The Duties and Powers of the Senate President

Senate President: Duties and Powers

The President of the Senate of the Philippines or simply, the Senate President is the presiding officer and the highest-ranking official of the upper house of the Congress or the Senate of the Philippines. He or she is also the third highest and most powerful official of the government, and places second in the presidential line of succession behind the Vice President and the before the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

What Does The President Of The Senate Do? What Are The Roles and Responsibilities Of The Senate President?

Take note that the Senate President is an elected lawmaker first and foremost. However, his or her position also grants him additional roles and responsibilities. The following are the specific duties and powers based on Section 3of the Rules of the Senate:

• To preside over the sessions of the Senate on the days and at the hours designated by it; to call the Senate to order and, if there is a quorum, to order the reading of the Journal of the preceding session and, after the Senate shall have acted upon it, to dispose of the matters appearing in the Order of Business in accordance with the Rules;

• To decide all points of order;

• To sign all measures, memorials, joint and concurrent resolutions; issue warrants, orders of arrest, subpoena and subpoena duces tecum;

• To see to it that all resolutions of the Senate are complied with;

• To have general control over the session hall, the antechambers, corridors, and offices of the Senate;

• To maintain order in the session hall, the antechambers, corridors and in the offices of the Senate, and whenever there is disorder, to take appropriate measures to quell it;

• To designate an Acting Sergeant-at-Arms, if the Sergeant-at-Arms resigns, is replaced or becomes incapacitated;

• To appoint the subordinate personnel of the Senate in conformity with the provisions of the General Appropriations Act;

• To dismiss any employee for cause, which dismissal in the case of permanent and classified employees shall be in conformity with the Civil Service Law; and

• To diminish or increase the number of authorized personnel by consolidating or separating positions or items whenever the General Appropriations Act so authorizes and the total amount of salaries or allocations does not exceed the amount earmarked therein.

The President of the Senate is also the ex officio chairperson of the Commission on Appointments. As a backgrounder, this commission is a constitutional body with the sole authority of confirming all appointees made by the President of the Philippines.

Under Section 2, Chapter 2 of the Rules of the Commission of Appointments, the duties and powers of the Senate President are as follows:

• To issue calls for the meetings of the commission;

• To preside at the meetings of the commission;

• To preserve order and decorum during the session and, for that purpose, to take such steps as may be convenient or as the commission may direct;

• To pass upon all questions of order, but from his decision, any member may appeal to the commission; and

• To execute such decisions, orders, and resolutions as may have been approved by the commission.

A Summary Of The Roles and Responsibilities Of The Senate President: Why Is This Individual Powerful?

In consideration of Section 3 of the Rules of Senate, the Senate President is primarily responsible for leading the Senate and thus, leading all the sessions, as well as maintaining order, effectiveness, and efficiency across all of its areas and offices.

He or she is specifically responsible for supervising all Senate committees and thus, conduct regular meetings with committee chairpersons to set legislative targets and ensure that such targets are aligned with the legislative agenda he or she has prepared, while also subjecting these committees under performance management.

The President of the Senate also performs administrative functions. He or she is primarily responsible for overall organizational development and for ensuring that the Senate has a competent pool of personnel through effective and efficient human resource management.

In consideration of the Rules of the Commission of Appointments, one of the important powers of the Senate President is to oversee the appointment of individuals made by the President of the Philippines, thereby influencing the composition of the executive branch of the government.

The fact that this individual places second in the presidential line of succession behind the Vice President and the before the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as his or her duties as a lawmaker and has control over the upper house of the Congress, makes him or her the third highest and most powerful official of the government.

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