The 1987 Constitution of
The Republic of the Philippines
We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of
Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society and establish a
Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common
good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our
posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and
a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and
promulgate this Constitution.
The national territory comprises the Philippine
archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other
territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction,
consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial domains, including its
territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other
submarine areas. The waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the
archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the
internal waters of the Philippines.
The Philippines is a democratic and republican State.
Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from
The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national
policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of
the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice,
freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.
Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the
military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and
the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity
of the national territory.
The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect
the people. The Government may call upon the people to defend the State and, in
the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required, under conditions provided
by law, to render personal military or civil service.
The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life,
liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential
for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.
The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.
The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In
its relations with other states the paramount consideration shall be national
sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to
The Philippines, consistent with the national interest,
adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.
The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order
that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the
people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services,
promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of
life for all.
The State shall promote social justice in all phases of
The State values the dignity of every human person and
guarantees full respect for human rights.
The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall
protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It
shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from
conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of
the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall
receive the support of the Government.
The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in
nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual,
intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism
and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.
The State recognizes the role of women in nation-building,
and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.
The State shall protect and promote the right to health of
the people and instill health consciousness among them.
The State shall protect and advance the right of the people
to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of
The State shall give priority to education, science and
technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism,
accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.
The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force.
It shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare.
The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent
national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.
The State recognizes the indispensable role of the private
sector, encourages private enterprise, and provides incentives to needed
The State shall promote comprehensive rural development and
The State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous
cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development.
The State shall encourage non-governmental, community-
based, or sectoral organizations that promote the welfare of the nation.
The State recognizes the vital role of communication and
information in nation-building.
The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.
The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for
public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.
The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the
public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and
Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the
State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its
transactions involving public interest.
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property
without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection
of the laws.
The right of the pepole to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of
whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant
or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined
personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the
place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
(1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall
be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or
order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the
preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of
expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble
and petition the Government for redress of grievances.
No law shall be made respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and
enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or
preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for
the exercise of civil or political rights.
The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the
limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the
court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of
national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.
The right of the people to information on matters of public
concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and
papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to
government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded
the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.
The right of the people, including those employed in the
public and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for
purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.
Private property shall not be taken for public use without
No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be
Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and
adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an
offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to
have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the
person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one.
These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or
any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret
detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of
this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.
(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for
violations of this section as well as compensation to and rehabilitation of
victims of torture or similar practices, and their families.
All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable
by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before
conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance
as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be
(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal
offense without due process of law.
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be
heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial, to meet
the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the
attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. However,
after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused
provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is
he privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be
suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion when the public safety
All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of
their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies.
No person shall be compelled to be a witness against
(1) No person shall be detained solely by reason of his
political beliefs and aspirations.
(2) No involuntary servitude in any from shall exist except
as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall be duly convicted.
(1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel,
degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be
imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress
hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to
(2) The employment of physical, psychological, or degrading
punishment against any prisoner or detainee or the use of substandard or
inadequate penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be dealt with by
No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a
No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for
the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or
acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the
No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.
The following are citizens of the Philippines :
(1) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time
of the adoption of this Constitution;
(2) Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the
(3) Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino
mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and
(4) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.
Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the
Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect
their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in
accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born
Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the
manner provided by law.
Citizens of the Philippines who marry aliens shall retain
their citizenship, unless by their act or omission they are deemed, under the
law, to have renounced it.
Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national
interest and shall be dealt with by law.
Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the
Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years
of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and
in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately
preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement
shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.
The Congress shall provide a system for securing the
secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee voting by
qualified Filipinos abroad.
The Congress shall also design a procedure for the disabled
and the illiterates to vote without the assistance of other persons. Until then,
they shall be allowed to vote under existing laws and such rules as the
Commission on Elections may promulgate to protect the secrecy of the ballot.
The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of
the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives,
except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and
The Senate shall be composed of twenty-four Senators who
shall be elected at large by the qualified voters of the Philippines, as may be
provided by law.
No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-born
citizen of the Philippines, and, on the day of the election, is at least
thirty-five years of age, able to read and write, a registered voter, and a
resident of the Philippines for not less than two years immediately preceding
the day of the election.
The term of office of the Senators shall be six years and
shall commence, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day
of June next following their election. No Senator shall serve for more than two
consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time
shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for
the full term for which he was elected.
(1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not
more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who
shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces,
cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their
respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and
those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of
registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.
(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty
per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the
party list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this
Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives
shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor,
peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such
other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector.
(3) Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as
practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a
population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have
at least one representative.
(4) Within three years following the return of every
census, the Congress shall make a reappointment of legislative districts based
on the standards provided in this section.
No person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives
unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines and, on the day of the
election, is at least twenty-five years of age, able to read and write, and,
except the party-list representatives, a registered voter in the district in
which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not less than
one year immediately preceding the day of the election.
The Members of the House of Representatives shall be
elected for a term of three years which shall begin, unless otherwise provided
by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election.
No member of the House of Representatives shall serve for
more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any
length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of
his service for the full term for which he was elected.
Unless otherwise provided by law, the regular election of
the Senators and the Members of the House of Representatives shall be held on
the second Monday of May.
In case of vacancy in the Senate or in the House of
Representatives, a special election may be called to fill such vacancy in the
manner prescribed by law, but the Senator or Member of the House of
Representatives thus elected shall serve only for the unexpired term.
The salaries of Senators and Members of the House of
Representatives shall be determined by law. No increase in said compensation
shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the Members
of the Senate and the House of Representatives approving such increase.
A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall,
in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be
privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No member shall be
questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the
Congress or in any committee thereof.
All Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives
shall, upon assumption of office, make a full disclosure of their financial and
business interests. They shall notify the House concerned of a potential
conflict of interest that may arise from the filing of a proposed legislation of
which they are authors.
No Senator or a Member of the House of Representatives may
hold any other office or employment in the Government, or any subdivision,
agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled
corporations or their subsidiaries, during his term without forfeiting his seat.
Neither shall he be appointed to any office which may have been created or the
emoluments thereof increased during the term for which he was elected.
No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may
personally appear as counsel before any court of justice or before the Electoral
Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administrative bodies. Neither shall he,
directly or indirectly, be interested financially in any contract with, or in
any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or any
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned
or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary, during his term of office. 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 his
The Congress shall convene once every year on the fourth
Monday of July for its regular session, unless a different date is fixed by law,
and shall continue to be in session for such number of days as it may determine
until thirty days before the opening of its next regular session, exclusive of
Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. The President may call a special session
at any time.
(1) The Senate shall elect its President and the House of
Representatives its Speaker, by a majority vote of all its respective Members.
Each House shall choose such other officers as it may deem
(2) A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to
do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the
attendance of absent Members in such manner, and under such penalties, as such
House may provide.
(3) Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings,
punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of
two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty for
suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.
(4) Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and
from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in its
judgment, affect national security; and the yeas and nays on any question shall,
at the request of one-fifth of the members present, be entered in the Journal.
Each House shall also keep a Record of its proceedings.
(5) Neither House during the sessions of the Congress
shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor
to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have
an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to
the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members. Each
Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom shall be
Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the
remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as
the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation
from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the
party-list system represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral
Tribunal shall be it Chairman.
There shall be a Commission on Appointments consisting of
the President of the Senate, as ex officio Chairman, twelve Senators, and twelve
Members of the House of Representatives, elected by each House on the basis of
proportional representation from the political parties or organizations
registered under the party-list system represented therein. The Chairman of the
Commission shall not vote, except in case of a tie. The Commission shall act on
all appointments submitted to it within thirty session days of the Congress from
their submission. The Commission shall rule by a majority vote of all the
The Electoral Tribunals and the Commission on Appointments
shall be constituted within thirty days after the Senate and the House of
Representatives shall have been organized with the election of the President and
the Speaker. 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
discharge such powers and functions as are herein conferred upon it.
The records and books of accounts of the Congress shall be
preserved and be open to the public in accordance with law, and such books shall
be audited by the Commission on Audit which shall publish annually an itemized
list of amounts paid to and expenses incurred for each Member.
The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its
respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance
with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in
or affected by such inquiries shall be respected.
The heads of departments may upon their own initiative,
with the consent of the President, or upon the request of either House, as the
rules of each House shall provide, appear before and be heard by such House on
any matter pertaining to their departments. Written questions shall be submitted
to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at
least three days before their scheduled appearance. Interpellations shall not be
limited to written questions, but may cover matters related thereto. When the
security of the State or the public interest so requires and the President so
states in writing, the appearance shall be conducted in executive session.
