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Section 11

o The constitutional aim in having the party-list system is to In all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment:
empower greater participation, in the Congress, for various Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall be
interest groups, particularly the marginalized sectors that have for privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session.
so long remained voiceless and unrepresented. o The immunity cannot be invoked where:
1. The offense is punishable by more than 6 years of
Section 8 imprisonment.
General Rule: 2. The Congress is no longer is session

Regular election of the Senators and the Members of the House o The privilege is a personal one and may be waived.
of Representatives shall be held on the second Monday of May.
For any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof:
No member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other
Unless otherwise provided by law place.

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o The immunity cannot be invoked where:
1. The member is not acting as a member of Congress,
In case of vacancy in the Senate or in the House of Representatives:
for he is not entitled to any privileges above his fellow
Special election may be called to fill such vacancy in the manner citizens
prescribed by law 2. The member is being questioned in Congress itself,
Senator or Member of the House of Representatives thus elected: whenever said body considers that his words and
Shall serve only for the unexpired term conduct are disorderly and unbecoming of a member
Important Notes:
Important notes:
o Two (2) kinds of elections for members of the Congress
1. Regular Elections o Every member of Congress is entitled to the privilege from arrest
2. Special Elections while Congress is in session, whether or not he is attending
o The purpose of a regular election is to give the people an
opportunity to renew or withhold their mandate on elected Congress is considered in session, regular or special,
officials. for as long as it has not adjourned.

o The authority to call for a special election may be given by law to Section 12
the Commission on Elections. Upon assumption of office:
o The holding of a special election is not made mandatory by the o All Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives
Constitution. shall make a full disclosure of their financial and business interests

They shall notify the House concerned of a potential conflict of interest that
Section 10
may arise from the filing of a proposed legislation of which they are authors.
Salaries of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives:
Shall be determined by law Important notes:

No increase in said compensation shall take effect: o Disclosure of financial and business interests, and potential
Until after the expiration of the full term of all the Members of the conflict of interest
Senate and the House of Representatives approving such o Two (2) Obligations of all Members of the Congress:
1. Upon assumption of office:
To make a full disclosure of their financial
Important notes:
and business interests
o The Congress has the power to provide for higher compensation,
but with the length of time that has to elapse before an increase 2. To notify the House concerned of a potential conflict
becomes effective, there is a deterrent factor to any such of interest that may arise from the filing of a proposed
measure unless the need for it is clearly felt. legislation of which they are authors
o If a member of Congress withholds or hides any information of Important notes:
his interests, he may be disciplined – censured, suspended, or o The purpose of the prohibition is to prevent the members of the
even expelled by the chamber where he belongs. Congress to exert undue influence or pressure for purposes of
o As to the second obligation, it is a betrayal of public trust for a financial benefit or reward.
member to vote for the approval of a proposed legislation from
No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may personally
which he expects to derive financial advantage, especially if he is
appear as counsel before any court of justice or before the Electoral
the author thereof.
Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administrative bodies.

Section 13 o The purpose is to remove any possibility of influence upon the

No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may hold any other judges of these court or heads or members of these bodies who

office or employment in the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or might be swayed in their decisions by their hope for future

instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled appointments to higher positions.

corporations or their subsidiaries, during his term without forfeiting his seat. o Appearance is prohibited even if no fees are charged for it.
o Incompatible office
Neither shall he, directly or indirectly, be interested financially in any contract
Neither shall he be appointed to any office which may have been created with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or
nor the emoluments thereof increased during the term for which he was any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any
elected. government-owned or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary, during his
o Forbidden office term of office.

o Financial interest in such contract by the spouse is indirect

Important notes:
financial interest.
o Under this provision, a member is disqualified to hold two (2)
o Indirect financial interest does not extend to such contract
classes of office, namely:
entered into by a son or brother of a member of Congress,
1. Incompatible office
unless used as a dummy.
2. Forbidden office
He shall not intervene in any matter before any office of the Government for
o The period of ineligibility with respect to these 2 classes of office
his pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on account of
does not come to an end until after the member shall have left
his office.
his office by the termination of his term, not tenure.
Hence, a member of Congress shall not be eligible for o The prohibition seeks to insure that his every vote on any

appointment to such office, even if he resigns or loses pending legislative measure shall be dictated by no other

his seat. consideration than the public good, and it applies whether or not
he personally derives any pecuniary benefit or advantage from

Section 14 his intervention.

No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may personally

appear as counsel before any court of justice or before the Electoral Section 15

Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administrative bodies. The Congress shall convene once every year on the fourth Monday of July
for its regular session and shall continue to be in session for such number of
Neither shall he, directly or indirectly, be interested financially in any contract
days as it may determine until thirty days before the opening of its next
with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or
regular session, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.
any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any
government-owned or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary, during his Unless a different date is fixed by law

term of office.
The President may call a special session at any time.
He shall not intervene in any matter before any office of the Government for
his pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on account of Important notes:
his office.
o There is no prohibition from holding sessions on Saturdays,
Sundays, and Legal Holidays.

o Members of Congress receive fixed yearly income.

o Congress shall be virtually in session for the entire year.

Lawmaking is a full-time obligation, not a mere
o During a regular session, the Congress may legislate on any The reason for this is that the Constitution
matter it deems fit. and statutes are superior to the internal

o Duration of special sessions is not limited by the Constitution. rules of the Congress

o Special session takes place when the President calls Congress, o The power to punish or expel a member need not be specified in
during the time that it is in recess, to session to consider such the Constitution since it would exist whether expressly conferred
subjects or legislations as he may designate. or not.
o Executive sessions It is a necessary and incidental power to enable each
Secret meetings of the Congress or any of its House to perform its high functions. It is a power of
committees protection.
o A closed session is held if the issue to be discussed involves
national security.
o Contempt

Willful disobedience to or open disrespect of a court

Section 16: or legislative body
[1] The Senate shall elect its President and the House of Representatives its
o Each House has no power to suspend a member for an indefinite
Speaker, by a majority vote of all its respective Members.
period of time.
Each House shall choose such other officers as it may deem necessary.
An indefinite suspension is considered worse than
[2] A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a expulsion in the sense that in the former, a vacancy
smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the does not arise and consequently, the people are
attendance of absent Members in such manner, and under such penalties, deprived of the opportunity to elect a replacement for
as such House may provide. the period of the suspension.

[3] Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its o The Courts are not authorized to control, revise, or forbid the
Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds exercise by the Congress of its power to punish a member for
(2/3) of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member. disorderly behavior.
A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty (60) days.
o Legislative journal
[4] Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and from time to It is the official record of what is done and passed in a
time publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in its judgment, affect legislative assembly.
national security; and the yeas and nays on any question shall, at the
It is so-called because the proceedings are entered in
request of one-fifth (1/5) of the Members present, be entered in the Journal.
chronological order as they occur from day to day.
Each House shall also keep a Record of its proceedings.

[5] Neither House during the sessions of the Congress shall, without the
o Constitution requires the following to be entered in the journal:

consent of the other, adjourn for more than three (3) days, nor to any other 1. The yeas (affirmative votes) and nays (negative votes)
place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting. on any question, at the request of 1/5 of its present
o Without the rule on adjournment, a House can delay or hold up members
the work of legislation.
2. The yeas and nays on the passage of a bill upon its
Every bill passed by either House has to be voted last reading, even without a request to that effect.
upon by the other before it is presented to the
3. Others which each House in its discretion may direct
President for approval.
to be so entered in the journal.

4. The yeas and nays on the repassage of a bill vetoed

Important notes:
by the President and the names of the members of
o Rules of procedure
each House voting for or against.
Rules made by any legislative body to regulate the
5. Vote of each member of the HoR in impeachment
mode and manner of conducting its business
Rules promulgated should not ignore constitutional
6. Matters which in the judgment of each House affect
restraints or violate fundamental rights. They cannot
national security shall also have to be entered in the
repeal or alter statutes.
journal, but they shall be excepted from publication.
Section 17 The heads of departments may upon their own initiative, with the consent of
The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral the President, or upon the request of either House, as the rules of each
Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, House shall provide, appear before and be heard by such House on any
returns, and qualifications of their respective Members. matter pertaining to their departments.

Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine (9) Members, three (3) of Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate or the
whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Speaker of the House of Representatives at least three (3) days before their
Justice, and the remaining six (6) shall be Members of the Senate or the scheduled appearance.
House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the
Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, but may cover
basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties
matters related thereto.
or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein.
When the security of the State or the public interest so requires and the
The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman
President so states in writing:
o Appearance shall be conducted in executive session.
Section 18
There shall be a Commission on Appointments consisting of the President
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of the Senate, as ex officio Chairman, twelve (12) Senators and (12) twelve
[1] The Congress, by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of both Houses in joint
Members of the House of Representatives, elected by each House on the
session assembled, voting separately, shall have the sole power to declare
basis of proportional representation from the political parties and parties or
the existence of a state of war.
organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein.
[2] In times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may, by law,
The Chairman of the Commission shall not vote, except in case of a tie. authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions
The Commission shall act on all appointments submitted to it within thirty as it may prescribe, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a
(30) session days of the Congress from their submission. declared national policy.

