REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

General Information | Electoral System | Last Elections | Presidency of the Parliament

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Parliament: Kongreso
Congress
Structure: Bicameral
Chamber: Kapulungan Mga Kinatawan - House of Representatives
President: Josť de Venecia, Jr. (M)
Secretary general: Roberto P. Nazareno (M)
Members: 221
members
- 204 directly elected
- 17 appointed by the President of the Republic
Percentage of women: 11 %
Term: 3 years
Last renewal: 08 May 1995
Address: House of Representatives
National Government Centre
Constitution Hills - QUEZON CITY
Tel.: (632) 931 50 01 to 48
Cable: -
Telex: -
Fax: (632) 921 63 74, 922 43 34
Affiliation to IPU: Yes
Affiliation dates: 1927 - 1938
1947 - 1973
1979 - 1986
1987

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Constituencies:
204 legislative districts are apportioned among the provinces, cities and the metropolitan Manila area according to population. Each city with at least 250,000 inhabitants, or each province, has a minimum of one Representative.

Voting system:
Closed party-list simple majority vote. (A maximum of 20% of House members are party-list or sectoral Representatives appointed by the President of the Republic from lists of nominees submitted by indigenous, but non-religious, minority groups.) No Representative may serve for more than three consecutive (three-year) terms.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections or by appointment.
Voting is compulsory.

Voter requirements:
- age: 18 years
- Philippine citizenship
- residence in the country for at least one year and in home constituency for at least six months immediately preceding election day
- disqualifications: insanity, adjudged incompetence, conviction for crime involving disloyalty to government or against national security

Eligibility:
Qualified electors
- age: 25 years
- Philippine citizenship by birth
- literacy
- residence in district for at least one year immediately preceding the poll
- ineligibility: bribery of voters or election officials, terrorist action, exceeding campaign expenses ceiling, prohibited financial dealings

Incompatibilities:
- any other office or employment in the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries
- legal counsel (in courts, electoral tribunals or administrative bodies)
- government contractor

Candidacy requirements:
- candidatures by parties or independents, must be submitted at least 45 days before polling to the provincial election supervisor concerned

LAST ELECTIONS
Date(s) of elections / renewal
08 May 1995

Purpose of elections
Elections were held for all the popularly chosen seats in the House of Representatives on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections
The 1995 "mid-term" congressional elections coincided with polling for 76 provincial governors and thousands of local officials. At stake were 204 Representatives' seats in the newly enlarged House and one-half (12) of those in the Senate, the winners in the latter case being the top vote-getters in the country as a whole.
For the national seats, the ruling Laban-Lakas coalition of President of the Republic (since 1992) Fidel Ramos was the clear favorite. During the three-month campaign, the President focused on the country's economy, which had grown by a sound margin of 5,1 % in 1994 and was projected to better that in 1995. He promised further improvement in this sector and especially vigorous job-creating legislation to reduce the unemployment rate. The Administration's programme also included the continued deregulation of industry, the break-up of entrenched monopolies, tax code revisions and electoral reform. Foreign investment in the Philippines had for its part risen markedly since President Ramos had taken over.
Altogether 35 candidates (including the son of late President Ferdinand Marcos) contested the 12 Senate seats, while thousands (including Mr. Marcos' widow Imelda) vied for the House. Polling day saw a relatively high turnout but was marred by incidents of violence which had already surfaced during the campaign. The governing coalition swept to victory as certain opposition groups alleged fraud. Analysts largely attributed this outcome to President Ramos' popularity and to an anti-incumbent, anti-politician mood of the electorate, which voted generally younger and well-educated members into Congress.

Statistics
PHILIPPINES House of Representatives

1. Results of the elections

Number of registered electors 36,415,154
Voters 25,736,505 (70.67%)



2. Distribution of seats according to political group

Votes Seats
Lakas - National Union of Christian Democrats (NUCD) 7,180,982 126
National People's Coalition (NPC) 1,644,380 28
Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) 1,881,376 27
Liberal Party 528,908 12
Nationalist Party 192,015 3
Others 124,911 2
Independents 109,204 2
___
200*
*plus four vacancies and excluding appointed members


3. Distribution of seats according to profession

Lawyers 85
Government officials 62
Businessmen 37
Medical professions 4
Civil Engineers 4
Accountants 3
Farmers 2
Others 3
___
200**
**elected members; of the appointed members, seven are lawyers and 10 belong to the "others" category


4. Distribution of seats according to sex

Elected Appointed
Men 179 14
Women 21 3
___ ___
200*** 17
***plus four vacancies


5. Distribution of seats according to age

Elected Appointed
25 - 30 years 2 -
31 - 41 " 15 3
42 - 51 " 55 2
52 - 61 " 81 5
62 - 71 " 40 5
Over 71 " 7 2
___ ___
200*** 17
***plus four vacancies



PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENT

Appointment and term of office | Status | Functions

APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE

Title:
Speaker of the House of Representatives

Term:
- duration: 3 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, removal, loss of parliamentary mandate, death, dissolution of the House

Appointment:
- elected by all Members of the House
- the election is held on the fourth Monday in July every 3 years
- after the swearing-in ceremony

Eligibility:
- any Member of the House may be a candidate

Voting system:
- formal public vote by roll call
- a simple majority is required

Procedures / results :
- the Secretary General presides over the House during the voting
- the Secretary General supervises the voting
- the Secretary General announces the results without delay
- the results may be challenged

STATUS

Status:
- ranks fourth in the hierarchy of the State
- follows the President of the Senate in the order of precedence
- represents the House with the authorities
- represents the House in international bodies
- the Presidents of the two Chambers preside over joint sittings
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions

Board:
(none)

Material facilities:
- allowance: 240,000 pesos/yr
+ expense allowance
- official car
- secretariat
- bodyguards

FUNCTIONS

Organization of parliamentary business:
- convenes sessions after consulting with the presidents of majority and minority groups
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of requests for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting-up of such committees

Chairing of public sittings:
- can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the House
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- calls for a vote
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the texts adopted and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the House, based on precedents
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates

Special powers:
- is responsible for establishing the budget
- recruits, assigns and promotes staff
- organizes the services of Parliament
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber

Speaking and voting rights, other functions:
- takes the floor in legislative debates as a Member of the House
- takes part in voting in case of a tie
- proposes bills or amendments
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure
- signs laws before transmitting them to the Head of State for promulgation
- checks the constitutionality of laws