(1) The Congress, by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses in
joint session assembled, voting separately, shall have the sole power to declare
the existence of a state of war.
(2) In times of war or other national emergency, the
Congress may, by law, authorize the President, for a limited period and subject
to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to exercise powers necessary and
proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by
resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment
All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills
authorizing increase of public debt, bills of local application, and private
bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the
Senate may propose or concur with amendments.
(1) The Congress may not increase the appropriations
recommended by the President for the operation of the Government as specified in
the budget. The form, content, and manner of preparation of the budget shall be
prescribed by law.
(2) No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the
general appropriations bill unless it relates specifically to some particular
appropriation therein. Any such provision or enactment shall be limited in its
operation to the appropriation to which it relates.
(3) The procedure in approving appropriations for the
Congress shall strictly follow the procedure for approving appropriations for
other departments or agencies.
(4) A special appropriations bill shall specify the purpose
for which it is intended, and shall be supported by funds actually available as
certified by the National Treasurer, or to be raised by a corresponding revenue
(5) No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of
appropriations; however, the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker
of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the
Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the
general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other
items of their respective appropriations.
(6) Discretionary funds appropriated for particular
officials shall be disbursed only for public purposes to be supported by
appropriate vouchers and subject to such guidelines as may be prescribed by law.
(7) If, by the end of any fiscal year, the Congress shall
have failed to pass the general appropriations bill for the ensuing fiscal year,
the general appropriations law for the preceding fiscal year shall be deemed
reenacted and shall remain in force and effect until the general appropriations
bill is passed by the Congress.
(1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only
one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.
(2) No bill passed by either House shall become a law
unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof
in its final form have been distributed to its members three days before its
passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate
enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of a
bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken
immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal.
(1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it
becomes a law, be presented to the President. If he approves the same, he shall
sign it; otherwise, he shall veto it and return the same with his objections to
the House where it originated, which shall enter the objections at large in its
Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds
of all the Members of such House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent,
together with the objections, to the other House by which it shall likewise be
reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the Members of that House, it
shall become a law. In all such cases, the votes of each House shall be
determined by yeas or nays, and the names of the Members voting for or against
shall be entered in its Journal. The President shall communicate his veto of any
bill to the House where it originated within thirty days after the day of
receipt thereof; otherwise, it shall become a law as if he had signed it.
(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.
(1) The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable.
The Congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation.
(2)The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix
within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it
may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues,
and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development
program of the Government.
(3)Charitable institutions, churches and parsonages or
covenants appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands,
buildings, and improvements, actually, directly, and exclusively used for
religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation.
(4) No law granting any tax exemption shall be passed
without the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress.
(1) No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in
pursuance of an appropriation made by law.
(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, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of
religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher, or
dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is
assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government
orphanage or leprosarium.
(3) All money collected on any tax levied for a special
purpose shall be treated as a special fund and paid out for such purpose only.
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 the
No law shall be passed increasing the appellate
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in this Constitution without its
advice and concurrence.
No law granting a title of royalty or nobility shall be
The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a
system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the
people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law
or part thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative body after the
registration of a petition therefor signed by at least ten per centum of the
total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be
represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters thereof.
The executive power shall be vested in the President of the
No person may be elected President unless he is a
natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and
write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of
the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.
There shall be a Vice-President who shall have the same
qualifications and term of office and be elected with and in the same manner as
the President. He may be removed from office in the same manner as the
The Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the
Cabinet. Such appointment requires no confirmation.
The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by
direct vote of the people for a term of six years which shall begin at noon on
the thirtieth day of June following the day of the election and shall end at
noon of the same date six years thereafter. The President shall not be eligible
for any reelection. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as
such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office
at any time.
No Vice-President shall serve for more than two consecutive
terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be
considered as an interruption in the continuity of the service for the full term
for which he was elected.
Unless otherwise provided by law, the regular election for
President and Vice-President shall be held on the second Monday of May.
The returns of every election for President and
Vice-President, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province or
city, shall be transmitted to the Congress, directed to the President of the
Senate. Upon receipt of the certificates of canvass, the President of the Senate
shall, not later than thirty days after the day of the election, open all
certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives in
joint public session, and the Congress, upon determination of the authenticity
and due execution thereof in the manner provided by law, canvass the votes.
The person having the highest number of votes shall be
proclaimed elected, but in case two or more shall have an equal and highest
number of votes, one of them shall forthwith be chosen by the vote of a majority
of all the Members of the Congress, voting separately.
The Congress shall promulgate its rules for the canvassing
of the certificates.
The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge
of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the
President or Vice- President, and may promulgate its rules for the purpose.
Before they enter on the execution of their office, the
President, the Vice-President, or the Acting President shall take the following
oath or affirmation :
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully and
conscientiously fulfill my duties as President (or Vice-President or Acting
President) of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its
laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the
Nation. So help me God.” (In case of affirmation, last sentence will be
The President shall have an official residence. The
salaries of the President and Vice-President shall be determined by law and
shall not be decreased during their tenure. No increase in said compensation
shall take effect until after the expiration of the term of the incumbent during
which such increase was approved. They shall not receive during their tenure any
other emolument from the Government or any other source.
The President-elect and the Vice-President-elect shall
assume office at the beginning of their terms.
If the President-elect fails to qualify, the
Vice-President-elect shall act as President until the President-elect shall have
If a President shall not have been chosen, the
Vice-President-elect shall act as President until a President shall have been
chosen and qualified.
If at the beginning of the term of the President, the
President-elect shall have died or have become permanently disabled, the
Vice-President-elect shall become President.
Where no President and Vice-President shall have been
chosen or shall have qualified, or where both shall have died or become
permanently disabled, the President of the Senate or, in case of his inability,
the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall act as President until a
President or a Vice-President shall have been chosen and qualified.
The Congress shall provide for the manner in which one who
is to act as President shall be selected until a President or a Vice-President
shall have qualified, in case of death, permanent disability, or inability of
the officials mentioned in the next preceding paragraph.
In case of death, permanent disability, removal from
office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the
President to serve the unexpired term. In case of death, permanent disability,
removal from office, or resignation of both the President and Vice-President,
the President of the Senate or, in case of his inability, the Speaker of the
House of Representatives, shall then act as President until the President or
Vice-President shall have been elected and qualified.
The Congress shall, by law, provide who shall serve as
President in case of death, permanent disability, or resignation of the Acting
President. He shall serve until the President or the Vice-President shall have
been elected and qualified, and be subject to the same restrictions of powers
and disqualifications as the Acting President.
Whenever there is a vacancy in the Office of the
Vice-President during the term for which he was elected, the President shall
nominate a Vice-President from among the Members of the Senate and the House of
Representatives who shall assume office upon confirmation of a majority vote of
all the Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately.
The Congress shall, at ten o’clock in the morning of the
third day after the vacancy in the offices of the President and Vice-President
occurs, convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call and within
seven days enact a law calling for a special election to elect a President and a
Vice-President to b held not earlier than forty-five days nor later than sixty
days from the time of such call. The bill calling such special election shall be
deemed certified under paragraph 2, Section 26, Article VI of this Constitution
and shall become law upon its approval on third reading by the Congress.
Appropriations for the special elections shall be charged against any current
appropriations and shall be exempt from the requirements of paragraph 4, Section
25, Article VI of this Constitution. The convening of the Congress cannot be
suspended nor the special election postponed. No special election shall be
called if the vacancy occurs within eighteen months before the date of the next
Whenever the President transmits to the President of the
Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration
that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office and until he
transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties
shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.
Whenever a majority of all the Members of the Cabinet
transmit to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to
discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice-President shall
immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President
of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written
declaration that no inability exists, he shall reassume the powers and duties of
his office. Meanwhile, should a majority of all the Members of the Cabinet
transmit within five days to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of
the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is
unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Congress shall
decide the issue. For that purpose, the Congress shall convene, if it is not in
session, within forty-eight hours, in accordance with its rules and without need
If the Congress, within ten days after receipt of the last
written declaration, or, if not in session, within twelve days after it is
required to assemble, determines by a two-thirds vote of both Houses, voting
separately, that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of
his office, the Vice-President shall act as the President; otherwise, the
President shall continue exercising the powers and duties of his office.
In case of serious illness of the President, the public
shall be informed of the state of his health. The Members of the Cabinet in
charge of national security and foreign relations and the Chief of Staff of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines, shall not be denied access to the President
during such illness.
The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet,
and their deputies or assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this
Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They
shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly, practice any other
profession, participate in any business, or be financially interested in any
contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the
Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including
government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall
strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office.
The spouse and relatives by consanguinity or affinity
within the fourth civil degree of the President shall not during his tenure be
appointed as members of the Constitutional Commissions, or the Office of the
Ombudsman, or as Secretaries, Undersecretaries, chairmen or heads of bureaus or
offices, including government-owned or controlled corporations and their
Appointments extended by an Acting President shall remain
effective, unless revoked by the elected President within ninety days from his
assumption or reassumption of office.
Two months immediately before the next presidential
elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall
not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when
continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public
The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the
Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of the executive department,
ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed forces
from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments
are vested in him in this Constitution. He shall also appoint all other officers
of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law, and
those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. The Congress may, by law,
vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President alone, in
the courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards.
The President shall have the power to make appointments
during the recess of the Congress, whether voluntary or involuntary, but such
appointments shall be effective only until after disapproval by the Commission
on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress.
The President shall control of all the executive
departments, bureaus and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully
The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed
forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out
such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or
rebellion. In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it,
he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ
of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.
Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension
of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a
report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by
a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session,
may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set
aside by the President. Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may,
in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be
determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and
public safety requires it.
The Congress, if not in session, shall, within twenty-four
hours following such proclamation or suspension, convene in accordance with its
rules without any need of a call.
The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding
filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation
of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ or the extension
thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its
A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of
the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or the
legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military
courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor
automatically suspend the privilege of the writ.
The suspension of the privilege of the writ shall apply
only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or
directly connected with the invasion.
During the suspension of the privilege of the writ, any
person thus arrested or detained shall be judicially charged within three days,
otherwise he shall be released.
Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise provided in
this Constitution, the President may grant reprieves, commutations and pardons,
and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by final judgment.
He shall also have the power to grant amnesty with the
concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress.
The President may contract or guarantee foreign loans on
behalf of the Republic of the Philippines with the prior concurrence of the
Monetary Board, and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. The
Monetary Board shall, within thirty days from the end of every quarter of the
calendar year, submit to the Congress a complete report of its decisions on
applications for loans to be contracted or guaranteed by the Government or
government-owned and controlled corporations which would have the effect of
increasing the foreign debt, and containing other matters as may be provided by
No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and
effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the
The President shall submit to the Congress within thirty
days from the opening of the regular session, as the basis of the general
appropriations bill, a budget of expenditures and sources of financing,
including receipts from existing and proposed revenue measures.
The President shall address the Congress at the opening of
its regular session. He may also appear before it at any other time.
The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and
in such lower courts as may be established by law.
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice
to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and
enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch
or instrumentality of the Government.
The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe, and
apportion the jurisdiction of various courts but may not deprive the Supreme
Court of its jurisdiction over cases enumerated in Section 5 hereof.
No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it
undermines the security of tenure of its Members.
The Judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Appropriations
for the Judiciary may not be reduced by the legislature below the amount
appropriated for the previous year and, after approval, shall be automatically
and regularly released.
(1) The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice
and fourteen Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or, in its discretion, in
divisions of three, five, or seven Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within
ninety days from the occurrence thereof.
(2) All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty,
international or executive agreement, which shall be heard by the Supreme Court
en banc, and all other cases which under the Rules of Court are required to be
heard en banc, including those involving the constitutionality, application, or
operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions,
ordinances, and other regulations, shall be decided with the concurrence of a
majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the
issues in the case and voted thereon.
(3) Cases or matters heard by a division shall be decided
or resolved with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took
part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon, and in no
case, without the concurrence of at least three of such Members. When the
required number is not obtained, the case shall be decided en banc; Provided,
that no doctrine or principle of law laid down by the court in a decision
rendered en banc or in division may be modified or reversed except by the court
sitting en banc.
The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
(1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting
ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over petitions for
certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus.
(2) Review, revise, modify , or affirm on appeal on
certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and
orders of lower courts in:
(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity
of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree,
proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.
(b) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost,
assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto.
(c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower
court is in issue.
(d)All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is
reclusion perpetua or higher.
(e) All cases in which only an error or question of law
(3) Assign temporarily judges of lower courts to other
stations as public interest may require. Such temporary assignment shall not
exceed six months without the consent of the judge concerned.
(4) Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a
miscarriage of justice.
(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and
enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all
courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal
assistance to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and
inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for
all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify
substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial
bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.
(6) Appoint all officials and employees of the judiciary in
accordance with the Civil Service Law.
The Supreme Court shall have the administrative supervision
over all courts and the personnel thereof.
(1) No person shall be appointed Member of the Supreme
Court or any lower collegiate court unless he is a natural-born citizen of the
Philippines. A Member of the Supreme Court must be at least forty years of age
and, must have been for fifteen years or more a judge of a lower court or
engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines.
(2) The Congress shall prescribe the qualifications of
judges of lower courts, but no person may be appointed judge thereof unless he
is a citizen of the Philippines and a member of the Philippine Bar.
(3) A Member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven
competence, integrity, probity, and independence.
(1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the
supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio
Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the Congress as ex
officio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a
retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector.
(2) The regular Members of the Council shall be appointed
by the President for a term of four years with the consent of the Commission on
Appointments. Of the Members first appointed, the representative of the
Integrated Bar shall serve for four years, the professor of law for three years,
the retired Justice for two years, and the representative of the private sector
for one year.
(3) The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be the Secretary
ex officio of the Council and shall keep a record of its proceedings.
(4) The regular Members of the Council shall receive such
emoluments as may be determined by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall
provide in its annual budget the appropriations for the Council.
(5) The Council shall have the principal function of
recommending appointees to the Judiciary. It may exercise such other functions
and duties as the Supreme Court may assign to it.
The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts
shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees
prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments
need no confirmation.
For the lower courts, the President shall issue the
appointments within ninety days from the submission of the list.
The salary of the Chief Justice and of the Associate
Justices of the Supreme Court, and of judges of lower courts shall be fixed by
law. During their continuance in office, their salary shall not be decreased.
The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts
shall hold office during good behavior until they reached the age of seventy
years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. The
Supreme Court en banc shall have the power to discipline judges of lower courts,
or order their dismissal by a vote of a majority of the Members who actually
took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.
The Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts
established by law shall not be designated to any agency performing
quasi-judicial or administrative functions.
The conclusions of the Supreme Court in any case submitted
to it for decision en banc or in division shall be reached in consultation
before the case is assigned to a Member for the writing of the opinion of the
Court. A certification to this effect signed by the Chief Justice shall be
issued and a copy thereof attached to the record of the case and served upon the
parties. Any Member who took no part, or dissented, or abstained from a decision
or resolution must state the reason therefor. The same requirements shall be
observed by all lower collegiate courts.
No decision shall be rendered by any court without
expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is
No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a
decision of the court shall be refused due course or denied without stating the
legal basis therefor.
(1) All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of
this Constitution must be decided or resolved within twenty-four months from
date of submission for the Supreme Court, and, unless reduced by the Supreme
Court, twelve months for all lower collegiate courts, and three months for all
other lower courts.
(2) A case or matter shall be deemed submitted for decision
or resolution upon the filing of the last pending, brief, or memorandum required
by the Rules of Court or by the court itself.
(3) Upon the expiration of the corresponding period, a
certification to this effect signed by the Chief Justice or the presiding judge
shall forthwith be issued and a copy thereof attached to the record of the case
or matter, and served upon the parties. The certification shall state why a
decision or resolution has not been rendered or issued within said period.
(4) Despite the expiration of the applicable mandatory
period, the court, without prejudice to such responsibility as may have been
incurred in consequence thereof, shall decide or resolve the case or matter
submitted thereto for determination, without further delay.
The Supreme Court shall, within thirty days from the
opening of each regular session of the Congress, submit to the President and the
Congress an annual report on the operations and activities of the Judiciary.
A. Common Provisions
The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent,
are the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the
Commission on Audit.
No Member of a Constitutional Commission shall, during his
tenure, hold any other office or employment. Neither shall he engage in the
practice of any profession or in the active management or control of any
business which in any way be affected by the functions of his office, nor shall
he be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with, or
in any franchise or privilege granted by the Government, any of its
subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or
controlled corporation or their subsidiaries.
The salary of the Chairman and the Commissioners shall be
fixed by law and shall not be decreased during their tenure.
The Constitutional Commissions shall appoint their
officials and employees in accordance with law.
The Commission shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Their approved
annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released.
Each Commission en banc may promulgate its own rules
concerning pleadings and practice before it or before any of its offices. Such
rules, however, shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.
Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its
Members any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of
its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted
for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or
memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself.
Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision, order,
or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari
by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof.
Each Commission shall perform such other functions as may
be provided by law.
