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Chapter 9: Powers of Congress

POWERS OF CONGRESS  League of Cities of the Philippines v COMELEC,

“the legislative body possesses plenary powers
 Legislative Powers for all purposes of civil government. Any power,
- Specific powers of (1) appropriation, (2) deemed legislative by usage and tradition, is
taxation, and (3) expropriation necessarily possessed by Congress, unless the
 Non-legislative Powers Constitution has lodged it elsewhere.”
- Power to canvass presidential elections  Power to Grant Immunity from Prosecution
- Declare the existence of a state of war - “the exclusive power of Congress to define
- Give concurrence to treaties and amnesties crimes and their nature and to provide for
- Propose constitutional amendments their punishment concomitantly carries the
- Impeach power to immunize certain persons from
prosecution to facilitate the attainment of
These powers are expressly conferred by the
state interests, among them, solution and
Constitution. From some express powers may be derived
prosecution of crimes with high political,
some implied powers (Doctrine of Implication)
social and economic impact. In the exercise
 Implied Powers of this power, Congress possesses broad
- Punish contempt in legislative investigations discretion and can lay down the conditions
and the extent of the immunity to be
 Inherent Powers
- Determinations of its rules of proceedings
- Discipline of its members  Limitations of Powers of Congress (examples)
- Cannot provide for the holdover of elective
LEGISLATIVE POWER IN GENERAL officers if the same would go beyond their
terms, as fixed in the Constitution.
 Legislative Power - Cannot create a new term and effectively
- Is the power of lawmaking, the framing and appoint the occupant of the position for the
enactment of laws, affected through the new ter.
adoption of a bill. It is “peculiar within the - Cannot grant legislative franchise for the
province of Legislature.” operation of public utilities which shall be
 Bill exclusive in character and which shall not
- A proposed or projected law, which once be subject to amendment or repeal when
approved, becomes a statute. the common good so requires.
 Statute  Datu Michael Abas Kida, “where the legislature,
- “is the written will of the legislature, by its own act, attempts to limit its power to
solemnly expressed according to the forms amend or repeal laws, the Court has the duty to
necessary to constitute it as a law of the strike down such act for interfering with the
state.” plenary powers of Congress”
 Statutes can be given retroactive effect when
Neither Martial Law nor a state of emergency can justify the law itself so expressly provides; in case of:
the President’s exercise of legislative power by issuing - remedial statutes
decrees. - curative statutes
- laws interpreting others
 The power to make laws includes the power to - laws creating new rights
alter and repeal them.
 Which should prevail, executive agreements or PROCEDURE
- Gonzales v. Hechanova, [the Executive] may A bill is introduced by any member of the House of
not defeat legislative enactments by Representatives or the Senate except for some measures
indirectly repealing the same through an that must originate only in the former chamber.
executive agreement providing for the
performance of the very act prohibited by (1) First Reading
such laws.
- involves only a reading of the number and title of the
 Datu Michael Abas Kida v Senate of the
measure and its referral by the Senate President or the
Philippines, subsequent laws that do not change
Speaker to the proper committee for study.
or revise any provision in an earlier law, and
which merely fill in gaps or supplement said (Referral to the proper committee) The bill may
earlier law, cannot be considered as be “killed” in the committee or it may be recommended
amendments of the latter. for approval, with or without amendments, sometimes
Chapter 9: Powers of Congress

