Political Law

Taxicab Operators vs Board of Transportation

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G.R. No. L-59234 – 119 SCRA 597 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – Police Power

Petitioner Taxicab Operators of Metro Manila, Inc. (TOMMI) is a domestic corporation composed of taxicab operators, who are grantees of Certificates of Public Convenience to operate taxicabs within the City of Manila and to any other place in Luzon accessible to vehicular traffic.

On October 10, 1977, respondent Board of Transportation (BOT) issued Memorandum Circular No. 77-42 which reads:

SUBJECT:  Phasing out and Replacement of  Old and Dilapidated Taxis

On January 27, 1981, petitioners filed a Petition with the BOT, docketed as Case No. 80-7553, seeking to nullify MC No. 77-42 or to stop its implementation; to allow the registration and operation in 1981 and subsequent years of taxicabs of model 1974, as well as those of earlier models which were phased-out, provided that, at the time of registration, they are roadworthy and fit for operation.


A.  Did BOT and BLT promulgate the questioned memorandum circulars in accord with the manner required by Presidential Decree No. 101, thereby safeguarding the petitioners’ constitutional right to procedural due process?

B.  Granting arguendo, that respondents did comply with the procedural requirements imposed by Presidential Decree No. 101, would the implementation and enforcement of the assailed memorandum circulars violate the petitioners’ constitutional rights to.

(1)  Equal protection of the law;

(2)  Substantive due process; and

(3)  Protection against arbitrary and unreasonable classification and standard?


As enunciated in the preambular clauses of the challenged BOT Circular, the overriding consideration is the safety and comfort of the riding public from the dangers posed by old and dilapidated taxis. The State, in the exercise of its police power, can prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, good order, safety and general welfare of the people. It can prohibit all things hurtful to comfort, safety and welfare of society. It may also regulate property rights.  In the language of Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando “the necessities imposed by public welfare may justify the exercise of governmental authority to regulate even if thereby certain groups may plausibly assert that their interests are disregarded”.

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Read another version of this digest: Equal Protection

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