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Congress, as a general rule, cannot delegate its legislative

Sec. 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the power. Since the people have already delegated legislative power to
Philippines, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Congress, the latter cannot delegate it any further.
Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the EXCEPTIONS:
provision on initiative and referendum. 1. Delegation of legislative power to local government units;
2. Instances when the Constitution itself allows for such delegation [see
Art. VI Sec. 23(2)]
Definition of Legislative Power:
What may Congress delegate:
The authority to make laws and to alter or repeal them.
Congress can only delegate, usually to administrative agencies, RULE-
Classification of legislative power: (O De CO)
MAKING POWER or LAW EXECUTION. This involves either of two tasks for
1. Original Possessed by the people in their sovereign capacity
2. Delegated Possessed by Congress and other legislative bodies by the administrative agencies:
virtue of the Constitution 1. Filling up the details on an otherwise complete statute; or
3. Constituent The power to amend or revise the Constitution 2. Ascertaining the facts necessary to bring a contingent law or
4. Ordinary The power to pass ordinary laws provision into actual operation.

Note: Sections 2-4. SENATE

The original legislative power of the people is exercised via initiative and Composition
referendum. In this manner, people can directly propose and enact laws, or 24 senators who shall be elected at large by the qualified voters of the
approve or reject any act or law passed by Congress or a local government Philippines, as may be provided by law.
unit. Reason: training ground for national leaders and possibly springboard to the
Limits on the legislative power of Congress: Presidency.
1. Substantive limitations on the content of laws. E.g. no law shall be : Senators have national rather than only a district constituency;
passed establishing a state religion. broader outlook for problems of country
1. Procedural limitations on the manner of passing laws. E.g. generally : More circumspect and broad-minded than HOR
a bill must go through three readings on three separate days.
1. Natural-born citizen;
Provided that these two limitations are not exceeded, Congress legislative
2. At least 35 years old on the day of election;
power is plenary.
- NOT on the day of proclamation
Corollaries of legislative power:
- Espinosa v Aquino- nullifies this ruling
1. Congress cannot pass irrepealable laws. Since Congress powers are
3. Able to read and write;
plenary, and limited only by the Constitution, any attempt to limit the
- Now specifically prescribed because it is note deemed embraced in
powers of future Congresses via an irrepealable law is not allowed.
suffrage under the Constitution
4. A registered voter; and
5. Philippine resident for at least 2 years immediately preceding the day apportionment of districts is NOT a political question, the judiciary
of the election. CANNOT compel Congress to do this.
Note: The qualifications of both Senators and Members of the House are 5. The standards used to determine the apportionment of legislative
limited to those provided by the Constitution. Congress cannot, by law, add districts is meant to prevent gerrymandering, which is the formation
or subtract from these qualifications. of a legislative district out of separate territories so as to favor a
particular candidate or party.
Term of Office: Qualifications
6 years, commencing (unless otherwise provided by law) at noon, 30 June 1. Natural born citizen of the Philippines;
next following their election. 2. At least 25 years old on the day of the election;
Term Limitations: 3. Able to read and write;
1. No Senator shall serve for more than 2 consecutive terms. 4. Registered voter in the district he seeks to represent; and
2. Voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time shall not be 5. A resident of such district for at least one year immediately preceding
considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full the day of the election.
term for which he was elected. Term of Office
1. Each member of the House shall be elected for a term of three (3)
Composition: years which shall commence (unless otherwise provided for by law) at
1. Not more than 25 members, unless otherwise fixed by law; and noon on 30 June next following their election.
2. Party-list Representative 2. Voluntary renunciation of 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.
Election of 250 members
1. They shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the Term Limitations
provinces, cities and the Metropolitan Manila area. No member of the House of Representatives shall serve for more than three
2. Legislative districts are apportioned in accordance with the number of (3) consecutive terms.
inhabitants of each area and on the basis of a uniform and
progressive ratio. Distinctions between Term and Tenure
1. Each district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, Definition
compact and adjacent territory; 1. Terms means the period during which the elected officer is legally
2. Each city with at least 250,000 inhabitants will be entitled to at least authorized to assume his office and exercise the powers thereof.
one representative. 2. Tenure is the actual period during which such officer actually holds his
3. Each province will have at least one representative. position.
4. Legislative districts shall be re-apportioned by Congress within 3 years Limitation/Possible Reduction
after the return of each census. According to Jack, however, while the 1. Term CANNOT be reduced.
2. Tenure MAY, by law, be limited. Thus, a provision which Salaries of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall be
considers an elective office automatically vacated when the determined by law.
holder thereof files a certificate of candidacy for another Rule on increase in salaries:
elective office (except President and Vice-President) is valid, as No increase in their salaries shall take effect until after the EXPIRATION OF
it only affects the officers tenure and NOT his constitutional
Party-List Representatives
1. Constitute 20% of the total number of representatives, including
Note: Since the Constitution provides for rules on salaries and not on
