Executive Order No. 292: Administrative Code of 1987
INSTITUTING THE: “ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1987”
WHEREAS, the Administrative Code currently in force was first forged in 1917 when the relationship between the people and the government was defined by the colonial order then prevailing;
WHEREAS, efforts to achieve an integrative and over-all recodification of its provisions resulted in the Administrative Code of 1978 which, however, was never published and later expressly repealed;
WHEREAS, the effectiveness of the Government will be enhanced by a new Administrative Code which incorporates in a unified document the major structural, functional and procedural principles and rules of governance; and
WHEREAS, a new Administrative Code will be of optimum benefit to the people and Government officers and employees as it embodies changes in administrative structures and procedures designed to serve the people;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, CORAZON C. AQUINO, President of the Philippines, by the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby promulgate the Administrative Code of 1987, as follows:
Sec. 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Administrative Code of 1987.”
Sec. 2. General Terms Defined. – Unless the specific words of the text, or the context as a whole, or a particular statute, shall require a different meaning:
- “Government of the Republic of the Philippines” refers to the corporate governmental entity through which the functions of government are exercised throughout the Philippines, including, save as the contrary appears from the context, the various arms through which political authority is made effective in the Philippines, whether pertaining to the autonomous regions, the provincial, city, municipal or barangay subdivisions or other forms of local government.
- “National Government” refers to the entire machinery of the central government, as distinguished from the different forms of local governments.
- “Local Government” refers to the political subdivisions established by or in accordance with the Constitution.
- “Agency of the Government” refers to any of the various units of the Government, including a department, bureau, office, instrumentality, or government-owned or controlled corporations, or a local government or a distinct unit therein.
- “National agency” refers to a unit of the National Government.
- “Local agency” refers to a local government or a distinct unit therein.
- “Department” refers to an executive department created by law. For purposes of Book IV, this shall include any instrumentality, as herein defined, having or assigned the rank of a department, regardless of its name or designation.
- “Bureau” refers to any principal subdivision or unit of any department. For purposes of Book IV, this shall include any principal subdivision or unit of any instrumentality given or assigned the rank of a bureau, regardless of actual name or designation, as in the case of department-wide regional offices.
- “Office” refers, within the framework of governmental organization, to any major functional unit of a department or bureau including regional offices. It may also refer to any position held or occupied by individual persons, whose functions are defined by law or regulation.
- “Instrumentality” refers to any agency of the National Government, not integrated within the department framework vested within special functions or jurisdiction by law, endowed with some if not all corporate powers, administering special funds, and enjoying operational autonomy, usually through a charter. This term includes regulatory agencies, chartered institutions and government-owned or controlled corporations.
- “Regulatory agency” refers to any agency expressly vested with jurisdiction to regulate, administer or adjudicate matters affecting substantial rights and interests of private persons, the principal powers of which are exercised by a collective body, such as a commission, board or council.
- “Chartered institution” refers to any agency organized or operating under a special charter, and vested by law with functions relating to specific constitutional policies or objectives. This term includes the state universities and colleges and the monetary authority of the State.
- “Government-owned or controlled corporation” refers to any agency organized as a stock or non-stock corporation, vested with functions relating to public needs whether governmental or proprietary in nature, and owned by the Government directly or through its instrumentalities either wholly, or, where applicable as in the case of stock corporations, to the extent of at least fifty-one (51) per cent of its capital stock: Provided, That government-owned or controlled corporations may be further categorized by the Department of the Budget, the Civil Service Commission, and the Commission on Audit for purposes of the exercise and discharge of their respective powers, functions and responsibilities with respect to such corporations.
- “Officer” as distinguished from “clerk” or “employee”, refers to a person whose duties, not being of a clerical or manual nature, involves the exercise of discretion in the performance of the functions of the government. When used with reference to a person having authority to do a particular act or perform a particular function in the exercise of governmental power, “officer” includes any government employee, agent or body having authority to do the act or exercise that function.
- “Employee”, when used with reference to a person in the public service, includes any person in the service of the government or any of its agencies, divisions, subdivisions or instrumentalities.
SOVEREIGNTY AND GENERAL ADMINISTRATION
THE NATIONAL TERRITORY
Sec. 3. What Comprises National Territory. – 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.
Sec. 4. Territorial Subdivision of the Philippines. – The territorial and political subdivisions of the Philippines are the autonomous regions, provinces, subprovinces, cities, municipalities and barangays.
