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Calalang vs Williams
December 2, 1940
Social Justice as the aim of Labor Laws
The National Traffic Commission, in its resolution of 17 July 1940, resolved to recommend to the Director of Public Works and to the Secretary of Public Works and Communications that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited from passing along Rosario Street extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmariñas Street, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to Echague Street, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., from a period of one year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic.
The Chairman of the National Traffic Commission, on 18 July 1940, recommended to the Director of Public Works the adoption of the measure proposed in the resolution, in pursuance of the provisions of Commonwealth Act 548, which authorizes said Director of Public Works, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, to promulgate rules and regulations to regulate and control the use of and traffic on national roads. On 2 August 1940, the Director of Public Works, in his first indorsement to the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, recommended to the latter the approval of the recommendation made by the Chairman of the National Traffic Commission, with the modification that the closing of Rizal Avenue to traffic to animal-drawn vehicles be limited to the portion thereof extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to Azcarraga Street.
On 10 August 1940, the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, in his second indorsement addressed to the Director of Public Works, approved the recommendation of the latter that Rosario Street and Rizal Avenue be closed to traffic of animal-drawn vehicles, between the points and during the hours as indicated, for a period of 1 year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic.
The Mayor of Manila and the Acting Chief of Police of Manila have enforced and caused to be enforced the rules and regulations thus adopted. Maximo Calalang, in his capacity as a private citizen and as a taxpayer of Manila, brought before the Supreme court the petition for a writ of prohibition against A. D. Williams, as Chairman of the National Traffic Commission; Vicente Fragante, as Director of Public Works; Sergio Bayan, as Acting Secretary of Public Works and Communications; Eulogio Rodriguez, as Mayor of the City of Manila; and Juan Dominguez, as Acting Chief of Police of Manila.
Whether the rules and regulations promulgated by the Director of Public Works infringe upon the constitutional precept regarding the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all the people.
The promotion of social justice is to be achieved not through a mistaken sympathy towards any given group. Social justice is "neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy," but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex. Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about "the greatest good to the greatest number."
Acknowledgement: Marge Villanueva