those under the party-list system (thus a maximum of 50 party-list
emoluments, our distinguished legislators can appropriate for themselves
members of the House)
2. However, for 3 consecutive terms from 2 February 1987 (i.e., the other sums of money such as travel allowances, as well as other side
1987-92, 92-95 and 95-98 terms), 25 seats shall be allotted to benefits.
sectoral representatives. Under Art. XVIII, Sec. 7, the sectoral
representatives are to be appointed by the President until legislation Sec. 11: CONGRESSIONAL IMMUNITIES
otherwise provides. 1.) Immunity from arrest:
Mechanics of the party-list system: 1. Legislators are privileged from arrest while Congress is in session
1. Registered organizations submit a list of candidates in order of with respect to offenses punishable by up to 6 years of
priority. imprisonment. Thus, whether Congress is in regular or special
2. During the elections, these organizations are voted for at large. session, the immunity from arrest applies.
3. The number of seats that each organization gets out of the 20% 2. If Congress is in recess, members thereof may be arrested.
allotted to the system depends on the number of votes they get. 3. The immunity is only with respect to arrests and NOT to prosecution
Qualifications for criminal offenses.
1. Natural born citizen of the Philippines 2.) Legislative privilege:
2. At least 25 years of age on the day of the election 1. No member shall be questioned or held liable in any forum other than
3. Able to read and write his/her respective Congressional body for any debate or speech in the
Congress or in any Committee thereof.
Sec. 9. In case of vacancy in the Senate or in the House of Limitation on the privilege:
Representatives, a special election may be called to fill such vacancy in (i) Protection is only against forum other than Congress
the manner prescribed by law, but the Senator or Member of the House itself. Thus for inflammatory remarks which are otherwise privileged, a
of Representatives thus elected shall serve only for the unexpired member may be sanctioned by either the Senate or the House as the case
term. may be.
Sec. 10. Salaries of Senators and Members of the House (ii) The speech or debate must be made in performance of their
Determination of Salaries: duties as members of Congress. This includes speeches delivered,
statements made, votes cast, as well as bills introduced, and other activities or in any franchise, or special
privilege granted by the
done in performance of their official duties. Government, or any
(iii) Congress need NOT be in session when the utterance is made, subdivision, agency or
instrumentality thereof,
as long as it forms part of legislative action, i.e. part of the deliberative and
including any GOCC or its
communicative process used to participate in legislative proceedings in subsidiary.
consideration of proposed legislation or with respect to other matters with 5. Legislators cannot intervene When it is for his
in any matter before any office pecuniary benefit or
Congress jurisdiction.
of the government. where he may be called
Sec. 12. All Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives upon to act on account
shall, upon assumption of office, make a full disclosure of their of his office.
financial and business interests. They shall notify the House
concerned of a potential conflict of interest that may arise from the
Regular Sessions:
filing of a proposed legislation of which they are authors.
1.) Congress convenes once every year on the 4th Monday of July (unless
otherwise provided for by law)
Disqualifications: 2.) Continues in session for as long as it sees fit, until 30 days before the
DISQUALIFICATION WHEN APPLICABLE opening of the next regular session, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal
1. Senator/Member of the During his term. If he
House cannot hold any other does so, he forfeits his Special Sessions:
office or employment in seat. Called by the President at any time when Congress is not in session.
the Government or any
subdivision, agency or
Instrumentality thereof, Sec. 16. Officers:
including GOCCS or their 1.) Senate President;
2. Legislators cannot be IF the office was created 2.) Speaker of the House; and
appointed to any office. or the emoluments 3.) Each House may choose such other officers as it may deem necessary.
thereof increased during Election of Officers
the term for which he
was elected. By a majority vote of all respective members.
3. Legislators cannot During his term of office. Quorum to do business:
personally appear as counsel 1. Majority of each House shall constitute a quorum.
before any court of justice,
electoral tribunal, quasi-judicial 2. A smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the
and administrative bodies. attendance of absent members.
4. Legislators cannot be During his term of 3. In computing a quorum, members who are outside the country and
financially interested directly or office. thus outside of each Houses coercive jurisdiction are not included.
indirectly in any contract with
Internal Rules: The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.
1. Each House shall determine its own procedural rules. Note: The congressional members of the ETs shall be chosen on the basis
2. Since this is a power vested in Congress as part of its inherent of proportional representation from the political parties and party-list
powers, under the principle of separation of powers, the courts cannot organizations.
intervene in the implementation of these rules insofar as they affect Jurisdiction:
the members of Congress.
1.) Each ET shall be the sole judge of all CONTESTS relating to the
3. Also, since Congress has the power to make these rules, it also has
election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. This
the power to ignore them when circumstances so require.
includes determining the validity or invalidity of a proclamation declaring a
particular candidate as the winner.
1.) Suspension
2.) An election contest is one where a defeated candidate challenges the
1. Concurrence of 2/3 of ALL its members and
qualification and claims for himself the seat of a proclaimed winner.
2. Shall not exceed 60 days.
3.) In the absence of an election contest, the ET is without
2.) Expulsion
1. Concurrence of 2/3 of ALL its members. jurisdiction. However, the power of each House to expel its own members or