after public hearings are first held. If there are other bills  Private Bill
of the same nature or purpose, they may all be - Illustrated by a bill granting honorary
consolidated into one bill under common authorship or citizenship to a distinguished foreigner.
as a committee bill. Once reported out, the bill shall be
calendared for second reading. The above listed should be initiated only by the House of
Representatives because its members are presumed to
(2) Second Reading be more familiar with the needs of the country in regard
to the enactment of the legislation involved.
- the bill is read in its entirety, scrutinized, debated upon
and amended when desired. The second stage is the The Senate is, however, allowed much leeway in the
most important stage in the passage of the bill. exercise of its power to propose or concur with
amendments to the bills initiated by the House of
(Debates) A general debate is then opened after Representatives.
the Second Reading and sponsorship speech of the
author of the bill. The House may either “kill” or pass the  Amendment by Substitution
bill. - May be introduced by the Senate; may
entirely replace the bill initiated in the
The bill as approved is printed in its final form House of Representatives.
and copies thereof are distributed at least 3 days before - Tolentino vs Secretary of Finance
the Third Reading.
(3) Third Reading
 Section 31, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution:
- The members merely register their votes and explain the purpose of this provision is to preserve the
them if they are allowed by the rules. No further debate republican and democratic nature of our society
is allowed. by prohibiting the creation of privileged classes
with special perquisites not available to the rest
Once it passes the third reading, the bill is sent
of the citizenry.
to the other chamber, where it will undergo the 3
readings. If there are differences between the versions  Section 30, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution:
approved by the two chambers, a Conference the purpose is to prevent further additions to
Committee representing both Houses will draft a the present tremendous case load of the
compromise measure that, if ratified by both, will then Supreme Court which includes the backlog of
be submitted to the President for his consideration. the past two decades. In meritorious cases,
however, such legislation may be enacted
ORIGIN OF BILLS provided the Supreme Court itself is consulted
and gives its concurrence.
 Section 24, Article VI of the Constitution
Bills that should be instituted by the House of
Representatives:  Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace
only one subject which shall be expressed in the
 Appropriation Bill title thereof.
- Is one the primary and specific purpose of
which is to authorize the release of funds PURPOSE:
from the public treasury.
(1) To prevent hodgepodge or log-rolling legislation
 Revenue Bill
which means “any act containing several subjects
- One that levies taxes and raises funds for
dealing with unrelated matters representing diverse
the government.
interests, the main object of such combination being
 Tariff Bill
to unite the members of the legislature who favor
- Specifies the rates or duties to be imposed
any one of the subjects in support of the whole act.
on imported articles.
 Bill Increasing Public Debt (2) To prevent surprise of fraud upon the legislature.
- Illustrated by one floating bonds for public
subscription redeemable after a certain (3) To fairly appraise the people, through such
period. publications of its proceedings as are usually made, f
 Bill of Local Application the subjects of legislation that are being considered
- One involving purely local or municipal in order that they may have the opportunity of
matters, like a charter of a city.
Chapter 9: Powers of Congress

being heard thereon, by petition or otherwise, if  Three (3) Methods for a bill to become a law:
they should so desire. (1) When the President signs it;
(2) When the President vetoes it but the veto is
Cases: Lidasan v. Commission on Elections, overridden by two-thirds vote of all the
PHILCONSA v. Gimenez members of each House; and
(3) When the President does not act upon the
The Title need not be a complete catalogue of a bill.
measure within thirty days after it shall have
BANAT v. COMELEC, the “requirement is satisfied if the
been presented to him.
title is comprehensive enough to include subjects related
 Presidential Veto
to the general purpose which the statute seeks to
- President may disapprove or veto a
achieve; a title which declares a statute to be an act to
measure upon any ground sufficient for
amend a specified code is sufficient and the precise
him, as where he considers it
nature of the amendatory act need not be further
unconstitutional or merely inefficacious or
FORMALITIES Veto Message – the President, in
returning the measure to the House of
 Section 26(2), Article VI of the 1987 origin, should indicate his objections so
Constitution that the same can be studied by the
 The Certificate of Urgency can be issued only members for possible overriding of his
for the purpose of meeting a public calamity or veto.
emergency. In the absence of such justification,
bills must comply with the said requirements The Congress may agree with the
prior to their final reading. President’s objections and decide to revise the measures
as he suggests.
The determination by the President as to the
existence of a “punlic calamity” or “emergency”  Is partial veto allowed under the Constitution?
constitutes essentially a political question.
YES. But only for appropriation, revenue, and
 The Constitution provides that the bill calling for tariff bills. (item veto)
a special election “after the vacancy in the
 Bill approved through legislative inaction: Bar
offices of the President and Vice-President shall
Flunkers Bill
be deemed certified.”
 The 30-day period during which the bill is
supposed to be considered by the President is
- Composed of representatives from the
now counted from the date of its receipt by him.
Senate and the House of Representatives,
 Rule on Presentment
which is a “mechanism for compromising
- “every bill passed by Congress must be
differences” between their respective
presented to the President for approval or
versions of the bill or joint resolution.
veto. In the absence of presentment to the
(See the VAT Case) It has been ruled that “it President, no bill passed by Congress can
is within the power of a conference committee become a law. In this sense, law-making
to include in its report an entirely new provision under the Constitution is a joint act of the
that is not found either in the House bill or in the Legislature and Executive.”
Senate bill.”  From the moment the law becomes effective,
any provision of law that empowers Congress or
Whatever changes may be agreed upon by any of its members to play any role in the
the Conference Committee need not undergo implementation or enforcement of the law
another “three readings” in the Senate and the violates the principle of separation of powers
House of Representatives. and is thus unconstitutional.
 Legislative Veto is violative of the principle of
“Art 26(2) must be construed as referring separation of powers.
only to bills introduced for the first time in  Congressional Oversight (Macalintal v.
either house of Congress, not to the conference COMELEC)
committee report.” - Embraces all activities undertaken by
Congress to enhance its understanding of
and influence over the implementation of
 Section 27, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution legislation it has enacted.
Chapter 9: Powers of Congress

