2. UNIT 1: BASIC CONCEPTS OF POLITICS AND
At the end of this unit, the students should be able to:
•Demonstrate an understanding of the various concepts in
politics, political science, and governance
•Demonstrate an understanding of the various political
•Identify a particular political phenomenon and how it can
3. LESSON 1: POLITICS, GOVERNANCE, AND OTHER
At the end of this lesson, the students should be able to:
•Define politics, governance, and other key concepts of political
•Explain the connection between the phenomenon (politics) and
the method of inquiry (political science)
•Differentiate governance and politics, and
•Explain the value of politics
4. BEFORE WE BEGIN:
Write inside the box five words or phrases that come into
your mind whenever you hear the word politics and political
6. Political Science
•an academic discipline that deals with the study of power in society,
politics, and government.
•as a social science, political science centers on the systematic study of
political government institutions
•for the Greek philosopher Aristotle, political science involves the study
of the work or function of a politician or a statesman
•French philosopher Paul Janet defined political science as a social
science that deals with the foundations of the state and the principles of
SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY
Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rosseau, and John Locke (17-18th
century Europe) stressed that the absence of any kind of government
often results in a chaotic and violent environment, therefore people enter
themselves into a social contract or a written or unwritten binding
agreement among the people that bids for the creation of a government
and the consequent use of politics for the achievement of peace and
8. NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI
•Father of modern political science
•Discussed impressive political strategies on maintaining power in his
books, The Prince and Discourses
The Central Concepts in Politics
According to Plato and Aristotle
•The Concept of JUSTICE
what and who is morally and politically right
•The Concept of POWER
the source of authority
•The Concept of the Right Type of Constitutions and Governments
different types of governments and states
•The Concept of Political Structures
different ideologies in a state
•The Concept of Right and Virtuous Leadership
who should lead in a certain political system
9. The Key Fields in Politics:
•Power relations in society
•Forms of government
•Civil society’s role in government
Politics deals with power in society in general, Governance deals with
power in government and how this institution exerts power for the benefit
of the society.
The Division of Discussion of Politics and Governance
10. POLITICAL THEORY deals with the different perspectives and ideas
regarding politics and governance of different political philosophers from
the ancient times
POLITICAL METHODOLOGY is more concerned upon the application of
political concepts into research and policy, almost similar to public
COMPARATIVE POLITICS is about comparing various political systems
and different constitutions among different countries through time.
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS bear resemblance to comparative politics;
but instead of comparing, it concentrates on establishing and maintaining
relations among countries through time.
LAW is basically any written statement that limits or guides the behavior of
a certain group. Politics, as the art and science of government, highlights
the role of law in organizing and stabilizing individual interests to prevent
the overlapping individual needs and promote collective gains in society.
11. The Importance of Knowledge of Politics
•Helps in the participation of an individual in the state
•Safeguards an individual against bad government practices and abuse
In ancient Greece, anyone who was ignorant
of the laws and the political processes of the
polis was considered an IDIOT.
12. ANALYSIS GUIDE
1.Why should we study the basic concepts of political science?
2.Which of the fields of interest in political science should leaders and
aspiring politicians focus on? Defend your answer.
3.Which aspect of political science are you most interested in? Why or
Research and briefly discuss a certain period in the history of
the development of political science. Write your answer on a whole
sheet of paper.
13. LESSON 2: CLASSICAL TO MODERN POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES
At the end of this lesson, the students should be able to:
•Identify the basic tenets of major political ideologies
•Differentiate political ideologies
•Identify the relationship between political ideologies and configurations of
•Enumerate ideas that have a direct impact on a political community; and
•Explain how political ideologies affect the social and political life of
15. A GLIMPSE BACK
Cross out the words that are not related to political science.
justice power Wi-Fi
government vitamins state
diode love influence
talcum magnitude intensity
governance bones decision-making
policy conflict crescendo
16. IDEOLOGY is basically defined as political statements that aim to call
upon massive mass or government action to achieve a relatively better
political and economic condition.
Ideologies are goal-oriented; meaning, they are for or against a certain
configuration of a political community. Their applications, however, are
dependent upon the different political attitudes of people and institutions.
