The Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 is also known as The Jones Law of 1916. It created the first fully elected legislature of the Philippines.
The law was enacted by the 64th United States Congress on August 29, 1916, and contained the first formal and official declaration of the United States Federal Government’s commitment to grant independence to the Philippines.
Below is the full text of The Jones Law of 1916 in the Philippines (Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916)
The Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 (Jones Law Philippines)
AN ACT TO DECLARE THE PURPOSE OF THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES AS TO THE FUTURE POLITICAL STATUS OF THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, AND TO PROVIDE A MORE AUTONOMOUS GOVERNMENT FOR THOSE ISLANDS.
Whereas it was never the intention of the people of United States in the incipiency of the war with Spain to make it a war of conquest or for territorial aggrandizement; and
Whereas it is, as it has always been, the purpose of the people of the United States to withdraw their sovereignty over Philippine Islands and to recognize their independence as soon as a stable government can be established therein; and
Whereas for the speedy accomplishment of such purpose it is desirable to place in the hands of the people of the Philippines as large a control of their domestic affairs as can be given them without, in the meantime, impairing the exercise of the rights of sovereignty by the people of the United States, in order that, by the use and exercise of popular franchise and governmental powers, they may be the better prepared to fully assume the responsibilities and enjoy all the privileges of complete independence: Therefore
Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 Sections
Section 1. The Philippines
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the provisions of this Act and the name “The Philippines” as used in this Act shall apply to and include the Philippine Islands ceded to the United States Government by the treaty of peace concluded between the United States and Spain on the eleventh day of April, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, the boundaries of which are set forth in Article III of said treaty, together with those islands embraced in the treaty between Spain and the United States concluded at Washington on the seventh day of November, nineteen hundred.
Section 2. Philippine Citizenship and Naturalization
That all inhabitants of the Philippine Islands who were Spanish subjects on the eleventh day of April, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, and then resided in said Islands, and their children born subsequent thereto, shall be deemed and held to be citizens of the Philippine Islands, except such as shall have elected to preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain in accordance with the provisions of the treaty of peace between the United States and Spain, signed at Paris December tenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, and except such others as have since become citizens of some other country: provided, that the Philippine Legislature, herein provided for, is hereby authorized to provide by law for the acquisition of Philippine citizenship by those natives of the Philippine Islands who do not come within the foregoing provisions, the natives of the insular possessions of the United States, and such other persons residing in the Philippine Islands who are citizens of the United States, or who could become citizens of the United States under the laws of the United States if residing therein.
Section 3. Bill of Rights
(a) Due process and eminent domain
That no law shall be enacted in said Islands which shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or deny to any person therein the equal protection of the laws. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.
(b) Rights of persons accused of crime
That in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf.
That no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law; and no person for the same offense shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.
That all persons shall before conviction be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses.
(c) Obligation of contracts
That no law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be enacted.
(d) Imprisonment for debt
That no person shall be imprisoned for debt.
(e) Suspension of habeas corpus
That the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion, insurrection, or invasion the public safety may require it, in either of which event the same may be suspended by the President, or by the Governor-General, wherever during such period the necessity for such suspension shall exist.
(f) Ex post facto laws, primogeniture, titles of nobility
That no ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted nor shall the law of primogeniture ever be in force in the Philippines.
That no law granting a title of nobility shall be enacted, and no person holding any office of profit or trust in said Islands shall, without the consent of the Congress of the United States, accept any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever from any king, queen, prince, or foreign state.
(g) Bail and punishment
That excessive bail shall not required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.
(h) Unreasonable searches
That the right to be secured against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.
That slavery shall not exist in said Islands; nor shall involuntary servitude exist therein except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
(j) Freedom of speech
That no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress grievances.
(k) Freedom of religion
That no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed; and no religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary as such.
Contracting of polygamous or plural marriages hereafter is prohibited. That no law shall be construed to permit polygamous or plural marriages.
(m) How public funds to be spent
That no money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation by law.