Sec. 5. Who are Citizens. – The following are the citizens of the Philippines:
- Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the Constitution;
- Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;
- Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship, unless by the act or omission they are deemed, under the law, to have renounced it.
Sec. 6. Effect of Marriage. – 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.
Sec. 7. Natural-born Citizen. – 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 the Constitution shall be deemed natural-born citizens.
Sec. 8. Loss or Reacquisition of Citizenship. – Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law.
Sec. 9. Dual Allegiance. – Dual allegiance is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law.
STATE IMMUNITY FROM SUIT
Sec. 10. Non-suability of the State. – No suit shall lie against the State except with its consent as provided by law.
Sec. 11. The State’s Responsibility for Acts of Agents. –
(1) The State shall be legally bound and responsible only through the acts performed in accordance with the Constitution and the laws by its duly authorized representatives.
(2) The State shall not be bound by the mistakes or errors of its officers or agents in the exercise of their functions.
NATIONAL SYMBOLS AND OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
Sec. 12. National Flag. –
(1) 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.
(2) The custody, ceremonial use, occasion and manner of display, and the proper care and disposition of the flag shall be governed by appropriate rules and regulations.
Sec. 13. National Anthem. – Until otherwise provided by law, the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe is adopted as the national anthem. It shall be sung or played upon the opening or start of all state celebrations or gatherings and on such other occasions as may be prescribed by appropriate rules and regulations.
Sec. 14. Arms and Great Seal of the Republic of the Philippines. –
- The Arms shall have paleways of two (2) pieces, azure and gules; a chief argent studded with three mullets equidistant from each other; and, in point of honor, ovoid argent over all the sun rayonnant with eight minor and lesser rays. Beneath shall be a scroll with the words “Republic of the Philippines, ” or its equivalent in the national language, inscribed thereon.
- The Great Seal shall be circular in form, with the arms as described in the preceding paragraph, but without the scroll and the inscription thereon, and surrounding the whole, a double marginal circle within which shall appear the words “Republic of the Philippines,” or its equivalent in the national language. For the purpose of placing the Great Seal, the color of the arms shall not be deemed essential.
Sec. 15. Use and Custody of Great Seal. – The Great Seal shall be affixed to or placed upon all commissions signed by the President and upon such other official documents and papers of the Republic of the Philippines as may be required by custom and usage. The President shall have custody of the Great Seal.
Sec. 16. Arms, Seals and Banners of Government Offices. – The various offices of government may adopt appropriate coats-of-arms, seals and banners.
Sec. 17. Official Languages. – Until otherwise provided by law, Pilipino and English shall be the official languages.
OPERATION AND EFFECT OF LAWS
Sec. 18. When Laws Take Effect. – Laws shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation, unless it is otherwise provided.
Sec. 19. Prospectivity. – Laws shall have prospective effect unless the contrary is expressly provided.
Sec. 20. Interpretation of Laws and Administrative Issuances. – In the interpretation of a law or administrative issuance promulgated in all the official languages, the English text shall control, unless otherwise specifically provided. In case of ambiguity, omission or mistake, the other texts may be consulted.
Sec. 21. No Implied Revival of Repealed Law.– When a law which expressly repeals a prior law itself repealed, the law first repealed shall not be thereby revived unless expressly so provided.
Sec. 22. Revival of Law Impliedly Repealed. – When a law which impliedly repeals a prior law is itself repealed, the prior law shall thereby be revived, unless the repealing law provides otherwise.
Sec. 23. Ignorance of the Law. – Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith.
Sec. 24. Contents. – There shall be published in the Official Gazette all legislative acts and resolutions of a public nature; all executive and administrative issuances of general application; decisions or abstracts of decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, or other courts of similar rank, as may be deemed by said courts of sufficient importance to be so published; such documents or classes of documents as may be required so to be published by law; and such documents or classes of documents as the President shall determine from time to time to have general application or which he may authorize so to be published.
The publication of any law, resolution or other official documents in the Official Gazette shall be prima facie evidence of its authority.
Sec. 25. Editing and Publications. – The Official Gazette shall be edited in the Office of the President and published weekly in Pilipino or in the English language. It shall be sold and distributed by the National Printing Office which shall promptly mail copies thereof to subscribers free of postage.
