Discussion Papers

No.233 Interaction of Powers in the Philippine Presidential System

by KAWANAKA Takeshi

April 2010


The executive – legislative relations in the Philippines have been described in two contrasting stories, namely the “strong president” story, and the “strong congress”story. This paper tries to consolidate the existing arguments and propose a new perspective focusing on the “compromise exchange” between the president and the congress across the different policy areas. It considers that the policy outcome is not brought by unilateral power of the president or the congress, but formed as the product of such an exchange. Interaction of powers and their complementary function are addressed. Furthermore, aside from the constitutional power, the weak party discipline is pointed out as a key factor in making the exchange possible.

Keywords: executive – legislative relations, presidency, policy process, democracy

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