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How a bill becomes a law

Senator Pia Cayetano says that even of the President does not include the Reproductive Health Bill in his priority measures, she will still continue on. I am not sure on the House of Representative’s stand is. House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr during his first days said he will work hard to make the House of Representatives live up to its name as “House of the people.”

A tweet tried to give allowances to the President’s move, saying that :

Exactly! > RT @SagadaSun: @tatancast Why even look to PNoy? Isn’t it Congress that makes the Laws? How much real CLOUT does he have with Congress now?”

Granting both houses are supportive of the RH Bill, the president’s approval is crucial in the last step as he can either approve or veto all of it. Vigilance is necessary. We need to remind the president on his campaign promises.

A bill becoming law involves a long process:

1. On 1st Reading, the title and number of the bill is read, and then, it is referred to the appropriate committee.

2. A committee studies the bill and conducts hearings on it. Thereafter, a committee report is prepared on the bill.**

3. The committee report is read in open session, and together with the bill, it is referred to the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee can place the bill in the 2 nd Reading Calendar or in the Calendar of Unassigned Business.

4. On 2nd Reading, a bill is subject to debate and amendment before being placed in the 3 rd Reading Calendar for final passage.***

5. After its passage by one house, the bill goes through the same process in the other house.

6. If amendments are made in one house, the other house must concur.****

7. When the bill is passed by both houses, it is signed by their respective leaders and sent to the President for approval.

8. The President may sign the bill into a law, or veto all or part of it. The bill becomes a law if, within 30 days after receiving it, the President fails to sign or veto the bill. The bill, even if vetoed by the President, also becomes a law when Congress overrides the veto by a 2/3 vote of all its Members.

Here is a more detailed discussion on “How a bill becomes a law“.

* A bill must relate to only one subject matter which must be expressed in its title.
** A Committee only prepares a report on a bill it decides to recommend for approval by the House.
*** A bill must undergo 3 readings on 3 separate days except when the President certifies a bill as urgent to meet a public calamity or national emergency.
**** If a house has a counterpart bill to a bill passed by the other house, and these bills have conflicting provisions, a conference committee composed of representatives of each house is formed to harmonize the conflicting provisions. Thereafter, if the conflicting provisions are harmonized, a conference committee report is prepared for ratification or approval by both houses.

here is the flow chart:

How a Bill Becomes a Law at House of Representatives & the Senate


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BlogWatch receives the “Best Story” Award for the First Data Journalism PH 2015 from the Open Knowledge Foundation and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism  for their story on “Aid Monitoring: Citizens’ Initial Efforts in the Wake of Typhoon Yolanda” . Forbes Philippines also received the same award.

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