Act No. 2711, Revised Administrative Code of 1917 – Philippine Legislature
ACT NO. 2711
THE REVISED ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1917
Book I, Title III
Constitution and powers of Legislature
SECTION 92. Philippine Legislature. – Conformably with the laws of the United States, general legislative power over the entire Philippine Archipelago is vested in the Philippine Legislature, consisting of two Houses, which are separate coordinate bodies, to wit, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The Legislature has the authority, each House voting separately, to elect two Resident Commissioners to the United States. [Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, section 12.]
SECTION 93. Privilege of members from arrest. – Members of the Philippine Legislature, in all cases except treason, open disturbance of public order, or other offense punishable by death or imprisonment for not less than six years, shall be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of the Legislature, and in going to and in returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House they shall not be questioned in any other place. [2657â€“111.]
SECTION 94. Convening of Legislature and duration of sessions. – The Legislature shall convene in regular session on the sixteenth day of October of every year, or if the sixteenth be a holiday, then on the first subsequent secular day, and may continue in session not longer than one hundred days, exclusive of Sundays.
The Legislature may be called in special session at any time by the Governor-General for general legislation, or for action on such specific subjects as he may designate. No special session shall continue longer than thirty days. [2657â€“772; Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, section 18.]
SECTION 95. Election returns – Rules. – The Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, shall be the sole judges of the elections, returns, and qualifications of their elective members, and each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel an elective member. [Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, section 18.]
SECTION 96. Organization and quorum. – Upon convening in the first session following the general election, the House of the Legislature shall organize by the election of a Speaker or a presiding officer, a clerk, and a sergeant-at-arms for each House, and such other officers and assistants as may be required. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may meet, adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members. [Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, section 18.]
SECTION 97. Journal. – Each house of the Legislature shall keep a journal of its proceedings and, from time to time, publish the same; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, upon demand of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal. [Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, section 19.]
SECTION 98. Mode of designating different sessions. – The session of the First Philippine Legislature which convened on the sixteenth of October, nineteen hundred and seven, is denominated “inaugural session,” and the succeeding session of the same Legislature which convened on the third of February, nineteen hundred and eight, is denominated “first session.” The different regular sessions of other Legislatures are numbered according to their sequence as first, second, or third, as the case may be.
A special session is denominated “special session”; or if there is more than one during the same Legislature, those subsequent to the first are denominated, according to their sequence, “second special session,” “third special session,” and so on. [2657â€“114.]
SECTION 99. Adjournment of one House limited to three days. – When the Legislature is convened in lawful session, neither House shall adjourn without the consent of the other, for more than three days, exclusive of Sundays and holidays; and in case of disagreement between them with respect to the period of adjournment, the Governor-General may adjourn them to such time as he shall deem proper. [2657â€“115.]
SECTION 100. Assistance of Government officers and other experts. – Either House of the Philippine Legislature may of itself, or through its President or Speaker, require the assistance of any officer of the Government for purposes of inquiry, investigation, or for any other purpose which the said President or Speaker may consider related to the duties intrusted to the body over which he presides.
Either House, or the President thereof, may designate temporarily or otherwise, and at such expense as may be agreed upon, any person or persons not in the Government service, whose expert knowledge may be considered necessary or useful. Expenses incurred under the provisions of this section shall be paid out of any funds available for the payment of the expenses of the House concerned. [2657â€“116.]
SECTION 101. Power of chairmen of Appropriation Committees to require information from Government officers. – The chairman of the Committee on Appropriations of either House of the Philippine Legislature may require the attendance of chiefs and assistant chiefs of Bureaus and Offices and any other officers or employees, and the submission by them of such documents and information as may be necessary for the guidance of such committee in the performance of its duties. [2657â€“117.]
SECTION 102. Contempt of legislative body or committee. – Any person who, being summoned to attend as a witness before the Philippine Legislature, or either House thereof, or before any committee of either of said bodies lawfully clothed with authority to take testimony, fails or refuses, without legal excuse, to attend pursuant to such summons, and any person who, being present before any such body or committee, willfully refuses to be sworn or to answer any legal inquiry or to produce, upon reasonable notice, any material and proper books, papers, documents, records, or other evidence in his possession or under his control, required by any such body; shall be subject to discipline in the manner provided in section five hundred and eighty hereof. [2657-118.]
