A question about the best form of government suitable to a particular country Is a problem as old as the study of political science. Truly, this was the very question that agitated the birth of the art of politics. During the not so recent period in the history of governments, there was a mass exodus among various states to experiment on the promised wonders that parliamentary government can offer. Not exempted from this political stampede were some Asian countries like Japan, Malaysia, Singapore,
Thailand, etc. The allure to adopt such system was even made more tempting when in Just so short period, the parliamentary system realized its economic and political goals. This Asian experience has been, and Is continuously bothering the Philippine politics. It always knocks at the door of the academe, In the corridor of Congress, and also during the gatherings for political discourse among both Initiated and uninitiated constituents. This research will discuss the following matters: . A modified parliamentary form of government used by former President Ferdinand E. Marco’s; b.
A presidential form of government used by former President Fidel V. Ramose; c. A fresh insights and understanding as to what had transpired during the administrations of Ferdinand E. Marco’s and Fidel V. Ramose; d. A reflective examinations about Philippine political processes and the pursuits for further change in the day-etc-day undertakings in the realm of politics; e. A knowledge about the basic characteristics, principles, advantages, disadvantages of the parliamentary and presidential form of government and their impact on economic progress and political stability of our country; f.
And most Importantly, It will provide comparative analysis on presidential and parliamentary form of government as applied In the Philippines. II. The history of Philippine politics has a reservoir of episodes with the triumph of limited interest and the wicked compromise of policies which defeats a broad- spectrum of welfare. Beginning from the time when the Americans had given the Filipino the chance to taste some kind of democratic recipe the public nature of political conflict was brought to the level of being personalized.
Public office turns to e a personal possession so that everything can be compromised Just to retain the tenure of It. Since the Philippines gained her Independence in 1946, there emerged a persistent movement to change the 1935 constitution, which, aside from being a product of colonial occupation, was proving no longer In harmony with the conditions of time. The clamor soon became a national concern. Spreading the move to revise the constitution was the late Senator Arturo Toleration, who, on the floor of the old sovereign will of the Filipinos, but of Americans.
Thus, pursuant to Republic Act 6132 1970 Constitutional convention Act), 320 delegates were elected to convene for the revision of the 1935 Constitution on November 10, 1970. At the outset of the proceedings of the Convention, the majority’s advocacy was for the status quo. That is the retention of presidential type of government. This sentiment was too strong except that the latter should be subject to some modifications. But unexpectedly at the near-conclusion of the convention, the parliamentary advocates became the dominant voice.
This was how the parliamentary style of government was engineered and embellished in the 1973 Constitution. And on November 29, 1972, at the floor of the convention, the majority opted for the parliamentary system. It was finally sealed and approved overwhelmingly by the Filipino people in a plebiscite held on January 17, 1973. Although there was some rancho from the opposition to the extent of challenging its constitutionality before the Supreme Court, it was finally laid to rest Nee the court of last resort ruled in favor of the validity.
On January 17, 1981, Marco’s declared Proclamation No. 2045 with the main intent of lifting the effects of Martial Law. And in three months’ time the President issued Executive Order No. 08 Inch was submitted for approval by the Filipinos through plebiscite. Under this order a modified parliamentary form of government was unveiled which took its shadows from the French system. Under this system of government, it outs on pedestal a strong President, giving unto him vast powers that he did not enjoy under the preceding Constitution.
This is manifested when aside from being elected directly by the people, he is both Head of the State and the Chief Executive of the Philippines. The President has the power to control over all the Ministries and the Deputy Prime Minister and appoints the Cabinet Members. With the President’s overwhelming powers, scores of the oppositions resorted to name-dropping or political labeling. Favorite among these, the President was a dictatorial leader. This political labeling achieved its goal which is a scheme of trying to weed the President out from the corridor of Malignant.
Mounting political pressures were hurled at President Marco’s from various cause-oriented groups and hard-line political enemies. And when the political burden escalates to its intolerable proportion, Marco’s, by slipped of the tongue, called for a snap-election one year ahead of the constitutional term of the President. It was held on February 7, 1986 with net result of Marco’s winning the race as per COMELY pronouncement. Driven by the overwhelming sentiments of the opposition, they refused to dignify the result and resorted to the usual act of branding him as election cheater.
