What are the Powers of the Next President of the Philippines?

Election in the Philippines is something very important because people were trying to choose leaders of the nation to govern them, hoping that they are the hope of the country’s progress. But eversince I was born, the people of the Republic of the Philippines are always seeing failures in every elected president. I was born during the Martial Law time but I haven’t experienced how it was because I was still a baby until such time where the EDSA Revolution happened. So, by the time I learned about the world is when the people elected President Cory Aquino on a snap election in 1986 that ended the Martial Law. I never knew what it was like to be on President Ferdinand Marcos’ leadership, all I knew back then was there were a lot of killings everywhere according to my late father. He told us stories about the killings in some areas where he was assigned for his job, how difficult it was to be on hot spot areas. he had been telling us how life back then was so difficult and how oppressed the people are during the martial law.

Then just lately, I read articles of how President Marcos was doing satisfactorily when he governed the Philippines. How he managed to built infrastructures, Government Buildings, Bridges, Power Plants and other useful projects. Articles and documentaries of how progressive the Philippines back then. Articles that said that Marcos was the only Effective Philippine President in the modern times. From the following Presidents like Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Erap Estrada, Gloria Arroyo and Pnoy, all of them got negative feedbacks from the people. People were saying how a failure these previous leaders are. People have high hopes about Pnoy back then when he was elected, but his ratings went down year by year under his leadership. All he has been doing was blaming the past presidents, specially Gloria Arroyo.

So, in less than 7 months, the people of the Republic of the Philippines will then again be choosing another President to govern the Republic. People have been eyeing on Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to be the next president but he has been consistent on saying that he will not be running for presidency in the coming 2016 Presidential Election. As of this writing we have only 2 more days left before the deadline of Filing of Certificate of Candidacy (COC) at the Commision on Election (COMELEC) office. People are still hopeful that Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will change his mind and will run for President in the coming election.

Since the first day of Filing for COC, there are some “unknown” individual who filed for COC for presidency, on the first day there are already 22 presidential aspirants who filed for their presidential candidacy, namely:

  •     David Almorong - independent
  •     Gerald Arcega - independent
  •     Jejomar Binay - United Nationalist Alliance
  •     Leonardo Bula - independent
  •     Ramon Concepcion - independent
  •     Rizalito David - Ang Kapatiran
  •     Ephraim DefiƱo - independent
  •     Arsenio Dimaya - independent
  •     Ferdinan Fortes - independent
  •     Alejandro Ignacio - independent
  •     Adolfo Inductivo - independent
  •     Sel Hope Kang - independent
  •     Danilo Lihaylihay - independent
  •     Freddiesher Llamas - independent
  •     Ralph Masloff - independent
  •     Eric Negapatan - independent
  •     Elly Pamatong - independent
  •     Ferdinand Jose Pijao - independent
  •     Arturo Reyes - independent
  •     Esmeraldo Reyes - independent
  •     Camilo Sabio - independent
  •     Augusto Syjuco Jr - independent
For a list of Presidential candidates who filed for COC, Here’s the Wikipedia list of the Candidates in the Philippine presidential election, 2016
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candidates_in_the_Philippine_presidential_election,_2016

With the trending topic about how chaotic the Presidential Election in the Philippines, I asked myself why are there a lot of aspiring individuals who wanted so badly to become the next President of the Republic of the Philippines. All I know is that, being a president of the republic is a lot of headache. People are always trying to rate how you are doing with your performance, how you manage the country as a whole. I can’t imagine how I am going to manage all the people around the country if EVER I became the next President of the Philippines. That is why it never popped in my mind to be the president because it is a lot of HEADACHE for me.

So, I researched what it was like to be the President of the Philippines. What are the powers of the president that a lot of aspirants are running for president in spite of the BIG, HEAVY, GREAT responsibility? Google brought me to this Gov.ph page entitled POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT. So, if ever one of the aspirants will become the next President of the Philippines, here are the powers that he can practice during his leadership.

Powers of the President of the Philippines

1. Power of control over the Executive Branch.
- The President of the Philippines has the mandate of control over all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices. This includes restructuring, reconfiguring, and appointments of their respective officials. The Administrative Code also provides for the President to be responsible for the abovementioned offices’ strict implementation of laws.

2. Ordinance Power
- The President of the Philippines has the power to give executive issuances, which are means to streamline the policy and programs of an administration. There are six issuances that the President may issue. They are the following as defined in the Administrative Code of 1987:

* Executive Orders — Acts of the President providing for rules of a general or permanent character in implementation or execution of constitutional or statutory powers shall be promulgated in executive orders.
* Administrative Orders — Acts of the President which relate to particular aspects of governmental operations in pursuance of his duties as the administrative head shall be promulgated in administrative orders.
* Proclamations / Presidential Decrees — Acts of the President fixing a date or declaring a status or condition of public moment or interest, upon the existence of which the operation of a specific law or regulation is made to depend, shall be promulgated in proclamations which shall have the force of an executive order.
* Memorandum Orders — Acts of the President on matters of administrative detail, or of subordinate or temporary interest which only concern a particular officer or government office shall be embodied in memorandum orders.
* Memorandum Circulars — Acts of the President on matters relating to internal administration, which the President desires to bring to the attention of all or some of the departments, agencies, bureaus, or offices of the government, for information or compliance, shall be embodied in memorandum circulars.
* General or Special Orders — Acts and commands of the President in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines shall be issued as general or special orders.

