocation thereof, pursuant to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 537 which shall be applicable insofar as they are not inconsistent with this Act.

Every Municipal Circuit Trial Judge shall be appointed to a municipal circuit which shall be his official station.

The Supreme Court shall determine the city or municipality where the Municipal Circuit Trial Court shall hold sessions.

Section 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in criminal cases. — Except in cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts and of the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:

(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all violations of city or municipal ordinances committed within their respective territorial jurisdiction; and

(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment of not exceeding four years and two months, or a fine of not more than four thousand pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment, regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value, or amount thereof: Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction where the imposable fine does not exceed twenty thousand pesos.

Section 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in civil cases. — Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:

(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions and probate proceedings, testate and intestate, including the grant of provisional remedies in proper cases, where the demand does not exceed twenty thousand pesos exclusive of interest and costs but inclusive of damages of whatever kind, the amount of which must be specifically alleged: Provided, That where there are several claims or causes of action between the same or different parties, embodied in the same complaint, the amount of the demand shall be the totality of the claims in all the causes of action irrespective of whether the causes of action arose out of the same or different transactions; and

(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer: Provided, That when, in such cases, the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession.

Section 34. Delegated jurisdiction in cadastral and land registration cases. — Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts may be assigned by the Supreme Court to hear and determine cadastral or land registration cases covering lots where there is no controversy or opposition, or contested lots the value of which does not exceed twenty thousand pesos, such value to be ascertained by the affidavit of the claimant or by agreement of the respective claimants if there are more than one, or from the corresponding tax declaration of the real property. Their decisions in these cases shall be appealable in the same manner as decisions of the Regional Trial Courts.

Section 35. Special jurisdiction in certain cases. — In the absence of all the Regional Trial Judges in a province or city, any Metropolitan Trial Judge, Municipal Trial Judge, Municipal Circuit Trial Judge may hear and decide petitions for a writ of habeas corpus or applications for bail in criminal cases in the province or city where the absent Regional Trial Judges sit.

Section 36. Summary procedures in special cases. — In Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts with at least two branches, the Supreme Court may designate one or more branches thereof to try exclusively forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, those involving violations of traffic laws, rules and regulations, violations of the rental law, and such other cases requiring summary disposition as the Supreme Court may determine. The Supreme Court shall adopt special rules or procedures applicable to such cases in order to achieve an expeditious and inexpensive determination thereof without regard to technical rules. Such simplified procedures may provide that affidavit and counter-affidavits may be admitted in lieu of oral testimony and that the periods for filing pleadings shall be non-extendible.

Section 37. Preliminary investigation. — Judges of Metropolitan Trial Courts, except those in the National Capital Region, of Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall have authority to conduct preliminary investigation of crimes alleged to have been committed within their respective territorial jurisdictions which are cognizable by the Regional Trial Courts.

The preliminary investigation shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Section 1, paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d), of Presidential Decree No. 911: Provided, however, That if after the preliminary investigation the Judge finds a prima facie case, he shall forward the records of the case to the Provincial/City Fiscal for the filing of the corresponding information with the proper court.

No warrant of arrest shall be issued by the Judge in connection with any criminal complaint filed with him for preliminary investigation, unless after an examination in writing and under oath or affirmation of the complainant and his witnesses, he finds that a probable cause exists.

Any warrant of arrest issued in accordance herewith may be served anywhere in the Philippines.

Section 38. Judgments and processes.

(1) All judgments determining the merits of cases shall be in writing, stating clearly the facts and the law on which they were based, signed by the Judge and filed with the Clerk of Court. Such judgment shall be appealable to the Regional Trial Courts in accordance with the procedure now prescribed by law for appeals to the Court of First Instance, by the provisions of this Act, and by such rules as the Supreme Court may hereafter prescribe.

(2) All processes issued by the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, in cases falling within their jurisdiction, may be served anywhere in the Philippines without the necessity of certification by the Judge of the Regional Trial Court.

CHAPTER IV
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 39. Appeals. — The period for appeal from final orders, resolutions, awards, judgments, or decisions of any court in all cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted from the notice of the final order, resolution, award, judgment, or decision appealed from: Provided however, That in habeas corpus cases, the period for appeal shall be forty-eight (48) hours from the notice of the judgment appealed from.

No record on appeal shall be required to take an appeal. In lieu thereof, the entire record shall be transmitted with all the pages prominently numbered consecutively, together with an index of the contents thereof.

This section shall not apply in appeals in special proceedings and in other cases wherein multiple appeals are allowed under applicable provisions of the Rules of Court.

