Friday, July 02, 2010


The Philippine Legislative branch, otherwise known as the Congress of the Philippines, is composed of two houses: the House of Senate and the House of Representatives. The first house is considered as the upper house and the latter is the lower house. Lodged in these two houses is the legislative power or the power to make, alter or repeal laws. However, one of the modifications of the 1987 Philippine Constitution is that the legislative power is now not exclusively vested in the Congress. It provides:

"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 referendum."
This makes the power of initiative and referendum directly in the hands of the people. The people therefore has the direct power to "propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law on part thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative body."  This power can be used by the people should the legislature show itselt indifferent to the needs of the people. (Bernas, 2007) Of course, the scope of this legislative power which the people may exercise through initiative and referendum is subject to the exceptions which Congress may impose. (Sec 32, Art VI, 1987 Phil Const)