Browse the listing below to find government information for Philippines, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Philippines at its
Philippines Country Page.
Constitution: February 11, 1987.
Branches: Executive--president and vice president.
Legislative--bicameral legislature. Judicial--independent.
Administrative subdivisions: 15 regions and Manila, 79 provinces, 115 chartered cities.
Political parties: Lakas-NUCD, Nationalist People's Coalition, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, Liberal Party, and other small parties.
Suffrage: Universal, but not compulsory, at age 18.
Government of the Philippines
The Philippines has a representative democracy modeled on the U.S. system. The 1987 constitution, adopted during the Aquino administration, reestablished a presidential system of government with a bicameral legislature and an independent judiciary. The president is limited to one 6-year term. Provision also was made in the constitution for autonomous regions in Muslim areas of Mindanao and in the Cordillera region of northern Luzon.
The Philippine Senate is elected at large. There are currently 23 senators, 13 of whom were elected in May 2001. (Note: There is one vacancy in the Senate due to the 2002 resignation of Blas Ople to become Foreign Secretary. The seat will remain vacant until filled in the 2004 election.) Of a possible 250 members of the House of Representatives, 207 are elected from the single-member districts. The remainder of the House seats are designated for sectoral party representatives elected at large; currently, there are 12 such representatives in the House.
When Macapagal-Arroyo assumed the presidency, her "People Power Coalition," led by the--Lakas-NUCD party, became the dominant group in Congress. The 75-member Lakas Party leads the "Sunshine Coalition," which also includes the 61-member Nationalist People's Coalition, the 22-member Liberal Party, and several other major and minor parties. The LDP party leads the 20-member opposition bloc. In the Senate, the pro-administration coalition controls 13 of the 23 seats. Members of the Philippine Congress tend to have weak party loyalties and change party affiliation easily.
The government is pursuing corruption-related criminal cases against former President Estrada, who is currently under detention. The terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), which recently gained international notoriety with its kidnappings of foreign tourists in the southern islands, is a major problem for the government. In May 2001, the ASG kidnapped several Americans, beheading one of them in June 2001. In a June 2002 rescue attempt, another American hostage was killed. Efforts to track down and destroy the ASG have met with some success, especially on Basilan, where U.S. troops advised, assisted, and trained Philippine soldiers in counterterrorism. ASG elements remain active on Jolo Island and elsewhere in the southwestern Philippines. Rising crime and concerns about the security situation have had a negative impact on tourism and foreign investment. The government continues to face threats from both Muslim separatist groups and communist insurgents. In August 2001, the government reached a cease-fire agreement with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front; negotiations on a final peace agreement continued at a very slow pace amid sporadic fighting into 2003. The Department of State in August 2002 added the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army (CPP/NPA) to the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Negotiations between the government and the CPP's political arm, the National Democratic Front, were suspended in 2001 after the NPA assassinated two members of Congress, although "back-channel" talks continue.