Congressional Journals and Records: even to defer their oath-taking until their qualifications are determined may

1.) The Journal is conclusive upon the courts. still be exercised even without an election contest.

2.) BUT an enrolled bill prevails over the contents of the Journal. Issues regarding the Electoral Tribunals:

3.) An enrolled bill is the official copy of approved legislation and bears the 1.) Since the ETs are independent constitutional bodies, independent even

certifications of the presiding officers of each House. Thus where the of the House from which the members are respectively taken, neither

certifications are valid and are not withdrawn, the contents of the enrolled bill Congress nor the Courts may interfere with procedural matters relating to the

are conclusive upon the courts as regards the provision of that particular bill. functions of the ETs, such as the setting of deadlines or filing their election

Adjournments: contests with the respective ETs.

1.) Neither House can adjourn for more than 3 days during the time 2.) The ETs being independent bodies, its members may not be arbitrarily

Congress is in session without the consent of the other House. removed from their positions in the tribunal by the parties which they

2.) Neither can they adjourn to any other place than that where the two represent. Neither may they be removed for not voting according to party

houses are sitting, without the consent of the other. lines, since they are acting independently of Congress.
3.) The mere fact that the members of either the Senate or the House

Section 17: THE ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL sitting on the ET are those which are sought to be disqualified due to the

The Senate and the House shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which filing of an election contest against them does not warrant all of them from

