House of Representatives of the Philippines: Wikis


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House of Representatives of the Philippines
Kapulungán ng mgá Kinatawán ng Pilipinas/Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso
14th Congress of the Philippines
Coat of arms or logo.
Type Lower house
Speaker Prospero C. Nograles, Lakas-Kampi-CMD
since February 5, 2008
Deputy Speakers
since July 23, 2007 (Fuentebella, Singson, del Mar, Datumanong)
August 14, 2007 (Villarosa)
April 29, 2008 (Garcia)
Majority Floor Leader Arthur Defensor, Sr., Lakas-Kampi-CMD
since May 14, 2007
Minority Floor Leader Ronaldo Zamora, PMP
since July 23, 2007
Members Not more than 250 Representatives
Currently, 269 Representatives
Political groups Lakas-Kampi-CMD (142)
NPC (28)
Liberal (14)
Nacionalista (8)
Bayan (7)
PDP-Laban (4)
Buhay (3)
LDP (3)
Liberal (breakaway) (3)
PMP (3)
PDSP (3)
UNO (3)
KBL (1)
Lakas-CMD (breakaway) (1)
Independents (3)
Others (42)
Voting system Parallel voting
Last election May 14, 2007
Meeting place
Batasang Pambansa, Quezon City

The House of Representatives of the Philippines (Filipino: Kapulungán ng mgá Kinatawán ng Pilipinas or Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso) is the lower chamber of the Congress of the Philippines. The Senate is the upper chamber. The House is often informally called the Congress. Members of the house are called Congressmen (mga kinatawán or mga konggresista) and their title is Representative. Congressmen are elected to a three-year term and can be reelected, but cannot serve more than three consecutive terms. Most congressmen are district representatives, representing a particular geographical area. There are 212 legislative districts in the country, each composed of about 250,000 people. There are also Sectoral Representatives elected through the party-list system who constitute not more than twenty percent of the total number of Representatives.

The official headquarters of the House of Representatives is at the Batasang Pambansa (literally, national legislature) located at the Constitution Hill in Quezon City in Metro Manila. The building is often simply called Batasan.



When the Philippines was under American colonial rule, the legislative body was the Philippine Commission which existed from September 1900 to October 1907. The President of the United States appointed the members of the Philippine Commission.

The Philippine Bill of 1902 mandated the creation of a bicameral or a two-chamber Philippine Legislature with the Philippine Commission as the Upper House and the Philippine Assembly as the Lower House. This bicameral legislature was inaugurated in October 1907. Through the leadership of Speaker Sergio Osmeña and Floor Leader Manuel L. Quezon, the Rules of the 59th Congress of the United States was substantially adopted as the Rules of the Philippine Legislature.

In 1916, the Jones Law or the Philippine Autonomy Act changed the legislative system. The Philippine Commission was abolished and a new bicameral Philippine Legislature consisting of a House of Representatives and a Senate was established. The legislative system was changed again in 1935. The 1935 Constitution established a unicameral National Assembly. But in 1940, through an amendment to the 1935 Constitution, a bicameral Congress of the Philippines consisting of a House of Representatives and a Senate was adopted.

Upon the inauguration of the Republic of the Philippines in 1946, Republic Act No. 6 was enacted providing that on the date of the proclamation of the Republic of the Philippines, the existing Congress would be known as the First Congress of the Republic. The 1973 Constitution abolished the bicameral Congress and created a unicameral Batasang Pambansa parliamentary system of government.

The 1987 Constitution restored the presidential system of government together with a bicameral Congress of the Philippines.

The presiding officer is the Speaker.


This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the Philippines

Other countries · Atlas
 Philippine Government Portal

Exclusive powers

The House of Representatives has the exclusive power to propose legislation relating to appropriations, revenues, tariffs and increase of public debt. It is in this regard that the House is often referred to as having the "power of the purse." With the Senate membership having a national constituency, bills of local application and private bills are left to the House of Representatives to initiate. In all these instances, the Senate may just concur or propose amendments to such legislation.[1]


Another exclusive power of the House is to initiate all cases of impeachment against, the President, Vice President, members of the Supreme Court, members of the Constitutional Commissions (Commission on Elections, Commission on Audit), and the Ombudsman. When a third of its membership has endorsed the impeachment articles, it is then transmitted to the Senate which tries and decide on the impeachment case.[2]

Commission on Appointments

On the basis of proportional representation of the political parties and the party-list organizations, the House elects twelve members or half of the membership of the Commission on Appointments, which is responsible for confirming the appointments of the President.[1]

