• SC declares geodetic law constitutional

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    THE Supreme Court (SC) has junked a petition filed by a group of engineers challenging the constitutionality of a provision of the Geodetic Engineering Law.

    In a full-court ruling promulgated by Clerk of Court Enriqueta Vidal, the tribunal held that it found no merit in the petition filed by Geodetic Engineers of the Philippines Inc.

    Impleaded in the petition were then-Executive Secretary Alberto Romulo, Professional Regulation Commission, Board of Geodetic Engineering and Association of Junior Geodetic Engineers of the Philippines.

    On February 26, 1998, Republic Act (RA) 8560, an act regulating the practice of geodetic engineering in the country, came into effect.

    On March 28, 2003, RA 9200 amended various provisions of RA 8560, including sections 23 and 30.

    The amendments prompted the geodetic engineers’ group to assail before the SC the constitutionality of Section 6 (amending Section 23 of RA 8560) and Section 8 (amending Section 30 of the same) of RA 9200.

    The petitioner claimed that RA 8560 had aimed to phase out the Junior Geodetic Engineering examinations and eventually, to prohibit the practice of Junior Geodetic Engineering.

    It noted that the rationale behind the creation of Junior Geodetic Engineering under Presidential Decree 202—solving shortage of qualified geodetic engineers—was already met and that there was already an “oversupply” of geodetic engineers practicing their profession.

    Beyond the mere sweeping allegation, the SC said “the petitioner did not show any proof [to substantiate its claims.]”

    “The contention has no legal basis. The exercise of a profession or privilege is not unlimited, but is primarily subject to the police power of the state,” it added.

    “Hence, the right of an individual to choose his profession and to practice it can be validly subjected to standards and requirements that Congress may determine and formulate under its power to legislate and to exercise the police power of the state,” the tribunal said.

    “The limitation on the power rests on whether or not the standards and requirements are reasonable and equitable,” the ruling, dated December 2, 2014, pointed out.

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