Under the Constitution, the President is authorized to appoint, with the consent of the Commission on Appointment, the following:
- heads of the executive departments;
- ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;
- officers of the armed forces from the rank of the colonel or naval captain;
- other officers whose appointments are vested in him by the Constitution;
- all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided by law; and
- those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint.
Appointment may be permanent or temporary. It is permanent when the person appointed possesses the required eligibility of the post and is thus protected by the constitutional provision on security of tenure. Temporary appointment, on the other hand, is given to a person without the required eligibility, and thus can be removed from the office without the necessity of just cause or a valid investigation. Temporary appointments rest on the understanding that the person will be replaced at any time a final choice shall have been made by the President of who shall occupy the post.
Appointment vs. Designation
Designation is different from appointment. Although designation may be loosely defined as an appointment because it also involves the naming of a particular person to a specified public office, the latter simply means the imposition of additional duties, usually by law, on a person already in the public service. For example, the chairman of the Board of Investments is, by designation, a member of the National Economic Development Council. (ibid).
Regular or Ad Interim
A regular appoinment is made during the legislative session. It is made only after the nomination is confirmed by the Commission on Appointment (CA) and once confirmed by the CA, continues until the end of the term of the appointee.
An ad interim appointment is made when the Congress is in recess. It does not wait for the confirmation of the Commission on Appointment but such appointment ceases to be valid if disapproved by the CA or upon the next adjournment of the Congress. This kind of appointment is intended to prevent a hiatus in the discharge of official duties.
- Congress may prescribe qualifications for public office.
- Certain appointments are subject to approval of the Commission on Appointments.
- The Judiciary may annul appointments made by the President if the appointee has not been validly confirmed or does not possess the required qualifications.
- Appointments to public office cannot be forced upon any citizen except for purposes of the defense of the State.
- Appointments extended by an acting President shall remain effective unless revoked by the elected President within ninety days from his assumption of office.
- Appointment is prohibited two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the president or acting president except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety. (midnight appointment)
From having the power of appointment, comes the removal power. The President may remove his appointtees, especially the members of the Cabinet or other executive officials whose term of office is determined at his pleasure.
Not all appointees however can be removed by the President since the Constitution prescribes certain methods for the separation from the public service. For example, the justices of the Supreme Court, members of the Constitutional Commissions, the Ombudsman, although appointed by the President may only be removed thru impeachment. Judges of the Supreme Court are not within the ambit of the removal power of the President, but rather of the disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court.