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{{short description|Overview of the role of Christmas in the Philippines}}
[[File:Christmas Lights.jpg|thumb|right|250px|''[[Parol]]s'' and [[Christmas lights]] at night. The ''parol'' is one of the most iconic and beloved symbols of the Christmas season in the Philippines.]]
[[File:Commission on Appointments (CA) , Republic of the Philippines.svg|200px|thumb|right|Commission on Appointments]]
'''Christmas in the Philippines''' ({{lang-fil|Pasko sa Pilipinas}}) is one of the biggest [[Public holidays in the Philippines|holidays in the country]]. The [[Philippines]], one of two predominantly [[Catholic Church by country#Asia|Catholic countries in Asia]] (the other one being [[East Timor]]), celebrates the world's longest [[Christmas and holiday season|Christmas season]].<ref>{{Cite news |last=Brown |first=Sarah |date=December 5, 2012 |title=The Philippines shows the world how to celebrate Christmas |work=CNN |url= |access-date=May 15, 2021}}</ref><ref>{{Cite news |last=Ratcliffe |first=Rebecca |last2=Fonbuena |first2=Carmela |date=November 18, 2020 |title=Philippine tradition of 'long Christmas' survives Covid and typhoons |work=The Guardian |url= |access-date=May 14, 2021}}</ref> With [[Christmas carol]]s heard as early as September 1, it lasts variously until either the [[Epiphany (holiday)|Feast of the Epiphany]]{{efn|Or the [[Feast of the Baptism of the Lord]], also known as Theophany.<ref name="ManilaBulletin_1">{{Cite news |last=Hermoso |first=Christina P. |date=January 3, 2021 |title=Feast of the Epiphany marks end of Christmas Season |work=Manila Bulletin |url= |access-date=September 9, 2021}}</ref>}} on the first Sunday after [[New Year's Day|New Year]], the [[Feast of the Black Nazarene]] on January 9, or the [[#Feast of the Santo Niño|Feast of the Santo Niño]] on the third Sunday of January.<ref name="ManilaBulletin_2">{{Cite news |date=September 1, 2021 |title=The 'ber' months are here, bringing good tidings |work=Manila Bulletin |url= |access-date=September 7, 2021}}</ref> The official observance by the [[Catholic Church in the Philippines|Catholic Church]] is from the first day of [[Advent]] until Epiphany.<ref>{{Cite news |last=Medenilla |first=Samuel P. |date=September 6, 2021 |title=Avoid commercialization of Christmas–CBCP exec |work=Business Mirror |url= |access-date=September 7, 2021}}</ref><ref name="ManilaBulletin_1" />
[[File:Bicameral Conference Committee (BiCam) , Congress of the Philippines.svg|200px|thumb|right|Bicameral Conference Committee]]
{{cleanup rewrite|2=section|discussed in the [[{{TALKPAGENAME}}#Powers section needs a rewrite|Powers section needs a rewrite]] section of the talk page|date=September 2012}}
The powers of the Congress of the Philippines may be classified as:
===General legislative===
It consists of the enactment of laws intended as a rule of conduct to govern the relation between individuals (i.e., civil laws, commercial laws, etc.) or between individuals and the state (i.e., criminal law, political law, etc.)<ref>{{cite web|title=The Legislative Branch|url=|work=Philippines Official Gazette|publisher=Philippines Official Gazette|accessdate=31 May 2013}}</ref>
It is essential to the effective exercise of other powers expressly granted to the assembly.{{citation needed|date=March 2015}}
These are the powers which though not expressly given are nevertheless exercised by the Congress as they are necessary for its existence such as:
*to determine the rules of proceedings;
*to compel attendance of absent members to obtain quorum to do business;
*to keep journal of its proceedings; etc.
===Specific legislative===
It has reference to powers which the [[Constitution of the Philippines|Constitution]] expressly and specifically directs to perform or execute.
Powers enjoyed by the Congress classifiable under this category are:
*Power to appropriate;
*Power to act as constituent assembly; (The Senate and the House of Representatives must convene and vote on joint or separate session to do this.{{Citation needed|date=June 2010}}<!-- not found at, possibly refuted by>)
*Power to impeach; (to initiate all cases of impeachment is the power of the House of Representatives; To try all cases of impeachment is the power of the Senate.)
*Power to confirm treaties;(Only the Senate is authorized to use this power.)
*Power to declare the existence of war; (The Senate and the House of Representatives must convene in joint session to do this.)
*Power to concur amnesty; and
*Power to act as board of canvasser for presidential/vice-presidential votes. (by creating a joint congressional committee to do the canvassing.)
*Power to contempt
*Blending of power
*Delegation of power
*Budgetary power
*Power to taxation
Powers of the Congress that are executive in nature are:
*Appointment of its officers;
*Affirming treaties;
*Confirming presidential appointees through the [[Commission on Appointments]];
*Removal power; etc.
The Congress of the Philippines exercises considerable control and supervision over the administrative branch - e.g.:
*To decide the creation of a department/agency/office;
*To define powers and duties of officers;
*To appropriate funds for governmental operations;
*To prescribe rules and procedure to be followed; etc.
Considered as electoral power of the Congress of the Philippines are the Congress' power to:
*Elect its presiding officer/s and other officers of the House;
*Act as board of canvassers for the canvass of presidential/vice-presidential votes; and
*Elect the President in case of any electoral tie to the said post.
Constitutionally, each house has judicial powers:
*To punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member
*To concur and approve amnesty declared by the [[President of the Philippines]];
*To initiate, prosecute and thereafter decide cases of impeachment; and
*To decide electoral protests of its members through the respective Electoral Tribunal.
The other powers of Congress mandated by the Constitution are as follows:
*To authorize the Commission on Audit to audit fund and property;
*To authorize the [[President of the Philippines]] to fix tariff rates, quotas, and dues;
*To authorize the [[President of the Philippines]] to formulate rules and regulations in times of emergency;
*To reapportion legislative districts based on established constitutional standards;
*To implement laws on autonomy;
*To establish a national language commission;
*To implement free public secondary education;
*To allow small scale utilization of natural resources;
*To specify the limits of forest lands and national parks;
*To determine the ownerships and extent of ancestral domain; and
*To establish independent economic and planning agency.