Original language

English

Country
Philippines
Date of text
Type of court
National - higher court
Sources
Court name
Supreme Court of the Philippines
Seat of court
Manila
Reference number
G.R. No. 110120
Tagging
Human Rights
Free tags
Waste & hazardous substances
Justice(s)
ROMERO J.
Abstract

This case was concerned with garbage being disposed by the City Government of Caloocan in the Tala Estate. The complainants sought to end the operations of the dumpsite as they were concerned with the environmental and health impacts.

An investigation found that the City Government of Caloocan was operating the dumpsite without the required Environmental Compliance Certificate. The Lake Laguna Development Authority (LLDA) issued an order to the City Government asking them to stop operating the dumpsite. Activities at the site ceased for a few months, but resumed again after that. Another cease and desist order was filed.

The City Government then filed a petition seeking a declaration that they have sole authority over promoting the health and safety of the Caloocan residents in light of a balanced ecology of the region in which case all orders issued asking them to stop operations of the dumpsite would be void.

The lower court allowed this petition declaring the City Government of Caloocan to have sole authority over these matters and ruling that the LLDA did not have the power to issue a cease and desist order.

The Supreme Court allowed the LLDA’s appeal and overruled this decision. It held that the LLDA had the authority to issue a cease and desist order concerning the operations of the dumpsite seeing as Republic Act. No 4850 explicitly authorized them to make such orders where it serves the aim of stopping pollution.

Furthermore, the Court pointed out Article II, section 16 of the Constitution which grants the right to a healthy environment, as well as state policy which declared to promote the right to health which is also enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the Declaration of Alma-Ata as a fundamental right.