PERSONS ATTY DC SEPT 3, 2020 REPUBLIC ACT NO. 386 - CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINEs CHAPTER 1 Effect and Application of Laws Article 1. This Act shall be known as the "Civil Code of the Philippines." (n) Article 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take effect one year after such publication. (1a) TANADA V TUVERA Article 2 of the Civil Code (Publication) Facts: Invoking the people’s right to be informed on matters of public concern, as well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be published in the Official Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated, petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish, and/or cause the publication in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letters of implementation and administrative orders. Respondent contend that publication in the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non requirement for the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves provide for their own effectivity dates. It is thus submitted that since the presidential issuances in question contain special provisions as to the date they are to take effect, publication in the Official Gazette is not indispensable for their effectivity. The point stressed is anchored on Article 2 of the Civil Code. Issue: Whether or not publication in the Official Gazette is an indispensable requirement for the effectivity of laws. Held: Yes. Publication in the Official Gazette is indispensable. In a long line of decisions, the Court has ruled that publication in the Official Gazette is necessary in those cases where the legislation itself does not provide for its effectivity date – for then the date of publication is material for determining its date of effectivity, which is the fifteenth day following its publication – but not when the law itself provides for the date when it goes into effect. Said Article 2 does not preclude the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the date of its effectivity. Without notice and publication, there would be no basis for the application of the maxim “ignorantia legis non excusat.” It would be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one. Without publication, the people have no means of knowing what presidential decrees have actually been promulgated, much less a definite way of informing themselves of the specific contents and texts of such decrees. The presidential of all presidential issuances “of a public nature” or “of general applicability” is mandated by law. Obviously, presidential decrees that provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties for their violation or otherwise impose a burden or the people, such as tax and revenue measures, fall within this category. Other presidential issuances
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