B. The Civil Service Commission
(1) The Civil Service shall be administered by the Civil
Service Commission composed of a Chairman and two Commissioners who shall be
natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment,
at least thirty-five years of age, with proven capacity for public
administration, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in
the elections immediately preceding their appointment.
(2) The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed
by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term
of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, the Chairman
shall hold office for seven years, a Commissioner for five years, and another
Commissioner for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy
shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any
member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.
(1) The civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions,
instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or
controlled corporations with original charters.
(2) Appointments in the civil service shall be made only
according to merit and fitness to be determined, as far as practicable, and,
except to positions which are policy-determining, primarily confidential, or
highly technical, by competitive examination.
(3) No officer or employee of the civil service shall be
removed or suspended except for cause provided by law.
(4) No officer or employee in the civil service shall
engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political
(5) The right to self-organization shall not be denied to
(6) Temporary employees of the Government shall be given
such protection as may be provided by law.
The Civil Service Commission, as the central personnel
agency of the Government, shall establish a career service and adopt measures to
promote morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness, progressiveness, and
courtesy in the civil service. It shall strengthen the merit and rewards system,
integrate all human resources development programs for all levels and ranks, and
institutionalize a management climate conducive to public accountability. It
shall submit to the President and the Congress an annual report on its personnel
All public officers and employees shall take an oath or
affirmation to uphold and defend this Constitution.
The Congress shall provide for the standardization of
compensation of government officials, including those in government-owned or
controlled corporations with original charters, taking into account the nature
of the responsibilities pertaining to, and the qualifications required for their
No candidate who has lost in any election shall, within one
year after such election, be appointed to any office in the Government of any
government-owned or controlled corporations or in any of its subsidiaries.
No elective official shall be eligible for appointment or
designation in any capacity to any public office or position during his tenure.
Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions
of his position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or
employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality
thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their
No elective or appointive public officer or employee shall
receive additional, double, or indirect compensation, unless specifically
authorized by law, nor accept without the consent of the Congress, any present,
emolument, office, or title of any kind from any foreign government.
Pensions or gratuities shall not be considered as
additional, double, or indirect compensation.
C. The Commission on Elections
(1) There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a
Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the
Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of
age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any
elective position in the immediately preceding elections. However, a majority
thereof, including the Chairman, shall be Members of the Philippine Bar who have
been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
(2) The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed
by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term
of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, three Members
shall hold office for seven years, two Members for five years, and the last
Members for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to a vacancy shall
be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member
be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.
The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following
powers and functions:
(1) Enforce and administer all laws and regulations
relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and
(2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all
contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective
regional, provincial, and city officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all
contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of
general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial
courts of limited jurisdiction.
Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the Commission on
election contests involving elective municipal and barangay offices shall be
final, executory, and not appealable.
(3) Decide, except those involving the right to vote, all
questions affecting elections, including determination of the number and
location of polling places, appointment of election officials and inspectors,
and registration of voters.
(4) Deputize, with the concurrence of the President, law
enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government, including the
Armed Forces of the Philippines, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free,
orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections.
(5) Register, after sufficient publication, political
parties, organizations, or coalitions which, in addition to other requirements,
must present their platform or program of government; and accredit citizen’s
arms of the Commission on Elections. Religious denominations and sects shall not
be registered. Those which seek to achieve their goals through violence or
unlawful means, or refuse to uphold and adhere to this Constitution, or which
are supported by any foreign government shall likewise be refused registration.
Financial contributions from foreign governments and their
agencies to political parties, organizations, coalitions, or candidates related
to elections constitute interference in national affairs, and, when accepted,
shall be an additional ground for the cancellation of their registration with
the Commission, in addition to other penalties that may be prescribed by law.
(6) File, upon a verified complaint, or on its own
initiative, petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters; investigate
and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws,
including acts or omissions constituting election frauds, offenses, and
(7) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to
minimize election spending, including limitation of places where propaganda
materials shall be posted, and to prevent and penalize all forms of election
frauds, offenses, malpractices, and nuisance candidates.
(8) Recommend to the President the removal of any officer
or employer it has deputized, or the imposition of any other disciplinary
action, for violation or disregard of, or disobedience to its directive, order,
(9) Submit to the President and the Congress a
comprehensive report on the conduct of each election, plebiscite, initiative,
referendum, or recall.
The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two
divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite
disposition of election cases, including pre-proclamation controversies. All
such election cases shall be heard and decided in division, provided that
motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be decided by the Commission en
The Commission may, during the election period, supervise
or regulate the enjoyment or utilization of all franchises or permits for the
operation of transportation and other public utilities, media of communication
or information, all grants, special privileges, or concessions granted by the
Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any
government-owned or controlled corporation or its subsidiary. Such supervision
or regulation shall aim to ensure equal opportunity, time and space, and the
right to reply, including reasonable, equal rates therefor, for public
information campaigns and forums among candidates in connection with the
objective of holding free, orderly, peaceful, and credible elections.
No pardon, amnesty, parole, or suspension of sentence for
violation of election rules, and regulations shall be granted by the President
without a favorable recommendation of the Commission.
A free and open party system shall be allowed to evolve
according to the free choice of the people, subject to the provisions of this
No votes cast in favor of a political party, organization,
or coalition shall be valid, except for those registered under the party-list
system as provided in this Constitution.
Political parties, or organizations or coalitions
registered under the party-list system, shall not be represented in the voters’
registration boards, boards of election inspectors, boards of canvassers, or
other similar bodies. However, they shall be entitled to appoint poll watchers
in accordance with law.
Unless otherwise fixed by the Commission in special cases,
the election period shall commence ninety days before the day of the election
and shall end thirty days after.
Bona fide candidates for any public office shall be free
from any form of harassment and discrimination.
Funds certified by the Commission as necessary to defray
the expenses for holding regular and special elections, plebiscites,
initiatives, referenda, and recalls, shall be provided in the regular or special
appropriations and, once approved, shall be released automatically upon
certification by the Chairman of the Commission.
D. Commission on Audit
(1) There shall be a Commission on Audit composed of a
Chairman and two Commissioners, who shall be natural-born citizens of the
Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of
age, certified public accountants with not less than ten years of auditing
experience, or members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the
practice of law for at least ten years, and must not have been candidates for
any elective position in the election immediately preceding their appointment.
At no time shall all Members of the Commission belong to the same profession.
(2) The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed
by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term
of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, the Chairman
shall hold office for seven years, one Commissioner for five years, and the
other Commissioner for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any
vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor.
In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting
(1) The Commission on Audit shall have the power, authority
and duty to examine, audit, and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue
and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of funds and property, owned or held
in trust by, or pertaining to, the Government, or any of its subdivisions,
agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled
corporations with original charters, and on a post-audit basis: (a)
constitutional bodies, commissions and offices that have been granted fiscal
autonomy under this Constitution; (b) autonomous state colleges and
universities; (c) other government-owned or controlled corporations and their
subsidiaries; and (d) such non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or
equity, directly or indirectly, from or through the government, which are
required by law of the granting institution to submit to such audit as a
condition of subsidy or equity. However, where the internal control system of
the audited agencies is inadequate, the Commission may adopt such measures,
including temporary or special pre-audit, as are necessary and appropriate to
correct the deficiencies. It shall keep the general accounts of the Government
and, for such period as may be provided by law, preserve the vouchers and other
supporting papers pertaining thereto.
(2) The Commission shall have exclusive authority, subject
to the limitations in this Article, to define the scope of its audit and
examination, establish the techniques and methods required therefor, and
promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations, including those for
the prevention and disallowance of irregular, unnecessary, inexpensive,
extravagant, or unconscionable expenditures, or uses of government funds and
No law shall be passed exempting any entity of the
Government or its subsidiary in any guise whatever, or any investment of public
funds, from the jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit.
The Commission shall submit to the President and the
Congress, within the time fixed by law, an annual report covering the financial
condition and operation of the Government, its subdivisions, agencies, and
instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and
non-governmental entities subject to its audit, and recommend measures necessary
to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. It shall submit such other
reports as may be required by law.
The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic
of the Philippines are the provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays.
There shall be autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as
The territorial and political subdivisions shall enjoy
The Congress shall enact a local government code which
shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure
instituted through a system of decentralization with effective mechanisms of
recall, initiative, and referendum, allocate among the different local
government units their powers, responsibilities, and resources, and provide for
the qualifications, election, appointment and removal, term, salaries, powers
and functions and duties of local officials, and all other matters relating to
the organization and operation of local units.
The President of the Philippines shall exercise general
supervision over local governments. Provinces with respect to component cities
and municipalities, and cities and municipalities with respect to component
barangays shall ensure that the acts of their component units are within the
scope of their prescribed powers and functions.
Each local government unit shall have the power to create
its own sources of revenues and to levy taxes, fees, and charges subject to such
guidelines and limitations as the Congress may provide, consistent with the
basic policy of local autonomy. Such taxes, fees, and charges shall accrue
exclusively to the local governments.
Local government units shall have a just share, as
determined by law, in the national taxes which shall be automatically released
Local governments shall be entitled to an equitable share
in the proceeds of the utilization and development of the national wealth within
their respective areas, in the manner provided by law, including sharing the
same with the inhabitants by way of direct benefits.
The term of office of elective local officials, except
barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years and
no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary
renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an
interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was
Legislative bodies of local governments shall have sectoral
representation as may be prescribed by law.
No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be
created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered,
except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code
and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the
political units directly affected.
The Congress may, by law, create special metropolitan
political subdivisions, subject to a plebiscite as set forth in Section 10
hereof. The component cities and municipalities shall retain their basic
autonomy and shall be entitled to their own local executives and legislative
assemblies. The jurisdiction of the metropolitan authority that will hereby be
created shall be limited to basic services requiring coordination.
Cities that are highly urbanized, as determined by law, and
component cities whose charters prohibit their voters from voting for provincial
elective officials, shall be independent of the province. The voters of
component cities within a province, whose charters contain no such prohibition,
shall not be deprived of their right to vote for elective provincial officials.
Local government units may group themselves, consolidate or
coordinate their efforts, services, and resources for purposes commonly
beneficial to them in accordance with law.
The President shall provide for regional development
councils and other similar bodies composed of local government officials,
regional heads of departments and other government offices, and representatives
from non-governmental organizations within the region for purposes of
administrative decentralization to strengthen the autonomy of the units therein
and to accelerate the economic and social growth and development of the units in
There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim
Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities,
and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural
heritage, economic and social structures, and other relevant characteristics
within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well
as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.
The President shall exercise general supervision over
autonomous regions to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed.
All powers, functions, and responsibilities not granted by
this Constitution or by law to the autonomous regions shall be vested in the
The Congress shall enact an organic act for each autonomous
region with the assistance and participation of the regional consultative
commission composed of representatives appointed by the President from a list of
nominees from multisectoral bodies. The organic act shall define the basic
structure of government from the region consisting of the executive department
and legislative assembly, both of which shall be reflective and representative
of the constituent political units. The organic acts shall likewise provide for
special courts with personal, family, and property law jurisdiction consistent
with the provisions of this Constitution and national laws.
The creation of the autonomous region shall be effective
when approved by majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a
plebiscite called for the purpose, provided that only provinces, cities, and
geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the
The first Congress elected under this Constitution shall,
within eighteen months from the time of organization of both Houses, pass the
organic acts for the autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras.
Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the
provisions of this Constitution and national laws, the organic act of autonomous
regions shall provide for legislative powers over:
(1) Administrative organization;
(2) Creation of sources of revenues;
(3) Ancestral domain and natural resources;
(4) Personal, family, and property relations;
(5) Regional urban and rural planning development;
(6) Economic, social, and tourism development;
(7) Educational policies;
(8) Preservation and development of the cultural heritage;
(9) Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the
promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region.
The preservation of peace and order within the regions
shall be the responsibility of the local police agencies which shall be
organized, maintained, supervised, and utilized in accordance with applicable
laws. The defense and security of the regions shall be the responsibility of the
Public office is a public trust. Public officers and
employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost
responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and
justice, and lead modest lives.
The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme
Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be
removed from office, on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation
of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes,
or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be
removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment.
(1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive
power to initiate all cases of impeachment.
(2) A verified complaint may be filed by any Member of the
House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by
any Member thereof, which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten
session days, and referred to the proper Committee within three session days
thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its
Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from
such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall
be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from
(3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the
House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the
Articles of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary resolution.
The vote of each Member shall be recorded.
(4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of
impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, the
same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall
(5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against
the same official more than once within a period of one year.
(6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide
all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be
on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote. No person
shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of
(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend
further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under
the Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be
liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment according to law.
(8) The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment
to effectively carry out the purpose of this section.
The present anti-graft court known as the Sandiganbayan
shall continue to function and exercise its jurisdiction as now or hereafter may
be provided by law.
There is hereby created the independent Office of the
Ombudsman, composed of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan, one overall
Deputy, and at least one Deputy each for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. A
separate Deputy for the military establishment may likewise be appointed.
The officials and employees of the Office of the Ombudsman,
other than the Deputies, shall be appointed by the Ombudsman according to the
Civil Service Law.
The existing Tanodbayan shall hereafter be known as the
Office of the Special Prosecutor. It shall continue to function and exercise its
powers as now or hereafter may be provided by law, except those conferred on the
Office of the Ombudsman created under this Constitution.
The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall be natural-born
citizens of the Philippines, and at the time of their appointment, at least
forty years old, of recognized probity and independence, and members of the
Philippine Bar, and must not have been candidates for any elective office in the
immediately preceding election. The Ombudsman must have for ten years or more
been a judge or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines.
During their tenure, they shall be subject to the same
disqualifications and prohibitions as provided for in Section 2 of Article IX-A
of this Constitution.
The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall be appointed by the
President from a list of at least six nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar
Council, and from a list of three nominees for every vacancy thereafter. Such
appointments shall require no confirmation. All vacancies shall be filled within
three months after they occur.
The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall have the rank of
Chairman and Members, respectively, of the Constitutional Commissions, and they
shall receive the same salary, which shall not be decreased during their term of
The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall serve for a term of
seven years without reappointment. They shall not be qualified to run for any
office in the election immediately succeeding their cessation from office.
The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the
people, shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against
public officials or employees of the Government, or any agency, subdivision or
instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations,
and shall, in appropriate cases, notify the complainants of the actions taken
and the result thereof.
The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following
powers, functions, and duties :
(1) Investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person,
any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when
such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient.
(2) Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any
public official or employee of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or
instrumentality thereof, as well as of any government-owned or controlled
corporation with original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty
required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in
the performance of duties.
(3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action
against a public official or employee at fault, and recommend his removal,
suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance
(4) Direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case,
and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law, to furnish it with
copies of documents relating to contracts and transactions entered into by his
office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties, and
report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action.
(5) Request any government agency for assistance and
information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities, and to examine,
if necessary, pertinent records and documents.
(6) Publicize matters covered by its investigation when
circumstances so warrant and with due prudence.
(7) Determine the causes of inefficiency, red tape,
mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in the Government and make recommendations
for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and
(8) Promulgate its rules and procedure and exercise such
other powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law.
The Office of the Ombudsman shall enjoy fiscal autonomy.
Its approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly
The right of the State to recover properties unlawfully
acquired by public officials and employees, from them or from their nominees or
transferees, shall not be barred by prescription, laches, or estoppel.
No loan, guaranty, or other form of financial accommodation
for any business purpose may be granted, directly or indirectly, by any
government-owned or controlled bank or financial institution to the President,
the Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the Supreme Court,
and the Constitutional Commissions, the Ombudsman, or to any firm or entity in
which they have controlling interest, during their tenure.
A public officer or employee shall, upon assumption of
office and as often thereafter as may be required by law, submit a declaration
under oath of his assets, liabilities, and net worth. In the case of the
President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the
Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions and other constitutional offices,
and officers of the armed forces with general or flag rank, the declaration
shall be disclosed to the public in the manner provided by law.
Public officers and employees owe the State and this
Constitution allegiance at all times, and any public officer or employee who
seeks to change his citizenship or acquire the status of an immigrant of another
country during his tenure shall be dealt with by law.
The goals of the national economy are a more equitable
distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth; a sustained increase in the
amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the
people; and an expanding productivity as the key raising the quality of life for
all, especially the underprivileged.
The State shall promote industrialization and full
employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform, through
industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and
which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. However, the State
shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade
In the pursuit of these goals, all sectors of the economy
and all regions of the country shall be given optimum opportunity to develop.
Private enterprises, including corporations, cooperatives, and similar
collective organizations, shall be encouraged to broaden the base of their
All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal,
petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries,
forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are
owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural
resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization
of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the
State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into
co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino
citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose
capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not
exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and
under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water
rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than
the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of
The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its
archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve
its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.
The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of
natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming,
with priority to subsistence fishermen and fishworkers in rivers, lakes, bays,
The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned
corporations involving either technical of financial assistance for large-scale
exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other
mineral oils according to the general terms and conditions provided by law,
based on real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the
country. In such agreements, the State shall promote the development and use of
local scientific and technical resources.
