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RepublicofthePhilippines

SUPREMECOURT
Manila
ENBANC

G.R.No.176951November18,2008

LEAGUEOFCITIESOFTHEPHILIPPINES(LCP)representedbyLCPNationalPresident
JERRYP.TREAS,CITYOFILOILOrepresentedbyMAYORJERRYP.TREAS,CITYOF
CALBAYOGrepresentedbyMAYORMELSENENS.SARMIENTO,andJERRYP.TREASin
hispersonalcapacityastaxpayer,petitioners,
vs.
COMMISSIONONELECTIONSMUNICIPALITYOFBAYBAY,PROVINCEOFLEYTE
MUNICIPALITYOFBOGO,PROVINCEOFCEBUMUNICIPALITYOFCATBALOGAN,
PROVINCEOFWESTERNSAMARMUNICIPALITYOFTANDAG,PROVINCEOFSURIGAO
DELSURMUNICIPALITYOFBORONGAN,PROVINCEOFEASTERNSAMARand
MUNICIPALITYOFTAYABAS,PROVINCEOFQUEZON,respondents.
CITYOFTARLAC,CITYOFSANTIAGO,CITYOFIRIGA,CITYOFLIGAO,CITYOF
LEGAZPI,CITYOFTAGAYTAY,CITYOFSURIGAO,CITYOFBAYAWAN,CITYOFSILAY,
CITYOFGENERALSANTOS,CITYOFZAMBOANGA,CITYOFGINGOOG,CITYOF
CAUAYAN,CITYOFPAGADIAN,CITYOFSANCARLOS,CITYOFSANFERNANDO,CITY
OFTACURONG,CITYOFTANGUB,CITYOFOROQUIETA,CITYOFURDANETA,CITYOF
VICTORIAS,CITYOFCALAPAN,CITYOFHIMAMAYLAN,CITYOFBATANGAS,CITYOF
BAIS,CITYOFCADIZ,andCITYOFTAGUM,petitionersinintervention.
xx
G.R.No.177499November18,2008

LEAGUEOFCITIESOFTHEPHILIPPINES(LCP)representedbyLCPNationalPresident
JERRYP.TREAS,CITYOFILOILOrepresentedbyMAYORJERRYP.TREAS,CITYOF
CALBAYOGrepresentedbyMAYORMELSENENS.SARMIENTO,andJERRYP.TREASin
hispersonalcapacityastaxpayer,petitioners,
vs.
COMMISSIONONELECTIONSMUNICIPALITYOFLAMITAN,PROVINCEOFBASILAN
MUNICIPALITYOFTABUK,PROVINCEOFKALINGAMUNICIPALITYOFBAYUGAN,
PROVINCEOFAGUSANDELSURMUNICIPALITYOFBATAC,PROVINCEOFILOCOS
NORTEMUNICIPALITYOFMATI,PROVINCEOFDAVAOORIENTALandMUNICIPALITY
OFGUIHULNGAN,PROVINCEOFNEGROSORIENTAL,respondents.
CITYOFTARLAC,CITYOFSANTIAGO,CITYOFIRIGA,CITYOFLIGAO,CITYOF
LEGAZPI,CITYOFTAGAYTAY,CITYOFSURIGAO,CITYOFBAYAWAN,CITYOFSILAY,
CITYOFGENERALSANTOS,CITYOFZAMBOANGA,CITYOFGINGOOG,CITYOF
CAUAYAN,CITYOFPAGADIAN,CITYOFSANCARLOS,CITYOFSANFERNANDO,CITY
OFTACURONG,CITYOFTANGUB,CITYOFOROQUIETA,CITYOFURDANETA,CITYOF
VICTORIAS,CITYOFCALAPAN,CITYOFHIMAMAYLAN,CITYOFBATANGAS,CITYOF

BAIS,CITYOFCADIZ,andCITYOFTAGUM,petitionersinintervention.
xx
G.R.No.178056November18,2008

