Republic of the Philippines
PALAWAN COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
(R.A. 7611)
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

PCSD Resolution No. 03-207

A RESOLUTION RECONSTITUTING THE PCSD LEGAL COMMITTEE, DELEGATING THERETO THE QUASI-JUDICIAL POWER TO ADJUDICATE VIOLATIONS OF PCSD ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 00-05 AND OTHER SIMILAR OR RELATED ORDERS, AND PROVIDING THE PROCEDURAL GUIDELINES THEREFOR

WHEREAS, Section 19 of Republic Act No. 7611 empowers the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, hereinafter referred to as the Council, “to formulate plans and policies as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan”, as well as “to adopt, amend and rescind such rules and regulations and impose penalties therefor for the effective implementation of the SEP”;

WHEREAS, pursuant to the above-mentioned mandate, the PCSD adopted Administrative Order No. 5, series of 2000, providing for the “Revised Guidelines for the Accreditation, Regulation and Monitoring of Live Fish Catching, Culture, Transport and Trading in Palawan”, including therein the penalty of fine, confiscation and forfeiture;

WHEREAS, there is a need to create a smaller body clothed with the quasi-judicial power for the purpose of providing the administrative machinery leading to the imposition of such penalties as fine, confiscation and forfeiture as mandated under paragraph 8, Section 19 of Republic Act No. 7611 for violations of Administrative Order No. 00-05 and other similar or related orders emanating from the Council;

WHEREAS, while the PCSD Legal Committee, which was reactivated on June 19, 2002 through PCSD Resolution No. 02-202, is one such body that could perform the quasi-judicial function for and in behalf of the Council, its present membership consists of only two (2) members from the PCSD while the rest are not;

WHEREAS, there is a need to reconstitute the said Committee to increase the number of the PCSD members thereof and to exclude therefrom non-PCSD members when the said Committee is so convened as a quasi-judicial body;

WHEREAS, there is likewise a need to adopt a uniform procedure in the administrative adjudication of cases for violations of Administrative Order No. 00-05 and other similar or related orders of the Council, all falling within the jurisdiction of the PCSD Legal Committee.

NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the above premises, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved, that the following uniform procedure for the adjudication of cases for violation of Administrative Order No. 00-05 and other similar or related orders of the Council be adopted, as it is hereby adopted:

Part I
Creation of Quasi-judicial Body

Section 1. The PCSD Legal Committee. The PCSD Legal Committee reactivated pursuant to PCSD Resolution No. 02-202 is hereby reconstituted to increase the PCSD membership therein from two (2) to five (5) members as follows:

  1. the most senior lawyer-member of the PCSD as Chairperson; for the term 2003 -2004, the Vice Governor David A. Ponce de Leon is the most senior lawyer-member of the PCSD and shall serve as the Chairperson of the Legal Committee for the duration of the said term;
  2. the following shall serve as members:

(i)   the PCSDS Executive Director,
(ii)  any member of the PCSD, preferably a lawyer,
(iii) the NGO representative, and
(iv) the business sector representative.

Section 2. The PCSD Legal Committee as a Quasi-Judicial Body. The five PCSD members in the Legal Committee as enumerated in the immediately preceding section is hereby constituted as the quasi-judicial body and hereby authorized to exercise quasi-judicial functions pursuant to the PCSD mandate as enumerated under paragraph 8 of Section 19, Republic Act No. 7611;

Section 3. Jurisdiction. The PCSD Legal Committee shall have jurisdiction over all administrative cases for violation of Administrative Order No. 00-05 and other similar or related orders issued by the PCSD, wherever committed, which carry the penalty of fine, confiscation and forfeiture as provided in the pertinent order or issuance.

Section 4. Powers. The PCSD Legal Committee when assembled as a quasi-judicial body shall have the following powers and functions:

  1. Issue summons and/or subpoenae duces tecum and ad testificandum to respondents in connection with the exercise of its functions;
  2. Conduct summary hearings in compliance with the requirements of administrative due process;
  3. Issue orders as may be necessary in the performance of its functions;
  4. Promulgate decision and issue orders for the enforcement of the same; and
  5. Perform such other powers and functions as may be relevant and necessary in the adjudication of administrative cases brought before it for resolution.

Part II Procedural Guidelines for Adjudication of Administrative Cases

Section 5. Scope of Application. These guidelines shall apply to all cases involving violation of PCSD Administrative Order No. 00-05 and other PCSD administrative orders that may be adopted for the effective implementation of Republic Act No. 7611, otherwise known as the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan Act.

Section 6. Original Jurisdiction. The PCSD Legal Committee shall have exclusive and original jurisdiction over all complaints pertaining to violations of PCSD Administrative Order No. 00-05 and other similar or related orders. The PCSD en banc shall entertain only appealed cases from the decision of the PCSD Legal Committee.