- Post enactment measures: would be unable to determine whether its

(a) to monitor bureaucratic compliance with policies have been implemented according to
program objectives; the legislative intent and thus whether
(b) to determine whether agencies are legislative intervention is appropriate.
properly administered;  Subordinate Law
(c) to eliminate executive waste and - Those enacted by the executive branch
dishonesty; pursuant to a delegation of authority by
(d) to prevent executive usurpation of Congress.
legislative authority; and  Congressional oversight is not unconstitutional
(e) to assess executive conformity with the per se, it neither necessarily constitutes an
congressional perception of public interest. encroachment on the executive power to
implement laws nor undermines the
“The power of oversight has been held to be intrinsic in constitutional separation of powers.
the grant of legislative power itself and integral to the - Rather, it is integral to the checks and
checks and balances inherent in a democratic system of balances inherent in a democratic system.
Two Basic and Related Constraints on Congress (to
 Categories of Congressional Oversight: forestall the danger of congressional encroachment
- Congressional SCRUTINY implies a lesser “beyond the legislative sphere”):
intensity and continuity of attention to
administrative corporations. It’s primary (1) it may not vest itself, any of its committees
purpose is to determine economy and or its members with either executive or judicial power.
efficiency of the operation of government
activites. (2) when it exercises its legislative power, must
- Congressional INVESTIGATION involves a follow the “single, finely wrought and exhaustively
more intense digging of facts. The power of considered procedures” specified under the
Congress to conduct investigation is Constitution, including the procedure for enactment of
recognized by the 1987 Constitution (sec 21, laws and presentment.
Art 6)
- Legislative SUPERVISION connotes a  Any post-enactment congressional measure
continuing and informed awareness on the should be limited to scrutiny and investigation.
part of a congressional committee regarding  Two Options when enacting legislation:
executive operations in a given (1) It can itself formulate the details
administrative area. This allows Congress to (2) it can assign to the executive branch
scrutinize the exercise of delegated law- the responsibility for making necessary
making authority, and permits the Congress managerial decisions in conformity with
to retain part of that delegated authority. those standards.
Congress exercises supervision over the  Supplementary Rule-making
executive agencies through its veto - Executive branch fills up the details of a
power. complete law.
 Legislative veto  Contingent Rule-making
- require the President or an agency to - Ascertain facts necessary to bring the law
present the proposed implementing rules into actual operation.
and regulations of a law to Congress, which  Administrative regulations enacted by the
retains a “right” to approve or disapprove administrative agencies to implement and
any regulation before it takes effect. interpret the law which they are entrusted to
 Supporters of legislative veto stress that it is enforce have the force and effect of law and are
necessary to maintain the balance of power entitled to respect; they have the nature of a
between the legislative and the executive statute and are just as binding as if they have
branches of the government as it offers been written in the statute itself.
lawmakers a way to delegate vast power to the - They enjoy the presumption of
executive branch or to independent agencies constitutionality and legality until they are
while retaining the option to cancel particular set aside with finality in an appropriate case
exercise of such power without having to pass by a competent court.
new legislation or to repeal existing law.
 Without some means of overseeing post
enactment activities of the executive, Congress  Section 21, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution
Chapter 9: Powers of Congress