The President shall notify the Congress of every contract
entered into in accordance with this provision, within thirty days from its
Lands of the public domain are classified into
agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands, and national parks. Agricultural
lands of the public domain may be further classified by law according to the
uses which they may be devoted. Alienable lands of the public domain shall be
limited to agricultural lands. Private corporations or associations may not hold
such alienable lands of the public domain except by lease, for a period not
exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and
not to exceed one thousand hectares in area. Citizens of the Philippines may
lease not more than five hundred hectares, or acquire not more than twelve
hectares thereof by purchase, homestead, or grant. Taking into account the
requirements of conservation, ecology, and development, and subject to the
requirements of agrarian reform, the Congress shall determine, by law, the size
of lands of the public domain which may be acquired, developed, held, or leased
and the conditions therefor.
The Congress shall, as soon as possible, determine by law
the specific limits of forest lands and national parks, marking clearly their
boundaries on the ground. Thereafter, such forest lands and national parks shall
be conserved and may not be increased nor diminished, except by law. The
Congress shall provide, for such period as it may determine, measures to
prohibit logging in endangered forests and watershed areas.
The State, subject to the provisions of this Constitution
and national development policies and programs, shall protect the rights of
indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral lands to ensure their
economic, social, and cultural well-being.
The Congress may provide for the applicability of customary
laws governing property rights and relations in determining the ownership and
extent of ancestral domain.
The use of property bears a social function, and all
economic agents shall contribute to the common good. Individuals and private
groups, including corporations, cooperatives, and similar collective
organizations, shall have the right to own, establish, and operate economic
enterprises, subject to the duty of the State to promote distributive justice
and to intervene when the common good so demands.
Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private lands
shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or
associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7 of this
Article, a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost its Philippine
citizenship may be a transferee of private lands, subject to limitations
provided by law.
The Congress may establish an independent economic and
planning agency headed by the President, which shall, after consultations with
the appropriate public agencies, various public sectors, and local government
units, recommend to Congress, and implement continuing integrated and
coordinated programs and policies for national development.
Until the Congress provides otherwise, the National
Economic and Development Authority shall function as the independent planning
agency of the government.
The Congress shall, upon recommendation of the economic and
planning agency, when the national interest dictates, reserve to citizens of the
Philippines or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of
whose capital is owned by such citizens, or such higher percentage as Congress
may prescribe, certain areas of investments. The Congress shall enact measures
that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose capital is
wholly owned by Filipinos.
In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions
covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to
The State shall regulate and exercise authority over
foreign investments within its national jurisdiction and in accordance with its
national goals and priorities.
No franchise, certificate, or any other form of
authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to
citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under
the laws of the Philippines at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned
by such citizens, nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be
exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall
any such franchise or right be granted except under the condition that it shall
be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the common
good so requires. The State shall encourage equity participation in public
utilities by the general public. The participation of foreign investors in the
governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their
proportionate share in its capital, and all the executive and managing officers
of such corporation or association must be citizens of the Philippines.
The State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino
labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods, and adopt measures that
help them competitive.
The State shall pursue a trade policy that serves the
general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis
of equality and reciprocity.
The sustained development of a reservoir of national
talents consisting of Filipino scientists, entrepreneurs, professionals,
managers, high-level technical manpower and skilled workers and craftsmen in all
fields shall be promoted by the State. The State shall encourage appropriate
technology and regulate its transfer for the national benefit.
The practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be
limited to Filipino citizens, save in cases prescribed by law.
The Congress shall create an agency to promote the
viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments for social justice and
The Congress shall not, except by general law, provide for
the formation, organization, or regulation of private corporations.
Government-owned or controlled corporations may be created or established by
special charters in the interest of the common good and subject to the test of
In times of national emergency, when the public interest so
requires, the State may, during the emergency and under reasonable terms
prescribed by it, temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately
owned public utility or business affected with public interest.
The State may, in the interest of national welfare or
defense, establish and operate vital industries and, upon payment of just
compensation, transfer to public ownership utilities and other private
enterprises to be operated by the Government.
The State shall regulate or prohibit monopolies when the
public interest so requires. No combinations in restraint of trade or unfair
competition shall be allowed.
The Congress shall establish an independent central
monetary authority, the members of whose governing board must be natural-born
Filipino citizens, of known integrity, and patriotism, the majority of whom
shall come from the private sector. They shall also be subject to such other
qualifications and disabilities as may be prescribed by law. The authority shall
provide policy direction in the areas of money, banking, and credit. It shall
have supervision over the operations of banks and exercise such regulatory
powers as may be provided by law over the operations of finance companies and
other institutions performing similar functions.
Until the Congress otherwise provides, the Central Bank of
the Philippines, operating under existing laws, shall function as the central
Foreign loans may only be incurred in accordance with law
and the regulation of the monetary authority. Information on foreign loans
obtained or guaranteed by the Government shall be made available to the public.
Acts which circumvent or negate any of the provisions of
this Article shall be considered inimical to the national interest and subject
to criminal and civil sanctions, as may be provided by law.
The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment
of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human
dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalities, and remove
cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the
common good. To this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership,
use, and disposition of property and its increments.
The promotion of social justice shall include the
commitment to create economic opportunities based on freedom of initiative and
The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and
overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of
employment opportunities for all. It shall guarantee the rights of all workers
to self-organizations, and peaceful concerted activities, including the right to
strike in accordance with law. They shall be entitled to security of tenure,
humane conditions of work, and a living wage. They shall also participate in
policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may
be provided by law. The State shall promote the principle of shared
responsibility between workers and employers and the preferential use of
voluntary modes in settling disputes, including conciliation, and shall enforce
their mutual compliance therewith to foster industrial peace. The State shall
regulate the relations between workers and employers, recognizing the right of
labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of enterprises
to reasonable returns on investments, and to expansion and growth.
Agrarian and Natural Resources Reform
The Sate shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform
program founded on the right of farmers and regular farmworkers, who are
landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case of
other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. To this end,
the State shall encourage and undertake the just distribution of all
agricultural lands, subject to such priorities and reasonable retention limits
as the Congress may prescribe, taking into account ecological, developmental, or
equity considerations, and subject to the payment of just compensation. In
determining retention limits, the State shall respect the rights of small
landowners. The State shall further provide incentives for voluntary
The State shall recognize the right of farmers, farmworkers,
and landowners, as well as cooperatives, and other independent farmers’
organizations to participate in the planning, organization, and management of
the program, and shall provide support to agriculture through appropriate
technology and research, and adequate financial, production, marketing, and
other support services.
The State shall apply the principles of agrarian reform or
stewardship, whenever applicable in accordance with law, in the disposition or
utilization of other natural resources, including lands of the public domain
under lease or concession suitable to agriculture, subject to prior rights,
homestead rights of small settlers, and the rights of indigenous communities to
their ancestral lands. The State may resettle landless farmers and farmworkers
in its own agricultural estates which shall be distributed to them in the manner
provided by law.
The State shall protect the rights of subsistence
fishermen, especially of local communities, to the preferential use of local
marine and fishing resources, both inland and offshore. It shall provide support
to such fishermen through appropriate technology and research, adequate
financial, production, and marketing assistance, and other services. The State
shall also protect, develop, and conserve such resources. The protection shall
extend to offshore fishing grounds of subsistence fishermen against foreign
intrusion. Fishworkers shall receive a just share from their labor in the
utilization of marine and fishing resources.
The State shall provide incentives to landowners to invest
the proceeds of the agrarian reform program to promote industrialization,
employment creation, and privatization of public sector enterprises. Financial
instruments used as payment for their lands shall be honored as equity in
enterprises of their choice.
Urban Land Reform and Housing
The State shall, by law, and for the common good,
undertake, in cooperation with the public sector, a continuing program of urban
land reform and housing which will make available at affordable cost decent
housing and basic services to underprivileged and homeless citizens in urban
centers and resettlement areas. It shall also promote adequate employment
opportunities to such citizens. In the implementation of such program the State
shall respect the rights of small property owners.
Urban or rural poor dwellers shall not be evicted nor their
dwellings demolished, except in accordance with law and in a just and humane
manner. No resettlement of urban and rural dwellers shall be undertaken without
adequate consultation with them and the communities where they are to be
The State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive
approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods,
health and other social services available to all people at affordable cost.
There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged sick, elderly,
disabled, women, and children. The State shall endeavor to provide free medical
care to paupers.
The State shall establish and maintain an effective food
and drug regulatory system and undertake appropriate health manpower development
and research, responsive to the country’s health needs and problems.
The State shall establish a special agency for disabled
persons for rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance, and their
integration into the mainstream of society.
The State shall protect working women by providing safe and
healthful working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and
such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable
them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation.