LEAGUEOFCITIESOFTHEPHILIPPINES(LCP)representedbyLCPNationalPresident
JERRYP.TREAS,CITYOFILOILOrepresentedbyMAYORJERRYP.TREAS,CITYOF
CALBAYOGrepresentedbyMAYORMELSENENS.SARMIENTO,andJERRYP.TREASin
hispersonalcapacityastaxpayer,petitioners
vs.
COMMISSIONONELECTIONSMUNICIPALITYOFCABADBARAN,PROVINCEOF
AGUSANDELNORTEMUNICIPALITYOFCARCAR,PROVINCEOFCEBUand
MUNICIPALITYOFELSALVADOR,MISAMISORIENTAL,respondents.
CITYOFTARLAC,CITYOFSANTIAGO,CITYOFIRIGA,CITYOFLIGAO,CITYOF
LEGAZPI,CITYOFTAGAYTAY,CITYOFSURIGAO,CITYOFBAYAWAN,CITYOFSILAY,
CITYOFGENERALSANTOS,CITYOFZAMBOANGA,CITYOFGINGOOG,CITYOF
CAUAYAN,CITYOFPAGADIAN,CITYOFSANCARLOS,CITYOFSANFERNANDO,CITY
OFTACURONG,CITYOFTANGUB,CITYOFOROQUIETA,CITYOFURDANETA,CITYOF
VICTORIAS,CITYOFCALAPAN,CITYOFHIMAMAYLAN,CITYOFBATANGAS,CITYOF
BAIS,CITYOFCADIZ,andCITYOFTAGUM,petitionersinintervention.
DECISION

CARPIO,J.:

TheCase

Theseareconsolidatedpetitionsforprohibition1withprayerfortheissuanceofawritof
preliminaryinjunctionortemporaryrestrainingorderfiledbytheLeagueofCitiesofthe
Philippines,CityofIloilo,CityofCalbayog,andJerryP.Treas2assailingtheconstitutionalityof
thesubjectCityhoodLawsandenjoiningtheCommissiononElections(COMELEC)and
respondentmunicipalitiesfromconductingplebiscitespursuanttotheCityhoodLaws.

TheFacts

Duringthe11thCongress,3Congressenactedintolaw33billsconverting33municipalitiesinto
cities.However,Congressdidnotactonbillsconverting24othermunicipalitiesintocities.

Duringthe12thCongress,4CongressenactedintolawRepublicActNo.9009(RA9009),5
whichtookeffecton30June2001.RA9009amendedSection450oftheLocalGovernment
Codebyincreasingtheannualincomerequirementforconversionofamunicipalityintoacity
fromP20milliontoP100million.Therationalefortheamendmentwastorestrain,inthewords
ofSenatorAquilinoPimentel,"themadrush"ofmunicipalitiestoconvertintocitiessolelyto
securealargershareintheInternalRevenueAllotmentdespitethefactthattheyareincapable
offiscalindependence.6

AftertheeffectivityofRA9009,theHouseofRepresentativesofthe12thCongress7adopted
JointResolutionNo.29,8whichsoughttoexemptfromtheP100millionincomerequirementin
RA9009the24municipalitieswhosecityhoodbillswerenotapprovedinthe11thCongress.
However,the12thCongressendedwithouttheSenateapprovingJointResolutionNo.29.

Duringthe13thCongress,9theHouseofRepresentativesreadoptedJointResolutionNo.29
asJointResolutionNo.1andforwardedittotheSenateforapproval.However,theSenate
againfailedtoapprovetheJointResolution.FollowingtheadviceofSenatorAquilinoPimentel,
16municipalitiesfiled,throughtheirrespectivesponsors,individualcityhoodbills.The16
cityhoodbillscontainedacommonprovisionexemptingallthe16municipalitiesfromtheP100
millionincomerequirementinRA9009.

