HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW
1. PREPARATION OF THE BILL
The Member or the Bill Drafting Division of the Reference and Research Bureau prepares and drafts the bill upon the Member's request.
2. FIRST READING
- The bill is filed with the Bills and Index Service and the same is numbered and reproduced.
- Three days after its filing, the same is included in the Order of Business for First Reading.
- On First Reading, the Secretary General reads the title and number of the bill. The Speaker refers the bill to the appropriate Committee/s.
3. COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION/ACTION
- The Committee where the bill was referred to evaluates it to determine the necessity of conducting public hearings.
If the Committee finds it necessary to conduct public hearings, it schedules the time thereof, issues public notics and invites resource persons from the public and private sectors, the academe and experts on the proposed legislation.
If the Committee finds that no public hearing is not needed, it schedules the bill for Committee discussion/s.
- Based on the result of the public hearings or Committee discussions, the Committee may introduce amendments, consolidate bills on the same subject matter, or propose a subsitute bill. It then prepares the corresponding committee report.
- The Committee approves the Committee Report and formally transmits the same to the Plenary Affairs Bureau.
4. SECOND READING
- The Committee Report is registered and numbered by the Bills and Index Service. It is included in the Order of Business and referred to the Committee on Rules.
- The Committee on Rules schedules the bill for consideration on Second Reading.
- On Second Reading, the Secretary General reads the number, title and text of the bill and the following takes place:
- Period of Sponsorship and Debate
- Period of Amendments
- Voting which may be by:
- viva voce
- count by tellers
- division of the House; or
- nominal voting
5. THIRD READING
- The amendments, if any, are engrossed and printed copies of the bill are reproduced for Third Reading.
- The engrossed bill is included in the Calendar of Bills for Third Reading and copies of the same are distributed to all the Members three days before its Third Reading.
- On Third Reading, the Secretary General reads only the number and title of the bill.
- A roll call or nominal voting is called and a Member, if he desires, is given three minutes to explain his vote. No amendment on the bill is allowed at this stage.
- The bill is approved by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Members present.
- If the bill is disapproved, the same is transmitted to the Archives.
6. TRANSMITTAL OF THE APPROVED BILL TO THE SENATE
The approved bill is transmitted to the Senate for its concurrence.
7. SENATE ACTION ON APPROVED BILL OF THE HOUSE
The bill undergoes the same legislative process in the Senate.
8. CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
- A Conference Committee is constituted and is composed of Members from each House of Congress to settle, reconcile or thresh out differences or disagreements on any provision of the bill.
- The conferees are not limited to reconciling the differences in the bill but may introduce new provisions germane to the subject matter or may report out an entirely new bill on the subject.
- The Conference Committee prepares a report to be signed by all the conferees and the Chairman.
- The Conference Committee Report is submitted for consideration/approval of both Houses. No amendment is allowed.
9. TRANSMITTAL OF THE BILL TO THE PRESIDENT
Copies of the bill, signed by the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and certified by both the Secretary of the Senate and the Secretary General of the House, are transmitted to the President.
10. PRESIDENTIAL ACTION ON THE BILL
- If the bill is approved the President, the same is assigned an RA number and transmitted to the House where it originated.
- If the bill is vetoed, the same, together with a message citing the reason for the veto, is transmitted to the House where the bill originated.
11. ACTION ON APPROVED BILL
The bill is reproduced and copies are sent to the Official Gasette Office for publication and distribution to the implementing agencies. It is then included in the annual compilation of Acts and Resolutions.
12. ACTION ON VETOED BILL
The message is included in the Order of Business. If the Congress decides to override the veto, the House and the Senate shall proceed separately to reconsider the bill or the vetoed items of the bill. If the bill or its vetoed items is passed by a vote of two-thirds of the Members of each House, such bill or items shall become a law.
NOTE: A joint resolution having the force and effect of a law goes through the same process.