Vice President of the Philippines

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Vice President of the Philippines
Pangalawang Pangulo ng Pilipinas
Seal of the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines.svg
Flag of the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines.svg
14th Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo.png
Leni Robredo

since June 30, 2016
Office of the Vice President of the Philippines
Government of the Philippines
StatusSecond highest in executive branch
Residence Quezon City Reception House
Seat Quezon City, Philippines
AppointerElectorate through Direct popular vote
President of the Philippines with confirmation by Congress (when filling a vacancy)
Term length Six years, renewable once
Constituting instrument 1987 Constitution of the Philippines
Inaugural holder Sergio Osmeña
FormationNovember 15, 1935
Succession First
Salary 353,476 monthly

The vice president of the Philippines (Filipino : Pangalawang Pangulo ng Pilipinas, informally referred to as Bise Presidente ng Pilipinas, or in Spanish : Vice Presidente de Filipinas) is the second-highest executive official of the government of the Philippines, after the president and is first in the presidential line of succession. The vice president is directly elected by the people, and is one of only two nationally elected executive officials, the other being the President.


The current office of the vice president was re-established under the 1987 Constitution, bearing similarities with the office as created in the 1935 Constitution that was abolished by the Marcos regime. The vice president may be elected to two consecutive six-year terms. On June 30, 2016, Leni Robredo from Camarines Sur was sworn in as the 14th and current vice president.


Leni RobredoJejomar BinayNoli de CastroTeofisto Guingona Jr.Gloria Macapagal ArroyoJoseph EstradaSalvador LaurelFernando LopezEmmanuel PelaezDiosdado MacapagalCarlos P. GarciaElpidio QuirinoSergio OsmeñaVice President of the Philippines


Colonial era

The first known vice president claiming to be part of a government was Mariano Trías, whose term started on March 22, 1897. 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. Trias is not considered a Philippine Vice President as the Supreme Council did not proclaim any sovereign state.

Conceptualization and the Commonwealth

The 1935 Constitution, largely patterned after the U.S. Constitution, [1] provided the basis for the Commonwealth government. It also established the position of vice president, and as per Section 12, Subsection 3, the vice president may be appointed by the president to a cabinet position. But unlike his U.S. counterpart, the vice president is not the president of the Philippine senate as senators choose their president from among their ranks. The first person elected to the position of vice president under the constitution was Sergio Osmeña, elected together with Manuel L. Quezon in the first Philippine national elections.

Third Republic

Since the inception of the 1935 constitution, the president and vice president came from the same ticket and political party, until the 1957 elections, which saw the first-ever split ticket that won the presidency and vice presidency.

Fourth Republic

The 1973 Constitution abolished the office of the vice president and Fernando Lopez was therefore unable to finish his term. Subsequent amendments, particularly the 1984 amendments restored the vice presidency. Arturo Tolentino was officially proclaimed vice president-elect by the Regular Batasang Pambansa in 1986. He took his oath as vice president on February 16, 1986, before Chief Justice Ramon Aquino but because of popular belief that the elections had been rigged, he never actually served out his term as vice president. Within a week after Tolentino's oath, the People Power Revolution resulted in the collapse of the Marcos regime.

Fifth Republic

The People Power Revolution installed Corazon Aquino into the presidency. On February 25, 1986, Corazon Aquino and her running mate, Salvador H. Laurel were sworn in as president and vice president. [2] Subsequent elections under the 1987 constitution saw winners for president and vice president come from opposing tickets, with the exception of the 2004 elections, where President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her running mate then-senator Noli de Castro won the elections.

Powers and roles

The 1987 Constitiution did not lay out any explicit powers for the vice president giving rise to the office being called a "spare tire." [3] Article 7, Section 3 of the Constitution provided however, that the vice president may be appointed to a cabinet position, without the need for confirmation. Appointments usually must be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, as per Article 7, Section 16 of the Constitution.

No.NameConcurrent appointmentTerm BeganTerm EndedPresident
Commonwealth Period
1Sergio OsmeñaSecretary of Public InstructionNovember 15, 1935April 18, 1939 [4] Manuel Quezon
Secretary of Public Instruction, Health and Public WelfareDecember 24, 1941August 1, 1944
Third Republic
2Elpidio QuirinoSecretary of Foreign AffairsJuly 15, 1946April 15, 1948Manuel Roxas
April 17, 1948January 6, 19150Elpidio Quirino
3Fernando LopezSecretary of AgricultureDecember 14,19501953
4Carlos GarciaSecretary of Foreign AffairsDecember 30, 1953March 18, 1957Ramon Magsaysay
March 18, 1957August 22, 1957Carlos Garcia
5Diosdado MacapagalNo position offered
6Emmanuel PelaezSecretary of Foreign AffairsDecember 30, 1961July 1963 [5] Disodado Macapagal
7Fernando LopezSecretary of AgricultureDecember 30, 19651971Ferdinand Marcos
Fourth Republic - office abolished
Fifth Republic
8Salvador LaurelSecretary of Foreign AffairsMarch 25, 1986September 17, 1987 [6] Corazon Aquino
9Joseph EstradaChairman of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission1992June 4, 1997 [7] Fidel Ramos
10Gloria Macapagal ArroyoSecretary of Social Welfare and DevelopmentJune 30, 1992October 12, 2000 [8] Joseph Estrada
11Teofisto GuingonaSecretary of Foreign AffairsFebruary 9, 2001July 15, 2002 [9] Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
12Noli de CastroChairperson of the Housing and Urban Development CouncilJune 30, 2004June 30, 2010
13Jejomar BinayChairperson of the Housing and Urban Development CouncilJune 30, 2010June 22, 2015 [10] Benigno Aquino III
14Leni RobredoChairperson of the Housing and Urban Development CouncilJuly 7, 2016December 5, 2016 [11] Rodrigo Duterte