The Commission shall rule by a majority vote of all the Members. Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such powers shall
cease upon the next adjournment thereof.

Section 19
The Electoral Tribunals and the Commission on Appointments shall be Section 24

constituted within thirty (30) days after the Senate and the House of All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the

Representatives shall have been organized with the election of the President public debt, bills of local application, and private bills shall originate

and the Speaker. exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or
concur with amendments.
The Commission on Appointments shall meet only while the Congress is in
session, at the call of its Chairman or a majority of all its Members, to
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discharge such powers and functions as are herein conferred upon it.
[1] The Congress may not increase the appropriations recommended by the
President for the operation of the Government as specified in the budget.
Section 20
The form, content, and manner of preparation of the budget
The records and books of accounts of the Congress shall be preserved and
shall be prescribed by law.
be open to the public in accordance with law.

Such books shall be audited by the Commission on Audit which shall [2] No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the general
publish annually an itemized list of amounts paid to and expenses incurred appropriations bill unless it relates specifically to some particular
for each Member. appropriation therein.
Any such provision or enactment shall be limited in its operation
Section 21 to the appropriation to which it relates.
The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective [3] The procedure in approving appropriations for the Congress shall strictly
committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its follow the procedure for approving appropriations for other departments
duly published rules of procedure. and agencies.
Rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries:
[4] A special appropriations bill shall specify the purpose for which it is
Shall be respected
intended, and shall be supported by funds actually available as certified by
the National Treasurer, or to be raised by a corresponding revenue
proposed therein.
Section 22:
[5] No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations; [1] The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall
however, the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the evolve a progressive system of taxation.
House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the [2] The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix within specified
heads of Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be authorized to limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff
augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other
offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations. duties or imposts within the framework of the national development

[6] Discretionary funds appropriated for particular officials shall be disbursed program of the Government.

only for public purposes to be supported by appropriate vouchers and [3] Charitable institutions, churches and parsonages or convents
subject to such guidelines as may be prescribed by law. appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands,
buildings, and improvements, actually, directly, and exclusively used for
[7] If, by the end of any fiscal year, the Congress shall have failed to pass the
religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation.
general appropriations bill for the ensuing fiscal year, the general
[4] No law granting any tax exemption shall be passed without the
appropriations law for the preceding fiscal year shall be deemed reenacted
concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress.
and shall remain in force and effect until the general appropriations bill is
passed by the Congress.
Section 29

Section 26 [1] No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an

[1] Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one (1) subject appropriation made by law.

which shall be expressed in the title thereof. [2] No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid, or
employed, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect,
[2] No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed
church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or of any
three (3) readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final
priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher, or dignitary as such,
form have been distributed to its Members three (3) days before its passage,
except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the
except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate
armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or
enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency.
Upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and [3] All money collected on any tax levied for a special purpose shall be
the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and treated as a special fund and paid out for such purpose only.
nays entered in the Journal.
If the purpose for which a special fund was created has been fulfilled or
abandoned, the balance, if any, shall be transferred to the general funds of
Section 27
the Government.
[1] Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be
presented to the President.
Section 30
If he approves the same, he shall sign it; otherwise, he shall veto it and return No law shall be passed increasing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme
the same with his objections to the House where it originated, which shall Court as provided in this Constitution without its advice and concurrence.
enter the objections at large in its Journal and proceed to reconsider it.
If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds (2/3) of all the Members of such Section 31
House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the No law granting a title of royalty or nobility shall be enacted.
objections, to the other House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered,
and if approved by two-thirds (2/3) of all the Members of that House, it shall Section 32
become a law. The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and
In all such cases, the votes of each House shall be determined by yeas or referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the people can directly
nays, and the names of the Members voting for or against shall be entered propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof
in its Journal. passed by the Congress or local legislative body after the registration of a
The President shall communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it petition therefor signed by at least ten per centum (10%) of the total
originated within thirty (30) days after the date of receipt thereof; otherwise, number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be
it shall become a law as if he had signed it. represented by at least three (3%) per centum of the registered voters
[2] The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in
an appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill, but the veto shall not affect the item
or items to which he does not object.

Section 28