REGULAR HOLIDAYS AND NATIONWIDE SPECIAL DAYS
Sec. 26. Regular Holidays and Nationwide Special Days. – (1) Unless otherwise modified by law, order or proclamation, the following regular holidays and special days shall be observed in this country:
(A) Regular Holidays
New Year’s Day – January 1
Maundy Thursday – Movable date
Good Friday – Movable date
Araw ng Kagitingan (Bataan – April 9 and Corregidor Day)
Labor Day – May 1
Independence Day – June 12
National Heroes Day – Last Sunday of August
Bonifacio Day – November 30
Christmas Day – December 25
Rizal Day – December 30
(B) Nationwide Special Days
All Saints Day – November 1
Last Day of the Year – December 31
(2) The terms “legal or regular holiday” and “special holiday“, as used in laws, orders, rules and regulations or other issuances shall be referred to as “regular holiday” and “special day”, respectively.
Sec. 27. Local Special Days. – The President may proclaim any local special day for a particular date, group or place.
Sec. 28. Pretermission of Holiday. – Where the day, or the last day, for doing any act required or permitted by law falls on a regular holiday or special day, the act may be done on the next succeeding business day.
LEGAL WEIGHTS MEASURES AND PERIOD
Sec. 29. Official Use of Metric System. – The metric system of weights and measures shall be used in the Philippines for all products, articles, goods, commodities, materials, merchandise, utilities, services, as well as for commercial transactions like contracts, agreements, deeds and other legal instruments publicly and officially attested, and for all official documents. Only weights and measures of the metric system shall be officially sealed and licensed.
Sec. 30. Mandatory Nation-wide Use. – The metric system shall be fully adopted in all agricultural, commercial, industrial, scientific and other sectors. Persons or entities allowed under existing laws to use the English system or other standards and weights are given until the date to be fixed by the Metric System Board to adopt the metric system.
Sec. 31. Legal Periods. – “Year” shall be understood to be twelve calendar months; “month” of thirty days, unless it refers to a specific calendar month in which case it shall be computed according to the number of days the specific month contains; “day,” to a day of twenty-four hours; and “night,” from sunset to sunrise.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES GOVERNING PUBLIC OFFICERS
Sec. 32. Nature of Public Office. – Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with the utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.
Sec. 33. Policy on Change of Citizenship. – Public officers and employees owe the Senate and the 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.
Sec. 34. Declaration of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. – 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.
Sec. 35. Ethics in Government. – All public officers and employees shall be bound by a Code of Ethics to be promulgated by the Civil Service Commission.
Sec. 36. Inhibition Against Purchase of Property at Tax Sale. – No officer or employee of the government shall purchase directly or indirectly any property sold by the government for the non-payment of any tax, fee or other public charge. Any such purchase by an officer or employee shall be void.
Sec. 37. Powers Incidental to Taking of Testimony. – When authority to take testimony or receive evidence is conferred upon any administrative officer or any non-judicial person, committee, or other body, such authority shall include the power to administer oaths, summon witnesses, and require the production of documents by a subpoena duces tecum.
Sec. 38. Liability of Superior Officers. –
(1) A public officer shall not be civilly liable for acts done in the performance of his official duties, unless there is a clear showing of bad faith, malice or gross negligence.
(2) Any public officer who, without just cause, neglects to perform a duty within a period fixed by law or regulation, or within a reasonable period if none is, shall be liable for damages to the private party concerned without prejudice to such other liability as may be prescribed by law.
(3) A head of a department or a superior officer shall not be civilly liable for the wrongful acts, omissions of duty, negligence, or misfeasance of his subordinates, unless he has actually authorized by written order the specific act or misconduct complained of.
Sec. 39. Liability of Subordinate Officers. -No subordinate officer or employee shall be civilly liable for acts done by him in good faith in the performance of his duties. However, he shall be liable for willful or negligent acts done by him which are contrary to law, morals, public policy and good customs even if he acted under orders or instructions of his superiors.
Sec. 40. Oaths of Office for Public Officers and Employees. – All public officers and employees of the government including every member of the armed forces shall, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, take an oath or affirmation to uphold and defend the Constitution; that he will bear true faith and allegiance to it; obey the laws, legal orders and decrees promulgated by the duly constituted authorities; will well and faithfully discharge to the best of his ability the duties of the office or position upon which he is about to enter; and that he voluntarily assumes the obligation imposed by his oath of office, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. Copies of the oath shall be deposited with the Civil Service Commission and the National Archives.