Frederick Watkins suggested that ideologies come from different
political extremes such as the conservatives or the pro-status quo on one
side, or the radicals or the anti-status quo on the extreme side.
PRO-STATUS QUO: the conservatives and the reactionaries
ANTI-STATUS QUO: the radicals and the liberals
NEUTRAL: the moderates (no neutral opinion with regard to political
17. POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES AND THEIR IMPACT ON POLITICAL
It is characterized by a resistant to change, adherent to limited
human freedom as it chooses to maintain traditional values, and at
some extreme versions, distrust to human reasoning and nature of anti-
egalitarianism (*the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal
rights and opportunities)
It favors change, prefers more freedom, and has a more
optimistic approach to human reasoning and nature. Classical
Liberalism adheres to the laissez-faire system proposed by Adam Smith
in his Wealth of Nations, wherein the government does not interfere with
19. 3. MARXISM
One should be careful in branding communism, socialism, or any
other similar ideologies as Marxists because they may not necessarily
reflect the ideas of Karl Marx.
Some of the ideological and conceptual bases of Marxism are the
a. Alienation This is the relationship between two or more
people or parts of oneself in which one is cut off
from, a stranger or alien, the others. For Marx,
alienation in its basic form is the alienation from
one’s labor (or product of one’s labor), and
capitalism is a great factor in this phenomenon.
b. Class Struggle the struggle between the bourgeoisie (the
capitalist or the middle class) and the proletariat
(workers). The bourgeoisie social class
oppresses and exploits the proletariat not only
through unfair compensation of the latter’s labor
but also by setting up laws and standards, and
controlling the system to maintain its social
20. c. Materialism Marxism and the offshoot of this ideology offer a
complex perspective and usage of materialism.
Most social scientists, however, would agree to
the basic definition that “how people think is
greatly affected by how you live.”
For example, the members of the bourgeoisie
might think more of profit and leisure, that life is
good, and that money can do anything. This is
because they live a comfortable life with money
and power in the state. They do not actually do
the hard labor. In fact, their profit might even
come in through passive income. But the
members of the proletariat who work every day f
or income might think more of survival, that life is
unfair. They might think that either there is no
good in trying to change their status or they
might be driven to strive for more whatever it takes.
21. d. Revolution Almost all theories and ideologies related to
Marxism consider proclaiming revolution as the
way to change the system. By revolution, Marx
did not mean peaceful walkouts but a violent
one in which the proletariat will topple down the elite
class and all the systems they have made. Even
in its violent nature, Marx considered
revolution as a good and inevitable
process that will eventually lead to a
classless ideal society in the form of communism.
While most people are familiar with how anarchy is popularly
used to mean chaos due to the nonexistence of control mechanisms, the
idea behind it is actually more on peaceful coexistence and equality.
Contrary to the popular depiction of anarchism in movies, anarchists
believe that since power corrupts, a better system based on voluntary
cooperation and not on power relations should be established, and that
this system will address the needs of the people more successfully.
22. It is living a peaceful life without coercion from anyone.
As Alexander Berkman put it: “Anarchism teaches that we can live in a
society where there is no compulsion of any kind. A life without
compulsion naturally means liberty; it means freedom from being forced
or coerced, a chance to lead the life that suits you best.”
This is another version of anarchism but involves the government
in a minimal role such as ensuring the safety of everyone and fairness in
whatever contracts or dealings.
24. LESSON 3: NATURE, FORMS, AND CONSEQUENCES OF POWER
At the end of this lesson, the students should be able to:
1. identify the nature, types, and consequences of power
2. define power
3. explain the nature, dimensions, types, and consequences of
4. explain how power is exercised in different situations
25. POWER is the ability of Person A or
institution A to make person B or
institution B do something that person B
or institution B on his/her/its own would
From the said definition, power in
society spans a spectrum of meaning
that includes force, authority,
influence, and most of the time,
26. THE TAXONOMY OF POWER
1.Compulsory Power - direct control of one actor of the conditions and
actions of another.
2.Institutional Power - the indirect ways in which an actor affects
another. An example is the use of rules or the law to impose order.
3.Structural Power – basically looks at the position and the roles of
various actors in relation to each other.
