M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 995 September 10, 1976


WHEREAS, under Article XVII of the Constitution, there is provided an interim National Assembly to exist and act as the temporary legislative body until the establishment of the regular National Assembly;

WHEREAS, while the President is empowered, under the Constitution, to initially convene the interim National Assembly, the people in the referenda of July 27, 1973 and February 17, 1975, have mandated against the convening of the same;

WHEREAS, the people through their respective Barangays and Sanggunians have expressed their desire for the creation of a legislative advisory body to assist the President in the exercise of his legislative functions pending the establishment of a Legislative Assembly;

WHEREAS, it is now most opportune to accomplish the people's mandate by the organization of this body and at the same time initially give meaning to the establishment of a parliamentary system of government as adopted under the Constitution.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby decree:

Section 1. Creation. There is hereby created a Legislative Advisory Council which shall hereinafter be known as the Batasan Bayan.

Section 2. Composition of Membership. The Batasan Bayan shall be composed of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, the members of the Cabinet, including officials with the rank of Cabinet Members, the members of the Lupong Tagapagpaganap, as determined under P.D. No. 925 (Organizing the Pampook na Katipunan ng mga Sanggunian) and such other members as may, from time to time, be appointed by the President.

Section 3. Term of Office. The members of the Batasan Bayan shall hold office while they are the members of the Lupong Tagapagpaganap or the Cabinet or at the pleasure of the President, if from the private sector.

Section 4. Functions. The Batasan Bayan shall function as an advisory body to the President on legislative matters. As such powers and functions shall consist of but not limited to:

(a) Assisting and advising the President of his lawmaking functions;

(b) Providing a forum for the citizenry, through the herein designated representatives, to ventilate their views on national issues, as well as their opinions on the manner of administering the affairs of the government;

(c) Providing a forum for the rationalization, unification, and clarification on the policies and programs of the Executive Branch of Government;

(d) Providing a mechanism for actually conducting a review of the structures, policies and efficiencies of the different Barangays and Sanggunians and submit its finding and recommendations to the President.

Section 5. Sessions. The Batasan Bayan shall initially convene on the 21st day of September, 1976 and thereafter, shall convene upon call of the President at least once a year and shall meet for such duration as may be determined by the Rules Committee. It shall hold its sessions in Metro Manila, at a place to be determined by the President.

Section 6. Officers.

(a) The President shall be the Presiding Officer of the Batasan Bayan. He shall designate an Assistant Presiding Officer;

(b) As Presiding Officer, the President shall constitute a Rules Committee to be composed of the cabinet members and officials with the rank of Cabinet Members;

(c) The Batasan Bayan shall create standing committees, the Chairman of which shall be chosen from among the cabinet members and officials with the rank of Cabinet Members. Members of the Cabinet and officials with the rank of Cabinet Members may also be designated as Floorleaders. In accordance with the Rules, the Batasan Bayan shall elect such other officers as it may deem necessary to carry out its functions.

Section 7. Quorums and Rules and Procedure:

(a) A majority of the membership of the Batasan Bayan shall constitute a quorum to do business. Its sessions and deliberations shall be open to the public except when the matters being discussed are, in its opinion, pertaining to or affecting national security or otherwise require secrecy;

(b) The Batasan Bayan shall keep a journal of its proceedings;

(c) The Batasan Bayan or any of its Committees may conduct inquiries and public hearings in aid of its functions as an advisory body;

(d) In accordance with its Rules, the Batasan Bayan shall initially consider and deliberate on legislative proposals that may be certified to it by the President. These proposals include proposed guidelines of national policy and programs of government.

(e) All actions and recommendations of the Batasan Bayan shall be in the form of resolutions. After final passage by said body in accordance with its Rules, the resolution/s shall be submitted to the President.

Section 8. Privileges and Compensation of Members.

(a) A member of the Batasan Bayan shall be authorized to prepare and submit legislative proposals affecting his Department in the case of Cabinet Members and officials with the rank of Cabinet Members, or on matters of particular interest or application to their respective locality, in case of members of the Lupon Tagapagpaganap;

(b) When acting as such, the members of the Batasan Bayan shall not receive any additional emolument except those members of the Lupon Tagapagpaganap (of the different Pampook na Katipunan ng mga Sanggunian Bayan) who may be given reasonable per diem and travel allowance as may be determined by the Rules Committee.

Section 9. Appropriations. To meet the organizational as well as other expenses of the Batasan Bayan, the amount of Two Million Pesos is hereby appropriated out of any unexpended balance of the National Treasury. Thereafter, the President shall authorize the release from the same source of such amounts as may be periodically needed by the Batasan Bayan.

Section 10. Effectivity. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 10th day of September, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-six.

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