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A. Autonomous Regions and their relation to the National Government


The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays. (Section 1, Article X, 1987 Constitution)


There shall be autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras. (Section 1, Article X, 1987 Constitution)

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. (Section 15, Article X, 1987 Constitution)

a. President; General Supervision

The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous regions to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. (Section 16, Article X, 1987 Constitution)

b. Residual powers with National Government

All powers, functions, and responsibilities not granted by this Constitution or by law to the autonomous regions shall be vested in the National Government. (Section 17, Article X, 1987 Constitution)

c. Organic Act

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. (Section 18, Article X, 1987 Constitution)

1) Basic structure of government

The organic act shall define the basic structure of government for the region consisting of the executive department and legislative assembly, both of which shall be elective and representative of the constituent political units. (Section 18, Article X, 1987 Constitution)

2) Legislative Powers

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; and

9) Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region. (Section 20, Article X, 1987 Constitution)

3) Special courts

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. (Section 18, Article X, 1987 Constitution)

4) Plebiscite to create autonomous region

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 autonomous region. (Paragraph 2, Section 18, Article X, 1987 Constitution)

5) Local Police: peace and order

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.

a) National Governmenty: defense and security of regions

The defense and security of the regions shall be the responsibility of the National Government. (Section 21, Article X, 1987 Constitution)

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