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LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Function: to provide the laws and regulations by which the affairs and other concerns of the country are
addressed and provided for
o Congress is a collective deliberative body designed to create policy through laws
o Power to legislate: no longer exclusively and solely the prerogative of Congress; people
themselves have reserved to themselves part of that power which they may choose to exercise if
needed through initiative and referendum
o Other responsibilities and functions:
Responsible for conducting the canvass of the results of presidential elections
The authority to declare the existence of war
Concurrence in the grant of amnesties
Override the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the declaration
of martial law
Confirm through the Commission on Appointments choices of the President for
certain positions
Concur through the Senate in the ratification of treaties
Responsible for impeachment proceedings
Conduct inquiries in aid of legislation
Has implied power to cite in contempt persons who refuse to cooperate
Proposing amendments or revisions to the Constitution
Each House, through its electoral tribunals, acts the sole judge of the all contests
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members.
o Inherent power to determine the rules of proceedings and the discipline of its members, though
these have also been expressly provided for in the Constitution itself
Legislative power: the authority to make laws, and to alter and repeal them
o Broad, general, and comprehensive
o Plenary power for all purposes of civil government
o Embraces all subjects and extends to matters of general concern or common interest.
o Includes raising of revenues through the power of taxation as well as the expenditure of public
funds through appropriation laws
o Power of expropriation
o Authority to take private property for public use provided there is payment of just compensation
Limitations on Legislative Powers:
o Expressly provided:
Constitutional provisions:
Manner by which laws could be enacted
Bill of rights
Constrict and restrict: manner of legislation
o Inherent:
Doctrine Of Separation Of Powers
Principle Of Non-Delegability Of Legislative Power
Principle Against the Enactment of Irrepealable Laws the Congress cannot prevent
itself or succeeding lawmakers from amending or repealing the same
Irrepealable laws deprive succeeding legislatures of the fundamental best
senses carte blanche in crafting laws appropriate to the operative milieu
Senior Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno there are no irrepealable laws just as
there are no irrepealable Constitutions. Change is the predicate of progress and
we should not fear change
It would be limiting the powers of the Congress
Composition of the Congress: two houses
o Senate
24 members: elected at large nationwide
o House of Representatives
Membership: depends on the number of legislative districts which could continually
increase as more provinces and districts are created, and adjustments in the number of
party-list representatives
250 members when 1987 Constitution was adopted
Elected:
o From districts: district representatives
Practice of Gerrymandering: each legislative district shall
comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and
adjacent territory (Art VI, sec 5 (3), 1987 Constitution); an
apportionment of representative districts so contrived as to
give an unfair advantage to the party in power.
At least 250,000 inhabitants per district representatives
o Nationwide: party-list representatives
representing qualified national, regional and sectoral parties
or organizations
An innovation by 1987 Constitution: led to changes in rulings
every now and then
Party-List System Act: (RA No. 7941)
The party, organization, or coalition is the one elected but it is
their nominee who gets to sit in the Congress.
COMELEC is not required by law to indicate the name of the
nominees in the Certified List posted at the polling places
20% of the total membership of the HoR
They should receive at least 2% of the total votes cast for the
party-list system
That 2% is equivalent to one seat in the HoR
They are entitled of not more than 3 seats
Not required to be filled (Art VI, Sec 5 (2), 1987
Constitution): only provides maximum