Legislative power, Constitutional Law


SECTION 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum.

(Article VI, 1987 Constitution)

1. Scope and limitations

a. Congressional Oversight

Broadly defined, the power of oversight embraces all activities undertaken by Congress to enhance its understanding of and influence over the implementation of legislation it has enacted. (Macalintal v. Commission on Elections, En Banc, G.R. No. 157013, 10 July 2003)

Clearly, oversight concerns post-enactment measures undertaken by Congress:

1) To monitor bureaucratic compliance with program objectives;

2) To determine whether agencies are properly administered;

3) To eliminate executive waste and dishonesty;

4) To prevent executive usurpation of legislative authority; and

5) To assess executive conformity with the congressional perception of public interest. (Ibid.)

The power of oversight has been held to be intrinsic in the grant of legislative power itself and integral to the checks and balances inherent in a democratic system of government. (Ibid.)

1) Categories of congressional oversight functions

The acts done by Congress purportedly in the exercise of its oversight powers may be divided into three categories, namely:

1) Scrutiny;

2) Investigation; and,

3) Supervision. (Ibid.)

a) Scrutin...


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