4.Productive Power – similar to structural power that looks into the
relative position of the actor, the social production of their roles, and how
the roles affect the actors’ perception and actions. However, productive
power focuses not on the direct structures provided and accepted by
each actor, but on the discourse between the actors in which power is
29. STATE AND NATION IN THE AGE OF
At the end of this lesson, the students should
be able to:
1.Define nation and state;
2.Differentiate nation from state;
3.Explain how nation-state is created;
4.Define globalization; and
5.Explain how globalization influences nation-
30. GLOBALIZATION means we have to reexamine our ideas, and look at
ideas from other countries, other cultures, and open ourselves to them.
A NATION consists of a distinct population of people that are bound
together by a common culture, history, and tradition who are typically
concentrated within a specific geographic region.
A STATE is any politically organized community living under a single
system of government.
33. GLOBALIZATION is a process of interaction and integration of every
landscape in the planet.
GLOBALIZATION is a process that is slowly changing things into one
complex scheme that transcends cultural, political, and social
boundaries – a system devoid of spatial restraints that ultimately
challenges the very existence of nation-states.
To borrow Arjun Appadurrai’s terms, these landscapes include the
technoscape (technology), financescape (economics), ethnoscape
(culture and social life), and ideoscapes (ideas).
34. LESSON 5: FORMS OF GOVERNMENT
At the end of this lesson, the students should be able to:
a.Differentiate the forms of government
b.Explain the factors that create, maintain and destroy each form of
c.Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each form of
35. FORMS OF GOVERNMENTS IN ANCIENT GREECE
1.DEMOCRACY – the rule of the people or the many
2.OLIGARCHY – the rule of the privileged few
3.TYRANNY – the rule of one individual
36. The most democratic countries of the world according to the 2015 Democracy
1. Norway 5. Denmark
4. New Zealand
37. 6. Switzerland 10. The Netherlands
7. Canada 11. Luxembourg
8. Finland 12. Ireland
9. Australia 13. Germany
38. 14. Austria 18. Mauritius
15. Malta 19. Uruguay
16. The United Kingdom 20. The United States of America
39. According to ARISTOTLE, the three forms of government mentioned
earlier were examples of bad governments. In Politics, he included the
“good version” of each form of “bad” government.
•Kingship or Monarchy is the good version of tyranny because the
leader rules the people with wisdom and virtue, unlike tyranny, where the
leader is possessed with extreme desire to improve and empower himself
rather than promote welfare to his constituents.
•Aristocracy, as the rule of the privileged few, is seen by Aristotle as the
good version of Oligarchy because those who are in power belong to the
upper class, thus the assumption of virtue.
•Polity is the good version of Democracy. Polity stresses the
involvement of the middle class in ruling, which is its crucial character.
The middle class is important because, according to Aristotle, they make
up most of society; thus, they represent the greater interest.
41. OTHER FORMS OF GOVERNMENT:
1.Monarchy vs. Republic – both forms have an individual holding the
power as head of state. While monarchy is ruled by king and is
hereditary, a republic is usually ruled by a president chosen by the people
2.Autocracy vs. Democracy – in autocracy, power is held by a single,
self-appointed ruler; its absolute form being the dictatorship. In
democracy, on the other hand, power resides with the people as they
have the ability to select their leader and directly or indirectly involve
themselves in politics and governance.
3.Unitary State vs. Federal State – A unitary state has a central
government holding power with the capability to delegate or take back
authority and function to and from lower levels or offices. A federal state
has a central government with the main function of uniting several self-
governing states or regions. The central government in a federal state
cannot duly interfere or immediately alter the laws of the member states.
42. 4. Theocracy – is also another form of government that is composed of
the joint rule of the church and the state or the domination of the state by
43. The Philippines is essentially a democratic country. Throughout our history,
however, only a few individuals or the elites have been instrumental to the
forging of the country’s political character. Involvement of the middle class is
not clearly manifested in any significant political agendas of the government.
44. LESSON 6: POLITICS IN THE PRE-SPANISH TO SPANISH PERIOD
At the end of this lesson, the students should be able to:
1.Describe Philippine politics and governance from the pre-colonial
period to the Spanish period;
2.Identify similarities and differences between today’s politics and the
experiences and processes of politics in the past
3.Discuss the changes in Philippine politics and governance; and
4.Assess the effects of the colonial experience of the country in its
present politics and governance.