House Electoral Tribunal

Similar to the Senate, the House of Representatives also constitutes its own electoral tribunal to judge all contests relating to the election, returns and qualification of its members. The House Electoral Tribunal is composed of nine members, of which three are justices of the Supreme Court and the remainder are elected by the House on the basis of proportional representation of the political parties and the party-list organizations. The most senior justice presides as its Chairman.[1]


Speakers of the House

Latest election

e • d Summary of the 14 May 2007 House of Representatives of the Philippines election results
Parties Seats Proportion (%)
This is the division of seats as published on the website of the House of Representatives.
The first party affiliation mentioned is counted. This is not the result of the elections.
Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats + Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino
(Includes SARRO, BO-PK, PROMDI, KDT, Padajon Surigao, 1-CEBU, BALANE, UNA, and PTM)
Nationalist People's Coalition (Includes Achievers with Integrity Movement) 28 11.6%
Liberal Party 16 6.6%
Nacionalista Party (Includes Abante Viscaya) 8 3.3%
United Opposition 7 2.9%
Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan 4 1.7%
Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino 4 1.7%
Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino 3 1.3%
Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas 3 1.3%
Kilusan ng Bagong Lipunan 1 0.4%
Independents 4 1.7%
Buhay Hayaan Yumabong 3 1.3%
Bayan Muna 2 0.8%
Citizen's Battle Against Corruption 2 0.8%
Gabriela Women's Party 2 0.8%
Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives 2 0.8%
Abono 1 0.4%
Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms, Inc. 1 0.4%
Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines, Inc. 1 0.4%
Akbayan ! Citizens' Action Party 1 0.4%
Alliance of Rural Concerns 1 0.4%
Anak Mindanao 1 0.4%
Anak Pawis 1 0.4%
An Waray 1 0.4%
Cooperative NATCCO Network Party 1 0.4%
Luzon Farmers Party 1 0.4%
You Against Corruption And Poverty 1 0.4%
Total 242 100%
Source: Congress Web site
e • d Summary of the 14 May 2007 House of Representatives of the Philippines Party-List election result
Party-list Votes % Seats
Below is the result of the party-list vote. Most seats in the Congress are not elected through the party list system.
Buhay Hayaan Yumabong 1,169,248 7.42 3
Bayan Muna 976,699 6.20 2
Citizen's Battle Against Corruption 755,605 4.79
Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives 621,211 3.94 1
Gabriela Women's Party 621,086 3.94
Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms, Inc. 487,354 3.09
Akbayan ! Citizens' Action Party 466,019 2.96
Alagad 423,090 2.68
Cooperative NATCCO Network Party 409,812 2.60
Luzon Farmers Party 409,133 2.60
Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan 385,654 2.45
Alliance of Rural Concerns 373,840 2.37
Anak Pawis 369,366 2.34
Abono 339,897 2.16
Anak Mindanao 338,125 2.15
Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines, Inc. 328,649 2.09
Total 30,049,524 21

District representation

All provinces and several cities have at least one congressional/legislative district, whose residents vote for their own congressman. Each district covers a population of approximately 250,000 to 500,000 people. Provinces that have only one congressional/legislative district are divided into two provincial districts for the purpose of electing Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council) members. For provinces that have more than one congressional/legislative district, the provincial districts are identical to the corresponding congressional/legislative district, with the exclusion of cities that do not vote for provincial officials.

Legislative districts in provinces

Legislative districts in cities

Sectoral representation

The party-list system is the name designated for the sectoral representation. Under the 1987 Constitution, the electorate can vote for certain party-list organizations in order to give voice to significant minorities of society that would otherwise not be adequately represented through geographical district. From 1987-1998, sectoral representatives were appointed by the President.

Since 1998, each voter votes for a single party-list organization. Organizations that garner at least 2% of the total number of votes are awarded one representative for every 2% up to a maximum of three representatives. Thus, there can be at most 50 sectoral representatives in Congress, though usually no more than 20 are elected because many organizations do not reach the required 2% minimum number of votes.

After the 2007 election, in a controversial decision, COMELEC changed how it allocates the party-list seats. Under the new formula only one party will have the maximum 3 seats. It based its decision on a formula contained in a Supreme Court decision.

Current Party-list allocation

After the controversial application of the Panganiban formula (from VFP v. COMELEC) by the Abalos Commission (COMELEC), Party-list candidates BANAT and Bayan Muna filed separate complaints on the proper allocation of seats in the party-list system. On April 23, 2009, the Supreme Court declared the two percent threshold clause in relation to the distribution of the additional seats of Republic Act No. 7941, otherwise known as the Party-List System Act unconstitutional.[3]

Following Article VI, Section 5, Paragraph 2 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, 20% of all seats in the House of Representatives is reserved for sectoral representatives elected in the party list system. This formula is called the Carpio formula.