(n) Uniform tax
That the rule of taxation in said Islands shall be uniform.
(o) Subject and title of bills
That no bill which may be enacted into law shall embrace more than one subject, and that subject shall be expressed in the title of the bill.
(p) Warrants of arrest
That no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized.
(q) Special funds
That all money collected on any tax levied or assessed for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund in the treasury and paid out for such purpose only.
Section 4. Expenses of Government
That all expenses that may be incurred on account of the Government of the Philippines for salaries of officials and the conduct of their offices and departments, and all expenses and obligations contracted for the internal improvement or development of the Islands, not, however, including defenses, barracks, and other works undertaken by the United States, shall except as otherwise specifically provided by the Congress, be paid by the Government of the Philippines.
Section 5. Inapplicability of American Statutes
That the statutory laws of the United States hereafter enacted shall not apply to the Philippine Islands, except when specifically, so provided, or it is so provided in this Act.
Section 6. Continuance of Philippine Laws
That the laws now in the Philippines shall continue in force and effect, except as altered, amended, or modified herein, until altered, amended, or repealed by the legislative authority herein provided or by act of Congress of the United States.
Section 7. Legislative Power to Change Laws
That the legislative authority herein provided shall have power, when not inconsistent with this act, by due enactment to amend, alter, modify, or repeal any law, civil or criminal continued in force by this Act as it may from time to time see fit.
This power shall specifically extend with the limitation herein provided as to the tariff to all laws relating to revenue and taxation in effect in the Philippines.
Section 8. General Legislative Power
That general legislative power, except as otherwise herein provided, is hereby granted to the Philippine legislature, authorized by this Act.
Section 9. Public Property and Legislation on Public Domain, Timber and Mining
That all the property and rights which may have been acquired in the Philippine Islands by the United States under the treaty of peace with Spain, signed December tenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, except such land or other property as has been or shall be designated by the President of the United States for military and other reservations of the Government of the United States, and all lands which may have been subsequently acquired by the Government of the Philippine Islands by purchase under the provisions of sections sixty-three and sixty-four of the Act of Congress approved July first, nineteen hundred and two, except such as may have heretofore been sold and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of said act of Congress, are hereby placed under the control of the government of said Islands to be administered or disposed of for the benefit of the inhabitants thereof, and the Philippine Legislature shall have power to legislate with respect to all such matters as it may deem advisable; but acts of the Philippine Legislature with reference to land of the public domain, timber, and mining hereafter enacted, shall not have the force of law until approved by the President of the United States: Provided, That upon the approval of such an act by the Governor-General, it shall be by him forthwith transmitted to the President of the United States, and he shall approve or disapprove the same within six months from and after its enactment and submission for his approval, and if not disapproved within such time it shall become a law the same as if it had been specifically approved: Provided, further, That where lands in the Philippine Islands have been or may be reserved for any public purpose of the United States, and, being no longer required for the purpose for which reserved, have been or may be, by order of the President, placed under the control of the government of said Islands to be administered for the benefit of the inhabitants thereof, the order of the President shall be regarded as effectual to give the government of said Islands full control and power to administer and dispose of such lands for the benefit of the inhabitants of said Islands.
Section 10. Laws on Tariff, Immigration and Coinage
That while this Act provides that the Philippine Government shall have the authority to enact a tariff law the trade relations between the Islands and the United States shall continue to be governed exclusively by laws of the Congress of the United States: Provided, That tariff acts or acts amendatory to the tariff of the Philippine Islands shall not become law until they shall receive the approval of the President of the United States, nor shall any act of the Philippine Legislature affecting immigration or the currency or coinage laws of the Philippines become a law until it has been approved by the President of the United States: Provided, further, That the President shall approve or disapprove any act mentioned in the foregoing proviso within six months from and after its enactment and submission for his approval, and if not disapproved within such time it shall become a law the same as if it had been specifically approved.