47. FOUR TYPES OF FILIPINO UNHISPANIZED SOCIETIES IN THE
1. CLASSLESS SOCIETIES – are communities that are so small that
they do not have the need to elect a leader. The need for a leader only
comes with the facilitation of hunting, but after every expedition, the
appointed leader loses his power.
48. 2. WARRIOR SOCIETIES – this society has a defined warrior class
who are also appointed leaders for legislation, inter-ethnic relations,
and judicial matters. These communities are relatively larger than the
first class and have more or less hostile relations with other groups,
thus the need for the warrior class.
49. 3. PETTY PLUTOCRACIES – there is a clear division of economic class.
In most instances, the ruler of such communities comes from the
privileged class, though being a ruler means having proven oneself to be
of service to the community.
50. 4. PRINCIPALITIES – there is a clear class of leaders through the datus
or sultans. Most often, these communities follow the political organization
that was brought by Islam and is the strongest and most organized
political entity in Philippine pre-colonial history.
51. The Spaniards made good use of
the quote “I came, I saw, I
conquered”: According to them, they
colonized us because they wanted
to spread Christianity to everyone,
which would be like pointing a
loaded gun at someone while saying
“Let’s be friends” in a really friendly
way. And they didn’t waste time
doing it. They used God’s awesome
might to wow and befriend the
people, add some military kapow
into the mix and *BOOM!* we’re
Spain’s colony before we even knew
it. Anyone who didn’t sleep through
their History classes (or at least
bothered to look at that portion of
their History book/s) would know
this. And you know this because
that’s what they want you to know.
What really happened is this.
“Don’t you want to have a beard like mine?”
52. True, the Spaniards did use religion in
order to pacify the natives much
easier. But that’s just one of the many
tactics that they made use of in order
to colonize the country. In conjunction
to religious conversion, the Spaniards
also constructed reducciones, towns
consisting of European (note: made of
stone) buildings such as lime and
mortar houses, churches and so on.
They were erected in order to carry
out the reduccion: compiling all the
natives from the nearby barangays
into the reducciones for easier
colonization and religious conversion.
These grand stone-made towns also
served to impress the natives and
imply that the Spaniards are powerful
and should be idolized.
53. By doing the reduccion, the diverse natives are forced to live extremely close to
other natives, and some of them were probably enemies before the Spaniards
came. These, along with their pre-colonial conditioning of not really knowing well
the people from other barangays led to the weak or probably non-existent sense
of nationalism that they possess. Which made the natives easier to colonize
since they had very little reason for resistance.
54. DIVIDE ET IMPERA (DIVIDE AND
Another reason for the relatively easy
colonization of the Philippines is the
utter lack of military capability of the
multiple barangays. Compared to the
Spanish military forces, which are
equipped with state-of-the-art
equipment (for that period at least),
such as muskets, metal armour, and
especially cannons; combined with
disciplined military training, would
make any Philippine native quiver in
fear. Just look at the mismatch: how
would a native armed with no more
than light clothing and a simple spear
or bolo (probably a leather shield too)
fight on par with a Spaniard wearing
metal armor and a really, really long
55. Colonization was not also done through military force; the Spaniards also did it on
a cultural level. For instance, they supplanted the natives’ indigenous baybayin
alphabet with the Latin alphabet. They also prohibited the use of their dialects
whenever they are within Spanish facilities such as convents, courts, and the like.
Whether they also banned it outside those areas, we don’t know. This made most
of the natives forget their previous identity since they began to forget their former
culture. Since the natives also did not have a more permanent way of preserving
their culture, other than writing on leaves (and trees too, probably), so by the time
the Spaniards were halfway done, we were left with barely any first-hand
accounts of the pre-colonial Filipinos (e.g. Laguna Copperplate Inscription [not
found during this time yet]) and a treasure trove of Spanish-made Filipino history.
