HOUSE RULES

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II. MEMBERSHIP

Section 4. Composition. The membership of the House shall be composed of elected representatives of legislative districts and those elected through the party-list system.

Section 5. Term. The Members of the House shall be elected for a term of three (3) years which shall begin, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election.

A Member cannot serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of office for any reason and for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption of the full term for which the Member is elected. In case a Member dies, resigns, is permanently incapacitated or lawfully barred from performing the duties of a Member, or is lawfully removed from office, vacancies may be filled as follows: (a) for vacancies in the representation of legislative districts, special elections may be called to fill the vacancies; and (b) for vacancies in the representation of party-lists, party-list representatives may be chosen to fill the vacancies in the manner provided by law. A Member elected or designated to fill a vacancy shall serve only for the duration of the unexpired term.

Section 6. Oath or Affirmation of Members. Members shall take their oath or affirmation collectively or individually before the Speaker in open session.

Section 7. Duties. The primary duty of Members is to legislate. In order to fulfill this duty, Members shall:

  1. prepare, introduce and work for the passage of legislative measures to effectively address social, political and economic needs and concerns;
  2. attend plenary sessions and meetings of committees of which they are members or where their proposed legislative measures are under consideration;
  3. participate actively in deliberations on legislative measures;
  4. articulate faithfully the demands and interests of their constituencies as well as those of other sectors that are affected by proposed legislative measures or by conditions, issues and concerns requiring legislative action;
  5. secure, through every lawful means possible, any and all data and information relevant and necessary for the determination and formulation of appropriate legislative actions and measures on public issues and concerns;
  6. make information pertaining to the performance of their legislative and constituent functions and duties available to the public; and
  7. perform such other functions and activities as may be lawful and necessary to ensure the swift passage of legislative measures needed to effectively address social, political and economic needs and promote national development, as well as the efficient and timely conduct of legislative oversight.

Section 8. The Majority and the Minority. Members who vote for the winning candidate for Speaker shall constitute the Majority in the House and they shall elect from among themselves the Majority Leader. The Majority Leader may be changed, at any time, by a majority vote of all the Majority Members.

The Minority Leader shall be elected by the Members of the Minority and can be changed, at any time, by a majority vote of all the Minority Members.

The Majority and Minority shall elect such number of Deputy Majority and Minority Leaders as the rules provide.

A member may transfer from the majority to the minority, or vice versa, at any time; Provided, That:

  1. The concerned Member submits a written request to transfer to the Majority or Minority, through the Majority or Minority Leaders, as the case may be. The Secretary General shall be furnished a copy of the request to transfer;
  2. The Majority or Minority, as the case may be, accepts the concerned Member in writing; and
  3. The Speaker shall be furnished by the Majority or the Minority Leaders, as the case may be, a copy of the acceptance in writing of the concerned Member.

In case the Majority or the Minority declines such request to transfer, the concerned Member shall be considered an independent Member of the House.

In any case, whether or not the request to transfer is accepted, all committee assignments and memberships given the concerned Member by the Majority or Minority, as the case may be, shall be automatically forfeited.

Members who choose not to align themselves with the Majority or the Minority shall be considered as independent Members of the House.

Section 9. Immunities, Limitations and Disqualifications. Members shall be privileged from arrest for any and all offenses punishable by not more than six (6) years imprisonment while Congress is in session. A Member shall neither be questioned nor held liable in any other place for any speech delivered or debate undertaken in the House or in any of its committees.

Section 10. Salaries and Benefits. Salaries and benefits of Members shall be determined in accordance with law. Any increase in the compensation and benefits of Members shall take effect after the expiration of the full term of all the Members approving such increase.

Any Member legally barred by competent authority from attending sessions and performing such other functions as a Member of the House of Representatives shall be denied salary, other compensation, office space and other privileges to which Members are entitled as of the date the bar becomes effective. However, upon the lifting or cessation of such bar, the salary and other entitlements that were denied shall, forthwith, be restored.

SOURCE: Committee on Rules