The Supreme Court has sustained the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 224 issued by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which scaled down the extraction and disposition of sand, gravel, and lahar deposits in the provinces affected by Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991.
In an en banc decision released to the public on December 2, 2021, the SC denied the petition filed by provincial government of Pampanga assailing the decision of the Court of Appeals in 2010 which overturned a lower court’s decision declaring EO No. 224 invalid and unconstitutional.
The petitioner asserted that EO No. 224 violated the principle of local government autonomy under the Local Government Code and was an invalid exercise of presidential control and not just general supervision.
But the high court ruled that the issuance of EO No. 224 was a valid exercise of the President’s ordinance-making prerogative, which forms part of the power of executive control.
It added that the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 is an environmental protection law which “justifies the State’s supervision, control, and review of the concerned local government units’ compliance with and enforcement of existing regulations on quarrying-related activities.”
“There was no such palpable violation of the Constitution here,” it declared.