This “power of inquiry” is granted not only to the  Failure or refusal to attend a legitimate
Senate and the House of representatives but also to legislative investigation or contumacy of the
any of their respective committees.” witness may be punished as legislative
contempt. It includes imprisonment.
- The power of legislative investigation may  Arnault case, questions that may be raised in a
be implied from the express power of legislative investigation do not necessarily have
legislation and does not have to be to be relevant to any pending legislation,
expressly granted. provided only that they are relevant to the
- The provision intended to limit the conduct subject matter of the investigation being
of legislative inquiries as this has been conducted.
abused in the past.
- It should always and only be in aid of How long may a private individual be imprisoned by
legislation. the legislature for contempt?
- The rights of persons appearing in or
affected by such inquiries are required to be - Lopez v. De los Reyes, punishment could
respected. last only for the duration of the session
- The conduct of the investigation must be in when the contempt was committed.
conformity with the rules of procedure that - Arnault Case, the Supreme Court held that
must have been published in advance for the offender could be imprisoned
the information and protection of the indefinitely by the Senate, it being a
witnesses. continuing body, provided that the
 Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of punishment did not become so long as to
Public Officers and Investigations, it is violate due process.
“incumbent upon the Senate to publish the - As for the House of Representatives,
rules for its legislative inquiries in each Congress imprisonment could last only during the
or otherwise make the published rules clearly session when the offense was committed
state that the same shall be effective in but until the final adjournment of the body.
subsequent Congressses or until they are This rule is presumably still valid and
amended or repealed to sufficiently put public may be applied, unless changed, to the
on notice.” present Congress.
 Supreme Court acknowledged that other
(skipped 2 pages re: Question Hour)
prerogatives, principles and rights may validly
be invoked against this power of Congress. THE POWER OF APPROPRIATION
Including:  Section 29 (1), Article VI of the 1987
(1) President’s executive privilege but “only in Constitution
relation to certain types of information of a sensitive This constitutional edict requires that the GAA be
character.” purposeful, deliberate, and precise in its provisions and
(2) The “fiscal autonomy and constitutional stipulations.
independence of the Judiciary”
 While “law” as here used may refer to
(3) The Sub Judice Rule “which retricts constitutional appropriations, it is more often
comments and disclosures pertaining to judicial supposed to denote statutes enacted by the
proceedings to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing lawmaking body.
the court, or obstructing the administration of justice.”  Appropriation
- A statute that the primary and specific
(4) The right to privacy purpose is to authorize the release of public
funds from the treasury, e.g. the public
(5) The right to self- incrimination works act and the general appropriations
 The subject of a legislative inquiry is a political
question and the mere filing of a criminal or an Classification:
administrative complaint before a court or a
quasi-judicial body should not automatically bar (a) GENERAL appropriations law is passed
the conduct of legislative investigation. annually; intended to provide for the financial
Chapter 9: Powers of Congress