On22December2006,theHouseofRepresentativesapprovedthecityhoodbills.TheSenate
alsoapprovedthecityhoodbillsinFebruary2007,exceptthatofNaga,Cebuwhichwaspassed
on7June2007.Thecityhoodbillslapsedintolaw(CityhoodLaws10)onvariousdatesfrom
MarchtoJuly2007withoutthePresident'ssignature.11
TheCityhoodLawsdirecttheCOMELECtoholdplebiscitestodeterminewhetherthevotersin
eachrespondentmunicipalityapproveoftheconversionoftheirmunicipalityintoacity.

PetitionersfiledthepresentpetitionstodeclaretheCityhoodLawsunconstitutionalforviolation
ofSection10,ArticleXoftheConstitution,aswellasforviolationoftheequalprotectionclause.
Petitionersalsolamentthatthewholesaleconversionofmunicipalitiesintocitieswillreducethe
shareofexistingcitiesintheInternalRevenueAllotmentbecausemorecitieswillsharethe
sameamountofinternalrevenuesetasideforallcitiesunderSection285oftheLocal
GovernmentCode.

TheIssues

Thepetitionsraisethefollowingfundamentalissues:
1.WhethertheCityhoodLawsviolateSection10,ArticleXoftheConstitutionand
2.WhethertheCityhoodLawsviolatetheequalprotectionclause.
TheRulingoftheCourt

Wegrantthepetitions.
TheCityhoodLawsviolateSections6and10,ArticleXoftheConstitution,andarethus
unconstitutional.

First,applyingtheP100millionincomerequirementinRA9009tothepresentcaseisa
prospective,notaretroactiveapplication,becauseRA9009tookeffectin2001whilethe
cityhoodbillsbecamelawmorethanfiveyearslater.

Second,theConstitutionrequiresthatCongressshallprescribeallthecriteriaforthecreationof
acityintheLocalGovernmentCodeandnotinanyotherlaw,includingtheCityhoodLaws.


Third,theCityhoodLawsviolateSection6,ArticleXoftheConstitutionbecausetheypreventa
fairandjustdistributionofthenationaltaxestolocalgovernmentunits.

Fourth,thecriteriaprescribedinSection450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,asamendedby
RA9009,forconvertingamunicipalityintoacityareclear,plainandunambiguous,needingno
resorttoanystatutoryconstruction.

Fifth,theintentofmembersofthe11thCongresstoexemptcertainmunicipalitiesfromthe
coverageofRA9009remainedanintentandwasneverwrittenintoSection450oftheLocal
GovernmentCode.
Sixth,thedeliberationsofthe11thor12thCongressonunapprovedbillsorresolutionsarenot
extrinsicaidsininterpretingalawpassedinthe13thCongress.

Seventh,eveniftheexemptionintheCityhoodLawswerewritteninSection450oftheLocal
GovernmentCode,theexemptionwouldstillbeunconstitutionalforviolationoftheequal
protectionclause.

PreliminaryMatters

Prohibitionistheproperactionfortestingtheconstitutionalityoflawsadministeredbythe
COMELEC,14liketheCityhoodLaws,whichdirecttheCOMELECtoholdplebiscitesin
implementationoftheCityhoodLaws.PetitionerLeagueofCitiesofthePhilippineshaslegal
standingbecauseSection499oftheLocalGovernmentCodetaskstheLeaguewiththe
"primarypurposeofventilating,articulatingandcrystallizingissuesaffectingcitygovernment
administrationandsecuring,throughproperandlegalmeans,solutionsthereto."15
Petitionersinintervention,16whichareexistingcities,havelegalstandingbecausetheir
InternalRevenueAllotmentwillbereducediftheCityhoodLawsaredeclaredconstitutional.
MayorJerryP.TreashaslegalstandingbecauseasMayorofIloiloCityandasataxpayerhe
hassufficientinteresttopreventtheunlawfulexpenditureofpublicfunds,likethereleaseof
moreInternalRevenueAllotmenttopoliticalunitsthanwhatthelawallows.ApplyingRA9009is
aProspectiveApplicationoftheLaw

RA9009becameeffectiveon30June2001duringthe11thCongress.Thislawspecifically
amendedSection450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,whichnowprovides:

