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Southeast Asian Region Countries Law

Types of Legislation

Since 1900, statutes have been enacted with the following titles:   

  •  Acts  - from 1900-1935 (4,275 Acts)
  • Commonwealth Acts - from 1935-1945 (733 Acts)
  • Republic Acts - from 1946-1972
  • Batas Pambansa – from 1979-1985 (884 Acts)
  • Republic Acts - from 1987- current

During Martial Law, both President Marcos and the Batasang Pambansa (Parliament) issued laws at the same time - there were 2034 Presidential Decrees by President Marcos (1972-1985) and 884 Batas Pambansa by the Philippine Parliament. 

In addition, the Philippines also has approximately 27 Codes in force - these are either enacted as legislation or issued by Executive Order or Presidential Decree. The Codes are:   

  • Administrative Code of 1987 ( Executive Order No. 292)
  • Child and Youth Welfare Code (Pres. Decree No. 603)
  • Civil Code (Rep. Act No. 386)
  • Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Code
  • Code of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Rep. Act No. 6713)
  • Cooperative Code (Rep. Act No. 9520)
  • Corporation Code (Batas Blg. 68)
  • Family Code (Executive Order No. 209)
  • Fire Code      (Rep. Act No. 9514)
  • Fisheries Code (Rep. Act No. 8550)
  • Forest Reform Code (Pres. Decree No. 705)
  • Insurance Code (Pres. Decree No. 1460)
  • Intellectual Property Code (Rep. Act No. 8293)
  • Labor Code (Pres. Decree No. 442)
  • Land Transportation and  Traffic Code (Rep. Act No. 4136)
  • Local Government Code (Rep. Act No. 7160)
  • Muslim Code of Personal Laws ( Pres. Decree No. 1083)
  • National Building Code (Pres. Decree No. 1096)
  • National Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and Supplements (Executive Order No. 51 s. 1986)
  • National Internal Revenue Code (Pres. Decree No. 1158)
  • Omnibus Election Code (Batas Blg 881)
  • Philippine Environment Code (Pres. Decree No. 1152)
  • Revised Penal Code (Act no. 3815)
  • Sanitation Code (Pres. Decree No. 856)
  • State Auditing Code
  • Tariff and Customs Code (Pres. Decree No. 1464)
  • Water Code (Pres. Decree No. 1067)

Finding Philippines Legislation

The official languages of the Philippines are English and Filipino.

Statutes are available online in English on:

Making Legislation

Legislative power is vested in the bicameral Congress of the Philippines, which comprises the Senate and the House of Representatives. The legislature promulgates statutes. 

A brief history of the Philippine legislature is available at the House of Representative website. 

A useful explanation of the Legislative Process: How a Bill becomes a Law, is available on the House of Representatives website.

Bills and Resolutions

The House of Representatives website includes:

  • Full text House Bills and Resolutions and their status - can be browsed by Congress (from the 13th Congress to the current Congress).
  • The LEGIS database - a search engine which allows you to search for Bills and Resolutions by Bill number, author, status, Committee referral, and subject matter of the Bill - from the 8th Congress (1987-1992) to the current Congress.
  • The House of Representatives Journal contains the daily proceedings - including Bills Readings and Debates - from the 12th Congress (2003-2004) to the current Congress.

The Senate website (under maintenance) includes:

  • up to date Senate and House Bills and Resolutions (from the 13th Congress to the current Congress)
  • the Senate Journals - the daily proceedings - including Bills Readings and Debates
  • up to date Committee Reports
  • up to date Adopted Resolutions