Highlights of the Proposed Amendments to the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines

Published by anna Date posted on December 13, 2005

COMMITTEE ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE REPUBLIC HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLE X (LOCAL GOVERNMENT) OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION (Approved subject to style, by the Plenary on 13 December 2005)

General provisions

  • The territorial and political subdivision of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays, which shall enjoy local autonomy.

  • The parliament shall strengthen the existing local government code, which shall prove for all matters relating to the organization and operation of the local units.

  • The Prime Minister of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments.

  • Local governments and autonomous territories shall have the power to create its own sources of revenues subject to guidelines set by the Parliament and consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy.

  • The National Government is mandated to automatically release to the governments their just share in all the national taxes.

  • Local governments shall be entitled to an equitable share in the proceeds of the utilization and development of the national wealth within their respective areas.

  • The term of office of elected officials shall be five years, except for barangay officials, which shall be determined by law.

  • No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the regional and local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political subdivisions affected..

  • The parliament to enact the Basic Law and measures for orderly transition towards Federalism. The Constitutional Tribunal, en banc or in division shall decide on conflicts between the parliament and the autonomous region and local governments.

  • All powers, authority and functions not granted by this Constitution or by law to the autonomous territories and local governments are reserved to the National Government.

COMMITTEE ON THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLE VII (EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT) OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION (As adopted by the Plenary on 15 December 2005)

THE PARLIAMENT

  • The legislative and executive powers shall be vested in a unicameral Parliament.

  • The Parliament shall be composed of as many members as may be provided by law, who shall be elected from parliamentary districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation by the political parties according to the votes each party obtained in the preceding elections.

  • The Members chosen by political parties shall constitute 30 per centum of the total number of members including those elected by Parliament. Each parliamentary district and each city with a population of at least 250,000 shall have at least one representative.

  • Members of parliament shall be elected for a term of five years, with no term limits. The regular election of the members shall be held on the second Monday of May and every five years thereafter.

  • Aside from being a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter and a resident in the district in which he shall be elected, a member of Parliament shall be at least 25 years of age and at least a college graduate.*The parliament shall elect its Speaker by a majority vote of all its Members.

  • At least one- third of the members of Parliament shall constitute a quorum to do business but a majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for voting.

  • The Prime Minister shall submit to the Parliament within thirty days from the opening of each regular session a budget of receipts as the basis of the general appropriations bill. The form, content and manner of preparation of the budget shall be prescribed by law.

  • No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by a majority of all members of the Parliament.

  • A vote of 2/3 of all members of the Parliament shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Prime Minister for his signature.

  • The Parliament may withdraw its confidence from the prime Minister only by electing a successor by a majority vote of all its Members.

  • The Prime Minister or any Member of the Parliament may request for a popular vote of confidence from the Parliament on fundamental issues or on a general declaration of program or policy.

  • In case the Parliament is dissolved, the President shall call a special election on the date set by the Prime Minister. In the new Parliament, the Members shall serve for a term of five years beginning from the time the Prime Minister convokes the Parliament.

  • In case of dissolution of the Parliament or the termination of its regular term, the incumbent Prime Minister and the Cabinet shall continue to conduct the affairs of government until the new Parliament is convoked by the prime Minister and a new President is elected and qualified.

  • The Commission on Appointments and the Parliament Electoral Tribunal shall be constituted within thirty days after the Parliament shall have been organized with the election of the Speaker.

THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE CABINET

  • The Executive Power shall be exercise by the prime Minister with the assistance of the Cabinet. He or She shall be elected by a majority of all the Members of the Parliament from among themselves.

  • Prime minister shall appoint the Deputy Prime Minister who shall head a Ministry, and the Members of the Cabinet who shall be the heads of the Ministries, at least three-fourths of whom shall come from the Parliament. They may be removed at the discretion of the Prime Minister.

  • The Prime Minister shall also appoint the career Senior Deputy Minister for each Ministry who shall be a member of the career civil service and shall be the chief administrator of the Ministry.

  • The Prime Minister or any member of the Cabinet may resign for any cause without vacating his seat in the Parliament.

  • The Prime Minister and the Cabinet shall be responsible to the Parliament for the program of the government and shall determine the guidelines of national policy.

  • The Prime Minister shall have control of all ministries, bureaus, and offices. He shall have supervision and administration over autonomous territories, local governments, and all of the armed forces of the Philippines. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.

  • The Prime Minister shall nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the following:

    1. Chief Justice and Members of the Supreme Court and lower collegiate courts, the Ombudsman and his deputies;

    2. Chairmen and members of the Constitutional Commissions, the Chairmen and Members of the independent constitutional bodies.

    3. Ambassadors. chiefs of mission and consuls-general.

    4. Chief of Staff, the Vice Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff and the commanders of the major services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the officers of the Philippine National Police of equivalent rank and grade, and;

    5. All other officers of the Government whose appointments may be subject for confirmation as provided in this constitution by law.

  • The Prime Minister shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Parliament, whether voluntary or compulsory, but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Parliament.

  • The Prime Minister may contract or guarantee foreign loans on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines with the prior concurrence of the Monetary Board, and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.

THE PRESIDENT

  • The President shall be the head of State.

  • The President shall be elected from among the Members of the Parliament by a majority of all its members who must at least be forty years of age on the day of his election and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding his election.