Role and Rights of People’s Organizations
The State shall respect the role of independent people’s
organizations to enable the people to pursue and protect, within the democratic
framework, their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through
peaceful and lawful means. People’s organizations are bona fide associations of
citizens with demonstrated capacity to promote the public interest and with
identifiable leadership, membership, and structure.
The right of the people and their organizations to
effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political, and
economic decision-making shall not be abridged. The State shall, by law,
facilitate the establishment of adequate consultation mechanisms.
(1) There is hereby created an independent office called
Commission on Human Rights. (2) The Commission shall be composed of a Chairman
and four Members who must be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and a
majority of whom shall be members of the Bar. The term of office and other
qualifications and disabilities of the Members of the Commission shall be
provided by law. (3) Until this Commission is constituted, the existing
Presidential Committee on Human Rights shall continue to exercise its present
functions and powers. (4) The approved annual appropriations of the Commission
shall be automatically and regularly released.
The Commission on Human Rights shall have the following
powers and functions: (1) Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party,
all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights; (2)
Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt
for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court; (3) Provide
appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons
within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for
preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human
rights have been violated or need protection; (4) Exercise visitorial powers
over jails, prisons, or detention facilities; (5) Establish a continuing program
of research, education, ad information to enhance respect for the primacy of
human rights; (6) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human
rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights,
or their families; (7) Monitor the Philippine Government’s compliance with
international treaty obligations on human rights; (8) Grant immunity from
prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or
other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any
investigation conducted by it or under its authority; (9) Request the assistance
of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its
functions; (10) Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law; and
(11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.
The Congress may provide for other cases of violations of
human rights that should fall within the authority of the Commission, taking
into account its recommendations.
Education SEC 1.
The State shall protect and promote the right of all
citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to
make such education accessible to all.
The State shall:
(1) Establish, maintain, and support a complete, adequate,
and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and
(2) Establish and maintain a system of free public
education in the elementary and high school levels. Without limiting the natural
right of parents to rear their children, elementary education is compulsory for
all children of school age;
(3) Establish and maintain a system of scholarship grants,
student loan programs, subsidies, and other incentives which shall be available
to deserving students in both public and private schools, especially to the
(4) Encourage non-formal, informal, and indigenous learning
systems, as well as self-learning, independent, and out-of-school study programs
particularly those that respond to community needs; and
(5) Provide adult citizens, the disabled, and out-of-school
youth with training in civics, vocational efficiency, and other skills.
(1) All educational institutions shall include the study of
the Constitution as part of the curricula.
(2) They shall inculcate patriotism and nationalism, foster
love of humanity, respect for human rights, appreciation of the role of national
heroes in the historical development of the country, teach the rights and duties
of citizenship, strengthen ethical and spiritual values, develop moral character
and personal discipline, encourage critical and creative thinking, broaden
scientific and technological knowledge, and promote vocational efficiency.
(3) At the option expressed in writing by the parents or
guardians, religion shall be allowed to be taught to their children or wards in
public elementary and high schools within the regular class hours by instructors
designated or approved by the religious authorities of the religion to which the
children or wards belong, without additional cost to the Government.
(1) The State recognizes the complementary roles of public
and private institutions in the educational system and shall exercise reasonable
supervision and regulation of all educational institutions.
(2) Educational institutions, other than those established
by religious groups and mission boards, shall be owned solely by citizens of the
Philippines or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the
capital of which is owned by such citizens. The Congress may, however, require
increased Filipino equity participation in all educational institutions.
The control and administration of educational institutions
shall be vested in citizens of the Philippines.
No educational institution shall be established exclusively
for aliens and no group of aliens shall comprise more than one-third of the
enrollment in any school. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to
schools established for foreign diplomatic personnel and their dependents and,
unless otherwise provided by law, for other foreign temporary residents.
(3) All revenues and assets of non-stock, non-profit
educational institutions used actually, directly, and exclusively for
educational purposes shall be exempt from taxes and duties. Upon the dissolution
or cessation of the corporate existence of such institutions, their assets shall
be disposed of in the manner provided by law.
Propriety educational institutions, including those
cooperatively owned, may likewise be entitled to such exemptions subject to the
limitations provided by law including restrictions on dividends and provisions
(4) Subject to conditions prescribed by law, all grants,
endowments, donations, or contributions used actually, directly, and exclusively
for educational purposes shall be exempt from tax.
(1) The State shall take into account regional and sectoral
needs and conditions and shall encourage local planning in the development of
educational policies and programs.
(2) Academic freedom shall be enjoyed in all institutions
of higher learning.
(3) Every citizen has a right to select a profession or
course of study, subject to fair, reasonable, and equitable admission and
(4) The State shall enhance the right of teachers to
professional advancement. Non-teaching academic and non-academic personnel shall
enjoy the protection of the State.
(5) The State shall assign the highest budgetary priority
to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share
of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of
job satisfaction and fulfillment.
The national language of the Philippines is Filipino. As it
evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing
Philippine and other languages.
Subject to provisions of law and as the Congress may deem
appropriate, the Government shall take steps to initiate and sustain the use of
Filipino as a medium of official communication and as language of instruction in
the educational system.
For purposes of communication and instruction, the official
languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law,
The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages
in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.
Spanish and Arabic shall be promoted on a voluntary and
This Constitution shall be promulgated in Filipino and
English and shall be translated into major regional languages, Arabic, and
The Congress shall establish a national language commission
composed of representatives of various regions and disciplines which shall
undertake, coordinate, and promote researches for the development, propagation,
and preservation of Filipino and other languages.
Science and Technology
Science and technology are essential for national
development and progress. The State shall give priority to research and
development, invention, innovation, and their utilization; and to science and
technology education, training, and services. It shall support indigenous,
appropriate, and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities, and
their application to the country’s productive systems and national life.
The Congress may provide for incentives, including tax
deductions, to encourage private participation in programs of basic and applied
scientific research. Scholarships, grants-in-aid, or other forms of incentives
shall be provided to deserving science students, researchers, scientists,
inventors, technologists, and specially gifted citizens.
The State shall regulate the transfer and promote the
adaptation of technology from all sources for the national benefit. It shall
encourage the widest participation of private groups, local governments, and
community-based organizations in the generation and utilization of science and
The State shall protect and secure the exclusive rights of
scientists, inventors, artists, and other gifted citizens to their intellectual
property and creations, particularly when beneficial to the people, for such
period as may be provided by law.
Arts and Culture
The State shall foster the preservation, enrichment, and
dynamic evolution of a Filipino national culture based on the principle of unity
in diversity in a climate of free artistic and intellectual expression.
Arts and letters shall enjoy the patronage of the State.
The State shall conserve, promote, and popularize the nation’s historical and
cultural heritage and resources, as well as artistic creations.
All the country’s artistic and historic wealth constitutes
the cultural treasure of the nation and shall be under the protection of the
State which may regulate its disposition.
The State shall recognize, respect, and protect the rights
of indigenous cultural communities to preserve and develop their cultures,
traditions, and institutions. It shall consider these rights in the formulation
of national plans and policies.
(1) The State shall ensure equal access to cultural
opportunities through the educational system, public or private cultural
entities, scholarships, grants and other incentives, and community cultural
centers, and other public venues.
(2) The State shall encourage and support researches and
studies on the arts and culture.
(1) The State shall promote physical education and
encourage sports programs, league competitions, and amateur sports, including
training for international competitions, to foster self-discipline, teamwork,
and excellence for the development of a healthy and alert citizenry.
(2) All educational institutions shall undertake regular
sports activities throughout the country in cooperation with athletic clubs and
The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation
of the nation. Accordingly, it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively
promote its total development.
Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the
foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State.
The State shall defend :
(1) The right of spouses to found a family in accordance
with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood;
(2) The right of children to assistance, including proper
care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse,
cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development;
(3) The right of the family to a family living wage and
(4) The right of families or family associations to
participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that
The family has the duty to care for its elderly members but
the State may also do so through just programs of social security.
The flag of the Philippines shall be red, white, and blue,
with a sun and three stars, as consecrated and honored by the people and
recognized by law.
The Congress may, by law, adopt a new name for the country,
a national anthem, or a national seal, which shall be truly reflective and
symbolic of the ideals, history, and traditions of the people. Such law shall
take effect only upon its ratification by the people in a national referendum.
The State may not be sued without its consent.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines shall be composed of a
citizen armed force which shall undergo military training and serve, as may be
provided by law. It shall keep a regular force necessary for the security of the
(1) All members of the armed forces shall take an oath or
affirmation to uphold and defend this Constitution.
(2) The State shall strengthen the patriotic spirit and
nationalist consciousness of the military, and respect for people’s rights in
the performance of their duty.
(3) Professionalism in the armed forces and adequate
remuneration and benefits of its members shall be a prime concern of the State.
