Legally invalid for lack of proper publication

PASEI v. Torres is a case that involves a petition filed by the Philippine Association of Service Exporters (PASEI, for short), to stop the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (or POEA) from enforcing and implementing DOLE Department Order No. 16, Series of 1991 and POEA Memorandum Circulars Nos. 30 and 37, Series of 1991. Said circulars temporarily suspended the recruitment by private employment agencies of Filipino domestic helpers for Hong Kong and vesting in the DOLE, through the facilities of the POEA, the task of processing and deploying such workers.

According to the Supreme Court, the questioned circulars are a valid exercise of the police power as delegated to the executive branch of Government.

Nevertheless, they are legally invalid, defective and unenforceable for lack of proper publication and filing in the Office of the National Administrative Register as required in Article 2 of the Civil Code, Article 5 of the Labor Code and Sections 3(1) and 4, Chapter 2, Book VII of the Administrative Code of 1987 which provide:
Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazatte, unless it is otherwise provided. . . . (Civil Code.)
Art. 5. Rules and Regulations. — The Department of Labor and other government agencies charged with the administration and enforcement of this Code or any of its parts shall promulgate the necessary implementing rules and regulations. Such rules and regulations shall become effective fifteen (15) days after announcement of their adoption in newspapers of general circulation. (Emphasis supplied, Labor Code, as amended.) 
Sec. 3. Filing. — (1) Every agency shall file with the University of the Philippines Law Center, three (3) certified copies of every rule adopted by it. Rules in force on the date of effectivity of this Code which are not filed within three (3) months shall not thereafter be the basis of any sanction against any party or persons. (Emphasis supplied, Chapter 2, Book VII of the Administrative Code of 1987.) 
Sec. 4. Effectivity. — In addition to other rule-making requirements provided by law not inconsistent with this Book, each rule shall become effective fifteen (15) days from the date of filing as above provided unless a different date is fixed by law, or specified in the rule in cases of imminent danger to public health, safety and welfare, the existence of which must be expressed in a statement accompanying the rule. The agency shall take appropriate measures to make emergency rules known to persons who may be affected by them. (Emphasis supplied, Chapter 2, Book VII of the Administrative Code of 1987).
Once more, the ruling in Tañada vs. Tuvera, 146 SCRA 446, is instructive that:
. . . Administrative rules and regulations must also be published if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant also to a valid delegation. (p. 447.)

Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating only the personnel of the administrative agency and not the public, need not be published. Neither is publication required of the so-called letters of instructions issued by administrative superiors concerning the rules or guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in the performance of their duties. (p. 448.)

We agree that publication must be in full or it is no publication at all since its purpose is to inform the public of the content of the laws. (p. 448.)
For lack of proper publication, the administrative circulars in question may not be enforced and implemented. (G.R. No. 101279, August 6, 1992)

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