Sunday, October 23, 2011

Phil Registered Electrical Practicioners Inc. v Francia (2000)

Phil Registered Electrical Practicioners Inc. v Francia
J. Quisimbing

The electrical engineering board of the Professional Regulatory Commission issued Resolution 1 series of 1986 which implemented guidelines for the implementation of the Continuing Professional Education Program which was to be a requirement for electrical engineers to take before having their license renewed. To earn credit units, the engineer must apply for accreditation with the Institute of the Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines.
The petitioner, an electrical engineers association, assailed in the Trial Court the resolution as violative of the Constitution’s equal protection clause and due process, prohibition against bills of attainder and mandate for the protection of workers’ rights.
There were exemptions from the CPE such as elec. Engineers who reached the age of 60, a practicioner undergoing post doctoral studies, etc.
The Trial Court dismissed the pet’s. action on the ground that it failed to establish a clear violation of the Constitution. It was a valid implementation of S.3, R.A. 184 and S.6, P.D. 223. (Act to regulate the practice of electrical engineering and Creation of the PRC)
The pets directly appealed to the Supreme Court.

1. WON the Board of electrical engineering in the light of R.A. 184 and P.D 223 had authority to issue the resolution in question
2. If it did, WON the resolution violated certain provisions of the constitution.
Ruling: Petition denied

1. Yes.  R.A. 184 mandated the Board to recommend to the PRC the adoption of measures as may be deemed proper to the maintenance of good ethic and standards in the practice of electrical engineering in the Philippines. PD 223, on the other hand, gave these boards the power to adopt measures as may be deemed proper for the enhancement of the profession and occupation and maintenance of high professional standards.
(For the purposes of this argument)The members of the board as written in the latter statute may personally conduct ocular inspection.
Given this content, the petitioner insisted that the authority of the Board was limited to ocular inspections.
The Supreme Court said that this interpretation was not valid.
Doctrine: The Board may even do away with ocular inspections, as can be gleaned from the use of the word “may” implying that the conduct of ocular inspections is merely director and not mandatory. Ocular inspections are only one way of ensuring compliance with laws and rules relative to the professional practice of electrical engineering. BUT IT IS CERAINLY NOT THE ONLY WAY.
Therefore, the Board had the power to issue the resolution.
2. The argument has become moot and academic.
IN 1995, President Fidel V. Ramos issued E.O. 266 which institutionalized the CPE programs of the Professional Industry Boards under the supervision of the PRC. It became imperative to impose upon registered professionals the completion of the CPE as a pre-requisite for the renewal of their licenses.  Section 1 of the said E.O. made this mandatory. 

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