Section 40. Form of decision in appealed cases. — Every decision of final resolution of a court in appealed cases shall clearly and distinctly state the findings of fact and the conclusions of law on which it is based, which may be contained in the decision or final resolution itself, or adopted by reference from those set forth in the decision, order, or resolution appealed from.

Section 41. Salaries. — Intermediate Appellate Justices, Regional Trial Judges, Metropolitan Trial Judges, Municipal Trial Judges, and Municipal Circuit Trial Judges shall receive such compensation and allowances as may be authorized by the President along the guidelines set forth in Letter of Implementation No. 93 pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 985, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1597.

Section 42. Longevity pay. — A monthly longevity pay equivalent to 5% of the monthly basic pay shall be paid to the Justices and Judges of the courts herein created for each five years of continuous, efficient, and meritorious service rendered in the judiciary; Provided, That in no case shall the total salary of each Justice or Judge concerned, after this longevity pay is added, exceed the salary of the Justice or Judge next in rank.

Section 43. Staffing pattern. — The Supreme Court shall submit to the President, within thirty (30) days from the date of the effectivity of this Act, a staffing pattern for all courts constituted pursuant to this Act which shall be the basis of the implementing order to be issued by the President in accordance with the immediately succeeding section.

Section 44. Transitory provisions. — The provisions of this Act shall be immediately carried out in accordance with an Executive Order to be issued by the President. The Court of Appeals, the Courts of First Instance, the Circuit Criminal Courts, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, the Courts of Agrarian Relations, the City Courts, the Municipal Courts, and the Municipal Circuit Courts shall continue to function as presently constituted and organized, until the completion of the reorganization provided in this Act as declared by the President. Upon such declaration, the said courts shall be deemed automatically abolished and the incumbents thereof shall cease to hold office. The cases pending in the old Courts shall be transferred to the appropriate Courts constituted pursuant to this Act, together with the pertinent functions, records, equipment, property and the necessary personnel.

The applicable appropriations shall likewise be transferred to the appropriate courts constituted pursuant to this Act, to be augmented as may be necessary from the funds for organizational changes as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 80. Said funding shall thereafter be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

Section 45. Shari'a Courts. — Shari'a Courts to be constituted as provided for in Presidential Decree No. 1083, otherwise known as the "Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines," shall be included in the funding appropriations so provided in this Act.

Section 46. Gratuity of judges and personnel separated from office. — All members of the judiciary and subordinate employees who shall be separated from office by reason of the reorganization authorized herein, shall be granted a gratuity at a rate equivalent to one month's salary for every year of continuous service rendered in any branch of the government or equivalent nearest fraction thereof favorable to them on the basis of the highest salary received: Provided, That such member of the judiciary or employee shall have the option to retire under the Judiciary Retirement Law or general retirement law, if he has met or satisfied the requirements therefor.

Section 47. Repealing clause. — The provisions of Republic Act No. 296, otherwise known as the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended, of Republic Act No. 9as amended, of the Rules of Court, and of all other statutes, letters of instructions and general order or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or accordingly modified.

Section 48. Date of Effectivity. — This Act shall take effect immediately.

Approved: August 14, 1981

BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 130

AN ACT AMENDING ARTICLES 214, 217, 231, 232, 234, 249, 250, 251, 257, 262, 263, 264, 265, 278, 283, AND 284 OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NUMBERED FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE LABOR CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES, AS AMENDED, TO FURTHER PROMOTE FREE TRADE UNIONISM AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Section 1. Article 214 of the Labor Code of the Philippines is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 214. Headquarters and branches. - The Commission shall have its main office in Metropolitan Manila and its Chairman shall exercise supervision over labor arbiters and all its personnel. It shall establish as many branches as there are regional offices of the Ministry of Labor and Employment, with as many labor arbiters as shall be necessary for its effective operation, each branch to be headed by an executive labor arbiter who shall be a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines."

Section 2. Subparagraph (2) of paragraph (a) and paragraph (b) of Article 217 of the Labor Code are amended to read as follows:

"(2) Those that involve wages, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment; and"1awphi1@ALF

"(b) The Commission shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by Labor Arbiters."

Section 3. Article 231 is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 231. Registry of unions and file of collective agreements. - The Bureau shall keep a registry of legitimate labor organizations.

"It shall also maintain a file of all collective agreements and other related agreements and records of settlements of labor disputes, and copies of all orders and decisions of voluntary arbitrators. The file shall be open and accessible to interested parties under conditions prescribed by the Minister of Labor and Employment, provided that no specific information submitted in confidence shall be disclosed unless authorized by the Minister, or when it is at issue in any judicial litigation or when public interest or national security so requires.