shall be composed of: being disqualified from sitting in the ET. The Constitution is quite clear that
1. 3 Supreme Court Justices to be designated by the Chief Justice; & the ET must act with both members from the SC and from the Senate or the
2. 6 Members of the Senate or House, as the case may be. House. If all the legislator-members of the ET were to be disqualified, the ET
would not be able to fulfill its constitutional functions.
4.) Judicial review of decisions of the ETs may be had with the SC only Meetings of the CA
insofar as the decision or resolution was rendered without or in excess of 1.) CA meets only while Congress is in session.
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion constituting denial of due 2.) Meetings are held either at the call of the Chairman or a majority of all
process. its members.
3.) Since the CA is also an independent constitutional body, its rules of
Section 18: THE COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS procedure are also outside the scope of congressional powers as well as that
Composition: of the judiciary.
1.) Senate President as ex-officio chairman; Note: The ET and the CA shall be constituted within 30 days after the
2.) 12 Senators; and Senate and the House of Representative shall have been organized with the
3.) 12 Members of the House. election of the President and the Speaker.
Note: The 12 Senators and 12 Representatives are elected on the basis of
proportional representation from the political parties and party-list Sections 21-22: LEGISLATIVE INQUIRIES
organizations. Scope:
Voting/Action 1. Either House or any of their committees may conduct inquires in aid
1.) The chairman shall only vote in case of a tie. of legislation.
2.) The CA shall act on all appointments within 30 session days from their 2. In aid of legislation does not mean that there is pending legislation
submission to Congress. regarding the subject of the inquiry. In fact, investigation may be
needed for purposes of proposing future legislation.
3.) The Commission shall rule by a majority vote of all the Members.
3. If the stated purpose of the investigation is to determine the existence
of violations of the law, the investigation is no longer in aid of
1.) CA shall confirm the appointments by the President with respect to the
legislation but in aid of prosecution. This violates the principle of
following positions:
separation of powers and is beyond the scope of congressional
1. Heads of the Executive Departments (except if it is the Vice-President
who is appointed to the post).
2. Ambassadors, other public ministers or consuls.
1. Since experience has shown that mere requests for information does
3. Officers of the AFP from the rank of Colonel or Naval Captain: and
not usually work, Congress has the inherent power to punish
4. Other officers whose appointments are vested in him by the
recalcitrant witnesses for contempt, and may have them incarcerated
Constitution (e.g. COMELEC members).
until such time that they agree to testify.
2.) Congress CANNOT by law prescribe that the appointment of a person
2. The continuance of such incarceration only subsists for the lifetime,
to an office created by such law shall be subject to confirmation by the CA. or term, of such body. Once the body ceases to exist after its final
3.) Appointments extended by the President to the above-mentioned adjournment, the power to incarcerate ceases to exist as well. Thus,
positions while Congress is not in session shall only be effective until each Congress of the House lasts for only 3 years. But if one is
disapproval by the CA or until the next adjournment of Congress.
incarcerated by the Senate, it is indefinite because the Senate, with Vote requirement: (to declare the existence of a state of war)
its staggered terms, is a continuing body. 1. 2/3 of both Houses, in joint session
3. BUT, in order for a witness to be subject to this incarceration, the 2. Voting separately
primary requirement is that the inquiry is within the scope of Emergency powers:
Congress powers. i.e. it is in aid of legislation. 1. During times of war or other national emergency, Congress may, BY
4. The materiality of a question is determined not by its connection to LAW, authorize the President to exercise powers necessary and
any actually pending legislation, but by its connection to the general proper to carry out a declared national policy.
scope of the inquiry. 2. Limitations:
5. The power to punish for contempt is inherent in Congress and this 1. Powers will be exercised for a limited period only; and
power is sui generis. It cannot be exercised by local government 2. Powers will be subject to restrictions prescribed by Congress
units unless they are expressly authorized to do so. 3. Expiration of emergency powers
Limitations: 1. By resolution of Congress or
1. The inquiry must be conducted in accordance with the duly 2. Upon the next adjournment of Congress
published rules of procedure of the House conducting the inquiry;
and Sections 24-27, 30-31 LEGISLATION
2. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall
be respected. Ex. The right against self-incrimination. Bills that must originate from the House of Representatives (Section
Appearance by department heads before Congress: 24)
1. Since members of the executive department are co-equals with
those of the legislative department, under the principle of separations
1. Appropriation bills
of powers, department heads cannot be compelled to appear before
2. Revenue bills
Congress. Neither may the department heads impose their
3. Tariff bills
appearance upon Congress.
4. Bills authorizing the increase of public debt
2. Department heads may appear before Congress in the following
5. Bills of local application
6. Private bills
3. Upon their own initiative, with the consent of the President (and that
Note: The Senate may, however, propose or concur with amendments.
of the House concerned); or
Appropriation bills
4. Upon the request of either House (which cannot compel them to
1. The primary and specific aim of an appropriation bill is to appropriate a
sum of money from the public treasury.
5. The appearance will be conducted in EXECUTIVE SESSION when:
2. Thus, a bill enacting the budget is an appropriations bill.
6. Required by the security of state or required by public interest; and
3. BUT: A bill creating a new office, and appropriating funds therefor is
7. When the President so states in writing
NOT an appropriation bill.