All had ended in what has been known as the heroic ADS Revolution One, removing incumbent Marco’s and installed Carbon C. Aquinas. With such event, President Carbon C. Aquinas claimed to have restored what others believed as democracy, and revised the Constitution wherein the presidential form of government was again adopted under he 1987 constitution. Hence, it is a political comeback type of government from Inch succeeding presidents were elected within such mold followed by President Fidel V. Ramose down to the incumbent holder of the presidential seat.
During the incumbency of former President Gloria-MacDougal Arroyo, the issue of shifting presidential to parliamentary form of government arises. There are three variant government only feed the ruling party’s ambition to stay in power like Gloria MacDougal-Arrayed political party. Secondly, it diverts the attention away from the proper focus on issues of economic reform. Third, that we have to strengthen first our weak political party system and bureaucracy before a shift in the form of government in order to be successful. That time, such attempt of Arroyos administration of shifting the system of our government remains unsuccessful.
On a closer historical look, presidential form was the solution against the possible oppression of the executive branch; while parliamentary model is the answer for legislative tyranny. Another point of difference between the two systems of government lies in the tenure of the head of the government. The President has a security of tenure and is usually removable only by the process of impeachment, Nile the Prime Minister as head serves at the pleasure of his colleagues and may be replaced at any given time once the parliament has lost its trust and confidence to the Prime Minister through a vote of no confidence.
On the other hand, the president’s term may be limited by the constitution, whereas, the Prime Minister may continue to be in power in power, indefinitely, for as long as he is supported by his colleagues. In a presidential form of government, it is characterized by the separation f legislative from the executive department. The President is the chief executive who has the right to supervise and control the department heads, including those in the bureaus and offices. He has to serve for a term of six years except when removed from office through impeachment, resignation, disqualification, etc. E is not responsible to the legislature but the latter may call for an inquiry in aid of legislation. The heads of the Lower and Upper House are based on the majority party. Should the majority are the opposition, or if not, of substantial number, then we have Congress that is an impediment to the President. Perpetual clash, political bargaining which in many instances leads to political favors and turn coating are the natural effects. The President is a non-accountable chief executive he needs to make radical reforms.
He has no behavioral incentives or a political will such as to break up the status quo maintained by the existing oligarchy, while it is a brutal status quo that assigns to the masses the permanence of poverty. This is Just the natural consequence for one remain in power, you need to have a strong support of the business groups. Due to the absence of party loyalty to the presidential system, policies of great importance become the object of gridlock. There is also so much delay due to political posturing among the opposition in order to gain election cabinet members who are influential to the President.
There are no such party stands. Thus, this is the source of difficulty to address a particular problem with sufficient speed and cohesion. Several studies provide the following advantages of presidential form of government, to wit: 1 . Direct elections ? in a presidential system, the president is often elected directly by the people. This makes the president’s power more legitimate than that of a leader appointed indirectly. 2. Separation of powers ? a presidential system establishes the presidency and the legislature as two parallel structures.
This allows each structure to monitor and check the other, preventing abuses of power. 3. Speed and decisiveness ? A president with strong powers can usually enact changes quickly. However, the separation of powers can also slow the system down. 4. Stability ?a president, by virtue off fixed term, may provide more stability than a prime minister, who can be dismissed at any time. In most presidential systems, the president is elected by popular vote, although some such as the United States uses an electoral college (which is itself directly elected) or some other method.
By this method, the president receives a personal mandate to lead the country, whereas in a parliamentary system a candidate might only receive a personal mandate to represent a constituency. That means a president can only be elected independently of the legislative branch. Ere fact that a presidential system separates the executive from the legislature is onetime held up as an advantage, in that each branch may scrutinize the actions of the other. In a parliamentary system, the executive is drawn from the legislature, making criticism of one by the other considerably less likely.