"Parties shall submit copies of their collective agreement to the Bureau through the regional offices. Such agreements shall be accompanied with a verified proof of ratification by the majority of all the workers in the bargaining unit.

"The Bureau shall also maintain a file, and shall undertake or assist in the publication of all final decisions, orders, and awards of the Minister of Labor and Employment and the Commission."

Section 4. Article 232 of the Labor Code is amended to read as follows:

"Art. 232. Prohibition on certification election. - The Bureau shall not entertain any petition for certification election or any other action which may disturb the administration of existing collective bargaining agreements affecting the parties except under Articles 254 and 257 of this Code."

Section 5. Article 234 of the Labor Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 234. Requirements of registration. - Any application labor organization, association or group of unions or workers shall acquire legal personality and shall be entitled to the rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor organizations upon issuance of the certificate of registration, based on the following requirements:

"(a) Fifty-peso (P50.00) registration fee;

"(b) The names of its officers, their addresses, the principal address of the labor organization, the minutes of the organizational meetings and the list of the workers who participated in such meetings;

"(c) The names of all its members comprising at least thirty (30%) per cent of all the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate;

"(d) If the applicant has been in existence for one or more years, copies of its annual financial reports; and

"(e) Four (4) copies of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant union, the minutes of its adoption or ratification, and the list of the members who participated in it."

Section 6. Article 249 of the Labor Code, as amended, is further amended by deleting paragraph (i), and renumbering paragraph (j) as paragraph (i), as follows:

"Art. 249. Unfair labor practices of employers. - It shall be unlawful for an employer to commit any of the following unfair labor practices:

"(a) To interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization;

"(b) To require as a condition for employment that a person or an employee shall not join a labor organization or shall withdraw from one to which he belongs;

"(c) To contract out services or functions being performed by union members when such will interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization;

"(d) To initiate, dominate, assist or otherwise interfere with the formation or administration of any labor organization, including the giving of financial or other support to it or its organizers or officers;

"(e) To discriminate in regard to hire or tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment in order to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization. Nothing in this Code or in any other law shall prevent the parties from requiring membership in a recognized collective bargaining agent as a condition for employment, except of those employees who are already members of another union at the time of the signing of the collective bargaining agreement. Employees belonging to an appropriate collective bargaining unit who are not members of the recognized collective bargaining agent may be assessed a reasonable fee equivalent to the dues and other fees paid by members of the recognized collective bargaining agent, if such non-union members accept the benefits under the collective agreement: Provided, That the individual authorization required under Article 242, paragraph (o) of this Code shall not apply to non-members of the recognized collective bargaining agent;

"(f) To dismiss, discharge, or otherwise prejudice or discriminate against an employee for having given or being about to give testimony under this Code;

"(g) To violate the duty to bargain collectively as prescribed by this Code;

"(h) To pay negotiation or attorney's fees to the union or its officers or agents as part of the settlement of any issue in collective bargaining or any other dispute; or

"(i) To violate a collective bargaining agreement.

"The provisions of the preceding paragraph notwithstanding, only the officers and agents of corporations, associations or partnerships who have actually participated in, authorized or ratified unfair labor practices shall be held criminally liable."

Section 7. Article 250 of the Labor Code, as amended, is further amended by deleting paragraph (f) and renumbering paragraph (g) thereof as paragraph (f), as follows:

"Art. 250. Unfair labor practices of labor organizations. - It shall be unlawful for a labor organization, its officers, agents or representatives to commit any of the following unfair labor practices:

"(a) To restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization: Provided, That the labor organization shall have the right to prescribe its own rules with respect to the acquisition or retention of membership;

"(b) To cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an employee, including discrimination against an employee with respect to whom membership in such organization has been denied or terminated on any ground other than the usual terms and conditions under which membership or continuation of membership is made available to other members;

"(c) To violate the duty, or refuse to bargain collectively with the employer, provided that it is the representative of the employees;

"(d) To cause or attempt to cause an employer to pay or deliver or agree to pay or deliver any money or other things of value, in the nature of an exaction, for services which are not performed or not to be performed, including the demand for a fee for union negotiations;

"(e) To ask for or accept negotiation or attorney's fees from employers as part of the settlement of any issue in collective bargaining or any other dispute; or

"(f) To violate a collective bargaining agreement.

"The provisions of the preceding paragraph notwithstanding, only the officers, members of governing boards, representatives or agents or members of labor associations or organizations who have actually participated in, authorized or ratified unfair labor practices shall be held criminally liable."