56. But the really effective method of
colonization did not come from the
Spanish conquistadors; it came from
the multitude of friars and missionaries
that came to the Philippines like a
swarm of holy locusts looking for a
place to feed on. Franciscans,
Dominicans, Jesuits. You name it, they
sent it. They converted many of the
natives during the early stages of and
throughout the colonization, whether
they are elite or not. By doing this, they
were able to establish a powerful hold
on the people, and subsequently the
supposed rulers of the country. But
that’s not the only issue; conversion of
the populace is one thing, total brain
conditioning is another.
57. Since the friars had the chance to be in close contact with their respective
communities, they were able to instill into the children that anything Spanish is
superior, and should be given due respect and credit for what they have done for
the Filipinos. Keep in mind that they only show to the youth the “good” aspects:
that they brought salvation in the form of Christianity to the locals, that they
civilized them, and so much more. No colonizer in his or her sane mind would tell
the truth to their colonies.
58. During the colonial period,
the areas and the groups in
the Philippines that the
Spaniards were able to
occupy and influence have
experienced a radical change
in politics and governance.
Indigenous political systems
in hispanized areas were
removed and replaced by the
colonial form of government
for easier management.
Hispanized areas in the
Philippines became tied to
the government in Spain with
the king as head, followed by
the viceroy (a ruler exercising
authority in a colony on
behalf of a sovereign) in Latin
59. Communities were arranged according to the reduccion policy that
centralized settlements around colonial institutions, such as the church
and municipal halls. The governor-general became the head of the
colony, followed by the alcaldes and corregimientos, gobernadorcillos,
and cabeza de barangays.
61. LESSON 7: DEMOCRACY IN THE PHILIPPINES
At the end of this lesson, the students should be able to:
2.Discuss the development of democracy in the Philippines;
3.Describe the effects of colonization process the way democracy is
practiced in the Philippines; and
4.Enumerate the effects of Martial Law to Philippine politics and
63. Democracy has long been exercised in the Ancient Greece and is now
known as the rule of people where the power in government does not
emanate from the divine right or any god but from the citizens of the
64. The power of people in a
democratic society is visible
through the observation of
freedom of expression, right to
equal representation, right to
vote for their representatives in
government , and right to vote
for and against a proposed
Aristotle considered democracy
as the corrupt counterpart of the
ideal regime of polity but it is
still a popular model for
65. Democracy was introduced in the Philippines during the late 19th
following the opening of the country’s economy to the world in 1834 and
the consequent inflow and outflow of ideas and people along with the
66. The success of the French Revolution that caused the resurgence of
democratic and liberal ideals in Europe reached our shores via trade
with other countries and also by the efforts of rich Filipino natives
(ilustrados) who were able to study abroad. The ilustrados, through the
propaganda movement of Marcelo H. Del Pilar, translated liberal ideas
for the Philippines in their hope to achieve reform.
67. Democracy had great appeal to the Filipinos that it was even adopted by
the Kataas-taasan, kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mg Anak ng Bayan
(KKK) of Andres Bonifacio. The group encouraged popular democracy
within the Katipunan’s ranks and it was through this system that the
Katipuneros voted for rebellion against Spanish authorities in 1896.
68. However, it was during the American period that democracy was used in
full extent as a political system. The defeated Spaniards during the
Spanish-American War in 1898 sold the Philippines to America but the
Filipinos chose to be independent rather than be subjected to another
colonialist, thus the Philippine-American War. After three years of
fighting the revolutionaries surrendered to the American forces.
69. Even during the Philippine-American War, the issue of what to do with
the Philippines had been a debate in the United States. Some debated
for its annexation as a colony or as a state while there were also some
Americans who preferred Philippines to be free.
70. To further investigate on the matter, as well as to manage the country
under the American rule and system, the United States sent Dr. Jacob
Schurman to head the Schurman Commission in 1899 with the basic
objectives of establishing the civil government in pacified areas, as well
as training and assigining Filipinos in various government positions,
among others. The Taft Commission under Judge William Howard Taft in
1900 hastened the transition of the government from a revolutionary to a
civil and democratic one.