A formal condemnation of the executive by the legislature is often considered a vote of no confidence. According to supporters of the presidential system, the lack of checks and balances means that misconduct by a prime minister may never be discovered. Proponents note that even in such a situation a legislator from the president’s party is in a better sections to criticize the president or his policies should he deem it necessary, since the immediate security of the president’s position is less dependent on legislative support.
In parliamentary systems, party discipline is much more strictly enforced. If parliamentary backbencher publicly criticizes the executive or its policies to any significant extent then he/she faces a much higher prospect of losing his/her party’s nomination, or even outright expulsion from the party. Even mild criticism from a backbencher could carry consequences serious enough (in particular, removal from inconsideration for a cabinet post) to effectively muzzle a legislator with any serious political ambitions.
Despite the existence of the no confidence vote, in practice, it is extremely difficult to stop a prime minister or cabinet that has made its decision. In a parliamentary system, if important legislation proposed by the incumbent prime minister and his cabinet is “voted down” by a majority of the members of parliament then it is considered a vote of no confidence. To emphasize that particular point, a prime minister will often declare a particular legislative vote to be a matter of inference at the first sign of reluctance on the part of legislators from his or her own party.
A country under enormous stress may, supporters argue, be better off being led by a president with a fixed term than rotating premierships. France during the Algerian controversy switched to a semi-presidential system as did Sir Lankan during its civil Near, while Israel experimented with a directly elected prime minister in 1992. In France and Sir Lankan, the results are widely considered to have been positive. However, in the case of Israel, an unprecedented proliferation of smaller parties occurred, leading to the restoration of the previous system of selecting a prime minister.
The fact that elections are fixed in a presidential system is considered a Unwelcome “check” on the powers of the executive, contrasting parliamentary systems, Inch often allow the prime minister to call elections whenever they see fit, or orchestrate their own vote of no confidence to trigger an election when they cannot get a legislative item passed. The presidential model is said to discourage this sort of opportunism, and instead force the executive to operate within the confines of a term hey cannot alter to suit their own needs.
Theoretically, if a president’s positions and actions have had a positive impact on their respective country, then it is likely that their party’s candidate (possibly them) will be elected for another term in office. Proponents of the presidential system also argue that stability extends to the cabinets chosen under the system, compared to a parliamentary system where cabinets must be drawn from within the legislative branch. Under the presidential system, cabinet members can be selected from a much larger pool of potential candidates.
This allows presidents the ability to select cabinet members based as much or more on their ability and competency to lead a particular department as on their loyalty to the president, as opposed to parliamentary cabinets, which might be filled by legislators chosen for no better reason than their perceived loyalty to the prime minister. Supporters of the presidential system note that parliamentary systems frequently go through disruptive “cabinet shuffles” where legislators are moved between portfolios, whereas in presidential system cabinets (such as the United States Cabinet), cabinet shuffles are unheard.
In parliamentary form of government, the executive powers of the government are exercised by the President shared by the Prime Minister for the former has authority over policies of national importance and nominates the latter subject to the approval of the majority of the parliament. The Prime Minister and the cabinet are responsible to the National Assembly for the program of government. He remains in power only as long as he enjoys the popular confidence of the people. This confidence is expressed by the people through their elected representatives in the parliament.
With the fusion of he legislative and executive branch, responsibility in the affairs of the state is Minister and that majority of the parliament comes from the members of the assembly who may sit and participate in the deliberations of the parliament. In the case of a cabinet member, he assumes individual responsibility for acts he alone made. But he also assumes collective responsibility with other cabinet members for acts he participated with. He cannot repudiate policies that have not been agreed Ninth other departments.
It is compelling that he needs to support the position of the party because he is created and sustained by the party he belongs. He cannot exist outside his political party. There are two kinds of election: the regular or scheduled and the midterm or unscheduled elections. The first are held at fixed interval while the latter are held whenever there is stalemate between the prime minister and the members of the parliament on the questions of major importance. It is a wrong impression that elections will be held whenever there is conflict.
