Villegas vs. Hu Chong Tsai Pao Ho 86 SCRA 275 (1978) G.R. No. L-29646, November 10, 1978

Fact: September 17, 1968 of respondent Judge rendered in favor of the respondent and against the petitioner, declaring Ordinance No. 6 37 of the City of Manila null and void. The Ordinance No. 6537 was passed by the Municipal Board of Manila on February 22, 1968 and signed by the herein petitioner who prohibits aliens from being employed or to engage or participate in any position or occupation or business enumerated therein, whether permanent, temporary or casual, without first securing an employment permit from the Mayor of Manila and paying the permit fee of P50.00 except persons employed in the diplomatic or consular missions of foreign countries, or in the technical assistance programs of both the Philippine Government and any foreign government, and those working in their respective households, and members of religious orders or congregations, sect or denomination, who are not paid monetarily or in kind. Violations of this ordinance is punishable by an imprisonment of not less than three (3) months to six (6) months or fine of not less than P100.00 but not more than P200.00 or both such fine and imprisonment, upon conviction. Private respondent who was employed in Manila, filed a petition with the praying for the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction and restraining order to stop the enforcement of Ordinance No. 6537 as well as for a judgment declaring said Ordinance No. 6537 null and void. Adrian Avilado Antazo

Issue: Whether the Petitioner’s ordinance is arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable, being applied only to aliens who are thus, deprived of their rights to life, liberty and property and therefore, violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution.Adrian Avilado Antazo

Held: Yes, While it is true that the first part which requires that the alien shall secure an employment permit from the Mayor involves the exercise of discretion and judgment in the processing and approval or disapproval of applications for employment permits and therefore is regulatory in character the second part which requires the payment of P50.00 as employee’s fee is not regulatory but a revenue measure. There is no logic or justification in exacting P50.00 from aliens who have been cleared for employment. It is obvious that the purpose of the ordinance is to raise money under the guise of regulation. It is unreasonable not only because it is excessive but because it fails to consider valid substantial differences in situation among individual aliens who are required to pay it. The Ordinance does not lay down any criterion or standard to guide the Mayor in the exercise of his discretion. It has been held that where an ordinance of a municipality fails to state any policy or to set up any standard to guide or limit the mayor’s action, expresses no purpose to be attained by requiring a permit, enumerates no conditions for its grant or refusal, and entirely lacks standard, thus conferring upon the Mayor arbitrary and unrestricted power to grant or deny the issuance of building permits, such ordinance is invalid, being an undefined and unlimited delegation of power to allow or prevent an activity per se lawful. Requiring a person before he can be employed to get a permit from the City Mayor of Manila who may withhold or refuse it at will is tantamount to denying him the basic right of the people in the Philippines to engage in a means of livelihood. While it is true that the Philippines as a State is not obliged to admit aliens within its territory, once an alien is admitted, he cannot be deprived of life without due process of law. This guarantee includes the means of livelihood. The shelter of protection under the due process and equal protection clause is given to all persons, both aliens and citizens.Adrian Avilado Antazo


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