Philcomsat vs. Alcuaz 180 SCRA 218 (1989) G.R. No. 84818, December 18, 1989

Fact: The petition seeks to annul and set aside an Order 1 issued by respondent Commissioner Jose Luis Alcuaz of the NTC which directs the provisional reduction of the rates which may be charged by petitioner for certain specified lines of its services by fifteen percent (15%) with the reservation to make further reductions later, for being violative of the constitutional prohibition against undue delegation of legislative power and a denial of procedural, as well as substantive, due process of law. Petitioner was exempt from the jurisdiction of the then Public Service Commission, now respondent NTC. However, pursuant to Executive Order No. 196 placed under the jurisdiction, control and regulation of respondent NTC, including all its facilities and services and the fixing of rates. Implementing said Executive Order No. 196, respondents required petitioner to apply for the requisite certificate of public convenience and necessity covering its facilities and the services it renders, as well as the corresponding authority to charge rates therefor. petitioner filed with respondent NTC an application for authority to continue operating and maintaining the same facilities it has been continuously operating and maintaining since 1967, to continue providing the international satellite communications services it has likewise been providing since 1967, and to charge the current rates applied for in rendering such services. Pending hearing, it also applied for a provisional authority so that it can continue to operate and maintain the above mentioned facilities, provide the services and charge therefor the aforesaid rates therein applied for. petitioner was granted a provisional authority which was valid for six (6) months which was extended 3 times, but the last extension directed the petitioner to charge modified reduced rates through a reduction of fifteen percent (15%) on the present authorized rates. Hence this petition.adrianantazo.wordpress.com

Issue: whether the Respondent violates procedural due process for having been issued without prior notice and hearing in exercising its power to fix the rate of the Petitioner?adrianantazo.wordpress.com

Held: Yes, the respondent violated the procedural due process. if the authorities that where the function of the administrative body is legislative, notice of hearing is not required by due process of law, Aside from statute, the necessity of notice and hearing in an administrative proceeding depends on the character of the proceeding and the circumstances involved. In so far as generalization is possible in view of the great variety of administrative proceedings, it may be stated as a general rule that notice and hearing are not essential to the validity of administrative action where the administrative body acts in the exercise of executive, administrative, or legislative functions; but where a public administrative body acts in a judicial or quasi-judicial matter, and its acts are particular and immediate rather than general and prospective, the person whose rights or property may be affected by the action is entitled to notice and hearing.adrianantazo.wordpress.com

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