Since the inception of the 1935 Constitution, vice presidents have been appointed to Cabinet positions, with a few rejecting the offer made by the seating president. Osmeña 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 Osmeña held that position from 1935 to 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. held the Foreign Affairs portfolio. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo served as Secretary of Social Welfare and Development. Other Cabinet positions with no Secretary title was given to Vice President Joseph Estrada as Chairman of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission and to Vice Presidents Noli de Castro, Jejomar Binay, and Leni Robredo as Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

Among the vice presidents of the Third Republic, Diosdado Macapagal alone was not given any cabinet position, since he was the first elected vice-president that did not originate from the same party as the incumbent.

Election process


Article 7, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution mandates that the vice president must bear the same qualifications as the president which is "No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election."

Natural-born Filipinos are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines at the time of their birth and those born before 17 January 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority are considered natural-born Filipinos." [12]


Home provinces of the vice presidents. Home provinces of Philippine vice presidents.PNG
Home provinces of the vice presidents.

The vice president is elected in the same manner as, but separately from, the president: by direct vote every six years, usually on the second Monday of May. [13] Both the president and the vice president are elected by direct plurality vote where the candidate who garners the highest number of votes, whether a majority or not, wins the election. [14] While candidates usually run in tandem for the offices of president and vice president, under their own political parties, it is possible and not unusual for candidates from different parties to be elected as president and vice president. The returns of every election for president and Vice President, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province or city, shall be transmitted to Congress, directed to the president of the Senate. Upon receipt of the certificates of canvass, the president of the Senate shall open all the certificates in the presence of a joint public session of Congress not later than 30 days after election day. Congress then canvasses the votes upon determining that the polls are authentic and were done in the manner provided by law.


Traditionally, the vice president takes the oath first, a little before noon for two reasons. First, according to protocol, no one follows the president (who is last due to his supremacy), and second, to establish a constitutionally valid successor before the president-elect accedes. During the Quezon inauguration, however, the vice president and the Legislature were sworn in after the president, to symbolize a new start. In 2016, for the first time, the inaugurations for president and vice president were held separately. [15]

Oath of office

The vice president-elect recites an oath, similar to the one recited by the president-elect, as provided by the 1987 Constitution:

"I, (name), do solemnly swear [or affirm], that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President [or Vice-President or Acting President] of the Philippines. Preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God." [In case of affirmation, last sentence will be omitted.] — Constitution of the Philippines, art. 7, sec. 5

The Filipino text of the oath used for the inaugurations of presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Ejercito Estrada, and Benigno S. Aquino III reads:

"Ako si (pangalan), ay taimtim kong pinanunumpaan (o pinatototohanan) na tutuparin ko nang buong katapatan at sigasig ang aking mga tungkulin bilang Pangulo (o Pangalawang Pangulo o Nanunungkulang Pangulo) ng Pilipinas, pangangalagaan at ipagtatanggol ang kanyang Konstitusyon, ipatutupad ang mga batas nito, magiging makatarungan sa bawat tao, at itatalaga ang aking sarili sa paglilingkod sa Bansa. Kasihan nawa ako ng Diyos." (Kapag pagpapatotoo, ang huling pangungusap ay kakaltasin.) — Konstitusyon ng Pilipinas, Artikulo VII, SEK. 5

Traditionally, the language that the incoming president uses for his oath shall also be the one used by the incoming vice president.


The official title of the office in Filipino is Pangalawang Pangulo, although Bise Presidente,, or His/Her Excellency derived from Spanish, is the usual title used in some of the major Philippine languages, such as Cebuano and Hiligaynon language.

The text of the 1987 Constitution refers to the person and office of the vice-president, with a hyphen connecting the two words. However, the person and office is usually referred to today without the hyphen, as the vice president.


