Vice President of the Philippines

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The Vice President of the Philippines is the second highest executive official of the Philippine government, locally termed as Ang Pangalawang Pangulo or Pangalawang Pangulo (or Bise Presidente informally).

The Vice President is the first in the presidential line of succession, and becomes the new President upon the death, resignation, or removal by impeachment and subsequent conviction of the President. The position was temporarily abolished by martial law in 1972, and was restored by amendments to the 1973 Constitution in time for the national "snap" elections of 1986. The subsequent and present 1987 Constitution, however, retained the position. The office of the Vice President is located at 7th Floor PNB Financial Center, Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City.



Unlike the position of Vice President in the United States, the Vice President of the Philippines has no official responsibility other than those given by the incumbent President of the Philippines. The traditions governing the position of Vice President date back to the Philippine Commonwealth, and the Philippines' first Vice President was Sergio Osmeña. The tradition is for the Vice-President to be given the highest-ranking cabinet portfolio.


Before independence

The first known vice president claiming to be part of a government was Mariano Trias. He was elected during the elections of the Tejeros Convention, and was later elected vice president of the Supreme Council that oversaw negotiations for the Biak na Bato pact in 1897. This Supreme Council had no sovereignty, did not govern any state, and was just used for bargaining with the Spanish. This council was replaced later, with no such position existing during the country's declaration of independence in 1898, which had a dictatorial government. Officially, the country's first actual republic was founded in 1899, and it too had no vice president. Trias instead served in the cabinets of Apolinario Mabini and Pedro Paterno, as finance minister and war minister, respectively.

Vice Presidents

The 1935 Constitution of the Philippines established the position of Vice-President, with no required responsibilities, although the President could, if he so chose, appoint the Vice-President to a cabinet position. The first person elected to the position of Vice-President under the constitution was Sergio Osmena. Elected together with Manuel L. Quezon in the first Philippine national elections, Osmena was given the highest-ranking cabinet portfolio with inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines in November, 1935. Prior to independence in 1946, that cabinet portfolio was Secretary of Public Instruction, which had once been reserved only for the Vice Governor-General (an American). Vice-President Osmena held that position from 1935-1939, and a similar portfolio in the War Cabinet during World War II.

After independence, the highest-ranking cabinet position became that of Secretary of Foreign Affairs (it is still the highest-ranking cabinet portfolio in official protocol to this day), which was given to Vice-President Elpidio Quirino. Vice-President Fernando Lopez declined the Foreign Affairs portfolio when he became Quirino's Vice-President in 1949. However, Vice-Presidents Carlos P. Garcia and Emmanuel Pelaez also held the Foreign Affairs portfolio, a tradition revived in the Fifth Republic, with Vice-Presidents Salvador Laurel and Teofisto Guingona, Jr. holding the Foreign Affairs portfolio. Alone of the Vice-Presidents of the Third Republic, Diosdado Macapagal was not given any cabinet position, since he was the first Vice-President elected who did not come from the same party as the incumbent.


Succession in case of the incapacitation or death of the President of the Philippines has occurred thrice:

A Vice-President has become President by virtue of resignation (or abandonment of office, depending on the argument used):

Duties and responsibilities

Official Seal of the Vice-President of the Philippines

Article VII Section 3 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution mandates the existence of a Vice-President "who shall have the same qualifications and term of office and be elected with, and in the same manner, as the President." The Vice President may be removed from the position in the same manner as the President, and can be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet.

The Vice President shall be put into office by direct popular vote held every second Monday of May (or as provided otherwise by law) for a term of six years which starts at noon of June 30 the year the official was elected, and will end at noon of the same date six years after. Section 4 states that the Vice President is not allowed to serve two consecutive terms, and if any case the official renounces his position in the duration of his term, it will not be considered as an interruption in the term for which he was elected.

He/She also assumes the duties and responsibilities of the President (as Acting President) if (1) the position of the latter has not yet been chosen, until such has been chosen and qualified, (2) the latter has died or became permanently disabled, and will serve the unexpired term, and/or (3) the Members of the Cabinet submits to the Senate President and the House Speaker a written declaration that the President is unable to effect his reponsibilites and duties.


Honourable Title

The proper term of address for the Vice-President is:

  • "The Honorable (First Name) (Family Name), Vice-President of the Philippines."
  • "Mr. Vice-President" or "Madam Vice-President"

List of Vice Presidents

Further information: List of Vice Presidents of the Philippines

See also


External link



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