Revenue Bill President
1. A revenue bill is one specifically designed to raise money or revenue President of the Senate
through imposition or levy. Speaker of the House of Representatives
2. Thus, a bill introducing a new tax is a revenue bill, but a provision in, Chief of Justice of the Supreme Court
for instance, the Videogram Regulatory Board law imposing a tax on Heads of the Constitutional Commissions
video rentals does not make the law a revenue bill. 1. Discretionary funds appropriated for particular officials shall be:
Bills of local application 1. Disbursed only for public purposes;
A bill of local application, such as one asking for the conversion of a 2. Should be supported by appropriate vouchers; and
municipality into a city, is deemed to have originated from the House 3. Subject to guidelines as may be prescribed by law.
provided that the bill of the House was filed prior to the filing of the bill in the 1. If Congress fails to pass General Appropriations Bill (GAB) by the end
Senate even if, in the end, the Senate approved its own version. of any fiscal year:
Limitations: i. The GAB for the previous year is deemed reenacted
1. For appropriation bills: ii. It will remain in full force and effect until the GAB is passed by Congress.
2. Congress cannot increase the appropriations recommended by the 1. For law granting tax exemption
President for the operation of the Government as specified in the It should be passed with the concurrence of a MAJORITY of ALL the
budget. members of Congress.
3. Each provision or enactment in the General Appropriations Bill must 1. For bills in general
relate specifically to some particular appropriation therein and any 1. Every bill shall embrace only one (1) subject, as expressed in the title
such provision or enactment must be limited in its operation to the thereof
appropriation to which it relates. i. As a mandatory requirement
4. The procedure in approving appropriations for Congress shall strictly ii. The title does not have to be a complete catalogue of everything
follow the procedure for approving appropriations for other
stated in the bill. It is sufficient if the title expresses the general subject of the
departments and agencies.
bill and all the provisions of the statute are germane to that general subject.
5. A special appropriations bill must specify the purpose for which it is
iii. A bill which repeals legislation regarding the subject matter need not
intended and must be supported by funds actually available as
state in the title that it is repealing the latter. Thus, a repealing clause in the
certified by the National Treasurer or to be raised by a corresponding
revenue proposal therein. bill is considered germane to the subject matter of the bill.
Transfer of appropriations: 1. Readings
Rule: No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of 2. In order to become a law, each bill must pass three (3) readings in
appropriations both Houses.
BUT the following may, BY LAW, be authorized to AUGMENT any 3. General rule: Each reading shall be held on separate days & printed
item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from copies thereof in its final form shall be distributed to its Members
savings in other items of their respective appropriations three (3) days before its passage.
4. Exception: If a bill is certified as urgent by the President as to the 2. Appropriations bill -Indivisible sum dedicated to a stated purpose
necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or 1. Veto of RIDER
emergency, the 3 readings can be held on the same day. 1. A rider is a provision which does not relate to a particular
5. First reading only the title is read; the bill is passed to the proper appropriation stated in the bill.
committee 2. Since it is an invalid provision under Section 25(2), the President may
Second reading Entire text is read and debates are held, and amendments veto it as an item.
introduced. Specific limitations on legislation
Third reading only the title is read, no amendments are allowed. Vote shall 1. No law shall be enacted increasing the Supreme Courts appellate
be taken immediately thereafter and the yeas and nays entered in the jurisdiction without the SCs advice and concurrence.
journal. 1. No law shall be enacted granting titles of royalty or nobility.
Veto power of President:
1. Every bill, in order to become a law, must be presented to and Section 28. POWER TO TAX
signed by the President. Limitations:
2. If the President does not approve of the bill, he shall veto the same 1) The rule of taxation should be UNIFORM
and return it with his objections to the House from which it 2) It should be EQUITABLE
originated. The House shall enter the objections in the Journal and 3) Congress should evolve a PROGRESSIVE system of taxation.
proceed to reconsider it. 4) The power to tax must be exercised for a public purpose because the
3. The President must communicate his decision to veto within 30 days power exists for the general welfare
from the date of receipt thereof. If he fails to do so, the bill shall
5) The due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution
become a law as if he signed it.
should be observed.
4. This rule eliminates the pocket veto whereby the President would
Delegation of power to fix rates
simply refuse to act on the bill.
1) Congress may, BY LAW, authorize the President to fix the following:
a) Tariff rates
5. To OVERRIDE the veto, at least 2/3 of ALL the members of each
House must agree to pass the bill. In such case, the veto is b) Import and Export Quotas
overriden and becomes a law without need of presidential approval. c) Tonnage and wharfage dues
6. Item veto d) Other duties and imposts
7. The President may veto particular items in an appropriation, revenue Within the framework of the national development program of the
or tariff bill. Government
8. This veto will not affect items to which he does not object. 2) The exercise of such power by the President shall be within the
9. Definition of item specified limits fixed by Congress and subject to such limitations and
TYPE OF BILL ITEM restrictions as it may impose.
1. Revenue/tax bill -Subject of the tax and the tax rate imposed thereon Constitutional tax exemptions:
1) The following properties are exempt from REAL PROPERTY taxes the Armed Forces; or
(CODE: Cha Chu M- CA) any penal institution; or
a) Charitable institutions government orphanage; or
b) Churches, and parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto leprosarium
c) Mosques c) BUT the government is not prohibited from appropriating money for a
d) Non-profit cemeteries; and valid secular purpose, even if it incidentally benefits a religion, e.g.
e) All lands, buildings and improvements actually, directly and exclusively appropriations for a national police force is valid even if the police also
used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes. protects the safety of clergymen.
2) All revenues and assets of NON-STOCK NON-PROFIT d) ALSO, the temporary use of public property for religious purposes is
EDUCATIONAL institutions are exempt from taxes and duties PROVIDED valid, as long as the property is available for all religions
that such revenues and assets are actually, directly and exclusively used for 3) Special Funds
educational purposes. (Art. XIV Sec 4 (3)) a) Money collected on a tax levied for a special purpose shall be treated
3) Grants, endowments, donations or contributions used actually, directly as a special fund and paid out for such purpose only.
and exclusively for educational purposes shall be exempt from tax. This is b) Once the special purpose is fulfilled or abandoned, any balance shall
subject to conditions prescribed by law. (Art. XIV. Sec 4 (4)) be transferred to the general funds of the Government

Section 29. Power of the Purse Section 32. INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM
1) No money shall be paid out of the National Treasury EXCEPT in 1) Through the system of initiative and referendum, the people can
pursuance of an appropriation made by law. directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part
a) This places the control of public funds in the hands of Congress. thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative body.
b) BUT: This rule does not prohibit continuing appropriations. e.g. for 2) Required Petition
debt servicing. This is because the rule does not require yearly, or annual a) Should be signed by at least 10% of the total number of registered
appropriation. voters
2) Limitations. b) Every legislative district should be represented by at least 3% of the
a) Appropriations must be for a PUBLIC PURPOSE registered voters
b) Cannot appropriate public funds or property, directly or indirectly, in c) Petition should be registered
favor of
(i) Any sect, church, denomination, or sectarian institution or
system of religion or
(ii) Any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or
dignitary as such.
EXCEPT if the priest, etc is assigned to: