The object of all interpretation and construction of laws is to ascertain and effectuate the intention of the legislature. Every law shall be construed, if possible, to give effect to all its provisions.
When the words of a law in their application to an existing situation are clear and free from all ambiguity, the letter of the law shall not be disregarded under the pretext of pursuing the spirit.
When the words of a law are not explicit, the intention of the legislature may be ascertained by considering, among other matters:
(1) the occasion and necessity for the law;
(2) the circumstances under which it was enacted;
(3) the mischief to be remedied;
(4) the object to be attained;
(5) the former law, if any, including other laws upon the same or similar subjects;
(6) the consequences of a particular interpretation;
(7) the contemporaneous legislative history; and
(8) legislative and administrative interpretations of the statute.