The armed forces shall be insulated from partisan politics.
No member of the military shall engage directly or
indirectly in any partisan political activity, except to vote.
(4) No member of the armed forces in the active service
shall, at any time, be appointed or designated in any capacity to a civilian
position in the Government including government-owned or controlled corporations
or any of their subsidiaries.
(5) Laws on retirement of military officers shall not allow
extension of their service.
(6) The officers and men of the regular force of the armed
forces shall be recruited proportionately from all provinces and cities as far
(7) The tour of duty of the Chief of Staff of the Armed
forces shall not exceed three years. However, in times of war or other national
emergency declared by the Congress, the President may extend such tour of duty.
The State shall establish and maintain one police force,
which shall be national in scope and civilian in character, to be administered
and controlled by a national police commission. The authority of local
executives over the police units in their jurisdiction shall be provided by law.
The State shall provide immediate and adequate care,
benefits, and other forms of assistance to war veterans and veterans of military
campaigns, their surviving spouses and orphans. Funds shall be provided therefor
and due consideration shall be given them in the disposition of agricultural
lands of the public domain and, in appropriate cases, in the utilization of
The State shall, from time to time, review to upgrade the
pensions and other benefits due to retirees of both the government and the
The State shall protect consumers from trade malpractices
and from substandard or hazardous products.
The State shall provide the policy environment for the full
development of Filipino capability and the emergence of communication structures
suitable to the needs and aspirations of the nation and the balanced flow of
information into, out of, and across the country, in accordance with a policy
that respects the freedom of speech and of the press.
(1) The ownership and management of mass media shall be
limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations, cooperatives or
associations, wholly-owned and managed by such citizens.
The Congress shall regulate or prohibit monopolies in
commercial mass media when the public interest so requires. No combinations in
restraint of trade or unfair competition therein shall be allowed.
(2) The advertising industry is impressed with public
interest, and shall be regulated by law for the protection of consumers and the
promotion of the general welfare.
Only Filipino citizens or corporations or associations at
least seventy per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens shall
be allowed to engage in the advertising industry.
The participation of foreign investors in the governing
body of entities in such industry shall be limited to their proportionate share
in the capital thereof, and all the executive and managing officers of such
entities must be citizens of the Philippines.
The Congress may create a consultative body to advise the
President on policies affecting indigenous cultural communities, the majority of
the members of which shall come from such communities.
Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be
(1) The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its
(2) A constitutional convention.
Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly
proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per
centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative
district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered
voters therein. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five
years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once
every five years thereafter.
The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the
exercise of this right.
The Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its
Members, call a constitutional convention, or by a majority vote of all its
Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention.
Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution under
Section 1 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in
a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than
ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision.
Any amendment under Section 2 hereof shall be valid when
ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not
earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the certification by
the Commission on Elections of the sufficiency of the petition.
The first elections of the Members of the Congress under
this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May, 1987.
The first local elections shall be held on a date to be
determined by the President, which may be simultaneous with the election of the
Members of the Congress. It shall include the election of all Members of the
city or municipal councils in the Metropolitan Manila area.
The Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, and
the local officials first elected under this Constitution shall serve until noon
of June 30, 1992.
Of the Senators elected in the election of 1992, the first
twelve obtaining the highest number of votes shall serve six years and the
remaining twelve for three years.
All existing laws, decrees, executive orders,
proclamations, letters of instructions, and other executive issuances not
inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended,
repealed, or revoked.
All existing treaties or international agreements which
have not been ratified shall not be renewed or extended without the concurrence
of at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.
The six-year term of the incumbent President and
Vice-President elected in the February 7, 1986 election is, for purposes of
synchronization of elections, hereby extended to noon of June 30, 1992.
The first regular elections for the President and
Vice-President under this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of
The incumbent President shall continue to exercise
legislative powers until the first Congress is convened.
Until a law is passed, the President may fill by
appointment from a list of nominees by the respective sectors the seats reserved
for sectoral representation in paragraph (2), Section 5 of Article VI of this
Until otherwise provided by the Congress, the President may
constitute the Metropolitan Authority to be composed of the heads of all local
government units comprising the Metropolitan Manila area.
A sub-province shall continue to exist and operate until it
is converted into a regular province or until its component municipalities are
reverted to the mother province.
All courts existing at the time of the ratification of this
Constitution shall continue to exercise their jurisdiction, until otherwise
provided by law. The provisions of the existing Rules of Court, judiciary acts,
and procedural laws not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain
operative unless amended or repealed by the Supreme Court or the Congress.
The incumbent Members of the Judiciary shall continue in
office until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to
discharge the duties of their office or are removed for cause.
The Supreme Court shall, within one year after the
ratification of this Constitution, adopt a systematic plan to expedite the
decision or resolution of cases or matters pending in the Supreme Court or the
lower courts prior to the effectivity of this Constitution. A similar plan shall
be adopted for all special courts and quasi-judicial bodies.
The legal effect of the lapse, before the ratification of
this Constitution, of the applicable period for the decision or resolution of
the cases or matters submitted for adjudication by the courts, shall be
determined by the Supreme Court as soon as practicable.
The provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4), Section 15 of
Article VIII of this Constitution shall apply to cases or matters filed before
the ratification of this Constitution, when the applicable period lapses after
The incumbent Members of the Civil Service Commission, the
Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit shall continue in office
for one year after the ratification of this Constitution, unless they are sooner
removed for cause or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their
office or appointed to a new term thereunder. In no case shall any Member serve
longer than seven years including service before the ratification of this
Career civil service employees separated from the service
not for cause but as a result of the reorganization pursuant to Proclamation No.
3 dated March 25, 1986 and the reorganization following the ratification of this
Constitution shall be entitled to appropriate separation pay and to retirement
and other benefits accruing to them under the laws of general application in
force at the time of their separation. In lieu thereof, at the option of the
employees, they may be considered for employment in the Government or in any of
its subdivisions, instrumentalities, or agencies, including government-owned or
controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. This provision also applies to
career officers whose resignation, tendered in line with the existing policy,
had been accepted.
Until the Congress provides otherwise, the President shall
receive an annual salary of three hundred thousand pesos; the Vice-President,
the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, two hundred forty thousand pesos each;
the Senators, the Members of the House of Representatives, the Associate
Justices of the Supreme Court, and the Chairmen of the Constitutional
Commissions, two hundred four thousand pesos each; and the Members of the
Constitutional Commissions, one hundred eighty thousand pesos each.
At the earliest possible time, the Government shall
increase the salary scales of other officials and employees of the National
All properties, records, equipment, buildings, facilities,
and other assets of any office or body abolished or reorganized under
Proclamation No. 3 dated March 25, 1986 or this Constitution shall be
transferred to the office or body to which its powers, functions, and
responsibilities substantially pertain.
The first Congress shall give priority to the determination
of the period for the full implementation of free public secondary education.
The Congress shall provide efficacious procedures and
adequate remedies for the reversion to the State of all lands of the public
domain and real rights connected therewith which were acquired in violation of
the Constitution or the public land laws, or through corrupt practices. No
transfer or disposition of such lands or real rights shall be allowed until
after the lapse of one year from the ratification of this Constitution.
At the earliest possible time, the Government shall
expropriate idle or abandoned lands as may be defined by law, for distribution
to the beneficiaries of the agrarian reform program.
Advertising entities affected by paragraph (2), Section 11
of Article XVI of this Constitution shall have five years from its ratification
to comply on a graduated or proportionate basis with the minimum Filipino
ownership requirement therein.
Private armies and other armed groups not recognized by
duly constituted authority shall be dismantled. All paramilitary forces
including Civilian Home Defense Forces not consistent with the citizen armed
force established in this Constitution, shall be dissolved or, where
appropriate, converted into the regular force.
After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the
Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America concerning Military
Bases, foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the
Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the
Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in
a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the
other contracting State.
The authority to issue sequestration or freeze orders under
Proclamation No. 3 dated March 25, 1986 in relation to the recovery of
ill-gotten wealth shall remain operative for not more than eighteen months after
the ratification of this Constitution. However, in the national interest, as
certified by the President, the Congress may extend said period.
A sequestration or freeze order shall be issued only upon
showing of a prima facie case. The order and the list of the sequestered or
frozen properties shall forthwith be registered with the proper court. For
orders issued before the ratification of this Constitution, the corresponding
judicial action or proceeding shall be filed within six months from its
ratification. For those issued after such ratification, the judicial action or
proceeding shall be commenced within six months from the issuance thereof.
The sequestration or freeze order is deemed automatically
lifted if no judicial action or proceeding is commenced as herein provided.
This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its
ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the
purpose and shall supersede all previous Constitutions.
Ratified: February 2, 1987