Section 11. Taxes and Public Debts
That no export duties shall be levied or collected on, exports from the Philippine Islands, but taxes and assessments on property, and license fees for franchises and privileges, and internal taxes, direct or indirect, may be imposed for the purposes of the Philippine Government and the provincial and municipal governments thereof, respectively, as may be provided and defined by acts of the Philippine Legislature, and, where necessary to anticipate taxes and revenues, bonds and other obligations may be issued by the Philippine Government or any provincial or municipal government therein, as may be provided by law and to protect the public credit: Provided, however, That the entire indebtedness of the Philippine Government created by the authority conferred therein shall not exceed at any one time the sum of $15,000,000, exclusive of those obligations known as friar land bonds, nor that of any province or municipality a sum in excess of seven per centum of the aggregate tax valuation of its property at any one time.
Section 12. The Philippine Legislature
That general legislative powers in the Philippines, except as herein otherwise provided, shall be vested in a Legislature which shall consist of two houses, one the Senate and the other the House of Representatives, and the two houses shall be designated “the Philippine Legislature”: Provided, That until the Philippine Legislature as herein provided shall have been organized the existing Philippine Legislature shall have all legislative authority herein granted to the Government of the Philippine Islands, except such as may now be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Philippine Commission, which is so continued until the organization of the Legislature herein provided for the Philippines. When the Philippine Legislature shall have been organized, the exclusive legislative jurisdiction and authority exercised by the Philippine Commission shall thereafter be exercised by the Philippine Legislature.
Section 13. Election and Qualification of Senators
That the members of the Senate of the Philippines, except as herein provided, shall be elected for terms of six and three years, as hereinafter provided, by the qualified electors of the Philippines. Each of the senatorial districts defined as hereinafter provided shall have the right to elect two senators. No person shall be an elective member of the Senate of the Philippines who is not a qualified elector and over thirty years of age, and who is not able to read and write either the Spanish or English language, and who has not been a resident of the Philippines for at least two consecutive years and an actual resident of the senatorial district from which chosen for a period of at least one year immediately prior to his election.
Section 14. Election and Qualifications of Representatives
That the members of the House of Representatives shall, except as herein provided, be elected triennially by the qualified electors of the Philippines. Each of the representative districts hereinafter provided for shall have the right to elect one representative. No person shall be an elective member of the House of Representatives who is not a qualified elector and over twenty-five years of age, and who is not able to read and write either the Spanish or English language, and who has not been an actual resident of the district from which elected for at least one year immediately prior to his election: provided, that the members of the present Assembly elected on the first Tuesday in June, nineteen hundred and sixteen, shall be the members of the House of Representatives from their respective districts for the term expiring in nineteen hundred and nineteen.
Section 15. Qualifications of Voters
That at the first election held pursuant to this Act, the qualified electors shall be those having the qualifications of voters under the present law; thereafter and until otherwise provided by the Philippine Legislature herein provided for the qualifications of voters for senators and representatives in the Philippines and all officers elected by the people shall be as follows:
Every male person who is not a citizen or subject of a foreign power twenty-one years of age or over (except insane and feeble-minded persons and those convicted in a court of competent jurisdiction of an infamous offense since the thirteenth day of August, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight) who shall have been a resident of the Philippines for one year and of the municipality in which he shall offer to vote for six months next preceding the day of voting, and who is comprised within one of the following classes:
(a) Those who under existing law are legal voters and have exercised the right of suffrage.
(b) Those who own real property to the value of 500 pesos, or who annually pay 30 pesos or more of the established taxes.
(c) Those who are able to read and write either Spanish, English, or a native language.
Section 16. Senate and Representative Districts, and Appointive Senators and Representatives
That the Philippine Islands shall be divided into twelve senate districts, as follows:
- First district: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur
- Second district: La Union, Pangasinan, and Zambales
- Third district: Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Bulacan
- Fourth district: Bataan, Rizal, Manila, and Laguna
- Fifth district: Batangas, Mindoro, Tayabas, and Cavite
- Sixth district: Sorsogon, Albay, and Ambos Camarines
- Seventh district: Iloilo and Capiz
- Eight district: Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Antique, and Palawan
- Ninth district: Leyte and Samar
- Tenth district: Cebu
- Eleventh district: Surigao, Misamis, and Bohol
- Twelfth district: The Mountain Province, Baguio, Nueva Vizcaya, and the Department of Mindanao and Sulu.
The representative districts shall be the eighty-one now provided by law, and three in the Mountain Province, one in Nueva Vizcaya, and five in the Department of Mindanao and Sulu.
The first election under the provisions of this Act shall be held on the first Tuesday of October, nineteen hundred and sixteen, unless the Governor-General in his discretion shall fix another date not earlier than thirty nor later than sixty days after the passage of this Act: Provided, That the Governor-General’s proclamation shall be published at least thirty days prior to the date fixed for the election, and there shall be chosen at such election one senator from each senate district for a term of three years and one for six years. Thereafter one senator from each district shall be elected from each senate district for a term of six years: Provided, That the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands shall appoint, without the consent of the Senate and without restriction as to residence, senators and representatives who will, in his opinion, best represent the senate district and those representative districts which may be included in the territory not now represented in the Philippine Assembly: Provided further, That thereafter elections shall be held only on such days and under such regulations as to ballots, voting, and qualifications of electors as may be prescribed by the Philippine Legislature, to which is hereby given authority to redistrict the Philippine Islands and modify, amend, or repeal any provision of this section, except such as refer to appointive senators and representatives.
Section 17. Tenure of Senators and Representatives
That the terms of office of elective senators and representatives shall be six and three years, respectively, and shall begin on the date of their election. In case of vacancy among the elective members of the Senate or in the House of Representatives, special elections may be held in the districts wherein such vacancy occurred under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, but senators or representatives elected in such cases shall hold office only for the unexpired portion of the term wherein the vacancy occurred. Senators and representatives appointed by the Governor-General shall hold office until removed by the Governor-General.
Section 18. Organization of the Legislature and Privileges of Members
(a) Control of each house over its members and proceedings
That the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, shall be the sole judges of the elections, returns, and qualifications of their elective members, and each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel an elective member.
(b) Organization, quorum, and sessions
Both houses shall convene at the capital on the sixteenth day of October next following the election and organize by the election of a speaker or a presiding officer, a clerk, and a sergeant-at-arms for each house, and such other officers and assistants as may be required. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may meet, adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members. The Legislature shall hold annual sessions, commencing on the sixteenth day of October, or, if the sixteenth day of October be a legal holiday, then on the first day following which is not a legal holiday, in each year. The Legislature may be called in special session at any time by the Governor-General for general legislation, or for action on such specific subjects as he may designate. No special session shall continue longer than thirty days, and no regular shall continue longer than one hundred days, exclusive of Sundays.
The Legislature is hereby given the power and authority to change the date of the commencement of its annual sessions.
(c) Compensation and privileges of members
The senators and representatives shall receive an annual compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the Philippine Islands. The senators and representatives shall, in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective houses and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house they shall not be questioned in any other place.
(d) Disqualifications of members
No senator or representative shall, during the time for which he may have been elected, be eligible to any office the election to which is vested in the Legislature, nor shall be appointed to any office of trust or profit which shall have been created or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such term.
Section 19. Procedure for Law-Making
(a) Legislative journal and the veto power
That each house of the Legislature shall keep a journal of its proceedings and, from time to time, publish the same; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, upon demand of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal, and every bill and joint resolution which shall have passed both houses shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor-General. If he approve the same, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections to that house in which it shall have originated, which shall enter the objections at large on its journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members elected to that house shall agree to pass the same, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to that house it shall be sent to the Governor-General, who, in case he shall then not approve, shall transmit the same to the President of the United States. The vote of each house shall be by the yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against shall be entered on the journal. If the President of the United States approve the same, he shall sign it and it shall become a law. If he shall not approve the same, he shall return it to the Governor-General, so stating, and it shall not become a law: provided, that if any bill or joint resolution shall not be returned by the Governor-General as herein provided within twenty days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him the same shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Legislature by adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall become a law unless vetoed by the Governor-General within thirty days after adjournment: Provided, further, That the President of the United States shall approve or disapprove an act submitted to him under the provisions of this section within six months from and after its enactment and submission for its approval; and if not approved within such time, it shall become a law the same as if it had been specifically approved.