71. The Philippine Organic Act of 1902 created the Philippine Commission.
The offices of the Civil Governor and Vice Governor were created to
exercise powers of the government but would still be subject to the
discretion of the President of the United States of America. Other
government offices were created to manage the country. The Electoral
representation in the Philippines began with the creation of the Philippine
Assembly. The Philippine Assembly acted as the lower house to the
Philippine Commission and held its first election in 1907.
72. Democracy was further established through the 1935 Constitution. But in
1972, the foundation of democracy was sidelined upon the declaration of
Martial Law by President Ferdinand Marcos. The Constitution was
remodeled in 1973 and for a brief period of time, the country experienced
a strict disciplinarian state that controlled the economy, legislation, and
73. Democracy was reinstated by the 1987 Constitution following the
success of People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos
dictatorship. The rights mandated in a democratic society such as the
right to vote and freedom of expression were also restored.
74. LESSON 8: FUNCTIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
At the end of this lesson, the students should be able to:
1.Explain the roles and powers of the Philippine president; and
2.Discuss how the president exercises power.
75. We have a presidential
form of government in the
Philippines. The president of the
Philippines is the center of power,
the head of both government and
state. This also means that he is
not constrained by both the
judicial and legislative branch in
the performance of his duties as
the country’s chief executive. The
executive power vested upon the
president and the executive
branch basically means “the
power to enforce and
administer the laws.”
77. The same qualifications apply to the vice-president. The president and
the vice-president are elected through direct voting by the majority of the
voters and will begin their six-year term on the 30th
day of June following
the day of the election. The president cannot run for re-election for the
said office again unless that person who served as president only held
office for four years or less. In case of death, permanent disability,
removal from office, or resignation by the president, the following line of
succession is observed until the position of president is filled up: vice-
president, Senate President, and Speaker of the House of
78. Aside from the executive power, there are other major powers held by
the president. The first major power is the power of appointment
provided in Section 16 Article VII of the Constitution. The president can
appoint the heads of executive departments, ambassadors, other public
ministers and consuls, officers of the armed forces from the rank of the
colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are
vested in him by the Constitution.
The second major power is administrative power, as stated in
Section 17, Article VII. The president shall have control of all the
executive departments, bureaus, and offices. He shall ensure that the
laws be faithfully executed.
79. The third major power is the military power for being the commander-
in-chief of all the armed forces in the Philippines under Section 18, Article
VII. Along with this power is the power to suspend the privilege of the writ
of the habeas corpus and to place the country or any part of the
Philippines under Martial Law in cases of invasion or rebellion or when
public safety requires it. The president is given 48 hours from the
proclamation of martial law to submit a report regarding such
proclamation to the Congress which will then decide if the proclamation
has to be revoked or suspended.
The president also has the power to grant pardons and amnesty.
Pardon is the power to release a wrongdoer from punishment after
conviction. Amnesty is a pardon extended to a group of persons and
abolishes the offense before or after conviction.
80. Other powers of the president include: the power to contract or
guarantee foreign loans on behalf of the Republic subject to prior
concurrence of the Monetary Board and subject to limitations as may be
provided by law; the power to sign a treaty or international agreement
provided that the validity and effectiveness of such treaty or international
agreement will be ratified first by at least two-thirds of all the members of
the Senate; and the power of the budget under Section 22, Article VII,
where the president submits to the Congress a budget of expenditures
and sources of financing, including receipts from existing and proposed
The president exercises a lot of powers, but he should be reminded that
the true power rests in the people and that the Office of the President, as
well as the other branches of the government, exists to serve the
81. LESSON 9: FUNCTIONS OF THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
At the end of this lesson, the students should be able to :
1.Discuss the roles and responsibilities of the Philippine Senate and the
House of Representatives;
2.Assess the performance of the Philippine Congress
3.Discuss the impact of Congress’ performance on Philippine
4.Articulate a position or advocacy to a Philippine legislator through a
83. The legislative power of the government is vested upon the Congress of
the Philippines in accordance with the 1987 Constitution. The Congress is
divided into two chambers: the House of the Representatives (lower
house) and the Senate of the Philippines (upper house)
84. The Senate of the Philippines is composed if 24 senators elected at large
while the House of Representatives is composed of not more than 250
members, 20% of which is composed of party-list representatives. A
qualified candidate for both the Senate and the House of Representatives
must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, able to read and write,
and a registered voter. The difference is that the Senate requires that the
person must be at least 35 years old and a resident of the Philippines for
not less than two years before election day. On the other hand, a
candidate for the House needs to be at least 25 years old and a resident
of the Philippines for at least one year in the district where he will be
elected (except for party-list representatives).
