A. COMMON PROVISIONS
Section 1. The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent, are the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit.
Section 2. No member of a Constitutional Commission shall, during his tenure, hold any other office or employment. Neither shall he engage in the practice of any profession or in the active management or control of any business which in any way may be affected by the functions of his office, nor shall he be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with, or in any franchise or privilege granted by the Government, any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or -controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.
Section 3. The salary of the Chairman and the Members shall be fixed by law and shall not be decreased during their tenure.
Section 4. The Constitutional Commissions shall appoint their officials and employees in accordance with law.
Section 5. The Commission shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Their approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released.
Section 6. Each Commission en banc may promulgate its own rules concerning pleadings and practice before it or before any of its offices. Such rules however shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.
Section 7. Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members any case or matter brought before it within sixty days. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the Commission or its rules. Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Court of Appeals on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy.
Section 8. Each Commission shall perform such other functions as may be provided by law.
B. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
Section 1. (1) The civil service shall be administered by the Civil Service Commission composed of a Chairman and two Members who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, with proven capacity for public administration, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the elections immediately preceding their appointment.
(2) The Chairman and the Members shall be appointed by the Prime Minister with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. Of those first appointed, the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, a Member for five years, and another Member for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.
Section 2 (1). The Civil Service Commission, as the central personnel agency of the Government, shall establish a career service and adopt measures to promote efficiency, integrity, and morale in the civil service. It shall strengthen the merit and rewards system for all levels and ranks.
(2) The civil service shall embrace all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or -controlled corporations.
Section 3. All public officers and employees and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines shall take an oath or affirmation to uphold and defend this Constitution.
Section 4 (1) Appointments in the civil service shall be made only according to merit and fitness to be determined by competitive examinations. In exceptional cases pertaining to positions which are policy-determining or highly technical, merit and fitness must be based on passing specialized examinations, if any, given for such purpose.
(2) Civil servants shall enjoy performance-based security of tenure. No officer or employee of the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for failure to meet performance standards set by the Civil Service Commission or for other causes provided by law.
(3) No officer or employee in the civil service shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign.
(4) The right to self-organization shall not be denied to Government employees.
Section 5. Parliament shall provide measures to ensure efficient and faithful delivery of public service in Government.
Section 6. No candidate who has lost in any election shall, within one year after such election, be appointed to any office in the Government or any government-owned or -controlled corporations and their subsidiaries.
Section 7. (1) No elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity to any public office or position during his tenure.
(2) Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the Government or any of its subdivision, agency or instrumentality, including government-owned or -controlled corporations and their subsidiaries.
Section 8. No elective or appointive public officer or employee shall receive additional, double, or indirect compensation, unless specifically authorized by law, nor accept without the consent of Parliament, any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind from any foreign government. Pensions or gratuities shall not be considered as additional, double, or indirect compensation.
Section 9. Parliament shall provide for the standardization of compensation of Government officials and employees, including those in government-owned or
-controlled corporations, and their subsidiaries, taking into account the nature of the responsibilities pertaining to, and the qualifications required for their positions.
C. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
Section 1. (1) There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and four Members who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding elections. However, a majority of the Members, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
(2) The Chairman and the Members shall be appointed by the Prime Minister with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, three Members shall hold office for seven years and two Members for five years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.
Section 2. The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and functions:
(1) Enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall except all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials which shall be within the original jurisdiction of the regional trial courts. Those involving elective barangay officials shall be within the original jurisdiction of the city or municipal trial courts.
(2) Decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections, including determination of the number and location of polling places, appointment of election officials and inspectors, and registration of voters.
(3) Deputize, with the concurrence of the Prime Minister, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections.
(4) Accredit, after sufficient publication, political parties, organizations, or coalitions which, in addition to other requirements, must present their platform or program of government and assume party responsibilities and accountability in governance; and accredit citizens’ arms of the Commission on Elections. Religious denominations and sects shall not be registered. Those which seek to achieve their goals through violence or unlawful means, or refuse to uphold and adhere to this Constitution, or which are supported by any foreign government shall likewise be refused registration.
(5) File, upon a verified complaint, or on its own initiative, petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters, investigate, and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election frauds, offenses, and malpractices.
(6) Recommend to Parliament effective measures to minimize election spending, including limitation of places where propaganda materials shall be posted, and to prevent and penalize all forms of election frauds, offenses, malpractices, and nuisance candidacies.
