How a Bill Becomes a Law

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  HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 1. PREPARATION OF THE BILL The Member or the Bill Drafting Division of the Reference and Research Bureau prepares and drafts the bill upon the Member's request.2. FIRST READING 1.The bill is filed with the Bills and nde! ervice and the same is numbered and reproduced.2.Three da#s after its filing$ the same is included in the %rder of Business for &irst Reading..%n &irst Reading$ the ecretar# (eneral reads the title and number of the bill. The pea)er refers the bill to the appropriate *ommittee+s.. COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION/ACTION 1.The *ommittee where the bill was referred to evaluates it to determine the necessit# of conducting public hearings. f the *ommittee finds it necessar# to conduct public hearings$ it schedules the time thereof$ issues publicnotics and invites resource persons from the public and private sectors$ the academe and e!perts on the proposed legislation. f the *ommittee finds that no public hearing is not needed$ it schedules the bill for *ommittee discussion+s.2.Based on the result of the public hearings or *ommittee discussions$ the *ommittee ma# introduce amendments$ consolidate bills on the same sub,ect matter$ or propose a subsitute bill. t then prepares the corresponding committee report..The *ommittee approves the *ommittee Report and formall# transmits the same to the -lenar# ffairs Bureau./. SECOND READING 1.The *ommittee Report is registered and numbered b# the Bills and nde! ervice. t is included in the %rder of Business and referred to the *ommittee on Rules.2.The *ommittee on Rules schedules the bill for consideration on econd Reading..%n econd Reading$ the ecretar# (eneral reads the number$ title and te!t of the bill and the following ta)es place0a.-eriod of ponsorship and Debateb.-eriod of mendmentsc.oting which ma# be voceii.count b# tellersiii.division of the ouse3 or iv.nominal voting4. THIRD READING 1.The amendments$ if an#$ are engrossed and printed copies of the bill are reproduced for Third Reading.2.The engrossed bill is included in the *alendar of Bills for Third Reading and copies of the same are distributed to all the Members three da#s before its Third Reading..%n Third Reading$ the ecretar# (eneral reads onl# the number and title of the bill./. roll call or nominal voting is called and a Member$ if he desires$ is given three minutes to e!plain his vote. 5o amendment on the bill is allowed at this stage.a.The bill is approved b# an affirmative vote of a ma,orit# of the Members present.b.f the bill is disapproved$ the same is transmitted to the rchives.6. TRANSMITTAL OF THE APPROVED BILL TO THE SENATE The approved bill is transmitted to the enate for its concurrence.7. SENATE ACTION ON APPROVED BILL OF THE HOUSE The bill undergoes the same legislative process in the enate. Page 1  of 10  8. CONFERENCE COMMITTEE 1. *onference *ommittee is constituted and is composed of Members from each ouse of *ongress to settle$ reconcile or thresh out differences or disagreements on an# provision of the bill.2.The conferees are not limited to reconciling the differences in the bill but ma# introduce new provisions germane to the sub,ect matter or ma# report out an entirel# new bill on the sub,ect..The *onference *ommittee prepares a report to be signed b# all the conferees and the *hairman./.The *onference *ommittee Report is submitted for consideration+approval of both ouses. 5o amendment is allowed.9. TRANSMITTAL OF THE BILL TO THE PRESIDENT *opies of the bill$ signed b# the enate -resident and the pea)er of the ouse of Representatives and certified b# both the ecretar# of the enate and the ecretar# (eneral of the ouse$ are transmitted to the -resident.1:. PRESIDENTIAL ACTION ON THE BILL 1.f the bill is approved the -resident$ the same is assigned an R number and transmitted to the ouse where it srcinated.2.f the bill is vetoed$ the same$ together with a message citing the reason for the veto$ is transmitted to the ouse where the bill srcinated.11. ACTION ON APPROVED BIL The bill is reproduced and copies are sent to the %fficial (asette %ffice for publication and distribution to the implementing agencies. t is then included in the annual compilation of cts and Resolutions.12. ACTION ON VETOED BILL The message is included in the %rder of Business. f the *ongress decides to override the veto$ the ouse and the enate shall proceed separatel# to reconsider the bill or the vetoed items of the bill. f the bill or its vetoed items is passed b# a vote of two;thirds of the Members of each ouse$ such bill or items shall become a law. NOTE:   ,oint resolution having the force and effect of a law goes through the same process. ource0<-R=-R= Page 2  of 10  SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES Preliminary Proe! re# The procedures for introducing legislation and seeing it through committees are similar in both the ouse of Representatives and the enate. >egislative proposals srcinate in a number of different wa#s. Members of the enate$ of course$ developideas for legislation. Technical assistance in research and drafting legislative language is available at the enate>egislative Technical ffairs Bureau. pecial interest groups?business$ religious$ labor$ urban and rural poor$consumers$ trade association$ and the li)e?are other fertile sources of legislation. *onstituents$ either asindividuals or groups$ also ma# propose legislation. &requentl#$ a member of the enate will introduce such a billb# request$ whether or not he supports its purposes.t must be noted also that much of the needed legislation of the countr# toda# considered b# *ongresssrcinates from the e!ecutive branch. =ach #ear after the -resident of the -hilippines outlines his legislativeprogram in his tate;of;the;5ation ddress$ e!ecutive departments and agencies transmit to the ouse and the enate drafts of proposed legislations to carr# out the -resident@s program. In$ro! $ion o% Bill# 5o matter where a legislative proposal srcinates$ it can be introduced onl# b# a member of *ongress. n the enate$ a member ma# introduce an# of several t#pes of bills and resolutions b# filing it with the %ffice of the ecretar#.There is no limit to the number of bills a member ma# introduce. ouse and enate bills ma# have ,ointsponsorship and carr# several members' names.Ma,or legislation is often introduced in both houses in the form of companion Aidentical bills$ the purpose of which is to speed up the legislative process b# encouraging both chambers to consider the measuresimultaneousl#. ponsors of companion bills ma# also hope to dramatiCe the importance or urgenc# of the issueand show broad support for the legislation. Ty&e# o% Le'i#la$ion The t#pe of measures that *ongress ma# consider and act upon Ain addition to treaties in the enate includebills and three )inds of resolutions. The# are0 () Bill# These are general measures$ which if passed upon$ ma# become laws.  bill is prefi!ed with .