Municipalities of the Philippines
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Benigno Aquino III
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Local Governments, such as a Municipality, are to a certain large extent autonomous of the National Government of the Republic of the Philippines. They are allowed to chart their own economic, industrial and political development by the National Government through a national law called the LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991. In this law, local governments are granted corporate personality, enabling them to govern, enact policies or local laws called ordinances, enforce them, and govern their territorial jurisdiction. They can enter into private transactions and business through their elective and appointive officials and can tax locally. They are tasked with enforcing all laws, whether local or national. The National Government assists, supervises and ensures that the local government does not violate national law. Local Governments have their own Executive and Legislative Branches and the check and balance between these two major branches, along with their separation, are more pronounced than that of the national government. The Judicial Branch of the Republic of the Philippines also caters to the needs of local government units. In other words, local governments, such as a municipality, do not to have their own judicial branch: Their Judiciary is the same as that of the National Government.
A municipality is headed by a municipal mayor who is the executive officer. The legislature is composed of the vice-mayor (bise-mayor) and eight councilors (kagawad or konsehal). The eight councilors, plus the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) (Youth Council) President and the Liga President, form the Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council). All are elected public officials who serve 3-year terms and a maximum of three consecutive terms.
The Vice-Mayor presides over the legislature, but cannot vote except to break a tie. Laws or ordinances proposed by the legislature (Sangguniang Bayan) may be approved or vetoed by the Mayor. If approved they becomes law. If the Mayor neither vetoes nor approves the proposal of the Sangguniang Bayan for ten (10) days from the time of receipt, the said proposal becomes law as if it had been signed. If vetoed, the draft is sent back to the Sangguniang Bayan. The latter may 'override' the Mayor by a vote of at least 2/3 of all its members, in which case, the proposal becomes Law.
A municipality, upon reaching a certain size, may opt to become a city. First, a bill must be passed in Congress, then signed into law by the President and then the residents would vote in the succeeding plebiscite to accept or reject cityhood. One benefit in being a city is that the city government gets more budget, but taxes are much higher than in municipalities.
Municipalities are divided into income classes according to their average annual income during the last three calendar years:
|1st class||P35,000,000 or more.|
|2nd class||P27,000,000 or more but less than P35,000,000.|
|3rd class||P21,000,000 or more but less than P27,000,000.|
|4th class||P13,000,000 or more but less than P21,000,000.|
|5th class||P7,000,000 or more but less than P13,000,000.|
|6th class||Below P7,000,000|