The conflict must be fundamental issue such as the suspension of writ of habeas corpus, the floating of the peso, and sending foreign troops abroad, among others, and that the prime minister decides to bring the issue to the people, only then that the parliament is dissolved and mid-term election will be held. Another point on parliamentary system of government is that when the policies or acts of the Cabinet ceased to meet the approval of the people, the prime minister and the members of the cabinet could be removed from office by the Assembly, this makes the parliamentary system more responsive to the people.
On the other hand, if the cabinet feels that its policies or acts are reflective with the will of the people, it may have the parliament dissolved ND appeal directly to the electorate to decide the issue. This makes the government more vulnerable, reminding that the fate of the ruling majority is directly proportional with the support if the public. If the economy and political stability Norms to the disadvantage of the people, the mechanism to change the government is easier. This makes the parliamentary system conducive to address immediate economic and political concerns whenever it flip-flops.
In a Parliamentary system of government, cabinet members are themselves members of the parliament, in short the legislature itself controls the executive cabinet. Such is considered as one of its advantages for it works based on consensus, as the Prime Minister does not hold ‘supremacy’ over different members of parliament. Instead, all a Prime Minister has is “primacy’ (purely a position of “first among equals”) so that he/she may not ram down his/her own opinions or preferences over the other members of parliament, and instead, must carefully convince the members of parliament on the merits of each position to get their agreement.
In other words, in a Parliamentary System, it is much harder for unscrupulous vested interests, such as rent-seeking monopolistic embers of the oligarchy to influence public policy through special deals and bribes because they will have to influence a majority of members of parliament Just to Influence policy. Such unscrupulous vested interests, as much as they may try, cannot easily influence the Prime Minister, because a Prime Minister cannot make decisions alone and instead can only propose courses of action which need to be confirmed through a deliberative assembly. V.
STUDIES ON PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT AS APPLIED IN THE PHILIPPINES captures the political imagination precisely because the current constellation of lattice forces raises the possibility from the idle musings of political scientists to political reality. Several studies have been conducted by different political scientists and researchers in shifting the country’s presidential form of government to parliamentary system. Their perspectives played an important role in this research study and it will help us to fully assimilate whether or not parliamentary system Mould help to develop our country’s economy and political stability.
To begin with the above-mentioned research studies, Angels (1972), in his study entitled “A Proposed Parliamentary System for the Philippines” found out that: 1 . There is such a change in the bill of rights in our constitution. However it is imperative that practical means is so provided and expressed terms as to give application and strict enforcement against any violator regardless of his private and public functions, his official rank in society; 2. Regarding the executive or the President as a Head, the powers were broad and politically irresponsible.
The same is true to our Congress. It is vested with too many powers without any limitations what so ever outside the specific restriction dated in the Bill of rights which are concerned with individual problems of legal nature. In 1997, Faerie in his study found out that: . Now is the time to change the parliamentary system of government. If it is true as many do believe it is true, that the governments can only be good as the men in it, then it is the parliamentary system, with protracted accounting that it requires and that can give us better national leaders. . That old time politicians still invoke their ancient privileges attached to paternalistic and authoritarian governments. The people no longer rely on such a system that has frustrated their hopes and fostered overspent corruption. Another study was conducted by Tango in 1991. His study reveal the following findings: 1. That the parliamentary system is more stable than the presidential system of government. This was the result of the survey among 100 states, whereby 56 were presidential, while 36 states having the parliamentary form; .
That the accounts for the study and progress of parliamentary type of democracies are their flexibility and therefore responsiveness to the public will, make the true instruments of progress and democracy. In 1996, Cameo in a survey he conducted from the delegates’ response to the residential and parliamentary system of government during the Constitutional Conventional 1972, found out that: 1. There is more or less a balance between the parliamentarians and parliamentarians group, and the determination of the issues will be made by the third group composed of undecided, not covered and others.
As far as prediction was concerned; therefore the determination of the issues depended on the unity of the delegates comprising the third group. 2. Mass information and debates has been made. The decision of the third group was in a way or another influenced by personal and political factors, as compared to the delegates whose indecision were intelligently resolved and not influenced by external pressures. 3. Presenting their arguments, while the parliamentarians simply pointed to the actual draft as experiment on the present system.