Links to Philippine media
organizations, embassies & consulates,
public and private offices and organizations.
Malacanang Palace, the seat of the president of the
government of the Philippines is republican in form and is founded on democratic
After the establishment of the revolutionary government in 1898,
the delegates to the Malls Congress adopted a Constitution inspired by the American,
French and some Latin American constitutions.
When the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established in 1935
it adopted a constitution which with certain modifications later become the Constitution
of the Republic of the Philippines on July 4, 1946. The document, basically patterned
after the constitution of the United States contains a comprehensive Bill of Rights,
adheres to the principle of separation of powers, and recognizes that all government
authority emanates from the people in whom sovereignty resides.
The executive power is vested in the President, who is directly
elected by qualified voters of the country. The President holds office for a term of six
years and by law may not run for re-election. The president holds office and during his
term, lives in Malacanang Palace, one-time official residence of Spanish and American
The president has control of all executive departments, bureaus
or offices, exercises general supervision over all local governments. He also sees to the
faithful implementation of all laws.
The president appoints all heads of departments, bureaus and
offices subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. He can grant pardons,
reprieves, and commutations of sentence in all offenses except in cases involving
impeachment. With the concurrence of Congress, he can grant amnesty.
The president can also concluded treaties with foreign countries,
such treaties being subject to ratification by the Senate. He wields the appointing powetr
in the selection of ambassadors, ministers and consuls with the consent of the Commission
The power to make laws is vested in a Congress composed of two
chambers, the lower house called House of Representatives and an upper house called the
Senate. Each of the two house of Congress selects its own presiding officers, the Speaker
in the lower house and the President of the Senate in the upper house.
Co-equal but separate from either executive and legislative
branches of the government is the judiciary composed of the Supreme Court and lesser
courts. The chief justice and associate justices are appointed by the President with the
consent of the Commission on Appointments. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over cases
affecting ambassadors, ministers and consuls. The Supreme Court can also review, revise,
modify or affirm on appeal the final judgement and decrees of inferior courts in cases
involving the validity or constitutionality of any law, ordinance, executive order or
treaty; and in cases involving crimes carrying the death penalty or the penalty of
life imprisonment, and cases involving the legality of any impost, tax or assessment.
All justices of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals and
the judges of inferior courts hold office during good behavior until they reach the
retirement are of 70 or have become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office.
The central or national government based in Manila and the
capital of Quezon City exercises supervision over all the country. For administrative
purposes, the Philippines is divided into provinces, sub-provinces, municipalities and
cities, each of these political units enjoying a degree of autonomy in local affairs.
Each province is made up of municipalities, usually a cluster of
barrios around a town or poblacion. The municipality is a public corporation created by an
act of Congress and is governed by the Municipal Law, which defines its duties and powers.
Below the municipality is the barrio (barangay) or the village which also has its own
elective officials made up of the barrio captain (chairman) and barrio councilors.
Municipalities in the Philippines are classified according to
classes, each class of municipality thus determining the number of councilors it may
Enjoying an autonomous administrative existence alongside these
political units are the chartered cities. The city is governed by a city mayor and a city
council, all elective officials.