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Tio vs Videogram Regulatory Board
Political Law – The Embrace of Only One Subject by a Bill
Tio is a videogram operator who assailed the constitutionality of PD 1987 entitled “An Act Creating the Videogram Regulatory Board” with broad powers to regulate and supervise the videogram industry. The PD was also reinforced by PD 1994 which amended the National Internal Revenue Code. The amendment provides that “there shall be collected on each processed video-tape cassette, ready for playback, regardless of length, an annual tax of five pesos; Provided, that locally manufactured or imported blank video tapes shall be subject to sales tax.” The said law was brought about by the need to regulate the sale of videograms as it has adverse effects to the movie industry. The proliferation of videograms has significantly lessened the revenue being acquired from the movie industry, and that such loss may be recovered if videograms are to be taxed. Sec 10 of the PD imposes a 30% tax on the gross receipts payable to the LGUs. Tio countered, among others, that the tax imposition provision is a rider and is not germane to the subject matter of the PD.
ISSUE: Whether or not the PD embraces only one subject.
HELD: The Constitutional requirement that “every bill shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof” is sufficiently complied with if the title be comprehensive enough to include the general purpose which a statute seeks to achieve. It is not necessary that the title express each and every end that the statute wishes to accomplish. The requirement is satisfied if all the parts of the statute are related, and are germane to the subject matter expressed in the title, or as long as they are not inconsistent with or foreign to the general subject and title. An act having a single general subject, indicated in the title, may contain any number of provisions, no matter how diverse they may be, so long as they are not inconsistent with or foreign to the general subject, and may be considered in furtherance of such subject by providing for the method and means of carrying out the general object.” The rule also is that the constitutional requirement as to the title of a bill should not be so narrowly construed as to cripple or impede the power of legislation. It should be given a practical rather than technical construction. In the case at bar, the questioned provision is allied and germane to, and is reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of, the general object of the PD, which is the regulation of the video industry through the VRB as expressed in its title. The tax provision is not inconsistent with, nor foreign to that general subject and title. As a tool for regulation it is simply one of the regulatory and control mechanisms scattered throughout the PD. The express purpose of the PD to include taxation of the video industry in order to regulate and rationalize the uncontrolled distribution of videograms is evident from Preambles 2 and 5 of the said PD which explain the motives of the lawmakers in presenting the measure. The title of the PD, which is the creation of the VRB, is comprehensive enough to include the purposes expressed in its Preamble and reasonably covers all its provisions. It is unnecessary to express all those objectives in the title or that the latter be an index to the body of the PD.
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