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FO: Laws and Legislation

The most obvious sources of information regarding laws and legislation in the Philippines are the websites of the three branches of government. But these websites, while good sources for current information, leave much to be desired when it comes to older laws:

  • The documents available through the Office of the Press Secretary (for the Office of the President), are limited mostly to speeches, directives and issuances of the current president;
  • The Senate Library only provides information about what's in the physical library (so you really have to go there if you want to look for something);
  • The House of Representative's Download Center is composed largely of pdf files of pending bills and is the place to go if you want copies of laws signed by the President—but only from 1987 onward; and
  • The Supreme Court's E-Library has decisions rendered by the Court from 1987, plus copies of past and present Constitutions—but no means for searching.
The following websites are more comprehensive resources for Philippine laws and legislation:
  • The LawPhil Project does not show up in searches using "philippines law," but its sections on "Statutes" and "Jurisprudence" go all the way to the year 1900 and 1901, respectively [tip: click on Jose Rizal's face for an overview of what is available]; and
  • The Chan Robles Virtual Law Library is neither as slick nor as organized as the former, but its Repository of Laws, Statutes and Codes and Supreme Court Decisions are nothing to be sneezed at. The fact that it is organized according to disciplines (e.g., criminal, civil, taxation) may be an advantage or disadvantage depending on what you're looking for.
What's good about these websites is that both are searchable. Users may have individual preferences for various reasons, but it may be necessary to consult both when looking for specific statutes or decisions because neither has a complete set.

Series: Filipiniana Online

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