(7) Recommend to the Prime Minister the removal of any officer or employee it has deputized, or the imposition of any other disciplinary action, for violation or disregard of, or disobedience to its directive, order, or decision.
(8) Submit to the Prime Minister and Parliament a comprehensive report on the conduct of each election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, or recall.
Section 3. The Commission on Elections shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite disposition of election cases, within its administrative jurisdiction.
Section 4. The Commission may, during the election period, supervise or regulate the enjoyment or utilization of all franchises or permits for the operation of transportation and other public utilities, media of communication or information, all grants, special privileges, or concessions granted by the Government or any of its subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, including any government-owned or controlled corporation or its subsidiary. Such supervision or regulation shall aim to ensure equal opportunity and equal rates for public information campaigns and forums among candidates in connection with the objective of holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections.
Section 5. No pardon, amnesty, parole, or suspension of sentence for violation of election laws, rules, and regulations shall be granted without the favorable recommendation of the Commission.
Section 6. Unless otherwise fixed by the Commission in special cases, the election period shall commence ninety days before the day of election and shall end thirty days after.
Section 7. Bona fide candidates for any public office shall be free from any form of harassment and discrimination.
Section 8. Funds certified by the Commission as necessary to defray the expenses for holding regular and special elections, plebiscites, initiatives, referenda, and recalls, shall be provided in the regular or special appropriations and, once approved, shall be released automatically upon certification by the Chairman of the Commission.
Section 9. Parliament shall, by law, (1) promote the development of a party system in which various interests and sectors in society shall be represented, including women, labor, the poor, peasants, indigenous peoples, persons with disability and the youth;
(2) encourage the development of two major political parties to ensure that a majority can assume responsibility and accountability in governance and
(3) provide financial assistance to the political parties on the basis of their share of the votes cast for the political parties in the previous Parliamentary elections. Financial contributions from foreign governments and their agencies to political parties, organizations, coalitions, or candidates related to elections shall constitute interference in national affairs, and, when accepted, shall be an additional ground for the cancellation of their registration with the Commission, in addition to other penalties that may be prescribed by law.
Section 10. Political parties shall observe fair, honest and democratic processes in the selection of their candidates. They shall ensure the integrity, loyalty, and discipline of their members and publicly account for the sources and use of their funds and for their assets.
Section 11. The two dominant political parties shall be represented in the voters’ registration boards, boards of election inspectors, boards of canvassers, and similar bodies. Other political parties shall be entitled to appoint poll watchers in accordance with law.
Section 12. Any elective official who leaves his political party before the end of the term shall forfeit his seat.
D. THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT
Section 1. (1) There shall be a Commission on Audit composed of a Chairman and two Members, who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, certified public accountants with not less than ten years of auditing experience, or members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the elections immediately preceding their appointment. At no time shall all Members of the Commission belong to the same profession.
(2) The Chairman and the Members shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, one Member for five years, and the other Member for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.
Section 2. (1) The Commission on Audit shall have the power, authority, and duty to examine, audit, and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of and expenditures or uses of funds and property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to, the Government, or any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, and on a post-audit basis:
a) constitutional bodies, commissions and offices that have been granted fiscal autonomy under this Constitution;
b) autonomous state colleges and universities;
c) other government-owned or -controlled corporations and their subsidaries; and
d) such non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity, directly or indirectly, from or through the Government, which are required by law or the granting institution to submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity. However, where the internal control system of the audited agencies is inadequate, the Commission may adopt such measures, including temporary or special pre-audit, as are necessary and appropriate to correct the deficiencies. It shall keep the general accounts of the Government and, for such period as may be provided by law, preserve the vouchers and other supporting papers pertaining thereto.
(2) The Commission shall have exclusive authority, subject to the limitations in this Article, to define the scope of its audit and examination, establish the techniques and methods required, and promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations, including those for the prevention and disallowance of irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant, or unconscionable expenditures, or uses of Government funds and properties.
Section 3. No law shall be passed exempting any entity of the Government or its subsidiary in any guise whatever, or any investment of public funds, from the jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit.
Section 4. The Commission shall submit to the Prime Minister and Parliament, within the time fixed by law, an annual report covering the financial condition and operation of the Government, its subdivisions, agencies, and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and non-governmental entities subject to its audit, and recommend measures necessary to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. It shall submit such other reports as may be required by law.