G.R. No. L-34915 – 122 SCRA 759 – Political Law – Police Power – Not Validly Exercised
Quezon City enacted an ordinance entitled “ORDINANCE REGULATING THE ESTABLISHMENT, MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF PRIVATE MEMORIAL TYPE CEMETERY OR BURIAL GROUND WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF QUEZON CITY AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION THEREOF”. The law basically provides that at least six (6) percent of the total area of the memorial park cemetery shall be set aside for charity burial of deceased persons who are paupers and have been residents of Quezon City for at least 5 years prior to their death, to be determined by competent City Authorities. QC justified the law by invoking police power.
ISSUE: Whether or not the ordinance is valid.
HELD: The SC held the law as an invalid exercise of police power. There is no reasonable relation between the setting aside of at least six (6) percent of the total area of all private cemeteries for charity burial grounds of deceased paupers and the promotion of health, morals, good order, safety, or the general welfare of the people. The ordinance is actually a taking without compensation of a certain area from a private cemetery to benefit paupers who are charges of the municipal corporation. Instead of building or maintaining a public cemetery for this purpose, the city passes the burden to private cemeteries.