Country
Philippines
Sources
InforMEA
Abstract
The Puerto Princesa City authorities enacted ordinances that banned the shipment of all live fish and lobster outside Puerto Princesa City in order to effectively free the City Sea Waters from cyanide and other obnoxious substances. The ordinances covered all persons and business enterprises that were in the business or shipment of live fish and lobster. It became unlawful to ship out from Puerto Princesa City to any point of destination any live fish and lobster except sea bass, catfish, mudfish and milkfish fries. The petitioners claimed, among others, that being fishermen or marine merchants, they would be adversely affected by the ordinances. The court interpreted the relevant statutory laws and regulations and emphasized that under the general welfare clause of the Local Government Code, local government units had the power, inter alia, to enact ordinances to enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology. It likewise specifically vested municipalities with the power to penalize, by appropriate ordinances, the use of explosives, noxious or poisonous substances, electricity, and other deleterious methods of fishing; and to prosecute any violation of the provisions of applicable fishery laws. In conclusion, the petition was dismissed. In a dissenting opinion Judge Bellosillo expressed the view that in absolutely prohibiting the catching, gathering, buying and shipment of live fishes and marine coral resources by any means including those lawfully executed or done in the pursuit of legitimate occupation, the ordinance had overstepped the reasonable limits and boundaries of its raison d’etre.