Section 7. Form and Filing of Complaint. A complaint for violation of Administrative Order No. 00-05 and other similar or related orders of the Council may be oral or in writing. A written complaint must be under oath and signed by the complainant(s), specifically stating therein the name(s) of the respondent(s), their known address(es) and the specific acts committed by the said respondent(s) which constitute a violation(s) of Administrative Order No. 00-05 or similar or related orders issued by the PCSD.

In case of an oral complaint made directly before any officer or employee of the PCSDS, said officer or employee of the PCSDS shall reduce the same into writing in the form of an affidavit, to be signed and sworn to by the complainant(s).

Section 8. Who May File Complaint. Any person who has personal knowledge of facts and circumstances constituting a violation of Administrative Order No. 00-05 and other similar or related orders of the Council may file a complaint against any person or persons, natural or juridical, involved in such violation(s).

Section 9. Where to File Complaint. A complaint may be filed with any of the PCSDS District Management Offices; or at the main office at Puerto Princesa City or at the Manila Liaison Office, at the convenience of the complainant.

Section 10. Recording of the Complaint. The receiving officer or employee of the PCSDS shall record the receipt of any complaint and shall immediately forward the same to the Executive Director in Puerto Princesa City, where the complaint shall be docketed and assigned a specific identification number for reference purposes.

Section 11. Notice to Respondent. The Executive Director shall immediately issue a notice to the respondent(s) named in the complaint, stating therein the specific alleged violations and the specific provision of the rules or order allegedly violated, including the applicable penalty. The respondent(s) shall be furnished a copy of the complaint and other supporting documents for his information.

The notice shall likewise indicate the period of time within which the respondent shall file his answer or response to the complaint, which period of time shall not be more than fifteen (15) days from receipt of such notice.

Section 12. Waiver. The respondent(s) shall file his answer within the aforesaid period. The failure of the respondent(s) to answer within such period shall be taken as a waiver of his right to refute the allegations in the complaint.

Section 13. Hearing. No administrative penalty may be imposed by the PCSD Legal Committee without the conduct of a hearing for the purpose.

Section 14. Assistance of Counsel. The respondent(s) may be assisted by legal counsel of his own choice, for purposes of the proceedings before the PCSD Legal Committee.

Section 15. Technical Rules in Administrative Investigations.Administrative proceedings before the PCSD Legal Committee shall be conducted without necessarily adhering to technical rules of procedure applicable to judicial proceedings.

Section 16. Decision. The PCSD Legal Committee shall promulgate its decision in writing, stating therein the facts and the law upon which the same is based as well as the evidentiary bases therefor.

The decision of the PCSD Legal Committee shall become final and executory 15 days after receipt of a copy thereof by the respondent(s).

Section 17. Motion for Reconsideration. Any party may file a motion for reconsideration of the decision of the PCSD Legal Committee within 15 days after receipt of a copy thereof. The decision on the motion for reconsideration shall become final and executory 15 days after receipt of a copy thereof by the movant(s).

Section 18. Appeal to the PCSD. Any party may appeal the decision of the PCSD Legal Committee within 15 days from the denial of his motion for reconsideration thereof.

Section 19. Finality of the Decision. The decision of the PCSD en banc is final. The said decision shall become executory 15 days following the receipt of a copy thereof by the appellant.

Section 20. Execution of the Decision. When the decision becomes final and executory, the PCSD Legal Committee or the PCSD en banc shall issue an order directing the party concerned to comply with the decision within 15 days from receipt of such order. Should the decision constitute the payment of a sum of money, the computation of surcharges and interest therein shall commence from the expiration of the said 15-day period.

Section 21. Notices. All parties before the PCSD Legal Committee or the PCSD en banc shall be furnished copies of all orders, issuances or processes from the said bodies personally or by registered mail.

Part III Apprehension, Search, Seizure and Custody

Section 22. Who are Authorized to Apprehend. Staff of agencies vested with the power to enforce laws, or their deputized agents, special task forces, personnel of the Air Transportation Office (ATO), the PNP Airport Security Group (ASG) and the PCSDS are hereby authorized to apprehend violators of PCSD Administrative Orders No. 00-05 and other similar or related orders when caught in flagrante delicto.

Section 23. Right to Search Warehouses, Vessels or Aircrafts and Persons or Articles Conveyed Therein. Persons enumerated in the immediately preceding section or any official or persons exercising police authority under existing laws have the right to go inside any live fish warehouse / fish cage or aboard any vehicle, vessel or aircraft to inspect, search and examine said warehouse / cage, vehicle, vessel or aircraft and to open any trunk, box or container, to use all necessary force to compel compliance; and if it shall appear that any violation of PCSD Administrative Order No. 00-05 and other similar or related orders has been committed, whereby or in consequence of which such warehouse / cage, vessels or aircraft, or the article or any paraphernalia used in connection with such violation is liable to forfeiture to make seizure of the same or any part thereof.

