421 Phil. 281
Rating in the Board Examinations. -- To be qualified as having passed the board examination for Marine Deck/Engineer Officer, a candidate must obtain a weighted general average of seventy percent (70%), with no grade lower than sixty percent (60%) in any given subject. An examinee who obtains a weighted general average rating of seventy (70%) but obtains a rating below sixty percent (60%) in any given subject must take the examination in the subject or subjects where he obtained a grade below sixty percent (60%).Significantly, the passing rating prescribed by the above provision (70%) is lower than that prescribed by Presidential Decree No. 97 (Regulating the Practice of the Marine Professions in the Philippines), otherwise known as the Philippine Merchant Marine Officers Law. Section 9 thereof sets a passing rating of seventy-five percent (75%) thus:
Examination rating. - An examinee having obtained a general weighted average of seventy-five per cent or above with no rating below 60% in any subject; Provided, however, any examinee failing to get the general weighted average of seventy-five per cent shall be required to take a re-examination in all the subjects prescribed by the Board.R.A. No. 8544 also provides for the creation of the Board of Marine Desk Officers. Among the Board's powers and duties, as set forth in Section 10, are:
The Board is also empowered to adopt and promulgate the law's Implementing Rules and Regulations:
(k) In accordance with the STCW '78 Convention and its amendments, to prepare, adopt and issue the syllabi of the subjects for examinations by determining and preparing the questions which shall strictly be within the scope of the syllabus of the subjects for examination;
(l) To promulgate, administer and enforce rules and regulations necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Act, in accordance with the charter of the Professional Regulation Commission and the STCW '78 Convention, as amended: Provided, That in case of subsequent or future amendments to any international convention(s)/conference of which the Philippines is a signatory, the Board is empowered to amend/revise its rules and regulations to conform with the amendments of said convention(s) without the need of amending this enabling Act;
SEC. 34. Implementing Rules and Regulations. - Subject to the approval of the commission, the Board shall adopt and promulgate such rules and regulations, including the Code of Ethics for Marine Deck/Engineer Officers, to carry out the provisions of this Act, which shall be effective after thirty (30) days following their publication in the Official Gazette or in a major daily newspaper of general circulation.On April 25, 26 and 27, 1998, respondent Board of Marine Deck Officers conducted the examination for deck officers. Petitioner Juan Lorenzo Bordallo took the examination for Chief Mate, petitioner Restituto de Castro for Second Mate, and petitioner Noel Olarte for Third Mate. At that time, the Board had not yet issued the syllabi and the rules and regulations pursuant to Republic Act No. 8455.
Considering that the "syllabi of the subjects for examination" have not as yet been prepared, adopted and issued pursuant to Section 10(k) in relation to Section 16 of R.A. No. 8544, the Boards for Marine Deck and Engine Officers shall issue programs of examinations which shall contain the subjects for examination and considering, further, that the weights of the subjects for examination remain the same, the grading system adopted by the Boards under P.D. No. 97 shall continue to be used in the said examinations.The Board, on June 9, 1998, promulgated Board Resolution No. 1, Series of 1998 (the Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 8544).
The Board is guided by a directive issued by the Professional Regulation Commission under PRC Resolution No. 569, Series of 1998, x x x.Petitioners received a copy of the Board's Order on February 9, 1999. On February 25, 1999, petitioners filed before the Court of Appeals a petition for mandamus, naming the PRC and the Board of Marine Deck Officers as respondents. The Court of Appeals, however, denied the petition, prompting petitioners to seek relief in this Court.
x x x
While, admittedly, the above-quoted Resolution was issued for the licensure examinations given in July 1998, subsequent to the licensure examination taken by petitioners, it undoubtedly applies to the previous examination given in April 1998.
Republic Act No. 8455 may have been given effect, under its own provisions, "after fifteen  days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in any major newspaper of general circulation, whichever comes earlier." However, the same law allows time for transition between the former Philippine Merchant Marine Officers Law (Presidential Decree No. 97), and the current Philippine Merchant Marine Officers Act of 1998 (Republic Act No. 8544). This is the tenor of PRC Resolution No. 569, which also states that ["](t)he present Boards for Marine Deck and Engine Officers which where created under P.D. No. 97 are allowed to [`]continue to function in the interim until such time as the new Boards shall be duly constituted['] under Section 33 (2) of R.A. 8544.["]
Aside from the directive given under PRC Resolution No. 569, the non-adoption of the new rating was also premised on the fact that the Implementing Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Board was not yet effective during the licensure examinations given in April 1998 and July 1998. The new rating system under the new law was only implemented in the licensure examinations given in October 1998.
The policies, resolutions, rules and regulations, issued or promulgated by the Board shall be subject to review and approval of the Commission. The decisions, resolutions or orders rendered by the Board shall be final and executory unless appealed to the Commission within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the decision.The Court of Appeals ruled that the 15-day period within which petitioners could appeal to the PRC had already lapsed and that the petition for mandamus could not be used as a substitute for the lost appeal.
SEC. 38. Repealing Clause. - Presidential Decree No. 97, as amended, and all other laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations and other administrative issuances and parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed.Upon the effectivity of the repealing statute, R.A. No. 8544, the repealed statute, P.D. No. 97, in regard to its operative effect, is considered as if it had never existed. Courts, or administrative agencies for that matter, have no power to perpetuate a rule of law that the legislature has repealed.
SEC. 33. Transitory Provision. -It does not provide for the continued application of Section 9, P.D. No. 97 pending the Board's adoption of the new syllabi and the rules and regulations.
(1) x x x
(2) The present Boards shall continue to function in the interim until such time as the new Board shall be duly constituted pursuant to this Act.
SEC. 18. Places and Dates of Examination. - The Marine Deck Officers Licensure Examination shall be held at least four times a year in the City of Manila and in such other places a determined by the Board and approved by the Commission. The places/venues and dates of examinations for the year shall be included in the Schedule of Professional Licensure Examinations issued by the Commission.