Section450.RequisitesforCreation.(a)Amunicipalityoraclusterofbarangaysmaybe
convertedintoacomponentcityifithasalocallygeneratedaverageannualincome,ascertified
bytheDepartmentofFinance,ofatleastOnehundredmillionpesos(P100,000,000.00)forthe
lasttwo(2)consecutiveyearsbasedon2000constantprices,andifithaseitherofthefollowing
requisites:
(i)acontiguousterritoryofatleastonehundred(100)squarekilometers,ascertifiedbythe
LandManagementBureauor

(ii)apopulationofnotlessthanonehundredfiftythousand(150,000)inhabitants,ascertifiedby
theNationalStatisticsOffice.
Thecreationthereofshallnotreducethelandarea,populationandincomeoftheoriginalunitor
unitsatthetimeofsaidcreationtolessthantheminimumrequirementsprescribedherein.
(b)Theterritorialjurisdictionofanewlycreatedcityshallbeproperlyidentifiedbymetesand
bounds.Therequirementonlandareashallnotapplywherethecityproposedtobecreatedis
composedofone(1)ormoreislands.Theterritoryneednotbecontiguousifitcomprisestwo
(2)ormoreislands.
(c)Theaverageannualincomeshallincludetheincomeaccruingtothegeneralfund,exclusive
ofspecialfunds,transfers,andnonrecurringincome.(Emphasissupplied)

Thus,RA9009increasedtheincomerequirementforconversionofamunicipalityintoacity
fromP20milliontoP100million.Section450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,asamendedby
RA9009,doesnotprovideanyexemptionfromtheincreasedincomerequirement.

PriortotheenactmentofRA9009,atotalof57municipalitieshadcityhoodbillspendingin
Congress.ThirtythreecityhoodbillsbecamelawbeforetheenactmentofRA9009.Congress
didnotacton24cityhoodbillsduringthe11thCongress.

Duringthe12thCongress,theHouseofRepresentativesadoptedJointResolutionNo.29,
exemptingfromtheincomerequirementofP100millioninRA9009the24municipalitieswhose
cityhoodbillswerenotacteduponduringthe11thCongress.ThisResolutionreachedthe
Senate.However,the12thCongressadjournedwithouttheSenateapprovingJointResolution
No.29.
Duringthe13thCongress,16ofthe24municipalitiesmentionedintheunapprovedJoint
ResolutionNo.29filedbetweenNovemberandDecemberof2006,throughtheirrespective
sponsorsinCongress,individualcityhoodbillscontainingacommonprovision,asfollows:
ExemptionfromRepublicActNo.9009.TheCityofxxxshallbeexemptedfromtheincome
requirementprescribedunderRepublicActNo.9009.

Thiscommonprovisionexemptedeachofthe16municipalitiesfromtheincomerequirementof
P100millionprescribedinSection450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,asamendedbyRA
9009.ThesecityhoodbillslapsedintolawonvariousdatesfromMarchtoJuly2007after
PresidentGloriaMacapagalArroyofailedtosignthem.
Indisputably,CongresspassedtheCityhoodLawslongaftertheeffectivityofRA9009.RA9009
becameeffectiveon30June2001orduringthe11thCongress.The13thCongresspassedin
December2006thecityhoodbillswhichbecamelawonlyin2007.Thus,respondent
municipalitiescannotinvoketheprincipleofnonretroactivityoflaws.17Thisbasicrulehasno
applicationbecauseRA9009,anearlierlawtotheCityhoodLaws,isnotbeingapplied
retroactivelybutprospectively.
CongressMustPrescribeintheLocalGovernmentCodeAllCriteria

Section10,ArticleXofthe1987Constitutionprovides:

Noprovince,city,municipality,orbarangayshallbecreated,divided,merged,abolishedorits
boundarysubstantiallyaltered,exceptinaccordancewiththecriteriaestablishedinthelocal
governmentcodeandsubjecttoapprovalbyamajorityofthevotescastinaplebisciteinthe
politicalunitsdirectlyaffected.(Emphasissupplied)

TheConstitutionisclear.Thecreationoflocalgovernmentunitsmustfollowthecriteria
establishedintheLocalGovernmentCodeandnotinanyotherlaw.ThereisonlyoneLocal
GovernmentCode.18TheConstitutionrequiresCongresstostipulateintheLocalGovernment
Codeallthecriterianecessaryforthecreationofacity,includingtheconversionofa
municipalityintoacity.Congresscannotwritesuchcriteriainanyotherlaw,liketheCityhood
Laws.