Sec. 41. Officers Authorized to Administer Oath. –
- The following officers have general authority to administer oath: Notaries public, members of the judiciary, clerks of courts, the Secretary of the either House of the Congress of the Philippines, of departments, bureau directors, registers of deeds, provincial governors and lieutenant-governors, city mayors, municipal mayors and any other officer in the service of the government of the Philippines whose appointment is vested in the President.
- Oaths may also be administered by any officer whose duties, as defined by law or regulation, require presentation to him of any statement under oath..
Sec. 42. Duty to Administer Oath. – Officers authorized to administer oaths, with the exception of notaries public, municipal judges and clerks of court, are not obliged to administer oaths or execute certificates save in matters of official business; and with the exception of notaries public, the officer performing the service in those matters shall charge no fee, unless specifically authorized by law.
Sec. 43. Annual Reports. – The heads of the several branches, subdivisions, department and agencies or instrumentalities of the Government shall prepare and submit annual reports to the President on or before the first day of July 1 of each year.
Sec. 44. Contents of Reports. – The contents of the annual reports shall be prescribed by law or, in the absence thereof, by executive order.
Sec. 45. Special Reports. – Each chief of Bureau or other officer of the government shall make such special reports concerning the work of his Bureau or Office as may from time to time be required of him by the President of the Philippines or Head of Department.
Sec. 46. Deposit with Archives. – Official copies of annual reports shall be deposited with the National Archives and shall be open to public inspection.
PUBLIC CONTRACTS AND CONVEYANCES
Sec. 47. Contracts and Conveyances. – Contracts or conveyances may be executed for and in behalf of the Government or of any of its branches, subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations, whenever demanded by the exigency or exigencies of the service and as long as the same are not prohibited by law.
Sec. 48. Official Authorized to Convey Real Property. – Whenever real property of the Government is authorized by law to be conveyed, the deed of conveyance shall be executed in behalf of the government by the following:
- For property belonging to and titled in the name of the Republic of the Philippines, by the President, unless the authority therefor is expressly vested by law in another officer.
- For property belonging to the Republic of the Philippines but titled in the name of any political subdivision or of any corporate agency or instrumentality, by the executive head of the agency or instrumentality.
Sec. 49. Authority to Convey other Property. – Whenever property other than real is authorized to be conveyed, the contract or deed shall be executed by the head of the agency with the approval of the department head. Where the operations of the agency regularly involve the sale or other disposition of personal property, the deed shall be executed by any officer or employee expressly authorized for that purpose.
Sec. 50. Conveyance of National Government Property to Local Governments. – When the real property belonging to the National Government is needed for school purposes, or other official use by any local government, the President shall authorize its transfer, and the department head or other authority concerned shall execute in favor of the local government the necessary deed of conveyance by way of gift, sale, exchange, or otherwise, and upon such terms as shall be for the interest of the parties concerned. Nothing herein provided shall be deemed to authorize the conveyance of unreserved public land, friar land or any real property held by the Government in trust or for a special purpose defined by law.
Sec. 51. Execution of Contracts. –
- Contracts in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines shall be executed by the President unless authority therefor is expressly vested by law or by him in any other public officer.
- Contracts in behalf of the political subdivisions and corporate agencies or instrumentalities shall be approved by their respective governing boards or councils and executed by their respective executive heads.
DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS OF GOVERNMENT
BASIC PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES
Sec. 1. Guiding Principles and Policies in Government. – Governmental power shall be exercised in accordance with the following basic principles and policies:
- The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.
- The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights.
- Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military.
- The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.
- The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays. There shall be autonomous regions, in accordance with the Constitution, in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as may be provided by law.
- The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.
- 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.
- The powers expressly vested in any branch of the Government shall not be exercised by, nor delegated to, any other branch of the Government, except to the extent authorized by the Constitution.
Sec. 2. Seat of Legislative Power. – 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 Constitutional provision on initiative and referendum.
Sec. 3. Inhibitions Against Members of Congress. –
- No Senator or 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 office.
Sec. 4. Electoral Tribunal. – 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 (9) Members, three (3) of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six (6) 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 its Chairman.
