Statutory Construction Reviewer Vena V. Verga and Aris S. Manguera
A bill is a proposed legislative measure introduced by a member of Congress for enactment into law.
Passage of a bill:1.A bill shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed inthe title thereof. It shall be signed by its author and filed with theSecretary of the House.2.A bill may originate in the lower or upper house exceptappropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of public debt, bills of local application, private bills, which shalloriginate exclusively in the House of Representatives.3.A bill is approved by either house after it has gone three readingson separate days except when the President certifies to thenecessity of its immediate enactment.4.Steps:(a)The Secretary reports for the first reading, which consists of reading the number and title of the bill, followed by its referralto the appropriate Committee for study and recommendation.(b)Second Reading: the bill shall be read in full with theamendments proposed by the Committee, if any, unless copiesthereof are distributed and such reading is dispensed with.After the amendments, the bill will be voted on secondreading.(c)Third reading: the bill approved on second reading will besubmitted for final vote by yeas and nays. No amendmentsmay be introduced.(d)The bill approved on the third reading by one house istransmitted to the other house for concurrence, which willfollow the same procedures as a bill originally filed with it.(e)If the other house introduces amendments and the House fromwhich it originated does not agree with said amendments, thedifferences will be settled by the Conference Committee of both chambers, whose report or recommendation thereon willhave to be approved by both Houses in order that it will beconsidered passed by Congress and thereafter sent to thePresident for action.(f)If the President shall veto it, and if after such consideration,two- thirds of all the Members of such House shall agree topass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, tothe other House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, andif approved by two-thirds of all the Members of that House, itshall become a law.
A bill passed by Congress becomes a law in either of three ways:1.When the President signs it2.When the President does not sign nor communicate his veto of thebill within thirty days after his receipt thereof 3.When the vetoed bill is repassed by Congress by two-thirds vote of all its members, voting separately.
Procedure for enactment of appropriations and revenue bills is samewith ordinary bills, but it may only come from the lower house.Appropriations bill are subject to the restrictions or qualifications asprovided in the Constitution [Art VI, Sec. 25] and [Art. VI Sec. 27 (2)]
The lawmaking process in Congress ends when the bill is approved bythe body. Approval is indispensable to the validity of the bill.
The system of authentication
devised is the signing by the Speakerand the Senate President of the printed copy of the approved bill, tosignify to the President that the bill being presented to him has beenduly approved by the legislature and is ready for his approval orrejection.
The Constitution requires that each House shall keep a journal [Art. VISec. 16(4)]. The Journal is regarded as conclusive with respect tomatters that are required by the Constitution to be recorded therein.With respect to other matters, in the absence of evidence to thecontrary, the Journals have also been accorded conclusive effect.Considerations of public policy led to the adoption of the rule givingverity (truth) and unimpeachability to legislative records. “Imperativereasons of public policy require that the authenticity of laws should restupon public memorials of the most permanent character. That the rightsacquired today upon the faith of what has been declared to be law shallnot be destroyed tomorrow, or at some remote period of time, by factsresting only in the memory of individuals.
Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the text of the act aspassed and approved is deemed importing absolute veracity and isbinding on the courts. It is conclusive not only of its provisions but alsoof its due enactment.If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified bythe officer of the assembly and approved by the chief executive, the remedy isby amendment by enacting a curative legislation, not by judicial decree (CascoPhil. Chemical Co., Inc. v. Gimenez)Where there is discrepancy between the journal and the enrolled bill, the latteras a rule prevails over the former, particularly with respect to matters notexpressly required to be entered in the journal.
The legislative journals and the enrolled bill are both conclusive uponthe courts. However, where there is discrepancy, the enrolled bill as arule prevails, particularly with respect to matters not expressly requiredto be entered into the legislative journal.
WITHDRAWAL OF AUTHENTICATION, EFFECT OFThe Speaker and the Senate President may withdraw their signatures from thesigned bill where there is serious and substantial discrepancy between the textof the bill as deliberated and shown by the journal and that of the enrolled bill.It thus, renders the bill without attestation and nullifies its status as an enrolledbill.The court can declare that the bill has not been duly enacted and did notaccordingly become a law (Astorga v. Villegas).
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