Impeachment in the Philippines follows procedures similar to the United States. The House of Representatives, one of the houses of the bicameral Congress, has the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment against the president, vice president, members of the Supreme Court, members of the Constitutional Commissions and the ombudsman. When a third of its membership has endorsed the impeachment articles, it is then transmitted to the Senate of the Philippines which tries and decide, as impeachment tribunal, the impeachment case. A main difference from US proceedings however is that only a third of House members are required to approve the motion to impeach the president (as opposed to the majority required in the United States). In the Senate, selected members of the House of Representatives act as the prosecutors and the senators act as judges with the Senate president and chief justice of the Supreme Court jointly presiding over the proceedings. Like the United States, to convict the official in question requires that a minimum of two-thirds (i.e., 16 of 24 members) of the senate vote in favor of conviction. If an impeachment attempt is unsuccessful or the official is acquitted, no new cases can be filed against that impeachable official for at least one full year.

Impeachable offenses

The Constitution enumerates the culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, and betrayal of public trust as grounds for the impeachment of the vice president, as applicable for the president, the members of the Supreme Court, the members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the ombudsman.

Term Limits

Fernando Lopez was the only vice president to serve three terms. Fernando Lopez Sr.jpg
Fernando Lopez was the only vice president to serve three terms.

Under the 1935 Constitutions, the vice president, along with the president, set the vice president's term at six years, with possibility of re-election as only the president was barred from seeking re-election. [16] In 1940, it shortened the term from six to four years, again without limitations on the number of terms for the vice president. The president, however, was barred from serving more than two terms. [17] Under the provisions of these constitutions, only vice presidents Osmeña and Lopez have won re-election.

Several vice presidents either lose re-election alongside their running mate or ascend to the presidency. After having been re-elected in 1941, Osmeña ascended to the presidency after President Quezon's death. Vice presidents Quirino and Garcia never ran for re-election as vice president as they would ascended to the presidency following the President's death. Vice President Lopez did not run for re-election in 1953, opting to run for senator instead. He would go on to win the vice presidency once more in 1965 and 1969. President Macapagal's running mate Emmanuel Pelaez also did not seek re-election for vice president, but instead sought the nomination of the opposing Nacionalista party;s nomination for president, which he would eventually lose to then-senator Marcos. [18]

To date, only Fernando Lopez has served more than one term (a total of three terms), from 1949 to 1951, from 1965 to 1969, and again from 1969 until 1972 when the office was abolished.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the vice president is barred from serving more than two consecutive terms. [14]

Succession to the presidency

The vice president is first in the presidential line of succession. The Constitution provides several circumstances where the vice president (or the vice president-elect) shall assume the presidency or serve as acting president.

Then-Vice President Arroyo takes her oath as the 14th President, following the events of EDSA 2, which ousted President Estrada Arroyo First Oath.jpg
Then-Vice President Arroyo takes her oath as the 14th President, following the events of EDSA 2, which ousted President Estrada

There has been four cases where the vice president has assumed the presidency, three of which because of the president's death, and one because of the president's resignation:


Vice President Teofisto Guingona was appointed by President Arroyo President Arroyo with Vice President Teofisto Guingona (2003).jpg
Vice President Teofisto Guingona was appointed by President Arroyo

Section 9 of Article VII of the 1987 Philippines Constitution provides that whenever there is a vacancy in the Office of the Vice President during the term for which he was elected, the President shall nominate a vice-president from among the Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives who shall assume office upon confirmation by a majority vote of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately. [20] Hence, when the Vice-president became the president by succession, he/she can nominate a member of the Congress with confirmation from the Majority of all the members of both Houses of the Congress. The Senate President may not directly be in succession for the position of the Vice-Presidency, unless he/she was nominated.

There is only one instance where a member of the Congress has assumed the vacant vice-presidency position, that is in the case of then-Senator Teofisto Guingona Jr., who was appointed as Vice President of the Philippines by Arroyo on February 7, 2001. [22] Guingona is the only vice president who was not nationally elected to the position. He is also the oldest person to hold the position when he was appointed at the age of 72. He also concurrently served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs.


Historically, the vice president was not given an official residence. However, the vice president also held office along with the president at the Executive Building (now Kalayaan Hall) in the complex of Malacañang Palace from 1935 until 1972, when the position was abolished under martial law and the 1973 Constitution.

When the position was reinstated, Vice President Salvador H. Laurel held office at the former Legislative Building on Padre Burgos Avenue, Manila, until the building became the National Museum of Fine Arts of the National Museum of the Philippines. The vice president's office was transferred to the Philippine International Convention Center, and again to the PNB Financial Center, both in Pasay, Metro Manila in 2005. [23] In 2011, the Coconut Palace also in Pasay was designated as the principal workplace of the vice president of the Philippines. Beginning June 30, 2016, the office was transferred to the Quezon City Reception House in Quezon City. [24]

During senate deliberations for its 2021 budget, senators pointed out its lack of a permanent facility and, to uphold the dignity of the office, the vice president be afforded one. [25]

Privileges of office

Land Transport

The vice president of the Philippines generally rides in a Mercedes Benz W140 S-Class.


The Presidential Security Group is tasked with providing the vice president and his/her immediate family security throughout their term in office.

Living former vice presidents

See also

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