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G.R. No. L-19978 – 21 SCRA 336 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – The Executive Department – Powers of the President; Appointment Power – Appointments – When Not Bypassed by a Law
In 1961, Republic Act No. 3137 was passed. This law created the Embroidery and Apparel Control and Inspection Board (EACIB). Section 2 thereof also provided that the Board shall be composed of:
(1) a representative from the Bureau of Customs to act as Chairman, to be designated by the Secretary of Finance;
(2) a representative from the Central Bank to be designated by its Governor;
(3) a representative from the Department of Commerce and Industry to be designated by the Secretary of Commerce and Industry;
(4) a representative from the National Economic Council to be designated by its Chairman; and
(5) a representative from the private sector coming from the Association of Embroidery and Apparel Exporters of the Philippines.
Later, in the performance of its duties, the EACIB made certain assessments against Cecilio Rafael but the latter refused to comply. Rafael sued EACIB and he averred that RA 3137 is unconstitutional for while Congress may create an office it cannot specify who shall be appointed therein; that the members of the EACIB can only be appointed by the President in accordance with Article 7, Sec. 10 2 of the Constitution; that since the Act prescribes that the chairman and members of the EACIB should come from specified offices, it is equivalent to a declaration by Congress as to who should be appointed, thereby infringing the constitutional power of the President to make appointments.
ISSUE: Whether or not RA 3137 bypassed the appointing power of the president.
HELD: No. The Supreme Court noted that indeed the appointing power is the exclusive prerogative of the President, upon which no limitations maybe imposed by Congress, except those resulting from the need of securing the concurrence of the Commission on Appointments and from the exercise of the limited power to prescribe the qualifications to the given appointive office.”
In the case at bar, the representatives in the EACIB are not appointed by the Department Heads. They are merely going to be designated hence whoever was designated was merely sitting as an ex officio member. It must also be noted that Congress took care to specify that the representatives should come from the Bureau of Customs, Central Bank, Department of Commerce and Industry and the National Economic Council. The obvious reason must be because these departments and/or bureaus perform functions which have a direct relation to the importation of raw materials, the manufacture thereof into embroidery and apparel products and their subsequent exportation abroad. There is no attempt in RA 3137 to deprive the President of his power to make appointments. The law is not unconstitutional.