ThecriteriaprescribedintheLocalGovernmentCodegovernexclusivelythecreationofacity.
Nootherlaw,noteventhecharterofthecity,cangovernsuchcreation.Theclearintentofthe
Constitutionistoinsurethatthecreationofcitiesandotherpoliticalunitsmustfollowthesame
uniform,nondiscriminatorycriteriafoundsolelyintheLocalGovernmentCode.Anyderogation
ordeviationfromthecriteriaprescribedintheLocalGovernmentCodeviolatesSection10,
ArticleXoftheConstitution.

RA9009amendedSection450oftheLocalGovernmentCodetoincreasetheincome
requirementfromP20milliontoP100millionforthecreationofacity.Thistookeffecton30
June2001.Hence,fromthatmomenttheLocalGovernmentCoderequiredthatany
municipalitydesiringtobecomeacitymustsatisfytheP100millionincomerequirement.Section
450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,asamendedbyRA9009,doesnotcontainanyexemption
fromthisincomerequirement.
InenactingRA9009,Congressdidnotgrantanyexemptiontorespondentmunicipalities,even
thoughtheircityhoodbillswerependinginCongresswhenCongresspassedRA9009.The
CityhoodLaws,allenactedaftertheeffectivityofRA9009,explicitlyexemptrespondent
municipalitiesfromtheincreasedincomerequirementinSection450oftheLocalGovernment
Code,asamendedbyRA9009.SuchexemptionclearlyviolatesSection10,ArticleXofthe
Constitutionandisthuspatentlyunconstitutional.Tobevalid,suchexemptionmustbewrittenin
theLocalGovernmentCodeandnotinanyotherlaw,includingtheCityhoodLaws.
CityhoodLawsViolateSection6,ArticleXoftheConstitution

UniformandnondiscriminatorycriteriaasprescribedintheLocalGovernmentCodeare
essentialtoimplementafairandequitabledistributionofnationaltaxestoalllocalgovernment
units.Section6,ArticleXoftheConstitutionprovides:

Localgovernmentunitsshallhaveajustshare,asdeterminedbylaw,inthenationaltaxes
whichshallbeautomaticallyreleasedtothem.(Emphasissupplied)

Ifthecriteriaincreatinglocalgovernmentunitsarenotuniformanddiscriminatory,therecanbe
nofairandjustdistributionofthenationaltaxestolocalgovernmentunits.