operations of the entire government during one fiscal appropriations act may be allowed by law in the
period. interest of expediency and efficiency. There is
no danger to the doctrine of separation of
(b) SPECIAL appropriation is designed for a powers because the transfer is made within a
specific purpose, such as the creation of a fund for the department and not from one department to
relief of typhoon victims. another.
 The exception in favor of the high officials
 Implied Limitations (on appropriations)
named in Section 25(5) limiting the authority (to
Requisites for a valid appropriation: the President, Speaker of the House, Senate
President, the Chief Justice, and the heads of
(1) must be devoted to a public purpose. Constitutional Commissions) to transfer savings
only to augment another item in the GAA is
(2) the sum authorized to be released must be strictly but reasonably construed as exclusive.
determinate or at least determinable. - Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency
Nazareth v. Villar, such power (of the
 Constitutional Limitations President) could well be extended to his
Cabinet Secretaries as alter egos.
(1) All appropriation bills should originate in the
 “The individual members of Congress may only
House of Representatives.
determine the necessity of the realignment of
(2) Section 25, Article VI of the 1987 savings in the allotments for their operating
Constitution expenses because they are in the best position
to know whether there are savings available in
The President knows more about the needed some items and whether there deficiencies in
appropriations than the legislature. But while the other items of their operating expenses that
Congress may not increase the President’s budgetary need augmentation. However, it is the Senate
recommendations, there is no prohibition against its President and the Speaker of the House of
reducing such recommendations. (However, reduction is Representatives who shall approve the
not permitted when it comes to the appropriations for realignment.
the judiciary)  Pichay v. Office of the Deputy Executive
Secretary for Legal Affairs Ivestigative and
 Budget Adjudication Division, there is no usurpation of
- Is only a proposal, a set of the legislature’s power to appropriate funds
recommendations on the appropriations to when the President simply allocates the existing
be made for the operations of government; funds previously appropriated by Congress for
used as basis for the enactment of the his office.
general appropriations law.  Appropriations for Sectarian Purposes
 Section 29(1), Article VI of the 1987 - Whether it be general or specific, it must
Constitution, the purpose of which is to prevent conform to the prohibition against the use
“riders” or irrelevant provisions that are of public funds or property for sectarian
included in the general appropriations bill to purposes. (Section 29(2), Article 6 must be
ensure their approval. read with Section 5, Article 3 and Section 6,
Article 2) The prohibition is applicable only
Suppose the rider is included in an ordinary bill only? where the appropriation is intended
- The anomaly may still be attacked but not purposely to benefit a religious institution.
on the basis of Article VI, Section 25(2). The - The provision “does not inhibit the use of
applicable rule will be Section 26(1), which public property for religious purposes when
requires every bill to embrace only one the religious character of such use is merely
subject, to be expressed in the title. incidental to a temporary use which is
 Section 25(5) of the 1987 Constitution prohibits available indiscriminately to the public in
one department from transferring some of its general.”
- Ecclesiastics may be paid from public funds
funds to another department and thereby make
it beholden to the former to the detriment of if they serve the government in a non-
the doctrine of separation of powers. ecclesiastical capacity.
- Demetria v Alba  Automatic Re-appropriation
- Section 25(7), Article VI of the 1987
 Transfers of savings in one department from
one item to another in the general Constitution (rule from the Jones Law)
Chapter 9: Powers of Congress

 Special Funds taxes covered by the constitutional

- Section 29(3), Article VI of the 1987 exemption are real estate taxes or ad
Constitution valorem taxes imposed on the property
- The limitation continues to apply even if the itself.”
original purpose of the tax has already been
fulfilled or abandoned. - To be entitled to this constitutional exemption, there
- Whatever of the special tax collections may must be a “clear and unequivocal proof” that the entity
remain shall then be transferred to the claiming the same is (1) a religious, charitable or
general funds of the government, for educational institution and (2) that its real properties are
general appropriation in the discretion of actually, directly and exclusively used for their basic
the legislature. purposes.

