[Mirror] Pedoc, Enrique

SY 2011-2012, Second Semester


PUBLICATION OF LAW IN THE OFFICIAL GAZETTE WEBSITE; SUFFICIENT COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW REQUIREMENT

IF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES WOULD PUBLISH THE LAW IN OFFICIAL GAZETTE WEBSITE, WOULD THAT SATISFY THE PUBLICATION REQUIREMENT UNDER ART. 2, R.A. 386, AS AMENDED BY E.O. NO. 200 AND CONSISTENT WITH THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT IN TAÑADA VS. TUVERA CASE.

My answer would be in the affirmative.

Executive Order No. 200 of 1987 issued by the then President Corazon C. Aquino superseded Article 2 of the New Civil Code. Section 1 of the aforesaid order provides:

“Sec. 1. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines, unless it is otherwise provided.”

Since the law allows publication in the Official Gazette to be sufficient, without giving distinction between printed copy publication and website or on-line publication, resort in the latter form should be enough.

Publication simply means making it known to the public; dissemination. It doesn’t have to be written in printed form.

The very purpose of the publication requirement of a law is to give the general public adequate notice of the law which is to regulate their actions and conduct as citizens.

The question on where to publish a law was once answered by the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Tañada vs. Tuvera (146 SCRA 446). In the said case the Supreme Court resolved the issue by saying that pursuant to the provision of Civil Code and Revised Administrative Code publication must be effected in the Official Gazette and not in any other medium. Because of this ruling, EO 200 was passed by President Corazon C. Aquino on June 18, 1987, amending Section 2 of the Civil Code. Pursuant to this amendatory law, publication of laws may now either be in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.

Since July 26, 2010 the replicate copy of the content of Official Gazette has become available via internet or on-line at http://www.gov.ph.

Our law is concomitant with advancement of technology in our modern world. Nowadays, publication of law for its effectivity, whether it be made in the Official Gazette in printed copy or replicate copy on-line, or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines, shall have the same effect. In any of the foregoing modes of publication, what is important is the attainment of the purpose; that is to give the general public adequate notice of the law which is to regulate their actions and conduct as citizens.

Moreover, Section 27 of R.A. No. 8792, otherwise known as the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, mandates that the government transact business electronically.

In view of the foregoing, publication of law in the Official Gazette website or on-line publication would be sufficient to satisfy the publication requirement of a particular law for its effectivity.

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