Government Structure

As a republican state, the Philippine’s structure of government is comprised of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches. Policy and law making are the tasks assigned to the legislative body while the implementation of laws and policies is assigned to the executive branch. Meanwhile, the judiciary is the body that interprets the laws. Check and balance are crucial to ensure that political, economic, and social affairs of the state are working.

The Executive branch performs and implements the policies passed in legislation. It is headed by the President who is elected by a direct vote of the people. The term of the president, as well as the Vice‐President is six (6) years. The president is not eligible for any re‐election while the Vice‐President may serve for no more than two consecutive terms.

As head of the Executive Department, the President is the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive has the power and control over executive departments and all implementing agencies of the government. And it covers the authority over the appointment of high officials in the government (heads of executive departments/cabinet members, ambassadors, public ministers, consuls, officers of the armed forces.

Also, the Philippine archipelago as a unitary state has 17 administrative regions. Each region (except Metro Manila) is composed of provinces; provinces are subdivided into cities or municipalities, while cities and municipalities are made up of Barangays (the smallest political unit). These divisions make up the Local Government Unit. Local Government Units also exercise executive functions through the Governors at the provincial level, Mayors at the municipal and city level, and the Barangay Captain at the Barangay level. The term of office of all Government Officials at the Local Government level is three years (3) and may serve for no more than three (3) consecutive terms.

The Legislative power is lodged in the bicameral congress of the Philippines: the Senate and House of Representatives. Legislative functions include statute making, constitution making, and amending of constitution; “power of the purse” or appropriations/ financial function; and informational or the power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.

The Senate is composed of twenty‐four (24) Senators, who are elected at large by the qualified voters of the Philippines. The term of office of the Senators is six (6) years and may serve for only two (2) consecutive terms. To ensure continuity of the work at the Senate, twelve (12) senators are elected every election or every three (3) years.

The House of Representatives, on the other hand, is composed of not more than two hundred and fifty (250) members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who are elected from legislative districts allocated among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area, and those who are elected through a party‐list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations. The term of office of members of the House of Representatives is three (3) years and may serve for no more than three (3) consecutive terms. At the local level, legislation at the provincial, municipal, and barangay level is lodged Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sangguniang Panglungsod, and Sangguniang Pang‐Barangay. (IPER, 2012)

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