Trading Compromises: Interaction of Powers in the Philippine Presidential System

  • Takeshi Kawanaka


From a comparative perspective, the presidential legislative power in the Philippines is at the middle level, in both constitutional and partisan powers (Shugart and Carey 1992; Haggard and McCubbins 2001). This middle-level strength raises some problems for researchers. Generally, it is more difficult to explain why it is neither weak nor strong than why it is weak or strong. It is also difficult to examine empirically. In conventional arguments in the studies on Philippine politics, however, there have been two contrasting views on presidential power. One claims that the Philippine president is strong. This group focuses on constitutional powers, and the administrative control over the bureaucracy (de Dios 1999, 2002). Another emphasizes the influence of a dominant social class in the Congress. This group claims that presidential legislative initiatives that undermine social interests usually fail, due to the resistance of the Congress (see, for example, Abueva 2002).


Enactment Rate Party System Debt Service Budget Process Divided Government 
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© Takeshi Kawanaka 2013

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