State’s fundamental powers, Constitutional Law


The State has three fundamental powers:

1) Police power;

2) Eminent domain; and

3) Taxation. (Planters Products, Inc. v. Fertiphil Corporation, G.R. No. 166006, 14 March 2008)

1. Police power

a. Concept

Police power is the power of the state to promote public welfare by restraining and regulating the use of liberty and property. It is the most pervasive, the least limitable, and the most demanding of the three fundamental powers of the State. The justification is found in the Latin maxim salus populi est suprema lex (the welfare of the people is the supreme law) and sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas (so use your property as not to injure the property of others). As an inherent attribute of sovereignty which virtually extends to all public needs, police power grants a wide panoply of instruments through which the State, as parens patriae, gives effect to a host of its regulatory powers. We have held that the power to “regulate” means the power to protect, foster, promote, preserve, and control, with due regard for the interests, first and foremost, of the public, then of the utility and of its patrons. (Gerochi v. Department of Energy, En Banc, G.R. No. 159796, 17 July 2007)

In the exercise of police power, “property rights of private individuals are subjected to restraints and burdens in order to secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity of the State.” Even then, the State's claim of police power cannot be arbitrary or unreasona...

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