It is important to note that during the term of President Ferdinand E. Marcos, he used executive issuances known as presidential decrees as a form of legislation. These decrees have the full force and effect of laws because at the time the legislature did not exist and, when the 1973 Constitution was put into full force and effect, it gave the power to the President to do as such. This continued until the first year of President Corazon C. Aquino’s term. However, President Aquino opted to used executive orders instead of presidential decrees. President Aquino’s executive orders, however, still had the full force and effect of laws until the ratification of the 1987 Constitution.

3. Power over aliens (Non-Filipinos)
- The President of the Philippines has certain powers over non-Filipinos in the Philippines. The powers he may exercise over foreigners in the country are as follows:
  • The chief executive may have an alien in the Philippines deported from the country after due process.
  • The President may change the status of a foreigner, as prescribed by law, from a non-immigrant status to a  permanent resident status without necessity of visa.
  • The President may choose to overrule the Board of Commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration before their decision becomes final and executory (after 30 days of the issuance of the decision). The Board of Commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration has jurisdiction over all deportation cases.
  • The president is also mandated by the Administrative Code of 1987 to exercise powers as recognized by the generally accepted principles of international law.
4. Powers of Eminent Domain, Escheat, Land reservation and recovery of Ill-gotten Wealth.
- The President of the Philippines has the authority to exercise the power of eminent domain. The power of eminent domains means the state has the power to seize or authorize the seizure of private property for public use with just compensation. There are two constitutional provisions, however, that limit the exercise of such power: Article III, Section 9 (1) of the Constitution provides that no person shall be deprived of his/her life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Furthermore, Article III, Section 9 (2), provides that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

Once the aforementioned conditions are met, the President may exercise the power of eminent domain which are as follows:

Power of eminent domain — The President shall determine when it is necessary or advantageous to exercise the power of eminent domain in behalf of the national government, and direct the solicitor general, whenever he deems the action advisable, to institute expropriation proceedings in the proper court.

Power to direct escheat or reversion proceedings — The President shall direct the solicitor general to institute escheat or reversion proceedings over all lands transferred or assigned to persons disqualified under the constitution to acquire land.

Power to reserve lands of the public and private domain of the government

(1) The president shall have the power to reserve for settlement or public use, and for specific public purposes, any of the lands of the public domain, the use of which is not otherwise directed by law. The reserved land shall thereafter remain subject to the specific public purpose indicated until otherwise provided by law or proclamation.

(2) He shall also have the power to reserve from sale or other disposition and for specific public uses or purposes, any land belonging to the private domain of the government, or any of the friar lands, the use of which is not otherwise directed by law, and thereafter such land shall be used for the purposes specified by such proclamation until otherwise provided by law.

Power over ill-gotten wealth — The President shall direct the solicitor general to institute proceedings to recover properties unlawfully acquired by public officials or employees, from them or from their nominees or transferees.

Within the period fixed in, or any extension thereof authorized by, the constitution, the President shall have the authority to recover ill-gotten properties amassed by the leaders and supporters of the previous regime, and protect the interest of the people through orders of sequestration or freezing of assets or accounts.

5. Power of Appointment
- The President may appoint officials of the Philippine government as provided by the constitution and laws of the Philippines. Some of these appointments, however,  may need the approval of the Committee on Appointments (a committee composed of members from the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Philippines).

6. Power of General Supervision over Local Governments
- The President of the Philippines, as chief executive, has the mandate to supervise local governments in the Philippines, despite their autonomous status as provided by Republic Act No. 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.

Traditionally, this is done by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, headed by a cabinet secretary—an alter ego of the President.

7. Other powers.
- Aside from the aforementioned powers of the President of the Philippines, he can also exercise powers enumerated in the constitution, and powers given to him by law.

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Now you know what are the powers of the president of the Philippines. Those are only few of the written powers, there are a lot more powers that he can possess when one of them became the next president. Now the question is, WHO WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT? I hope people learned from the previous presidents we elected. Every election we have this “VOTE WISELY” slogan but we never did, or maybe we never had a good one to be elected as President, so we never had a choice but to elect what we thought is the best among those who ran for presidency. In the present, based on the list of the Presidential Aspirants, which one of them you think is the best? People have been hopeful of Duterte but he will not be running according to his latest Press Conference. Will you be voting for Grace Poe? Mar Roxas? Jejomar Binay? Miriam Defensor Santiago? Or you want to elect some of the unknown candidates who just filed their COC’s? The choice is yours, but I hope you will consider the country in general when you are trying to elect someone as the country’s next leader.

Last Presidential Election I was hoping and have been supporting for Gilbert Teodoro to be the next president but people never gave him a chance on the election and now almost everybody blamed the one they elected as President “Noynoy Aquino”. I wonder, what if Gibo Teodoro became the president, what it was like to be under his presidency. What the Philippines is doing if he was elected back then? Now, I was hoping and still hoping that Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will run for president, I will be supporting for him 100 percent if ever. But at the back of my mind, what will be the Philippines become if ever he will be elected as president of the country? Well, we can never tell, we only hope that someday soon, we can have an effective president, a leader, a good one.

Good luck to us, People of the Republic of the Philippines. Let us VOTE WISELY! But in order for us to vote wisely, we need to have an effective aspirant first to run for Presidency in the coming election. I just hope we already have one on the list.


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