Political Law

Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities vs Secretary of Education

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G.R. No. L-5279 – 95 Phil. 806 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – Declaration of State Policies – Civic Efficiency – Regulation of Private Schools

The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) assailed the constitutionality of Act No. 2706 as amended by Act No. 3075 and Commonwealth Act No. 180. These laws sought to regulate the ownership of private schools in the country. It is provided by these laws that a permit should first be secured from the Secretary of Education before a person may be granted the right to own and operate a private school. This also gives the Secretary of Education the discretion to ascertain standards that must be followed by private schools. It also provides that the Secretary of Education can and may ban certain textbooks from being used in schools.

PACU contends that the right of a citizen to own and operate a school is guaranteed by the Constitution, and any law requiring previous governmental approval or permit before such person could exercise said right, amounts to censorship of previous restraint, a practice abhorrent to our system of law and government. PACU also avers that such power granted to the Secretary of Education is an undue delegation of legislative power; that there is undue delegation because the law did not specify the basis or the standard upon which the Secretary must exercise said discretion; that the power to ban books granted to the Secretary amounts to censorship.

ISSUE: Whether or not Act No. 2706 as amended is unconstitutional.

HELD: No. In the first place, there is no justiciable controversy presented. PACU did not show that it suffered any injury from the exercise of the Secretary of Education of such powers granted to him by the said law.

Second, the State has the power to regulate, in fact control, the ownership of schools. The Constitution provides for state control of all educational institutions even as it enumerates certain fundamental objectives of all education to wit, the development of moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience and vocational efficiency, and instruction in the duties of citizenship. The State control of private education was intended by the organic law.

Third, the State has the power to ban illegal textbooks or those that are offensive to Filipino morals. This is still part of the power of control and regulation by the State over all schools.

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