To determine the number of seats for sectoral representatives, the formula for the quotient is:
S = \left(\frac{D}{0.8}\right) \times 0.2
  • S is the number of seats allocated for sectoral representation,
  • D is the total number of district representatives, and
  • D / 0.8 is the total number of members of the House.

First Round

To get the first guaranteed seat, a sectoral party or organization should at least get 2% of the total votes cast for partly list elections. The formula for the quotient is:
g = \frac{V}{P}
  • g is the percentage of votes garnered by the sectoral organization,
  • V is the total number of votes cast in the party list representation, and
  • P is the total number votes of the sectoral organization.
R_1 = 1~ \mbox{if}~g\ >= 0.02

Second Round

If the total number of guaranteed seats awarded is less than the total number of seats reserved for sectoral representatives (S), the unassigned seats will awarded in the second round of seat allocation. To get the number of additional seats, this formula will be followed.
R_2 =(S-T_1) \times g
  • R2 is the total number of additional seats awarded to the sectoral organization,
  • S is the number of seats allocated for party-list representatives,
  • T1 is the total number awarded seats (R1) in the first round of seat allocation, and
  • g is the percentage of votes garnered by the sectoral organization.
Note: R2 should appear as whole integer.
Therefore, the seats awarded on the first round will be added on the seats awarded on the second round to get the final allocation of seats for a sectoral organization.
F = R_1 + R_2\

Final/ Wild card Allocation

If the total number of seats awarded after two rounds is still less than the total number of seats reserved for sectoral representatives (S), the remaining seats will be assigned to sectoral organizations next in rank (one seat each organization) whose R2 result is 0 until all available seats are completely distributed.
T_3 =(S-T_1-T_2)\
  • T3 is the total number of sectoral organizations next in rank (in Round 2) to be given with one seat,
  • S is the number of seats allocated for party-list representatives,
  • T1 is the total number awarded seats in the first round of seat allocation, and
  • T2 is the total number awarded seats in the second round of seat allocation.


  • Each sectoral organization shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats.
  • The succeeding party-list nominee(s) shall be given a seat if any of the initial party-list nominee(s) resign or was given an expulsion by the general membership of the House through a majority vote.

Application of formula

Applying the 2007 general election, there are 220 district representatives, and 15,950,900 votes cast for party list. That makes 55 seats reserved for sectoral representatives. After the Supreme Court ruling was released, the COMELEC proclaimed 28 additional members. COMELEC however declared that there are only 219 district representatives (with the Supreme Court decision of the election of the congressional seat of Shariff Kabunsuan void and the restoration of the first district of Maguindanao), reducing seats to 54.

It is however, a point of question on the constitutionality of the new congressional districts 201 to 220 (2nd district of Cagayan de Oro City as the newest district as of 2007 elections to elect a representative) as the constitution only mandates a maximum of 250 seats (Article VI, Section 5 Paragraph 1) with 50 seats supposed to be reserved for sectoral representatives. As of May 1, 2009, the House membership increased from 242 to 273. There are also proposals to create more congressional districts. Since the constitution allows increasing membership through legislation, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile filed Senate Bill No. 3123 increasing maximum membership from 250 to 350 members.


Congressional district population map, as of August 1, 2007. Note the underrepresentation of areas concentrated around central and southern Luzon and central Mindanao.

Congress is mandated to reapportion the legislative districts within three years following the return of every census.[1] Since its restoration in 1987, no general apportionment law has been passed, despite the publication of four censuses in 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2007.[4] The increase in the number of representative districts since 1987, were mostly due to the creation of new provinces, cities and piecemeal redistricting of certain provinces and cities.

Most populous legislative districts

Rank Legislative district[a] Population[b]
1 2nd District of Quezon City 1,559,641
2 2nd District of Cavite 1,494,595
3 1st District of Caloocan City 984,530
4 1st District of Rizal 899,538
5 1st District of Maguindanao[c] 822,039
6 1st District of Laguna 811,486
7 2nd District of Rizal 761,617
8 1st District of Cavite 755,705
9 1st District of South Cotabato 753,002
10 6th District of Cebu 743,715
a. ^  Based on the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution apportioning the seats of the House of Representatives.[5]
b. ^  Based on the 2007 Census figures.[6]
c. ^  Formerly known as the Lone District of Shariff Kabunsuan as of July 16, 2008.[7]

See also


External links

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