The Philippines is a democratic republic with a presidential government. The Philippine government is divided into three separate and autonomous yet mutually dependent branches: the Executive branch, the Legislative branch and the Judicial branch.
The Executive branch is headed by the President, currently Benigno Aquino III. The President is the head of state, the head of government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The President is vested with executive powers and exercises control over all departments, offices and bureaus within the Executive branch. The executive departments are headed by cabinet members appointed by the President.
The Vice President, currently Jejomar Binay, is the second highest official of the country. The Vice President is next in line should the President die, resign or be impeached. The Vice President is usually a member of the President's cabinet.
Legislative power is vested in the Congress of the Philippines. Congress is a bicameral legislature composed of the Senate (the upper house) and the House of Representatives (the lower house). The Legislative branch is authorized to make, alter and repeal laws.
Judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court of the Philippines and lower courts. The Supreme Court is headed by a Chief Justice along with other Associate Justices. The Supreme Court decides on constitutionality of laws and is the court of last resort.
Congress is responsible for making laws. Laws are bills approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and are then passed to the President for his approval and signature.
The Philippines has a multi-party system in which no one party has the dominating power and all parties must cooperate and work together in government.
There are three types of political parties in the Philippines: major parties, minor parties or party-list organizations, and regional or provincial parties which are organizations in regions or provinces.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is responsible for conducting elections in the Philippines. During the 2013 general elections, the COMELEC accredited the following political parties as major political parties:
Elections in the Philippines are held every three years. The President, Vice President and members of the Senate are elected for a six-year term. Members of the House of Representatives and other regional, provincial, municipal and barangay officials are elected for a three-year term. Elections are done through ballot voting by citizens who must be registered voters.
The government of Manila, like all city governments across the Philippines, is divided into three branches: executive, legislative and judicial. The executive and legislative branches are controlled by the government of Manila. The judicial branch is under the Metro Manila judicial region and is exclusively governed by the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
The Mayor of Manila heads the executive branch. The current city mayor is Joseph Estrada, a former President of the Philippines.
The Vice Mayor of Manila heads the legislative branch which consists of six elected city councilors, one from each of the city's six congressional districts. The current city vice mayor is Isko Moreno.
Furthermore, Manila has six representatives for each of the city's six congressional districts. These district representatives are elected to the House of Representatives.
Manila City Hall is located in the Ermita district. It is where the city mayor, vice mayor and councilors hold office. Manila City Hall is open to the public from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday. Contact information can be found here.
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