AcitywithanannualincomeofonlyP20million,allothercriteriabeingequal,shouldnot
receivethesameshareinnationaltaxesasacitywithanannualincomeofP100millionor
more.Thecriteriaoflandarea,populationandincome,asprescribedinSection450ofthe
LocalGovernmentCode,mustbestrictlyfollowedbecausesuchcriteria,prescribedbylaw,are
materialindeterminingthe"justshare"oflocalgovernmentunitsinnationaltaxes.Sincethe
CityhoodLawsdonotfollowtheincomecriterioninSection450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,
theypreventthefairandjustdistributionoftheInternalRevenueAllotmentinviolationof
Section6,ArticleXoftheConstitution.
Section450oftheLocalGovernmentCodeisClear,PlainandUnambiguous.Therecanbeno
resorttoextrinsicaidslikedeliberationsofCongressifthelanguageofthelawisplain,clear
andunambiguous.Courtsdeterminetheintentofthelawfromtheliterallanguageofthelaw,
withinthelaw'sfourcorners.19Ifthelanguageofthelawisplain,clearandunambiguous,
courtssimplyapplythelawaccordingtoitsexpressterms.Ifaliteralapplicationofthelaw
resultsinabsurdity,impossibilityorinjustice,thencourtsmayresorttoextrinsicaidsofstatutory
constructionlikethelegislativehistoryofthelaw.20
Congress,inenactingRA9009toamendSection450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,didnot
provideanyexemptionfromtheincreasedincomerequirement,noteventorespondent
municipalitieswhosecityhoodbillswerethenpendingwhenCongresspassedRA9009.Section
450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,asamendedbyRA9009,containsnoexemption
whatsoever.Sincethelawisclear,plainandunambiguousthatanymunicipalitydesiringto
convertintoacitymustmeettheincreasedincomerequirement,thereisnoreasontogo
beyondtheletterofthelawinapplyingSection450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,as
amendedbyRA9009.The11thCongress'IntentwasnotWrittenintotheLocalGovernment
Code.True,membersofCongressdiscussedexemptingrespondentmunicipalitiesfromRA
9009,asshownbythevariousdeliberationsonthematterduringthe11thCongress.However,
Congressdidnotwritethisintendedexemptionintolaw.Congresscouldhaveeasilyincluded
suchexemptioninRA9009butCongressdidnot.Thisisfataltothecauseofrespondent
municipalitiesbecausesuchexemptionmustappearinRA9009asanamendmenttoSection
450oftheLocalGovernmentCode.TheConstitutionrequiresthatthecriteriafortheconversion
ofamunicipalityintoacity,includinganyexemptionfromsuchcriteria,mustallbewritteninthe
LocalGovernmentCode.Congresscannotprescribesuchcriteriaorexemptionfromsuch
criteriainanyotherlaw.Inshort,Congresscannotcreateacitythroughalawthatdoesnot
complywiththecriteriaorexemptionfoundintheLocalGovernmentCode.

Section10ofArticleXissimilartoSection16,ArticleXIIoftheConstitutionprohibiting
Congressfromcreatingprivatecorporationsexceptbyagenerallaw.Section16ofArticleXII
provides:
TheCongressshallnot,exceptbygenerallaw,providefortheformation,organization,or
regulationofprivatecorporations.Governmentownedorcontrolledcorporationsmaybe
createdorestablishedbyspecialchartersintheinterestofthecommongoodandsubjecttothe
testofeconomicviability.(Emphasissupplied)


Thus,Congressmustprescribeallthecriteriaforthe"formation,organization,orregulation"of
privatecorporationsinagenerallawapplicabletoallwithoutdiscrimination.21Congresscannot
createaprivatecorporationthroughaspeciallaworcharter.
Deliberationsofthe11thCongressonUnapprovedBillsInapplicable

Congressisnotacontinuingbody.22Theunapprovedcityhoodbillsfiledduringthe11th
Congressbecamemerescrapsofpaperupontheadjournmentofthe11thCongress.Allthe
hearingsanddeliberationsconductedduringthe11thCongressonunapprovedbillsalso
becameworthlessupontheadjournmentofthe11thCongress.Thesehearingsand
deliberationscannotbeusedtointerpretbillsenactedintolawinthe13thorsubsequent
Congresses.

ThemembersandofficersofeachCongressaredifferent.Allunapprovedbillsfiledinone
CongressbecomefunctusofficiouponadjournmentofthatCongressandmustberefiledanew
inordertobetakenupinthenextCongress.Whentheirrespectiveauthorsrefiledthecityhood
billsin2006duringthe13thCongress,thebillshadtostartfromsquareoneagain,going
throughthelegislativemilljustlikebillstakenupforthefirsttime,fromthefilingtotheapproval.
Section123,RuleXLIVoftheRulesoftheSenate,onUnfinishedBusiness,provides:

Sec.123.xxx
Allpendingmattersandproceedingsshallterminateupontheexpirationofone(1)Congress,
butmaybetakenbythesucceedingCongressasifpresentedforthefirsttime.(Emphasis
supplied)
Similarly,Section78oftheRulesoftheHouseofRepresentatives,onUnfinishedBusiness,
states:
Section78.CalendarofBusiness.TheCalendarofBusinessshallconsistofthefollowing:
a.UnfinishedBusiness.ThisisbusinessbeingconsideredbytheHouseatthetimeofitslast
adjournment.Itsconsiderationshallberesumeduntilitisdisposedof.TheUnfinishedBusiness
attheendofasessionshallberesumedatthecommencementofthenextsessionasifno
adjournmenthastakenplace.AttheendofthetermofaCongress,allUnfinishedBusinessare
deemedterminated.(Emphasissupplied)

Thus,thedeliberationsduringthe11thCongressontheunapprovedcityhoodbills,aswellas
thedeliberationsduringthe12thand13thCongressesontheunapprovedresolutionexempting
fromRA9009certainmunicipalities,havenolegalsignificance.Theydonotqualifyasextrinsic
aidsinconstruinglawspassedbysubsequentCongresses.
ApplicabilityofEqualProtectionClause

IfSection450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,asamendedbyRA9009,containedan
exemptiontotheP100millionannualincomerequirement,thecriteriaforsuchexemptioncould
bescrutinizedforpossibleviolationoftheequalprotectionclause.Thus,thecriteriaforthe
exemption,iffoundintheLocalGovernmentCode,couldbeassailedonthegroundofabsence

ofavalidclassification.However,Section450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,asamendedby
RA9009,doesnotcontainanyexemption.TheexemptioniscontainedintheCityhoodLaws,
whichareunconstitutionalbecausesuchexemptionmustbeprescribedintheLocal
GovernmentCodeasmandatedinSection10,ArticleXoftheConstitution.

EveniftheexemptionprovisionintheCityhoodLawswerewritteninSection450oftheLocal
GovernmentCode,asamendedbyRA9009,suchexemptionwouldstillbeunconstitutionalfor
violationoftheequalprotectionclause.Theexemptionprovisionmerelystates,"Exemption
fromRepublicActNo.9009TheCityofxxxshallbeexemptedfromtheincomerequirement
prescribedunderRepublicActNo.9009."Thisonesentenceexemptionprovisioncontainsno
classificationstandardsorguidelinesdifferentiatingtheexemptedmunicipalitiesfromthosethat
arenotexempted.
Evenifwetakeintoaccountthedeliberationsinthe11thCongressthatmunicipalitieswith
pendingcityhoodbillsshouldbeexemptfromtheP100millionincomerequirement,thereisstill
novalidclassificationtosatisfytheequalprotectionclause.Theexemptionwillbebasedsolely
onthefactthatthe16municipalitieshadcityhoodbillspendinginthe11thCongresswhenRA
9009wasenacted.Thisisnotavalidclassificationbetweenthoseentitledandthosenotentitled
toexemptionfromtheP100millionincomerequirement.

Tobevalid,theclassificationinthepresentcasemustbebasedonsubstantialdistinctions,
rationallyrelatedtoalegitimategovernmentobjectivewhichisthepurposeofthelaw,23not
limitedtoexistingconditionsonly,andapplicabletoallsimilarlysituated.Thus,thisCourthas
ruled:
Theequalprotectionclauseofthe1987Constitutionpermitsavalidclassificationunderthe
followingconditions:
1.Theclassificationmustrestonsubstantialdistinctions
2.Theclassificationmustbegermanetothepurposeofthelaw
3.Theclassificationmustnotbelimitedtoexistingconditionsonlyand
4.Theclassificationmustapplyequallytoallmembersofthesameclass.

