6 basic rules on operation, effect of laws

Below are six basic rules you need to know regarding the operation and effect of laws. These are principles studied in administrative law.

[1] When Laws Take Effect. - Laws shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation, unless it is otherwise provided.

Note that the law says "after" and "following." Therefore, the law does not take effect on the 15th day but on the day after the 15-day period. The term "unless it is otherwise provided" does not refer to the publication requirement but to the 15-period period which can be lengthened or shortened by Congress.

[2] Prospectivity. - Laws shall have prospective effect unless the contrary is expressly provided.

The rule is that law applies forward in time, not backward. The law itself, of course, can provide for retroactivity.

[3] Interpretation of Laws and Administrative Issuances. - In the interpretation of a law or administrative issuance promulgated in all the official languages, the English text shall control, unless otherwise specifically provided. In case of ambiguity, omission or mistake, the other texts may be consulted.

[4] No Implied Revival of Repealed Law. - When a law which expressly repeals a prior law itself repealed, the law first repealed shall not be thereby revived unless expressly so provided.

[5] Revival of Law Impliedly Repealed. - When a law which impliedly repeals a prior law is itself repealed, the prior law shall thereby be revived, unless the repealing law provides otherwise.

[6] Ignorance of the Law. - Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith.

See Chapter 5 of Book I of Executive Order No. 292.