(b) The veto on appropriations
The Governor-General shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriation bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object. The item or items objected to shall not take effect except in the manner heretofore provided in this section as to bills and joint resolutions returned to the Legislature without his approval.
(c) Report of laws to Congress
All laws enacted by the Philippine Legislature shall be reported to the Congress of the United States, which hereby reserves the power and authority to annul the same.
(d) Revisal of former appropriations.
If at the termination of any fiscal year the appropriations necessary for the support of Government for the ensuing fiscal year shall not have been made, the several sums appropriated in the last appropriation bills for the objects and purposes therein specified, so far as the same may be done, shall be deemed to be re-appropriated for the several objects and purposes specified in said last appropriation bill; and until the Legislature shall act in such behalf the treasurer shall, when so directed by the Governor-General, make the payments necessary for the purposes aforesaid.
Section 20. The Resident Commissioners
(a) Selection and tenure
That at the first meeting of the Philippine Legislature created by this Act and triennially thereafter there shall be chosen by the Legislature two Resident Commissioners to the United States, who shall hold their office for a term of three years beginning with the fourth day of March following their election, and who shall be entitled to an official recognition as such by all Departments upon presentation to the President of a certificate of election by the Governor-General of said Islands.
Each of said Resident Commissioners shall, in addition to the salary and the sum in lieu of mileage now allowed by law, be allowed the same sum for stationery and for the pay of necessary clerk hires as is now allowed to the members of the House of Representatives of the United States, to be paid out of the Treasury of the United States, and the franking privilege allowed by law to members of Congress.
No person shall be eligible to election as Resident Commissioner who is not a bona fide elector of said Islands and who does not owe allegiance to the United States and who is not more than thirty years of age and who does not read and write the English language. The present two Resident Commissioners shall hold office until the fourth of March, nineteen hundred and seventeen.
(d) Temporary vacancy
In case of vacancy in the position of Resident Commissioner caused by resignation or otherwise, the Governor-General may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the Philippine Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancy; but the Resident Commissioner thus elected shall hold office only for the unexpired portion of the term wherein the vacancy occurred.
Section 21. The Governor-General
(a) Title, appointment, residence
That the supreme executive power shall be vested in an executive officer, whose official title shall be “The Governor-General of the Philippine Islands.” He shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, and hold his office at the pleasure of the President and until his successor is chosen and qualified. The Governor-General shall reside in the Philippine Islands during his official incumbency, and maintain his office at the seat of Government.
(b) Powers and duties
He shall, unless otherwise herein provided, appoint, by and with the consent of the Philippine Senate, such officers as may now be appointed by the Governor-General, or such as he is authorized by this Act to appoint, or whom may hereafter be authorized by law to appoint; but appointments made while the Senate is not in session shall be effective either until disapproval or until the next adjournment of the Senate. He shall have general supervision and control of all of the departments and bureaus of the Government in the Philippine Islands as far as is not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, and shall be commander in chief of all locally created armed forces and militia. He is hereby vested with the exclusive power to grant pardons and reprieves and remit fines and forfeitures, and may veto any legislation enacted as herein provided. He shall submit within ten days of the opening of each regular session of the Philippine Legislature a budget of receipts and expenditures, which shall be the basis of the annual appropriation bill. He shall commission all officers that he may be authorized to appoint. He shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws of the Philippine Islands of the United States operative within the Philippine Islands, and whenever it becomes necessary he may call upon the commanders of the military and naval forces of the United States in the Islands, or summon the posse comitatus, or call out the militia or other locally created armed forces, to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion, insurrection, or rebellion; and he may, in case of rebellion or invasion, or imminent danger thereof, when the public safety requires it, suspend the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus, or place the Islands, or any part thereof, under martial law: provided, that whenever the Governor-General shall exercise his authority, he shall at once notify the President of the United States thereof, together with the attending facts and circumstances and the President shall have power to modify or vacate the act of the Governor-General.