The term of office for the elected senators and representatives starts at
noon of the 30th
day of June following their election. The senators will
serve for six years and shall not serve for more than two consecutive
terms. The representatives, also known as congressmen/women, will
serve for three years and shall not hold office for more than three
85. In case of vacancy in the Congress, under Section 9 of Article VI, 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.
The primary function of the legislative branch is the creation, enactment,
and amendments of laws. Proposed laws may come from the senators
or representatives themselves, the people they represent (district,
province, or the party), or the other two branches of eth government.
These proposals are drafted into a bill.
A bill is a draft of law presented to legislation for enactment, by the
approval of the Congress and the president of the Republic.
These are the “proposed laws” or “proposed amendment” you hear about
in the news, like House Bill No. 2379, which seeks to amend the National
Internal Revenue Code of 1997, the country’s 20-year-old tax code.
House Bills are those made by a Representative, while Senate Bills are
those made by a Senator.
86. The basic process for the creation or amendment of a law begins with a
bill drafted by a senator or representative and filed for the first reading.
The first reading is where the Senate President or the Speaker of the
House reads out the title, bill number, and author’s name, and then
assigns the bill to the proper Senate or House Committee.
The author(s) or the concerned committee will send out an invitation to
various concerned parties, agencies, and stakeholders for a public
hearing of the bill to review the proposed bill and give comments during
the deliberations. The concerned committee can hold a technical working
group meeting for specific changes to the provisions such as proper
concepts, correction of grammar, and deletion or addition of certain
phrases or words.
After the approval of the bill, by the committee members, a committee
report is then filed with its approved version of the bill to the Committee
on Rules for the second reading. In the second reading, the author of the
bill or the chairperson of the committee delivers a sponsorship speech. It
is followed by a period of interpellation wherein other senators or
representatives may debate or ask further questions to sponsor of the bill.
87. After the interpellation, the senators or representatives may make some
In reviewing a bill, there are some things to consider:
1.Does the bill conform to the provisions of the Constitution?
2.What is the main issue that the bill is trying to address?
3.What are the methods that the bill is trying to propose in order to
answer the issue?
4.Are there alternative means to address the issue?
5.Who will benefit from the bill if it is enacted into law? How will the
benefits be given? Will this create further problems?
6.Is there sufficient fund for the law? Where will the government get the
fund needed to enforce the law?
88. The representatives or the senators again vote for the passage of the
bill on the second reading. As a general rule, a bill must pass both the
Senate and the House. Note that two versions of a bill are processed
simultaneously in both chambers. The final version of the approved bill
by both chambers is then printed for approval. Or if there are
disagreements between the two chambers on the final version of the bill,
a Bicameral Conference Committee is created to make the necessary
changes before printing out the final and reconciled version of the bill.
Another period of interpellation follows after which the senators or the
representatives vote for the third reading of the bill. Upon the last reading
of a bill, no amendment shall be allowed.
Upon approval of the final version of the bill by both chambers, the
Senate President and the Speaker of the House shall sign the final copy
now known as the enrolled bill and send it to the president for approval
and signature. The bill becomes a law upon signing of the president. In
case of objection from the president, the enrolled bill is vetoed and
returned to the House where the bill originated. If the House of
Representatives or the Senate still reconsiders the bill, at least two-thirds
of all the members of the House shall vote for the bill to become a law.
89. Failure by the president to act on the enrolled bill within 30 days upon his
receipt, the bill becomes a law as if the president has signed it.
Other than a bill, each House can make resolutions. A resolution
“conveys principles and sentiments of eth members of the Senate or the
House of Representative.” There are three different types of resolutions:
1.Joint Resolutions – require the approval of both chambers of
Congress and the signature of the president, and have the force and
effect of a law if approved.
2.Concurrent Resolutions – used for matters affecting the operations of
both chambers of Congress and must be approved in the same form by
both houses, but are not transmitted by to the president for his signature
and therefore have force or effect of a law.
