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The Legislative Department Senate: senate president → president pro

Group 4 tempore → majority leader → minority leader

House of Rep.: speaker → speaker pro tempore
I.The Nature of Congress → majority leader → minority leader
The legislative department is composed of the
Senate and the House of Representatives as Filing Bills
stated in Sec. 1, Art. VI of the 1987 ● Bills are the first drafts of what may become
Constitution. law while resolutions express the position of the
chamber on an issue or topic. Both need to pass
Functions of Congress via majority vote, depending on nature the
1. The principal function of Congress is to measure:
make laws by creating, amending, and 1) Simple majority for most measures such as
repealing. bills
2. Congress conducts investigations in aid 2) Two-thirds majority for bilateral treaties
of legislation; findings may become ● First reading: Committee deliberations →
bases for new laws or recommendations Plenary debate → Amendments → Voting
of action for government agencies. (“yeas” or “nays”) → Second Reading →
3. Congress attends to and looks after its Third Reading (roll-call voting)
constituents. The scope of a ● Once a bill is ratified by the bicam conference
constituency depends on the type of → Office of the President: if approved →
elected seat. becomes a law 15 days after publication; if
vetoed → returns to Congress for
Powers of Congress amendments; if no action is done →
Power to inquire regarding legislation: automatically turns into law.
Sec. 21 of the Constitution ● Bills serve to benefit a specific group or groups
Power to declare war: and are often filed by the same
Sec. 23 of the Constitution group/committee/party members.
Power to raise bills/taxes:
Sec. 24 of the Constitution Committees and Parties
And of course, power to create new laws: ● Committees “serve as the filter through which a
Sec. 26 of the Constitution bill undergoes deliberation, revision, and
approval – or consignment to the archives [...]”
Composition of Congress ● “Committee leadership and membership are
The Senate: composed of 24 senators, all of considered among the juiciest spoils in any
whom serve under a 6-year term for not more power struggle in either chamber.”
than 2 consecutive terms (Sec. 2,4) ● Due to whipping of the majority, the fate of a
The House of Representatives: composed of not bill is often determined by which party holds
more than 250 members as elected by the majority in Congress, which is almost the
legislative districts, all of whom serve under a 3- administration party or coalition.
year term for not more than 3 consecutive terms
(Sec. 5,7) Lobbying for the Law: Vested Interests
● “In some cases, more than their partisan political
Leadership affiliations, the lawmakers’ business interests
are a more reliable weather vane in predicting
which way they would vote.” In the Ninth “And many other provinces where the
Congress, two-thirds of the legislature had governor is the father, brother or
vested interests in land and agriculture. husband of the congressman, and their
progeny are mayors and councilors,
Pork Barrel board members or barangay chairmen.”
● Pork barrel has gone by many names including:
Countrywide Development Fund (CDF), Mendoza observed that the poorest provinces in
Congressional Initiative Allocation (CIA), and the country are governed by “fat” political
Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). dynasties (A fat dynasty is anything with more
● Pork Barrel is used for financing infrastructures than two family members). He presented his
in the respective districts of Congressmen, but observations before the Senate where six bills
“It is widely held that congressmen get seeking to ban political dynasties are being
commissions of 20 to 30 percent, sometimes discussed.
more if they happen to have some ‘closer’
connection with the contractor.” 1. 70% of the 15th Philippine Congress is
dynastic; and dynasties dominate all of the major
III.Particularism and Familial Ties in political parties.
Congress: Timberman and Coronel
● For Sheila Coronel, the legislature is still highly 2. On average, there are more dynasties in
personalistic and particularistic. regions with higher poverty and lower human
● This echoes back to Timberman’s identification development.
of aspects of Philippine democracy: highly
personalistic, with elites ruling for their own 3. Dynasties tend to be richer (higher SALNs)
gain. when one outlier is removed among present non-
● Elites not limited to land-owning families: dynasties (MP).
caciques, manufacturers, celebrities, and
lawyers. 4. 80% of the youngest Congressmen (age 26-
● Demographics: male-dominated, conservative 40) are from dynastic clans.
legislators due to “old age of congress”.
● Politics as profession: most of legislators are 5. Higher poverty incidence increases the chance
lawyers or doctors due to their technical for dynasties to grow (become “fat”) and
training. dominate the political positions under analysis.
● Legislature tends to be dynastic, yet open to
newcomers. 6. There is weak evidence that suggests that the
level of education is negatively associated with
the share of political dynasties in the total
positions under analysis.
IV.”Fat and Thin” Dynasties: Mendoza
7. Media (proxied by more AM radio stations)
Most prominent examples of political clans in increases the share of dynasties in total
the country are the Ampatuans in Maguindanao, positions, but it reduces “fat” dynasties.
Singsons of Ilocos Sur. (Interpretation: Media levels the playing field,
but it is still dominated by dynasties or would-be
8. PREDATORY VIEW: Dynasties increase
P/I -- If dynasties are associated with
rentseeking and state capture, corruption and
ineffective and poorly designed policies (e.g.
Proud’homme, 1995; Hutchcroft and Rocamora,

9. STATIONARY BANDIT: Dynasties reduce

P/I -- If dynasties have longer “runways” for
reform and are more firmly associated with
socio-economic outcomes (e.g. Olson, 2003;
Solon et al, 2009; Dal Bo and Rossi, 2009).

10. PATRONAGE: High P/I tends to increase

dynastic prevalence: the poor vote for dynasties
as long as these are able to directly provide
support during elections or in times of income
shocks (e.g. Coronel, 1998; Manacsa and Tan,

11. SELF-PERPETUATION: Politicians are

capable of developing dynasties: being in public
office affords politicians the opportunity and
means to keep on winning or to