The Philippines political system takes place in an organized structure of a presidential, representative, and democratic republic wherein the president is both the head of government and the head of state within a multi-party system. This system has three co-dependent branches: the executive branch (the law-enforcing body), the legislative branch (the law-making body), and the judicial branch (the law-interpreting body). Below are the full details on the three branches with their corresponding Philippine government officials.
Executive power is implemented by the government under the leadership of the president which is President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wherein her party affiliation is under Kampi or Lakas-CMD. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was appointed as president last January 20, 2001 and has been reelected last May 2004 elections. Her term will then end this coming May 2010 elections. The President functions as both the head of state, the head of government tand the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The president is elected by popular vote to a term of 6 years. The president, then, appoints and may fire her cabinet members whom she officiates over. The executive seat of government is managed officially from Malacañang Palace which is also the official residence of the president which is in the capital City of Manila. The President may no longer run for re-election, unless he or she becomes president through constitutional succession and has served for no more than 4 years as president.
The second highest official, Vice-President Noli de Castro wherein his party affiliation is Lakas-CMD or Independent, which is also elected by popular vote last June 30, 2004. The vice-president is second in line to succession should the president resign, been impeached or die in office. The vice-president is usually a member of the president’s cabinet but not always. If there is a vacancy in the position of Vice President, the President will appoint any member of Congress which is usually a party member as new Vice President. The appointment will be validated by a three-fourths vote of Congress voting separately.
The bicameral Philippine legislature wherein members of both are elected by popular vote, the two chamber Congress, consists of the following:
Senate or Senado or upper chamber consists of 24 seats wherein one-half are elected every three years and members elected at large by popular vote to serve six-year terms. They can be reelected but they are no longer eligible to run for a third consecutive term. The Senate is elected at large. Elections for Senate was last held on 14 May 2007 and next to be held in May 2010.
b. House of Representative
House of Representatives or Kapulungan ng mga Kinatawan or lower chamber consists of 212 members representing districts plus 24 sectoral party-list members and members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms. The Constitution prohibits the House of Representatives from having more than 250 members. 206 are elected from the single-member districts. The remainder of the House seats are elected for sectoral representatives elected at large through a complex “party list” system, hinging on the party receiving at least 2% to 6% of the national vote total. The upper house is located in Pasay City, while the lower house is located in Quezon City. The district and sectoral representatives are elected with a term of three years. They can be re – elected but they are no longer qualified to run for a fourth consecutive term. The House of Representatives may decide on to pass a resolution for a vacancy of a legislative seat that will pave way for a special election. The winner of the special election will serve the unfinished term of the previous district representative and will be considered as one elective term. The same rule applies in the Senate however it will only apply if the seat is vacated before the regular legislative election. Elections for House of Representatives was last held on 14 May 2007 next to be held in May 2010.
The judiciary branch of the government is headed by the Supreme Court, which has a Chief Justice which is Reynato Puno as its head and 14 Associate Justices, all selected by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial and Bar Council and they shall serve until 70 years of age. Court of Appeals which is Sandigan-bayan is a special court for hearing corruption cases of government officials.