Seized items must be properly inventoried and documented in the presence of the apprehended person(s) and/or at least two witnesses. The inventory must be duly signed by the apprehending officer(s) and the witnesses. The person who has taken the photograph of seized items must indicate the specifications of the camera and film used thereon and must authenticate the same by affixing his/her signature at the back thereof. Receipt of confiscation must be issued by the apprehending officer(s) to the apprehended person(s), furnishing copy to the witnesses.

In case live fish is confiscated the apprehending officer(s) must indicate in the inventory the number, species, approximate size, weight and estimated value of the fish.

Section 24. Report of Seizure to the PCSD Legal Committee. For the immediate determination of the culpability of the apprehended person(s), the apprehending officer(s) must immediately submit to the Legal Committee, through the PCSDS, a report, including the administrative complaint and the documentation and inventories required in the preceding sections.

Section 25. Warrant for Detention of Property. Upon making any seizure, the PCSD Legal Committee shall issue a warrant for the detention of the property; and if the owner desires to secure the release of the property, the Committee shall surrender it upon the filing of a cash bond with the PCSDS, in an amount to be fixed by the Committee, conditioned upon the payment of the appraised value of the article and/or any fine, expenses and costs which may be imposed in the case. Provided, that such property shall not be released under any bond when there is prima facie evidence of violation of Republic Act No. 8550 or other existing criminal laws or local ordinances.

Section 26. Notice to Owner of Seized Property. The PCSD Legal Committee shall give the owner of the property or his agent a written notice of the seizure and shall give him the opportunity to be heard in a summary administrative proceedings in accordance with the procedures herein provided.

For the purpose of giving such notice and of all other proceedings in the matter of such seizure, the consignee or person holding the bill of lading or in the absence thereof the pilot in the case of an aircraft or the captain in the case of a vessel shall be deemed to be the owner of the property seized.

For the same purpose, agent shall be deemed to include not only any agent in fact of the owner of the seized property but also any person having responsible possession of the property at the time of the seizure, if the owner or his agent in fact is unknown or cannot be reached.

Section 27. Disposition and Custody. Confiscated live fish as far as practicable must be turned over to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for proper disposition and/or preservation for purposes of criminal and administrative prosecution. In exceptional cases, the confiscated live fish may be immediately released back to the wild, provided proper documentation must be done prior to and during the release.

In cases of confiscation of live fish, the priority mode of disposition shall be their immediate release back to the wild. The apprehending officer(s) must take custody of other confiscated items and paraphernalia and as soon as possible turn over the same to the PCSDS for safekeeping in an authorized warehouse during the pendency of the administrative case. In case of forfeiture of confiscated items as decreed by the PCSD Legal Committee and/or the PCSD en banc, the same shall be disposed in accordance with the existing COA regulations, with the approval of the Council.

Part IV Miscellaneous Provisions

Section 28. Computation of Period. In computing the period prescribed herein, the day of the act or event for which the designated period of time begin to run is to be excluded and the date of performance included. If the last day of the period as thus computed falls on a Saturday, a Sunday or a legal holiday in the place where the PCSD Legal Committee or the PCSD en banc sit, the time shall not run until the next working day.

Section 29. Settlement of Fine. Fines imposed pursuant to the administrative procedure outlined herein may be in cash or in manager’s check payable to the PCSDS.

Section 30. Interest and Surcharges. Payment of fine beyond the prescribed period shall be subject to 12% interest rate per annum for the first three months and a surcharge equivalent to 25% of the outstanding amount shall be imposed after the three-month period.

Section 31. Place of Hearing. All hearings before the PCSD Legal Committee and PCSD en banc shall be held at the PCSDS main office at the PTFPP Building, Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa City.

Section 32. Support Staff. The PCSD Legal Committee or the PCSD en banc in appealed cases shall designate the appropriate legal and administrative support staff to aid such bodies in the performance of their functions. Any such person(s) so designated may be compensated on a per diem basis.

Section 33. Logistical/Budgetary Requirements. The PCSD Legal Committee and the PCSD en banc shall allocate an annual operational budget, subject to the approval of the PCSD.

Section 34. Effectivity. The provisions of this Resolution shall take effect 15 days following its publication in newspaper of general circulation and the deposit of a copy therof at the Office of the National Administrative Registry at the UP Law Center in Quezon City.

ADOPTED and APPROVED this 17th day of 2003 in the Municipality of Sofronio Española, Palawan.

I hereby certify to the correctness and accuracy of the above-quoted resolution.

DIR. WINSTON G. ARZAGA
PCSD Secretary
APPROVED :

REP. VICENTE A. SANDOVAL
PCSD Chair