M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 478 June 4, 1974


WHEREAS, the Office of the Solicitor General, as law office of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, performs a vital role in the program of the administration, particularly in the handling of constitutional and other important litigations before the Supreme Court and other courts or tribunals;

WHEREAS, statutory provisions defining the powers, functions, and duties of the Office of the Solicitor General are scattered in a proliferation of amendatory laws, charters of government agencies, other statutes, Rules of Court and executive orders enacted over the years;

WHEREAS, there is a need to clarify and codify the existing provisions defining the powers, functions, duties, and other aspects of the Office of the Solicitor General;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree the following into law:


Section 1. Functions and Organizations. (1) The Office of the Solicitor General shall represent the Government of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer. When authorized by the President or head of the office concerned, it shall also represent government-owned or controlled corporations. The Office of the Solicitor General shall constitute the law office of the Government and, as such discharge duties requiring the services of a lawyer. It shall have the following specific powers and functions:

a. Represent the Government in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals in all criminal proceedings; represent the Government and its officers in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and all other courts or tribunals in all civil actions and special proceedings in which the Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party.

b. Investigate, initiate court action, or in any manner proceed against any person, corporation or firm for the enforcement of any contract, bond, guarantee, mortgage, pledge or other collateral executed in favor of the Government. Where proceedings are to be conducted outside of the Philippines the Solicitor General may employ counsel to assist in the discharge of the aforementioned responsibilities.

c. Appear in any court in any action involving the validity of any treaty, law, executive order or proclamation, rule or regulation when in his judgment his intervention is necessary or when requested by the Court.

d. Appear in all proceedings involving the acquisition or loss of Philippine citizenship.

e. Represent the Government in all land registration and related proceedings. Institute actions for the reversion to the Government of lands of public domain and improvements thereon as well as lands held in violation of the Constitution.

f. Prepare, upon request of the President or other proper officer of the National Government, rules and guidelines for government entities governing the preparation of contracts, making of investments, undertaking of transactions, and drafting of forms or other writings needed for officials use, with the end in view of facilitating their enforcement and insuring that they are entered into or prepared conformably with law and for the best interests of the public.

g. Deputize, whenever in the opinion of the Solicitor General the public interest requires, any provincial or city fiscal to assist him in the performance of any function or discharge of any duty incumbent upon him, within the jurisdiction of the aforesaid provincial or city fiscal. When so deputized, the fiscal shall be under the control and supervision of the Solicitor General with regard to the conduct of the proceedings assigned to the fiscal, and he may be required to render reports or furnish information regarding the assignment.

h. Deputize legal officers of government departments, bureaus, agencies and offices to assist the Solicitor General and appear or represent the Government in cases involving their respective offices, brought before the courts and exercise supervision and control over such legal officers with respect to such cases.

i. Call on any department, bureau, office, agency or instrumentality of the Government for such service, assistance and cooperation as may be necessary in fulfilling its functions and responsibilities and for this purpose enlist the services of any government official or employee in the pursuit of his tasks.

Departments, bureaus, agencies, offices, instrumentalities and corporations to whom the Office of the Solicitor General renders legal services are authorized to disburse funds from their sundry operating and other funds for the latter Office. For this purpose, the Solicitor General and his staff are specifically authorized to receive allowances as may be provided by the Government offices, instrumentalities and corporations concerned, in addition to their regular compensation.

j. Represent, upon the instructions of the President, the Republic of the Philippines in international litigations, negotiations or conferences where the legal position of the Republic must be defended or presented.

k. Act and represent the Republic and/or the people before any court, tribunal, body or commission in any matter, action or proceeding which, in his opinion, affects the welfare of the people as the ends of justice may require; and

l. Perform such other functions as may provided by law.

(2) The Office shall be headed by a Solicitor General who shall assisted by a Legal Staff composed of such number of Assistant Solicitors General, Solicitors, and Trial Attorneys as may be provided by law. It shall have such other staffs and operating units as are now or may be provided by law. The Investigation and Recovery Office provided hereafter shall be under the Office of the Solicitor General.

Section 2. Qualifications and Appointments. (1) The Solicitor General shall have the same rank, qualifications for appointment, and salary as an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals. The Assistant Solicitors General shall have the same Court of First Instance. No person shall be appointed Solicitor unless he a citizen of the Philippines, a member of the Philippine Bar, of recognized competence and with experience in the practice of law for at least four (4) years.

(2) The Solicitor General and the Assistant Solicitors General, who must be officers learned in the law, and the Solicitors shall be appointed by the President.

Section 3. Attorneys and Experts to Assist the Solicitor General. The Solicitor General may, when necessary and after consultation with the Government entity concerned, employ, retain, and compensate on a contractual basis, in the name of the Government, such attorneys and experts or technical personnel as he may deem necessary to assist him in the discharge of his duties. The compensation and expenses of such persons may be charged to the agency or office in whose behalf the services have to be rendered.

Section 4. Investigation and Recovery Office. (1) The Investigation and Recovery Office shall be under the supervision and control of the Solicitor General and shall be responsible for the collection and recovery of funds and properties owing to the Government. It shall be headed by an Executive Director who may be assisted by an Assistant Executive Director. It shall have such number of state counsel-lawyers, accountants and other personnel as may hereafter be provided by law.

(2) The investigation and Recovery Office shall perform the following powers and functions:

a. Administer, direct and supervise the collection and recovery of government assets, stocks, funds and moneys and other real personal properties owing to the Government.

b. Investigate and recover according to law, assets, money claims and properties owing to government-owned or controlled corporations as directed by the Solicitor General.

c. Investigate and, if necessary, file charges against erring government personnel responsible or implicated in any way in the loss of properties or any other assets of the Government; and

d. Perform such other functions as may be assigned to it by the Solicitor General or as are now or may hereafter be provided by law or executive order.

Section 5. This decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 4th day on June, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred seventy-four.

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