(c) Report of the Governor-General
He shall annually and at such other times as he may be required make such official report of the transactions of the Government of the Philippine Islands to an executive department of the United States to be designated by the President, and his said annual report shall be transmitted to the Congress of the United States; and he shall perform such additional duties and functions as may in pursuance of the law be delegated or assigned to him by the President.
Section 22. The Executive Departments and the Legislature
(a) Temporary continuance of executive heads
That, except as provided otherwise in this Act, the executive departments of the Philippine Government shall continue as now authorized by law until otherwise provided by the Philippine Legislature. When the Philippine Legislature herein provided shall convene and organize, the Philippine Commission, as such, shall cease and determine, and the members thereof shall vacate their offices as members of said Commission: Provided, That the heads of executive departments shall continue to exercise their executive functions until the heads of departments provided by the Philippine Legislature pursuant to the provisions of this Act are appointed and qualified.
(b) Legislative powers over the departments, and limitations of such
The Philippine Legislature may thereafter by appropriate legislation increase the number or abolish any of the executive departments, or make such changes in the names and duties thereof as it may see fit, and shall provide for the appointment and removal of the heads of the executive departments by the Governor-General: Provided, That all executive functions of the Government must be directly under the Governor-General or within one of the executive departments under the supervision and control of the Governor-General
(c) Provisions for a bureau for non-Christians
There is hereby established a bureau, to be known as the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes, which said bureau shall be embraced in one of the executive departments to be designated by the Governor-General, and shall have general supervision over the public affairs of the inhabitants of the territory represented in the Legislature by appointive senators and representatives.
Section 23. The Vice-Governor
(a) Appointment and powers; Bureaus of Education and Health
That there shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, a Vice-Governor of the Philippine Islands, who shall have all the powers of the Governor-General in the case in the of a vacancy or temporary removal, resignation, or disability of the Governor-General, or in case of his temporary absence; and the said Vice-Governor shall be the head of the executive department, known as the Department of Public Instruction, which shall include the Bureau of Education and the Bureau of Health, and he may be assigned such other executive duties as the Governor-General may designate.
(b) Bureaus under the Department of the Interior
Other bureaus now included in the Department of Public Instruction shall, until otherwise provided by the Philippine Legislature, be included in the Department of the Interior.
(c) Succession to the office of Governor-General
The President may designate the head of an executive department of the Philippine government to act as Governor-General in the case of a vacancy, the temporary removal, resignation, or disability of the Governor-General and the Vice-Governor, or their temporary absence, and the head of the department thus designated shall exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of the Governor-General during such vacancy, disability, or absence.
Section 24. The Insular Auditor
(a) Appointment, powers, duties
That there shall be appointed by the President an Auditor, who shall examine, audit, and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenues and receipts from whatever source of the Philippine Government and of the provincial and municipal governments of the Philippines, including trust funds derived from bond issues; and audit, in accordance with law and administrative regulations, all expenditures of funds or Property pertaining to or held in trust by the Government or the Provinces or municipalities thereof. He shall perform a like duty with respect to all Government branches.
He shall keep the general accounts of the Government and preserve the vouchers pertaining thereto.
It shall be the duty of the Auditor to bring to the attention of the proper administrative officer expenditures of funds or property which, in his opinion, are irregular, unnecessary, excessive, or extravagant.
(b) Deputy Auditor and Assistant
There shall be a Deputy Auditor appointed in the same manner as the Auditor. The Deputy Auditor shall sign such official papers as the Auditor may designate and perform such other duties as the Auditor may prescribe, and in case of the death, resignation, sickness, or other absence of the Auditor from his office, from any cause, the Deputy Auditor shall have charge of such office. In case of the absence from duty, from any cause, of both the Auditor and the Deputy Auditor, the Governor-General may designate an assistant, who shall have charge of the office.
