Article VI

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Text of Article VI

By: Elwyn Geraint D. Lloyd Roland John H. Sanchez

the Legislative Branch of government in the Philippines Purpose, functions and structure of Congress Constitutional mandates with respect to Congress Congress:

From

the Latin lex, legis meaning

law The legislative branch broadly deals with the making, deliberation over, enactment, amendment and repealing of laws

There are two basic structures for legislative branches of government:1.

Unicameral

The legislative branch consists of one chamber/house

2.

Bicameral

Legislative power is vested in two chambers/houses

There are two basic structures for legislative branches of government:1.

Unicameral

The legislative branch consists of one chamber/house

2.

Bicameral

Legislative power is vested in two chambers/houses

Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum.

The Philippine Congress is the countrys legislative department (Art.VI, Sec. 1)

Congress is bicameral x Upper House: Senate x Lower House: House Representatives

of

power is essentially the authority under the Constitution to make laws and subsequently, when the need arises, to alter and repeal them. It is the peculiar task of the legislature to prescribe general rules for the government of society. Laws refers to the statutes which are the written enactments of the legislature governing the relations of the people among themselves or between them and the government and its agencies. Legislative

Rights and duties of citizens Imposes taxes Appropriate funds Defines crimes and provides

for their

punishment Creates and abolishes government officers Determines their jurisdiction and functions; and In general, regulates human conduct and the use of property for the promotion of the common good.

Congress

of the Philippines which is a double-chamber body consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives, a bicameral legislature has been created in the place of the unicameral set-up provided in the 1973 Constitution.

A second chamber (Senate) is necessary to serve as a check to hasty and ill-considered legislation; It serves as a training ground for future leaders; It provides a representation for both regional and national interests; A bicameral legislature is less susceptible to bribery and control of big interests; and It is the traditional form of legislative body dating from ancient times; as such, it has been tested and proven in the crucible of human experience

The bicameral set-up has not worked out as an effective fiscalizing machinery; Although it affords a double consideration of bills, it is no assurance of better considered and better deliberated legislation; It produces duplication of efforts and serious deadlocks in the enactment of important measures with the Conference Committee of both Houses, derisively called the third chamber, practically arrogating unto itself the power to enact law under the authority to thresh out differences; All things being equal, it is more expensive to maintain than a unicameral legislature; and

The

prohibitive costs of senatorial elections have made it possible for only wealthy individuals to make it to the Senate; and as to claim that a Senate is needed to provide a training ground for future leaders, two of our Presidents became chief executives even if their service was confined to the House of Representatives.

General

legislative

power Specific powers Implied powers Inherent powers

Presidential

system three distinct classes: legislative, executive, and judicial. Parliamentary system French presidential-parliamentary system

Checks

by the President Checks by Congress Checks by the judiciary

Section 2. The Senate shall be composed of twenty-four Senators who shall be elected at large by the qualified voters of the Philippines , as may be provided by law. Section 3. No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, and, on the day of the election, is at least thirty-five years of age, able to read and write, a registered voter, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than two years immediately preceding the day of the election. Section 4. The term of office of the Senators shall be six years and shall commence, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election. No Senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected.

The

Senate

Composition Term of office Qualifications Maximum terms Registered voter Ones residence

Composition

Qualifications

Term

of Office

24 Senators elected at large Natural-born citizen At least 35 years old on election day Literate (can read and write) Registered voter Philippine resident for 2 years prior to election day 6 years Maximum: 2 terms

Section 5. (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations. (2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector.

(3)

Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative. Within three years following the return of every census, the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section.

(4)

The

House of Representativesand

Composition

election/section Term of office Qualifications Maximum terms

Composition

Qualifications

Term of Office

200 district reps, 50 party list Natural-born citizen At least 25 years old on election day Literate (can read and write) Registered voter of the district District resident for 1 year prior to election day 3 years Maximum: 3 terms

The constitution limits to 250 the maximum number of members of the House of Representatives may have. The members of the House of Representatives shall be elected from legislative districts and through a partylist system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations. The party-list representatives shall continue 20% of the number of representatives in the lower house, including those under the party-list. Thus, the numbers of the House of Representatives may be classified in to district, party-list, and sectoral representatives with the last to exist only three (3) consecutive terms after the ratification of the Constitution.

Conditions

for apportionment

Such appointment shall be made in accordance

with the number of their respective inhabitants; It shall be made on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio; Each legislative district shall comprise as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory; and Each city with a population of at least 250,000 or each province shall have at least one representative

Ratio

to be adopted Representation of provinces and cities Reapportionment of legislative districts.

Aim

of the party-list system Appointment/selection of the sectoral representation Need for sectoral representation

Section

8. Unless otherwise provided by law, the regular election of the Senators and the Members of the House of Representatives shall be held on the second Monday of May. 9. In case of vacancy in the Senate or in the House of Representatives, a special election may be called to fill such vacancy in the manner prescribed by law, but the Senator or Member of the House of Representatives thus elected shall serve only for the unexpired term.

Section

Regular

election Special election Vacancy can be filled through regular election Special elections can be called for the purpose of filling the vacancy In either circumstance, the one elected merely sits for the unexpired term

Section

10. The salaries of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall be determined by law. No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives approving such increase.

Section

11. A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congr