Philippines - Government

Under the constitution of 11 February 1987 the Philippines is a democratic republican state. Executive power is vested in a president elected by popular vote for a six-year term, with no eligibility for reelection. The president is assisted by a vice president, elected for a six-year term, with eligibility for one immediate reelection, and a cabinet, which can include the vice president. Legislative power rests with a bicameral legislature. Congress consists of a senate, with 24 members elected for six- year terms (limited to two consecutive terms). Senators are chosen at large. Senators must be native-born Filipinos and at least 35 years old. A house of representatives is elected from single-member districts for three-year terms (limited to three consecutive terms). Districts are reapportioned within three years of each census. In 1998, 221 members were elected. Up to 50 more may be appointed by the president from "party lists" and "sectoral lists," but the constitution prohibits the house of representatives from having more than 250 members. Representatives must be native-born Filipinos and at least 25 years of age. Presidential and legislative elections are next scheduled for 16 May 2004.

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