Section 8. Article 257 of the Labor Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 257. Procedure governing representation issues. - When a question concerning the representation of employees is submitted to the Ministry, a Med-Arbiter shall hear and decide such controversy and certify to the parties in writing the name of the labor organization that has been designated or selected by the majority of the workers in the appropriate bargaining unit as the exclusive bargaining agent. If there is any reasonable doubt as to which union the employees have chosen as their representative for the purpose of collective bargaining, the Med-Arbiter shall order an election by secret ballot to be conducted by the Ministry to ascertain the freely chosen representative of the employees concerned, under such rules and regulations as the Ministry may prescribe, at which election representatives of the contending parties shall have the right to act as inspectors. The labor union receiving the majority of the valid votes cast shall be certified as the exclusive bargaining representative of the workers.

"No certification election issue shall be entertained if a collective agreement which has been submitted in accordance with Article 231 of this Code exists between the employer and a legitimate labor organization except within sixty (60) days prior to the expiration of the life of such collective agreement."

Section 9. Article 262 of the Labor Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 262. Grievance machinery. - Whenever a grievance arises from the interpretation or implementation of a collective agreement, including disciplinary actions imposed on members of the bargaining unit, the employer and the bargaining representative shall meet to adjust the grievance. Where there is no collective agreement and in cases where the grievance procedure as provided herein does not apply, grievances shall be subject to negotiation, conciliation or arbitration as provided elsewhere in this Code."

Section 10. Article 263 of the Labor Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 263. Voluntary arbitration. - All grievances referred to in the immediately preceding Article which are not settled through the grievance procedure provided in the collective agreement shall be referred to voluntary arbitration prescribed in said agreement: Provided, That termination disputes shall be governed by Article 278 of this Code, as amended, unless the parties agree to submit them to voluntary arbitration.

"Every collective agreement shall designate in advance an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators chosen by the parties or include provisions on the procedure for the selection of such arbitrator or panel of arbitrators. The Ministry shall compile a list of qualified arbitrators and make the same available to the parties. Such arbitrator or panel of arbitrators shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide all unsettled grievances referred to in the immediately preceding paragraph.

"Voluntary arbitration awards or decisions shall be final, unappealable, and executory."

Section 11. Article 264 of the Labor Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 264. Strikes, picketing, and lockouts. - (a) It is the policy of the State to encourage free trade unionism and free collective bargaining.

"(b) Workers shall have the right to engage in concerted activities for purposes of collective bargaining or for their mutual benefit and protection. The right of lifetime labor organizations to strike and picket and of employers to lockout, consistent with the national interest, shall continue to be recognized and respected. However, no labor union may strike and no employer may declare a lockout on grounds involving inter-union and intra-union disputes.

"(c) In cases of bargaining deadlocks, the certified or duly recognized bargaining representative may file a notice of strike or the employer may file a notice of lockout with the Ministry at least thirty (30) days before the intended date thereof. In cases of unfair labor practices, the period of notice shall be shortened to fifteen (15) days; and in the absence of a duly certified or recognized bargaining representative, the notice of strike may be filed by any legitimate labor organization in behalf of its members.

"(d) The notice must be in accordance with such implementing rules and regulations as the Minister of Labor and Employment may promulgate.

"(e) During the cooling-off period, it shall be the duty of the Ministry to exert all efforts at mediation and conciliation to effect a voluntary settlement. Should the dispute remain unsettled until the lapse of the requisite number of days from the mandatory filing of the notice, the labor union may strike or the employer may declare a lockout.

"(f) A decision to declare a strike must be approved by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the total union membership in the bargaining unit concerned obtained by secret ballot in meetings or referenda. A decision to declare a lockout must be approved by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the board of directors of the employer corporation or association or of the partners in a partnership obtained by secret ballot in a meeting called for the purpose. The decision shall be valid for the duration of the dispute based on substantially the same grounds considered when the strike or lockout vote was taken. The Ministry may, at its own initiative or upon the request of any affected party, supervise the conduct of the secret balloting. In every case, the union or the employer shall furnish the Ministry the results of the voting at least seven (7) days before the intended strike or lockout, subject to the cooling-off period herein provided.

"(g) In labor disputes causing or likely to cause strikes or lockouts adversely affecting the national interest, such as may occur in but not limited to public utilities, companies engaged in the generation or distribution of energy, banks, hospitals, and those within export processing zones, the Minister of Labor and Employment may assume jurisdiction over the dispute and decide it or certify the same to the Commission for compulsory arbitration. Such assumption or certification shall have the effect of automatically enjoining the intended or impending strike or lockout. If one has already taken place at the time of assumption or certification, all striking or locked out employees shall immediately return to work and the employers shall immediately resume operations and readmit all workers under the same terms and conditions prevailing before the strike or lockout. The Minister may seek the assistance of law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with this provision as well as such orders as he may issue to enforce the same.