Sec. 5. Commission on Appointments. – There shall be a Commission on Appointments consisting of the President of the Senate, as ex officio Chairman, and twelve (12) Senators and twelve (12) Members of the House of Representatives, elected by each House on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and 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 (30) session days of the Congress from their submission. The Commission shall rule by a majority vote of all its Members.
Sec. 6. Legislative Investigation. – 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.
Sec. 7. Appearance of Heads of Departments.– 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 (3) 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.
Sec. 8. Initiative and Referendum.- 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 (10) per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three (3) per centum of the registered voters thereof.
Sec. 9. Power to Propose Constitutional Amendments. –
- Any amendment to, or revision of the Constitution may be proposed by: (a) The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths (3/4) of all its Members; or (b) a constitutional convention. The Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) 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.
- Amendments to the Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve (12) per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three (3) per centum of the registered voters therein. No amendments under this paragraph shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of the 1987 Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.
Sec. 10. Validity of Constitutional Amendments.–
- Any amendment to or revision of the Constitution proposed by Congress or a constitutional convention shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days (60) nor later than ninety days (90) after the approval of such amendment or revision.
- Any amendment to or revision of the Constitution directly proposed by the people through initiative shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days (60) nor later than ninety days (90) after the certification by the Commission on Elections of the sufficiency of the petition.
Sec. 11. Exercise of Executive Power. – The Executive power shall be vested in the President.
Sec. 12. The Vice-President. – 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 President.
The Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet. Such appointment requires no confirmation.
Sec. 13. Vacancy in Office of the President.– 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 Vice-President shall have been elected and qualified, and be subject to the same restrictions of powers and disqualifications as the Acting President.
Sec. 14. Vacancy in Office of the Vice-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 by a majority vote of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately.
Sec. 15. Inhibitions Against Executive Officials. – 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 conflicts 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 subsidiaries.
Sec. 16. Judicial Power. – The judicial power shall be vested in one (1) Supreme Court, and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Such lower courts include the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, Regional Trial Courts, Shari’s District Courts, Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, and Shari’a Circuit Courts and they shall continue to exercise their respective jurisdiction until otherwise provided 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, in cases prescribed by law, 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.
Sec. 17. Composition of the Supreme Court. – 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.
Sec. 18. Jurisdiction and Powers of Supreme Court. – The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
- Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus.
Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or 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 is involved.
- Assign temporarily judges of lower courts to other stations as public interest may require. Such temporary assignment shall not exceed six (6) months without the consent of the judge concerned.
- Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a miscarriage of justice.
- 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.
- Appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in accordance with the Civil Service law.
Sec. 19. Apportionment of Jurisdiction. – Congress shall define, prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction enumerated in the immediately preceding section. Neither shall a law be passed increasing its appellate jurisdiction as therein specified without its advice and concurrence.
No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its Members.
Sec. 20. Administrative Supervision.– The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof.
Sec. 21. Judicial and Bar Council. –
- 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 Member, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector.
- The regular members of the Council shall be appointed by the President for a term of four (4) years with the consent of the Commission of Appointments. Of the Members first appointed, the representative of the Integrated Bar shall serve for four (4) years, the professor of law for three (3) years, the retired Justice for two (2) years, and the representative of the private sector for one (1) year.
- The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be the Secretary ex officio of the Council and shall keep a record of its proceedings.
- 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.
- 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.
Sec. 22. Appointment of Members of Judiciary. – The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three (3) 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 (90) days from the submission of the list.
Sec. 23. Prohibition Against Performing Quasi-Judicial or Administrative Functions. – 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.
Sec. 24. Constitutional Commissions. – The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent, are the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit.
Sec. 25. Inhibitions Against Constitutional Commissioners. – 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 anyway may 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 corporations or their subsidiaries.
Sec. 26. Fiscal Autonomy. – The Constitutional Commissions shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. The approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released.
Sec. 27. Promulgation of Rules. – 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.
Sec. 28. Decisions by the Constitutional Commissions.– Each Commission shall decide, by a majority vote of all its Members, any case or matter brought before it within sixty (60) 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 the 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 (30) days from receipt of a copy thereof.
Sec. 29. Other Bodies. – There shall be in accordance with the Constitution, an Office of the Ombudsman, a Commission on Human Rights, an independent central monetary authority, and a national police commission. Likewise, as provided in the Constitution, Congress may establish an independent economic and planning agency.
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