Exhaust remedies first before going to court

A public servant who has an issue against a directive for her re-assignment must exhaust her available administrative remedies before resorting to judicial action. The non-exhaustion of available administrative remedies is fatal to the resort to judicial action. (G.R. No. 163109, January 22, 2014)The rule requiring the exhaustion of administrative remedies rests on the principle that the administrative agency, if afforded a complete chance to pass upon the matter again, will decide the same correctly. There are both legal and practical reasons for the rule. The administrative process is intended to provide less expensive and speedier solutions to disputes. Where the enabling statute indicates a procedure for administrative review and provides a system of administrative appeal or reconsideration, therefore, the courts – for reasons of law, comity and convenience – will not entertain a case unless the available administrative remedies have been resorted to and the appropriate authorities have been given an opportunity to act and correct the errors committed in the administrative forum.[1]

The importance and value of the exhaustion of administrative remedies as a condition before resorting to judicial action cannot be brushed aside. As the Court points out in Universal Robina Corp. (Corn Division) v. Laguna Lake Development Authority:[2]

The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is a cornerstone of our judicial system. The thrust of the rule is that courts must allow administrative agencies to carry out their functions and discharge their responsibilities within the specialized areas of their respective competence. The rationale for this doctrine is obvious. It entails lesser expenses and provides for the speedier resolution of controversies. Comity and convenience also impel courts of justice to shy away from a dispute until the system of administrative redress has been completed.

[1] Union Bank of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 131729, May 19, 1998, 290 SCRA 198, 219-220.

[2] G.R. No. 191427, May 30 , 2011, 649 SCRA 506, 511.