SECTION 103. Special election for member of Legislature. – Upon the failure to elect a member of either House of the Philippine Legislature at any election where the office should be filled, or whenever a vacancy shall occur therein, the Governor-General shall make proclamation of a special election to fill the same for the unexpired term, specifying the district in which the election is to be held, and the date thereof, which shall not be less than twenty nor more than ninety days from the date of proclamation; but no such election shall be called unless the vacancy in question shall occur on or before the first day of February of the last year of the term of office or unless occurring thereafter and a special session of the Legislature be called to meet before the time for the convening of the next regular session. [2657â€“140.]
SECTION 104. Ineligibility of member of Legislature to other Office. – No senator or representative shall during the time for which he may have been elected, be eligible to any office the election to which is vested in the Legislature nor shall be appointed to any office of trust or profit which shall have been created or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such term. [Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, section 18.]
SECTION 105. Approval of laws by Governor-General – Procedure in case of veto. – Every bill and joint resolution which shall have passed both houses shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor-General. If he approves the same, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections to that house in which it shall have originated, which shall enter the objections at large on its journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members elected to that house shall agree to pass the same, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to that house it shall be sent to the Governor-General, who may either then approve the same or transmit it to the President of the United States for action thereon conformably to the provisions of section nineteen of the Act of Congress of August the twenty-ninth, nineteen hundred and sixteen.
The vote of each house upon bills and resolutions vetoed by the Governor-General shall be by the yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against shall be entered on the journal.
If any bill or joint resolution shall not be returned by the Governor-General as herein provided within twenty days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him the same shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Legislature by adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall become a law unless vetoed by the Governor-General within thirty days after adjournment. [Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, section 19.]
SECTION 106. Veto of item in appropriation bill. – The Governor-General shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriation bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object. The item or items objected to shall not take effect except in the manner provided as to bills and joint resolutions returned to the Legislature without his approval. [Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, section 19.]
SECTION 107. Election of Resident Commissioner(s) to United States. – Two Resident Commissioners to the United States shall be chosen by the Philippine Legislature, by separate vote of each House, at the regular annual session which follows next after the triennial general election. Such commissioners hold office for three years beginning on the fourth of March next after election. [2657â€“120.]
No person is eligible to election as Resident Commissioner who is not a bona fide elector of the Philippine Islands and who does not owe allegiance to the United States and who is not more than thirty years of age and who does not read and write the English language.
In case of vacancy in the position of Resident Commissioner caused by resignation or otherwise, the Governor-General may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the Philippine Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancy; but the Resident Commissioner thus elected shall hold office only for the unexpired portion of the term wherein the vacancy occurred. [Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, section 20.]
SECTION 108. Duties of secretary of Resident Commissioner. – Each of the Resident Commissioners may appoint a private secretary, who shall not be deemed to be in the Philippine civil service, and who, in addition to his duties as such secretary may be required to act as interpreter and translator; when necessary. [2657â€“140.]
SECTION 109. Method of choosing Resident Commissioners. – For the purpose of determining the two persons to be voted for by the-Legislature as Resident Commissioners to the United States, each House, assembled as a committee of the whole, shall designate by a majority vote one resident of the Philippine Islands to be voted for as such Commissioner; and each House shall communicate to the other the result of its action. When both Houses thus name the same person such individual shall be one of the two nominees to be voted for as Commissioner, and the second person to be so voted for shall be nominated in the same manner. In case of disagreement between the two Houses as regards any nominee a new nomination shall be made until both Houses agree upon the same individual. When the two persons to be voted for have been thus nominated there shall be a concurrent election of such two individuals by both Houses acting at the same time but by separate votes. If both persons previously nominated should not be elected the election shall be void, and a new election shall be made of two persons nominated by both Houses. [2657â€“122.]