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G.R. No. 120095 – 260 SCRA 319 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – Police Power
Due to the death of one Maricris Sioson in 1991, Cory banned the deployment of performing artists to Japan and other destinations. This was relaxed however with the introduction of the Entertainment Industry Advisory Council which later proposed a plan to POEA to screen and train performing artists seeking to go abroad. In pursuant to the proposal POEA and the secretary of DOLE sought a 4 step plan to realize the plan which included an Artist’s Record Book which a performing artist must acquire prior to being deployed abroad. The Federation of Talent Managers of the Philippines assailed the validity of the said regulation as it violated the right to travel, abridge existing contracts and rights and deprives artists of their individual rights. JMM intervened to bolster the cause of FETMOP. The lower court ruled in favor of EIAC.
ISSUE: Whether or not the regulation by EIAC is valid.
HELD: The SC ruled in favor of the lower court. The regulation is a valid exercise of police power. Police power concerns government enactments which precisely interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare or the common good. As the assailed Department Order enjoys a presumed validity, it follows that the burden rests upon petitioners to demonstrate that the said order, particularly, its ARB requirement, does not enhance the public welfare or was exercised arbitrarily or unreasonably. The welfare of Filipino performing artists, particularly the women was paramount in the issuance of Department Order No. 3. Short of a total and absolute ban against the deployment of performing artists to “”high risk”” destinations, a measure which would only drive recruitment further underground, the new scheme at the very least rationalizes the method of screening performing artists by requiring reasonable educational and artistic skills from them and limits deployment to only those individuals adequately prepared for the unpredictable demands of employment as artists abroad. It cannot be gainsaid that this scheme at least lessens the room for exploitation by unscrupulous individuals and agencies.