(c) Jurisdiction of Auditor
The administrative jurisdiction of the Auditor over accounts, whether of funds or property, and all vouchers and records pertaining thereto, shall be exclusive. With the approval of the Governor-General he shall from time to time make and promulgate general or special rules and regulations not inconsistent with law covering the method of accounting for public funds and property, and funds and property held in trust by the Government or any of its branches: provided, that any officer accountable for public funds or property may require such additional reports or returns from his subordinates or others as he may deem necessary for his own information and protection.
(d) Decisions of Auditor
The decisions of the Auditor shall be final and conclusive upon the executive branches of the Government, except that appeal therefrom may be taken by the party aggrieved or the head of the department concerned within one year, in the manner hereinafter prescribed. The Auditor shall, except as hereinafter provided, have like authority as that conferred by law upon the several auditors of the United States and the Comptroller of the United States Treasury and is authorized to communicate directly with any persons having claims before him for settlement, or with any department, officer, or person having official relations with his office.
(e) Financial reports
As soon after the close of each fiscal year as the accounts of said year may be examined and adjusted the auditor shall submit to the Governor-General and the Secretary of War an annual report of the fiscal concerns of the Government, showing the receipts and disbursements of the various departments and bureaus of the Government and of the various provinces and municipalities, and make such other reports as may be required of him by the Governor-General or the Secretary of War.
(f) Right of investigation
In the execution of their duties the Auditor and the Deputy Auditor are authorized to summon witnesses, administer oaths, and to take evidence, and, in the pursuance of these provisions, may issue subpoenas and enforce the attendance of witnesses, as now provided by law.
The office of the Auditor shall be under the general supervision of the Governor-General and shall consist of the Auditor and Deputy Auditor and such necessary assistants as may be prescribed by law.
Section 25. Appeal from Auditor’s Decision
(a) Time and form, of appeal
That any person aggrieved by the action or decision of the Auditor in the settlement of his account or claim may, within one year, take an appeal in writing to the Governor-General, which appeal shall specifically set forth the particular action of the Auditor to which exception is taken with the reason and authorities relied on for reversing such decision.
(b) Final decision
If the Governor-General shall confirm the action of the Auditor, he shall so indorse the appeal and transmit it to the Auditor, and the action shall thereupon be final and conclusive. Should the Governor-General fail to sustain the action of the Auditor, he shall forthwith transmit his grounds of disapproval to the Secretary of War, together with the appeal and the papers necessary to a proper understanding of the matter. The decision of the Secretary of War in such case shall be final and conclusive.
Section 26. The Judiciary
(a) Jurisdiction of courts and appointment of judges
That the Supreme Court and the Courts of First Instance of the Philippine Islands shall possess and exercise jurisdiction as heretofore provided and such additional jurisdiction as shall hereafter be prescribed by law. The municipal courts of said Islands shall possess and exercise jurisdiction as now provided by law, subject in all matters to such alteration and amendment as may be hereafter enacted by law; and the chief justice and associate justices of the supreme court shall hereafter be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States. The judges of the court of first instance shall be appointed by the Governor-General, by and with the advice and consent of the Philippine Senate: Provided, That the admiralty jurisdiction of the supreme court and courts of first instance shall not be changed except by act of Congress. That in all cases pending under the operation of existing laws, both criminal and civil, the jurisdiction shall continue until final judgment and determination.
Section 27. Cases Appeal-able to the United States Supreme Court
That the Supreme Court of the United States shall have jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm the final judgments and decrees of the supreme court of the Philippine Islands in all actions, cases, causes, and proceedings now pending therein or hereafter determined thereby in which the Constitution or any statute, treaty, title, right or privilege of the United States is involved, or in causes in which the value in controversy exceeds $25,000, or in which the title or possession of real estate exceeding in value the sum of $25,000, to be ascertained by the oath of either party or of other competent witnesses, is involved or brought in question; and such final judgments or decrees may and can be reviewed, revised, modified, or affirmed by said Supreme Court of the United States on appeal or writ of error by the party aggrieved within the same time, in the same manner, under the same regulation, and by the same procedure, as far as applicable, as the final judgments and decrees of the district courts of the United States.