3.Simple Resolutions – deal with the matters entirely within the
prerogative of one chamber of Congress; are not referred to the president
for his signature and therefore have force or effect of a law.
93. LESSON 10: FUNCTIONS OF THE JUDICIAL BRANCH
At the end of this lesson, the students should be able to:
1.Identify the functions of the Philippine judiciary;
2.Discuss how the judiciary exercises political neutrality and fairness; and
3.Discuss the performance of the Philippine judiciary as a dispenser of
justice and a protector of constitutional rights and freedom.
95. The judicial branch of the government is the primary agency that
handles matters concerning the settlement of issues regarding the rights
and interpretation of law. The power of the judiciary rests on the
Supreme Court and the lower courts, which include the Court of Appeals,
Sandiganbayan, down to the Regional Trial Court, the Metropolitan trial
Court, and the Municipal Trial Court. The 1987 Constitution defines
judicial power as follows:
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle
actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and
enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess jurisdiction on the part of
any branch or instrumentality of the government.
This means that the judicial branch of the government not only rules on
legal issues but also on the other two branches “whenever the court finds
that the other department has committed grave abuse of discretion.”
97. Some of the functions of the Supreme Court under the 1987Constitution
are as follows:
1.The Supreme Court primarily handles the cases of ambassadors, other
public ministers and consuls.
2.Review, affirm, reverse, or amend the decision of lower courts on
certain cases that may concern the constitutionality or validity of
international agreement and presidential decrees, questionable decisions
or processes of the lower courts, cases which are punishable by lifetime
imprisonment, error or question of law, among others.
3.Appointment of judges, officials, and employees of the Judiciary.
4.Create and disseminate rules and procedures concerning the
processes in legal courts as well as the membership to the Bar.
98. The Supreme Court is composed of
the Chief Justice and fourteen
Associate Justices appointed by the
president from a list of qualifiers
from the screening process done by
the Judicial and Bar Council
99. The Court of Appeals, the second
highest tribunal or legal court in the
country, is composed of a Presiding
Justice and sixty-nine Associate
Justices who are appointed by the
president. Aside from having power
on the issuance of certain legal
documents and orders, the Court of
Appeals mainly receives, reviews,
and resolves appeals on decisions
of Regional Trial Courts, as well as
that of the Office of the
Ombudsman in cases wherein one
of the parties is not satisfied with
100. The Court of Tax Appeals
focuses on reviewing and
resolving appeals of decisions
from the Commissioner of
Commissioner of Customs,
Department of Finance,
Department of Trade and
Industry, and other legal courts
concerning cases related to tax,
tariffs, and other monetary
obligations to the government.
The Court of Tax Appeals is
composed of one Presiding
Justice and five Associate
101. The SANDIGANBAYAN has the
The Batasang Pambansa shall
create a special court, to be known
as Sandiganbayan, which shall
have jurisdiction over criminal and
civil cases involving graft and
corrupt practices and such other
offenses committed by public
officers and employees, including
those in government-owned or
controlled corporations, in relation
to their office as may be determined
102. SEC. 4.
The present anti-graft court known
as the Sandiganbayan shall
continue to function and exercise
its jurisdiction as now or hereafter
may be provided by law. (Art. XI,
103. Lower courts such as city and municipal courts have original jurisdiction
over cases such as, but not limited to, violations of municipal ordinances,
gambling, assault, estafa to a certain amount, malicious mischief, and
illegal possession of firearms.
In order to further maintain objectivity in the system, the judicial branch
sometimes transfers one judge or even cases from one city to another.
Section 15, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution provided a timetable for
the resolution of the cases brought to the judiciary; two years for the
Supreme Court, one year for the lower collegiate courts, and three
months for all other lower courts. In case the issue is not resolved within
those periods, a certification signed by the Chief Justice or presiding
judge stating why the case has not been resolved shall be issued and
served to both parties. Section 15 further goes on to say that:
Despite the expiration of the applicable mandatory period,
the court, without prejudice to such responsibility as may have been
incurred in consequence thereof, shall decide or resolve the case or
matter submitted thereto for determination, without further delay.