"The foregoing notwithstanding, the President of the Philippines shall have authority to intervene at any time and exercise jurisdiction over any labor dispute adversely affecting the national interest in order to settle or terminate the same.

"(h) Before or at any stage of the compulsory arbitration process, the parties may opt to submit their dispute to voluntary arbitration.

"(i) The Minister of Labor and Employment, the Commission or the voluntary arbitrator shall decide or resolve the dispute within thirty (30) working days from the date of the assumption of jurisdiction or the certification or submission of the dispute, as the case may be. The decision of the Minister, the Commission or the voluntary arbitrator shall be final and immediately executory."

Section 12. Article 265 of the Labor Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 265. Prohibited activities. - It shall be unlawful for any labor organization or employer to declare a strike or lockout without first having bargained collectively in accordance with Title VII of this Book or without first having filed the notice required in the preceding Article or without the necessary strike or lockout vote first having been obtained and reported to the Ministry.

"It shall likewise be unlawful to declare a strike or lockout after assumption of jurisdiction by the President or the Minister or after certification or submission of the dispute to compulsory or voluntary arbitration or during the pendency of cases involving the same grounds for the strike or lockout.

"Any worker whose employment has been terminated as a consequence of an unlawful lockout shall be entitled to reinstatement with full back wages. Any union officer who knowingly participates in an illegal strike and any worker or union officer who knowingly participates in the commission of illegal acts during a strike may be declared to have lost his employment status."

Section 13. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of Article 278 of the Labor Code are hereby amended as follows:

"(a) All unions are authorized to collect reasonable contributions for their labor education and research funds.ALF

"(b) Subject to the constitutional right of workers to security of tenure and their right to be protected against dismissal except for a just or authorized cause and without prejudice to the requirement of notice under Article 284 of this Code, the clearance to terminate employment shall no longer be necessary.

"However, the employer shall furnish the worker whose employment is sought to be terminated a written notice containing a statement of the causes for termination and shall afford the latter ample opportunity to be heard and to defend himself with the assistance of his representative if he so desires in accordance with company rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to guidelines set by the Ministry of Labor and Employment. Any decision taken by the employer shall be without prejudice to the right of the worker to contest the validity or legality of his dismissal by filing a complaint with the regional branch of the National Labor Relations Commission. The burden of proving that the termination was for a valid or authorized cause shall rest on the employer. The Ministry may suspend the effects of the termination pending resolution of the case in the event of a prima facie finding by the Ministry that the termination may cause a serious labor dispute or is in implementation of a mass lay-off."

Section 14. Article 278 of the Labor Code is further amended by adding thereto the following new paragraphs:

"(e) The Minister of Labor and Employment and the Minister of the Budget shall cause to be created or reclassified in accordance with law such positions as may be necessary to carry out the objectives of this Code and cause the upgrading of the salaries of the personnel involved in the Labor Relations System of the Ministry. Funds needed for this purpose shall be provided out of the Special Activities Fund appropriated by Batas Pambansa Blg. 80 and from annual appropriations thereafter.

"(f) A special Voluntary Arbitration Fund is hereby established in the Bureau to cover voluntary arbitration fees incurred by indigent parties, and for such other related purposes to promote and develop a voluntary arbitration program as may be authorized by the Minister. Funds needed for this purpose shall be provided out of the Special Activities Fund appropriated by Batas Pambansa Blg. 80 and from annual appropriations thereafter.

"(g) The Ministry shall help promote and gradually develop, with the agreement of labor organizations and employers, labor-management cooperation programs at appropriate levels of the enterprise based on shared responsibility and mutual respect in order to ensure industrial peace and improvement in productivity, working conditions and the quality of working life.

"(h) In establishments where no labor organization exists, labor-management committees may be formed voluntarily by workers and employers for the purpose of promoting industrial peace."

Section 15. Articles 283 and 284 of the Labor Code are hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 283. Termination by employer. - An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following just causes:

"(a) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work;

"(b) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;

"(c) Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representative;

"(d) Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representative; and

"(e) Other causes analogous to the foregoing."

"Art. 284. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. - The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this title; by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year."

Section 16. Articles 220, 228, paragraph (f) of Article 251, Article 266, paragraph (b) of Article 273 of the Labor Code and all provisions of said Code and other laws, orders, decrees and rules and regulations inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, are hereby repealed.

Section 17. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved, August 21, 1981. (C.B. No. 45)

 

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