Section 28. Franchises
(a) Scope of franchises and power to change them
That the Government of the Philippine Islands may grant franchises and rights, including the authority to exercise the right of eminent domain, for the construction and operation of works of public utility and service, and may authorize said works to be constructed and maintained over and across the public property of the United States, including streets, highways, squares, and reservations, and over similar property of the Government of said Islands, and may adopt rules and regulations under which the provincial and municipal governments of the Islands may grant the right to use and occupy such public property belonging to said provinces or municipalities: provided, that no private property shall be damaged or taken for any purpose under this section without just compensation, and that such authority to take and occupy land shall not authorize the taking, use, or occupation of any land except such as is required for the actual necessary purposes for which the franchise is granted, and that no franchise or right shall be granted to any individual, firm, or corporation except under the conditions that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress of the United States, and that lands or right of use and occupation of lands thus granted shall revert to the governments by which they were respectively granted upon the termination of the franchises and rights under which they were granted or upon the revocation or repeal.
(b) Conditions on grant of franchise, and revocation
That all franchises or rights granted under this Act shall forbid the issue of stock or bonds except in exchange for actual cash or for property at a fair valuation equal to the par value of the stock or bonds so issued; shall forbid the declaring of stock or bond dividends, and, in the case of public service corporations, shall provide for the effective regulation of the charges thereof, for the official inspection and regulation of the books and accounts of such corporations, and for the payment of a reasonable percentage of gross earnings into the treasury of the Philippine Islands or of the province or municipality within which such franchises are granted and exercised: provided, further, that it shall be unlawful for any corporation organized under this Act, or for any person, company, or corporation receiving any grant, franchise, or concession from the Government of said Islands, to use, employ, or contract for the labor of persons held in involuntary servitude; and any person, company, or corporation so violating the provisions of this Act shall forfeit all charters, grants, or franchises for doing business in said Islands, in an action or proceeding brought for that purpose in any court of competent jurisdiction by any officer of the Philippine Government, or on the complaint of any citizen of the Philippines, under such regulations and rules as the Philippine Legislature shall prescribe, and in addition shall be deemed guilty of an offense, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.
Section 29. Salaries
(a) Funds for salaries
That, except as in this Act otherwise provided, the salaries of all the officials of the Philippines not appointed by the President, including deputies, assistants, and other employees, shall be such and be so paid out of the revenues of the Philippines as shall from time to time be determined by the Philippine Legislature; and if the Legislature shall fail to make an appropriation for such salaries, the salaries so fixed shall be paid without the necessity of further appropriations therefor. The salaries of all officers and all expenses of the offices of the various officials of the Philippines appointed as herein provided by the President shall also be paid out of the revenues of the Philippines
(b) Salaries of certain officers
The annual salaries of the following-named officials appointed by the President and so to be paid shall be: The Governor-General, $18,000; in addition thereto he shall be entitled to the occupancy of the buildings heretofore used by the chief executive of the Philippines, with the furniture and effects therein, free of rental; Vice-Governor, $10,000; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, $8,000; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, $7,500 each; Auditor, $6,000; Deputy Auditor, $3,000.
Section 30. Salaries of Municipal and Provincial Officers
That the provisions of the foregoing section shall not apply to provincial and municipal officials; their salaries and the compensation of their deputies, assistants, and other help, as well as all other expenses insured by the provinces and municipalities, shall be paid out of the provincial and municipal revenues in such manner as the Philippine Legislature shall provide.
Section 31. Continuance of Laws
That all laws or parts of laws applicable to the Philippines not in conflict with any of the provisions of this Act are hereby continued in force and effect.
Approved, August 29, 1916.
Other Philippine Law Articles:
- The Family Code of the Philippines (Full Text and PDF)
- National Territory of the Philippines (Tagalog Version PDF)
- The Bulk Sales Law of the Philippines