No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws. (Section 1, Article III, 1987 Constitution)
The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification. Classification in law, as in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the grouping of things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another in certain particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make for real differences, that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and that it must apply equally to each member of the class. This Court has held that the standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary. (Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers’ Union, G.R. No. L-25246, 12 September 1974)
Requisites for valid classification:1) Rest on substantial distinctions;2) Be germane to the purpose of the law;3) Not be limited to existing conditions only; and4) Apply equally to all members of the same class. (Tiu v CA, supra.)
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