$ followed b# anumber assigned the measure based on the order in which it is introduced. The vast ma,orit# of legislativeproposalsrecommendations dealing with the econom#$ increasing penalties for certain crimes$ regulation oncommerce and trade$ etc.$ are drafted in the form of bills. The# also include budgetar# appropriation of thegovernment and man# others. Ehen passed b# both chambers in identical form and signed b# the -resident or repassed b# *ongress over a presidential veto$ the# become laws. *) +oin$ Re#ol $ion#   ,oint resolution$ li)e a bill$ requires the approval of both houses and the signature of the -resident. t has theforce and effect of a law if approved. There is no real difference between a bill and a ,oint resolution. The latter generall# is used when dealing with a single item or issue$ such as a continuing or emergenc# appropriations bill.Foint resolutions are also used for proposing amendments to the *onstitution. ,) Con rren$ Re#ol $ion#   concurrent resolution is usuall# designated in the enate as . *t. Res. t is used for matters affecting theoperations of both houses and must be passed in the same form b# both of them. owever$ the# are not referredto the -resident for his signature$ and the# do not have the force of law. *oncurrent resolutions are used to fi! thetime of ad,ournment of a *ongress and to e!press the Gsense of *ongressH on an issue. Page 3  of 10  -) Sim&le Re#ol $ion# t is usuall# designated with -. . Res.  simple resolution deals with matters entirel# within the prerogative of one house of *ongress$ such as adopting or receiving its own rules.  simple resolution is not considered b# theother chamber and is not sent to the -resident for his signature. >i)e a concurrent resolution$ it has no effect andforce of a law. imple resolutions are used occasionall# to e!press the opinion of a single house on a currentissue. %ftentimes$ it is also used to call for a congressional action on an issue affecting national interest. Bill Re%erral# %nce a measure has been introduced and given a number$ it is read and referred to an appropriatecommittee. t must be noted that during the reading of the bill$ onl# the title and the author is read on the floor. The enate -resident is responsible for referring bills introduced to appropriate committees. The ,urisdictions of the tanding *ommittees are spelled out in Rule I$ ection 1 of the Rules of the enate.&or e!ample$ if a bill involves matters relating to agriculture$ food production and agri;business$ it must be referredto the *ommittee on griculture and &ood. In Commi$$ee The standing committees of the enate$ operating as Glittle legislatures$H determine the fate of mostproposals. There are committee hearings scheduled to discuss the bills referred. *ommittee members and staff frequentl# are e!perts in the sub,ects under their ,urisdiction$ and it is at the committee stage that a bill comesunder the sharpest scrutin#. f a measure is to be substantiall# revised$ the revision usuall# occurs at thecommittee level.  committee ma# dispose of a bill in one of several wa#s0 it ma# approve$ or re,ect$ the legislation with or without amendments3 rewrite the bill entirel#3 re,ect it$ which essentiall# )ills the bill3 report it favorabl# or withoutrecommendation$ which allows the chamber to consider the bill at all. t must be noted that under ection 29$ RuleI of the Rules of the enate$ if the reports submitted are unfavorable$ the# shall be transmitted to the archives of the enate$ unless five enators shall$ in the following session$ move for their inclusion in the *alendar for %rdinar# Business$ in which case the -resident shall so order. Commi$$ee Re&or$#   committee report describes the purpose and scope of the bill$ e!plains an# committee amendments$indicates proposed changes in e!isting law and such other materials that are relevant. Moreover$ reports arenumbered in the order in which the# are filed and printed. Calen!arin' %or Floor De.a$e#: Con#i!era$ion o% an! De.a$e# on Bill# Jnder ection /4 of Rule I of the Rules of the enate$ the enate shall have three calendars$ to wit0  A “Calendar for Ordinary Business, in which shall be included the bills reported out by the committees in theorder in which they were received by the Office of the Secretary; the bills whose consideration has been agreed upon by the Senate without setting the dates on which to effect it; and also the bills whose consideration hasbeen postponed indefinitely; A “Calendar for Special Orders, in which the bills and resolutions shall be arranged successively and chronologically, according to the order in which they were assigned for consideration; and  A “Calendar for !hird eading, in which shall be included all bills and #oint resolutions approved on second reading$ Thus$ a bill which has a committee report can be referred to the G*alendar for %rdinar# Business.H t ma#again be moved to its G pecial %rder of BusinessH for priorit# action.%n the other hand$ the consideration and debate of bills and resolutions are spelled out in Rule II$ ection71 of the Rules of the enate. t provides as follows0 Sec$ %&$ !he Senate shall adopt the following procedure in the consideration of bills and #oint resolutions'(a) Second reading of the bill$(b) Sponsorship by the committee chairman, or by any member designated by the committee$ Page 4  of 10
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