Ermita-Malate Hotel & Motel Operators Association v City of Manila; G.R. No. L-24693; 31 Jul 1967; 20 SCRA 849

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The City of Manila passed Ordinance No. 4760 imposing a P6,000 fee per annum for first class motels and P4,500 for second class motels; requiring the owner, manager, keeper or duly authorized representative to acquire the customers’ personal information.
Moreover, the same ordinance subjects the premises and facilities of such establishments to inspection.

Whether or not Ordinance No. 4760 violates the due process clause.

NO. There is no controlling and precise definition of due process. It furnishes though a standard to which governmental action should conform in order that deprivation of life, liberty or property, in each appropriate case, must be valid. The standard of due process which must exist both as a procedural and substantive requisite to free the challenged Ordinance, or any governmental action for that matter, from imputation of legal infirmity, is responsiveness to the supremacy of reason, obedience to the dictates of justice. What should be deemed unreasonable and what would amount to an abdication of the power to govern is inaction in the face of an admitted deterioration of the state of public morals.

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