The legislative power is vested in the Congress of the Philippines which consists of the Senate and House of Representatives. The upper house is located in Pasay, while the lower house is located in Quezon City. The district and sectoral representatives are elected for a term of three years. They can be re-elected but they may not run for a fourth consecutive term.
Senators are elected to a term of six years. They can be re-elected but may not run for a third consecutive term. The House of Representatives may opt to pass for a vacancy of a legislative seat, which leads to a special election. The winner of the special election will serve the unfinished term of the previous district representative, and will be considered as one elective term. The same rule also applies in the Senate, however it only applies if the seat was vacated before a regular legislative election.
The president is assisted by his or her cabinet that is made up of different departments and is headed by a secretary. The president appoints the secretary with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.
The second highest official, Vice PresidentJejomar Binay of the PDP-Laban party is also elected by popular vote. The Vice-President is first in line to succession if the President resigns, is impeached or dies. The Vice-President usually, though not always, is a member of the president's cabinet. If there is a vacancy in the position of vice-president, the President will appoint any member of Congress (usually a party member) as new vice-president. The appointment must then be validated by a three-fourths vote of the Congress.
The government and all three of its branches are independently monitored by th office of the Ombudsman (Filipino: Tanodbayan). The Ombudsman is given the mandate to investigate and prosecute any government official allegedly guilty of crimes, especially Graft and Corruption. The Ombudsman is assisted by six deputies: the Overall Deputy, the Deputy for Luzon, the Deputy for Visayas, the Deputy for Mindanao, the Deputy for the Armed Forces, and the Special Prosecutor.
Beyond these, the national government groups provinces and independent cities into regions, e.g. Metro Manila or Region VI. The President has the prerogative to create, abolish and determine the composition of regions, which is done so most often in consultation with the local government units affected, with the exception of autonomous regions, where the residents of the local government units have to ratify in a plebiscite their inclusion in such a setup.