How a Bill Becomes a Law

Legislators file bills on issue areas of their concern, although bills on international agreements and treaties are tradionally initiated by the Senate, while bills on appropriations and those authorizing increase in public debts originate from the House of Representatives. After research and studies have been conducted by the staff and the legislators themselves, the bill goes through the legislative mill.

Introduction of the Bill • • • Bills are signed by the author and filed in four copies; delivered to the Secretary of the Chamber of origin A bill number is assigned by the Secretariat The bill is calendared for introduction and first reading. This is done within the first three session days from the day it is filed

FIRST READING • The Secretary of the Chamber reads the bill, its number, long title, and its author(s)

Committee Referral and Action • • The presiding officer of the session refers the bill to the appropriate committee The committee schedules and conducts meetings and public hearings; reports the consolidated bills on the same subject or the substitute bill; or gives notice to the author(s) if action is unfavourable

SECOND READING • • The bill goes through a second reading after which a committee report on the subject is read On the second reading, the following takes place: o o o Period of Debate: Sponsorship Speech; Interpellation; Turno en Contra Period of Amendments: Committee Amendments; Individual Amendments Voting, which may be by viva voce; raising of hands; division of the house; nominal or roll call

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THIRD READING • • The bill on the third reading is subjected to a viva voce vote The Secretary General signs a certification and sends the bill to the Secretary of the chamber. The bill is sent to the other house (the bill goes through first, second and third readings in the second chamber)

Conference Committee • • The bill is returned to the chamber of origin for votes to amendments recommended by other chamber The bill is sent for consideration to a conference committee if the changes recommended by the other chamber are not accepted by the chamber where the bill originated

Presidential Action • • • The bill is sent for Presidential approval if it passes both chambers after the reconciliation of differences of the different versions of the bills in the Conference Committee The bill becomes a law after it is signed by the President, or after 30 days from the day of submission for Presidential action and the President takes no action If the President vetoes the bill: o o o it is returned to the chamber of origin together with his/her objections objections are entered in the Journal and sent back for reconsideration two-thirds of the members of the chamber of origin can pass the bill to the other chamber; if approved by two thirds of the members of that chamber, the presidential veto is overriden and the bill becomes a law

Related Documents • • • • The Philippine Legislature - Structure and Functions Lobbying: Laying Down the Law How to Contact Your Philippine Congress House of Representatives Member How to Contact Your Philippine 13th Congress Senator

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