  • The President shall serve for a term of five years, which shall commence from the date he takes his oath of office within three years after his proclamation by the National Assembly, and shall end at twelve noon on the day his successor shall take the same oath. Upon taking his oath, the President shall cease to be a member of the parliament and of any political party. Unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, he shall be ineligible to hold any office during his term.

  • The Office of the president shall enjoy fiscal independence.

  • Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the president, upon the recommendation of the prime Minister, may grant pardon, and after conviction by final judgment, grant reprieves, commutations, and remit fines and forfeitures. He shall, upon the recommendation of the prime Minister, have the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all members of the Congress.

  • The President shall appoint all officers and employees in his office in accordance with the Civil Service Law. He may perform such other duties and functions of state as may be provided by law.

  • The President and the Prime Minister shall be immune from suit during their tenure.

SUB-COMMITTEE ON TRANSITORY PROVISIONS
HIGHLIGHTS ON THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLE XVII
TRANSITORY PROVISIONS OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION (As adopted by the Plenary on 15 December 2005)
NO ELECTION IN 2007

First election under this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May 2010. Te term of office of elective officials, local and national, ending in 2007 extended to 2010 to address the following matters:

  • Huge amount of money and resources to be expended for the holding of the elections in 2007 can instead be utilized to alleviate more pressing needs of our countrymen –food, health, education;

  • Synchronization of election;

  • Cooling period of three years is shorter than during the Commonwealth; longer than what is provided for in the 1987 Constitution;

  • This period will also give the Philippine economy a chance to take off; and

  • Ratification of this Constitution will in effect extend the mandate of elective official with the term ending 2007.

MEMBERS OF THE INTERIM PARLIAMENT

The Automatic members:

  • Members of the Senate

  • Members of the House of Representatives.

By appointment of the President:

  • At least one third of the Cabinet, with portfolio

  • Thirty persons, experienced and experts in their respective fields.

INTERIM PRIME MINISTER

  • Elected by a majority vote of all the Members of Parliament

  • He shall be a member of the Cabinet.

THE PRESIDENT

  • The head of state and the head of government.

  • Appoints the new Cabinet from among the members of Parliament.

  • Has supervision and direction over the interim Prime Minister and Cabinet.

  • Not vested with power to dissolve the interim Parliament

  • Subject to the same disqualification and manner of removal as provided this proposed Constitution.

THE VICE PRESIDENT

  • Shall initially convene the interim Parliament and shall continue, until 2010, to exercise his powers and prerogative as Vice President under the 1987 Constitution.

CONTINUING EFFECTIVITY OF LAWS

  • Retained

RATIFICATION OF TREATIES AND INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS

  • Instead of the Members of Senate, approval is vested in the Parliament

COURTS

  • Continue to exercise jurisdiction

  • Rules of Court, judicial issuances, and procedural laws may only be amended or repealed by the Supreme Court

  • Provision on security of tenure retained

SECURITY OF TENURE OF THE FOLLOWING EXPRESSLY PROVIDED FOR:

  • Constitutional Commissions and the Ombudsman

  • Civil Service Personnel

COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PATRIMONY AND ECONOMIC REFORMS
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLES II,XII, AND XVI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION (As adopted in Plenary on 08 December 2005)

NATIONAL PATRIMONY AND ECONOMY

National Patrimony

  • The State shall develop a self-reliant productive and competitive economy that will best serve the interest of the Filipino people.

  • The State may explore, develop, and utilize natural resources, or enter into co production, joint venture, or production sharing agreements with corporations fully owned ( no longer 40 percent) by foreigners.

  • Alienable lands of public domain shall be limited to agricultural and reclaimed lands. Private corporations or associations, including corporations fully owned by foreigners, may hold such alienable lands of the public domain by lease; but only Filipino citizens may acquire alienable lands. Constitutional limits on the extent of leasable area shall be determined through legislation.

  • The state shall protect the rights of indigenous people to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic, social, and cultural well-being.

  • Land classified in accordance with law as industrial, commercial or residential may be transferred or conveyed to foreign individuals or corporations with foreign ownership. Congress shall define the conditions for ownership of allowable lands by foreign individuals and by corporations with foreign ownership. However, Congress should define the conditions and limitations(such as area) on such lands, if and when transferred to foreign individuals and corporations with substantial foreign ownership.

National Economy

  • The goals of the national economy are more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth, and expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all, especially the underprivileged.

  • Congress may declare certain areas of enterprise as restricted to their foreign participation. Such declaration must have sound economic rationale, as provided by the economic and planning agency. The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments, monitoring and regulating the conduct of foreign investors more rigorously than that exercised over corporations with majority Filipino ownership.

  • Citizenship restrictions on franchises and thus ownership of public utilities is removed. Congress should enact legislation to provide that franchises granted to corporations with substantial foreign ownership are limited to public utilities of large scale.

  • Educational institutions at the pre-school, elementary and highschool levels, other than those already established by religious groups and mission boards, shall e owned solely by citizens of the Philippines or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of which is owned by such citizens. The Congress may, however, require increased Filipino equity participation in all educational institutions.

  • Congress may allow foreign ownership in advertising and in mass media, in recognition of globalization of information, and of capital needed to achieve international standards for operation of such media.

Transitory Provision

  • Every provision liberalizing extent of foreign ownership of corporations in certain lines of business, and of industrial, commercial, and residential lands shall take effect three years after ratification of this Constitution or upon earlier passage of legislation implementing the provision.

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