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F. Process of law-making

1. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

a. Origin of bills

GENERAL RULE: All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives. (Section 24, Article VI, 1987 Constitution)

QUALIFICATION: …but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments. (Ibid.)

b. One subject rule

Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof. (Section 26[1], Article VI, Ibid.)

c. Three (3) readings rule

GENERAL RULE: No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage. (Section 26[2], Article VI, Ibid.)

EXCEPTION: … except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. (Ibid.)

1) Last reading and vote

Upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal. (Section 26[2], Article VI, Ibid.)

d. Presentation of bill to the President

Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President. (Section 27[1], Article VI, Ibid.)

1) Approve or veto

If he approves the same, he shall sign it; otherwise, he shall veto it and return the same with his objections to the House where it originated, which shall enter the objections at large in its Journal and proceed to reconsider it. (Ibid.)

The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object. (Section 27[2], Article VI, Ibid.)

a) 2/3 vote to override veto

If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds (2/3) of all the Members of such House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the Members of that House, it shall become a law. (Section 27[1], Article VI, Ibid.)

In all such cases, the votes of each House shall be determined by yeas or nays, and the names of the Members voting for or against shall be entered in its Journal. The President shall communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated within thirty days after the date of receipt thereof; otherwise, it shall become a law as if he had signed it. (Ibid.)

2. GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS BILL

1) No increase of proposed National Budget by the President

The Congress may not increase the appropriations recommended by the President for the operation of the Government as specified in the budget. The form, content, and manner of preparation of the budget shall be prescribed by law. (Section 25[1], Article VI, Ibid.)

2) Provision should relate  to some particular appropriation

No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the general appropriations bill unless it relates specifically to some particular appropriation therein. Any such provision or enactment shall be limited in its operation to the appropriation to which it relates. (Section 25[2], Article VI, Ibid.)

3) Follows procedure for other departments and agencies

The procedure in approving appropriations for the Congress shall strictly follow the procedure for approving appropriations for other departments and agencies. (Section 25[3], Article VI, Ibid.)

4) Special appropriation bill

A special appropriations bill shall specify the purpose for which it is intended, and shall be supported by funds actually available as certified by the National Treasurer, or to be raised by a corresponding revenue proposed therein. (Section 25[4], Article VI, Ibid.)

5) Transfer of appropriation; augment of funds

GENERAL RULE: No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations. (Section 25[5], Article VI, Ibid.)

EXCEPTION: … however, the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations. (Ibid.)

6) Discretionary funds

Discretionary funds appropriated for particular officials shall be disbursed only for public purposes to be supported by appropriate vouchers and subject to such guidelines as may be prescribed by law. (Section 25[6], Article VI, Ibid.)

7) Re-enactment if no General Appropriations bill is passed

If, by the end of any fiscal year, the Congress shall have failed to pass the general appropriations bill for the ensuing fiscal year, the general appropriations law for the preceding fiscal year shall be deemed reenacted and shall remain in force and effect until the general appropriations bill is passed by the Congress. (Section 25[7], Article VI, Ibid.)

8) Pay out by the Treasury

No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. (Section 29[1], Article VI, Ibid.)

3. TAX BILLS

1) Uniform and equitable; Progressive system of taxation

The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation. (Section 28[1], Article VI, Ibid.)

2) Tax rate fixing ma be delegated to the President

The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the Government. (Section 28[2], Article VI, Ibid.)

3) Institutions exclusive for religious, charitable, or educational purposes

Charitable institutions, churches and parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands, buildings, and improvements, actually, directly, and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation. (Section 28[3], Article VI, Ibid.)

a) Non-establishment clause

No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid, or employed, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher, or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium. (Section 29[2], Article VI, Ibid.)

4) Tax exemption

No law granting any tax exemption shall be passed without the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress. (Section 28[4], Article VI, Ibid.)

5) Special fund

All money collected on any tax levied for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund and paid out for such purpose only. If the purpose for which a special fund was created has been fulfilled or abandoned, the balance, if any, shall be transferred to the general funds of the Government. (Section 29[3], Article VI, Ibid.))

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