THE POWER OF TAXATION It is not the use of the income from the real
property that is determinative of whether the property
The power of taxation is inherent in the State and is is used for tax-exempt purposes.
generally vested in the legislature, but it is limited by
Section 28, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. - Section 28(4), Article VI of the 1987
Constitution (vote of all the members of
 Tax laws must be for a public purpose. Congress because a tax exemption
 A tax may not be levied for the purpose of represents a withholding of the power to
paying the corporate debts of a private tax and consequent loss of revenue to the
corporation. government)
 Uniformity in Taxation
- persons or things belonging to the same -Congress has the power to grant tax exemptions over
class shall be taxed at the same rate. and above the power of the local government’s
delegated power to tax.
 Equality in Taxation
- Requires the tax imposed to be determined -A claim for a tax refund under a statute partakes of the
on the basis of the value of the property. nature of a tax exemption.
 The rule of taxation shall also be equitable,
which means that the tax burden must be -“Being a derogation of the sovereign authority, a
imposed according to the taxpayer’s capacity to statute granting tax exemption is strictly construed
pay. against the person or entity claiming the exemption.” It
 Progressive Taxation is liberally in favor of the taxing authority.
- is one which tends to accelerate instead of
arrest economic growth. To be progressive,  Tax Amnesty
the tax system should be suited to the social - Is a general pardon or the intentional
conditions of the people. overlooking by the State of its authority to
 Tax Exemption impose penalties on persons otherwise
- Section 28(3), Article VI of the 1987 guilty of violation of a tax law.
Constitution - Must be construed strictly against the
- in favor of educational, charitable and taxpayer and liberally in favor of the taxing
religious institutions but only if they or their authority.
lands, improvements and buildings are
actually, directly and exclusively devoted to “There is no vested right in tax exemption. Being a
their basic purposes. mere statutory privilege, a tax exemption may be
- Only “non-profit cemeteries” modified or withdrawn at will by the granting authority.
- Angeles University Foundation v. City of
Angeles, “building permit fees are not  Section 19, Article VII authorizes the President
charges on property, they are not to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a
impositions from which petitioner is majority of all the members of Congress. The
exempt.” purpose of the majority is the membership of
- Lladoc v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the legislature as a whole.
“the tax imposed was an excise tax, a tax  Section 21, Aricle VII
levied not upon the church itself but upon
the parish priest for the exercise by him of THE WAR POWERS
the privilege of receiving a donation. The
Chapter 9: Powers of Congress

 Sec 23(1), Article VI Two Classes of Referendum:

- 2/3 of both Houses in joint session, voting
separately (1) Referendum on Statutes which refers to a
- The provision suggests a war already begun petition to approve or reject an act or law, or part
or provoked by the enemy and the thereof, passed by Congress.
existence of which we are only affirming.
We are not the aggressor, but merely (2) Referendum on Local Law which refers to a
reacting to an aggression. petition to approve or reject a law, resolution or
- The President may so precipitate or ordinance enacted by regional assemblies and local
actually begin hostilities that the legislature legislative bodies.
will have no choice except “to baptize the
hostilities with the name of war.”  The proposition of the enactment, approval,
- The armed forces must be raised by the amendment or rejection of a national law
Congress. The President must depend shall be submitted to and approved by a
heavily on the Congress for the effective majority of the votes cast by all registered
exercise of his military powers. voters in the Philippines. The same conduct is
followed in rejecting a national law.
How to exercise the power of initiative and
 Section 32, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution referendum?
 Initiative
- The power of the people to propose bills  National
and laws, and to enact or reject them at the o At least 10% of the total number of
polls, independent of the legislative registered voters, of which every
assembly. legislative district is represented by at
- It is the right of a group of citizens to least 3% of the registered voters
introduce a matter for legislation either to thereof
the legislature or directly to the voters. o shall sign a petition for the purpose and
 Referendum o register the same with the Commission
- The right reserved to the people to adopt or on Elections
reject any act or measure which has been o Petition
passed by a legislative body and which in  Is defined as the written
most cases would without action on the instrument containing the
part of the electors become a law. proposition, which is the
- A method of submitting an important measure proposed by the
legislative measure to a direct vote of the voters, and the required
people, the submission of a law passed by number of signatories.
the legislature for their approval or  It shall be in a form to be
rejection. determined by and submitted
to the Commission.
Three Systems of Initiative:  The law prohibits petitions
embracing more than one
(1) Initiative on the Constitution refers to a subject from being subjected to
petition proposing amendments to the Constitution the electorate.
 Autonomous Region, Province, or City
(2) Initiative on Statutes refers to a petition
o The petition must be signed by ate
proposing to enact a national legislation; and
least 10% of the registered voters in the
(3) Initiative on Local Legislation refers to a province or city, of which every
petition proposing to enact a regional, provincial, city, legislative district must be represented
municipal, or barangay law, resolution,or ordinance. by at least 3% of the registered voters
 Indirect Initiative (provided for by RA 6735)  If the province or city is
which is the “exercise of initiative by the people comprised of only one
through a proposition sent to Congress or the legislative district, then at least
local legislative body for action.” each municipality in a province
or each barangay in a city
should be represented by at
Chapter 9: Powers of Congress