Thereisnosubstantialdistinctionbetweenmunicipalitieswithpendingcityhoodbillsinthe11th
Congressandmunicipalitiesthatdidnothavependingbills.Themerependencyofacityhood
billinthe11thCongressisnotamaterialdifferencetodistinguishonemunicipalityfromanother
forthepurposeoftheincomerequirement.Thependencyofacityhoodbillinthe11thCongress
doesnotaffectordeterminethelevelofincomeofamunicipality.Municipalitieswithpending
cityhoodbillsinthe11thCongressmightevenhavelowerannualincomethanmunicipalities
thatdidnothavependingcityhoodbills.Inshort,theclassificationcriterionmerependencyof
acityhoodbillinthe11thCongressisnotrationallyrelatedtothepurposeofthelawwhichis
topreventfiscallynonviablemunicipalitiesfromconvertingintocities.
Municipalitiesthatdidnothavependingcityhoodbillswerenotinformedthatapendingcityhood
billinthe11thCongresswouldbeaconditionforexemptionfromtheincreasedP100million
incomerequirement.Hadtheybeeninformed,manymunicipalitieswouldhavecausedthefiling
oftheirowncityhoodbills.Thesemunicipalities,eveniftheyhavebiggerannualincomethan

the16respondentmunicipalities,cannotnowconvertintocitiesiftheirincomeislessthanP100
million.

Thefactofpendencyofacityhoodbillinthe11thCongresslimitstheexemptiontoaspecific
conditionexistingatthetimeofpassageofRA9009.Thatspecificconditionwillneverhappen
again.Thisviolatestherequirementthatavalidclassificationmustnotbelimitedtoexisting
conditionsonly.ThisrequirementisillustratedinMayflowerFarms,Inc.v.TenEyck,25where
thechallengedlawallowedmilkdealersengagedinbusinesspriortoafixeddatetosellata
pricelowerthanthatallowedtonewcomersinthesamebusiness.InMayflower,theU.S.
SupremeCourtheld:

Wearereferredtoahostofdecisionstotheeffectthataregulatorylawmaybeprospectivein
operationandmayexceptfromitssweepthosepresentlyengagedinthecallingoractivityto
whichitisdirected.Examplesarestatuteslicensingphysiciansanddentists,whichapplyonlyto
thoseenteringtheprofessionsubsequenttothepassageoftheactandexemptthosethenin
practice,orzoninglawswhichexemptexistingbuildings,orlawsforbiddingslaughterhouses
withincertainareas,butexceptingexistingestablishments.Thechallengedprovisionisunlike
suchlaws,since,onitsface,itisnotaregulationofabusinessoranactivityintheinterestof,or
fortheprotectionof,thepublic,butanattempttogiveaneconomicadvantagetothoseengaged
inagivenbusinessatanarbitrarydateasagainstallthosewhoentertheindustryafterthat
date.Theappelleesdonotintimatethattheclassificationbearsanyrelationtothepublichealth
orwelfaregenerallythattheprovisionwilldiscouragemonopolyorthatitwasaimedatany
abuse,cognizablebylaw,inthemilkbusiness.Intheabsenceofanysuchshowing,wehave
norighttoconjureuppossiblesituationswhichmightjustifythediscrimination.Theclassification
isarbitraryandunreasonableanddeniestheappellanttheequalprotectionofthelaw.
(Emphasissupplied)
Inthesamevein,theexemptionprovisionintheCityhoodLawsgivesthe16municipalitiesa
uniqueadvantagebasedonanarbitrarydatethefilingoftheircityhoodbillsbeforetheendof
the11thCongressasagainstallothermunicipalitiesthatwanttoconvertintocitiesafterthe
effectivityofRA9009.

Furthermore,limitingtheexemptiononlytothe16municipalitiesviolatestherequirementthat
theclassificationmustapplytoallsimilarlysituated.Municipalitieswiththesameincomeasthe
16respondentmunicipalitiescannotconvertintocities,whilethe16respondentmunicipalities
can.Clearly,aswordedtheexemptionprovisionfoundintheCityhoodLaws,evenifitwere
writteninSection450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,wouldstillbeunconstitutionalforviolation
oftheequalprotectionclause.

WHEREFORE,weGRANTthepetitionsanddeclareUNCONSTITUTIONALtheCityhoodLaws,
namely:RepublicActNos.9389,9390,9391,9392,9393,9394,9398,9404,9405,9407,9408,
9409,9434,9435,9436,and9491.

SOORDERED.
ANTONIOT.CARPIO
AssociateJustice

WECONCUR