least 3% of the registered  Statutes involving “emergency measures”, the

voters therein. enactment of which is specially vested in
 Municipality Congress by the Constitution, cannot be subject
o The petition must be signed by at least to referendum until 90 days after its effectivity.
10% of the registered voters in the  Under the law, any duly accredited people’s
municipality, of which every barangay is organization, as defined by law, may file a
represented by at least 3% of the petition for indirect initiative with the House of
registered voters therein. Representatives, and other legislative bodies.
 Barangay o Petition must contain the summary of
o If signed by at least 10% of the the chief purposes and contents of the
registered voters in said barangay. bill that the organization proposes to be
enacted into law.
 Within a period of 30 days from receipt of the o Procedure to be followed on the
petition, the Commission shall, upon initiative bill shall be the same as the
determining the sufficiency of the petition, enactment of any legislative measure
publish the same in Filipino and English at least before the HoR, except that said
twice in newspapers of general and local initiative bill shall have precedence over
circulation and set the date of the initiative or the pending legislative measures on the
referendum which shall not be earlier than 45 committee.
days but not later than 90 days from the
determination by the Commission of the Initiative
sufficiency of the petition.
 Local Initiative
o Decisions on the sufficiency of the
o Autonomous Regions: not less than
petition is appealable to the Supreme
2,000 registered voters
o Provinces and Cities: 1,000 registered
 The proposition of the enactment, approval,
amendment or rejection of a national law shall
o Municipality: 100 registered voters
be submitted to and approved by a majority of
o Barangay: 50 registered voters
the votes cast by all he registered voters of the
Philippines. may file a petition with the Regional Assembly or local
o If, as certified by the Commission, the legislative body, respectively, proposing the adoption,
proposition is approved by a majority of enactment, repeal, or amendment, of any law,
the votes cast, the national law ordinance or resolution.
proposed for enactment, approval, or
amendment shall become effective 15 o If no favorable action thereon is made by the
days following completion of its local legislative body within 30 days from its
publication in the Official Gazette or in presentation, the proponents through their duly
a newspaper of general circulation in authorized representative may invoke their
the Philippines; power of initiative, giving notice thereof to the
o If, as certified by the Commission, the local legislative body.
proposition to reject is approved by a o 2 or more propositions may be submitted in an
majority of the votes cast, the national initiative.
law shall be deemed repealed and the o Proponents shall have:
repeal shall become effective 15 days o Autonomous Regions: 120 days
following completion of its publication o Provinces and Cities: 90 days
in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper o Municipality: 60 days
of general circulation in the Philippines; o Barangay: 30 days
o If the majority vote is not obtained, the
national law sought to be rejected or To collect the required number of
amended shall remain in full force and signatures.
o A national or local initiative o If the required number of the signatures is
proposition approved by majority of the obtained, the Commission shall then set a date
votes cast in an election called for that for the initiative at which the proposition shall
purpose shall become effective 15 days be submitted to the registered voters in the LGU
after certification and proclamation by concerned within:
the Commission. o Autonomous Regions: 90 days
Chapter 9: Powers of Congress

o Provinces and Cities: 60 days

o Municipality: 45 days
o Barangay: 30 days
 The initiative shall then be held on the date set,
after which the results thereof shall be certified
and proclaimed by the COMELEC.
 If the proposition is approved by a majority of
the votes cast, it shall take effect 15 days after
certification by the Commission as if affirmative
action thereon had been made by the local
legislative body and local executive concerned.

 Initiative shall extend only to subjects or

matters which are within the legal powers of the
local legislative bodies to enact.
 The power of local initiative shall not be
exercised more than once a year.
 Any proposition or ordinance or resolution
approved through the system of initiative and
referendum as herein provided shall not be
repealed, modified or amended, by the local
legislative body concerned within 6 months
from the date therefrom, and may be amended,
modified or repealed by the local legislative
body within 3 years thereafter by a vote of ¾ of
all its members; in case of barangays, the period
shall be 1 year after the expiration of the 6