The Philippines are currently operating as a democratic republic state. Their government, in a similar manner to the United States, believes in the importance of separation of powers. This separation of powers is accomplished with a three branch approach, with that of an executive, legislative, and judiciary branch. The executive, like United States, branch consists of both a President and Vice President, but unlike the United States, they serve 6 year terms and are elected by popular vote. The Philippines also boasts a bicameral legislature consisting of 24 Senators and 292 Representatives. The Judiciary system resembles the United States in its court setup, while also having its Chief Justice appointed by the President. The Philippines have a vast number more of political parties with influence than the United States does. The most influential and powerful of these is the Liberal Party, which was founded in 1945 and is currently the 2nd oldest party. The Liberal Party holds 110 of the 292 seats in the House of Representatives and 4 of 24 in the Senate. They have the goal of eliminating government interference in the citizens’ lives.
The current economic state in the Philippines should be described as a mixed economy, in that it has characteristics from both a command and market economy. It combines a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. The determination of which sectors come under regulation is determined by their relation to national health, national security, and national interest. Some of the ones that are regulated are fishing, mining, and agriculture. The economy is very westernized and continually progressing in a western or capitalistic manner. As the 43rd largest economy, t is heavily dependent on the United States, the 2nd largest, as the largest consumer of Filipino goods. The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom ranks as the 76th freest country, with the US being 12th. They have been putting an emphasis on structural reform and liberalizing the bank sector to continue forward progress.
As with any capitalistic society, corruption halts progress and the Philippines are riddled with corruption throughout the system. The political parties and people with money frequently rig elections by tampering with voting machines and such. In 2010, the presidential election was monumental in that only 400 of 82,000 machines malfunctioned, which is a terrible rate, but shows progress nonetheless. The United States has seen some controversy in the vote collection before, such as the 2004 election between George W. Bush and John Kerry. Along the lines with the rampant corruption is a huge human rights problem. They have had extrajudicial killings become a frequent problem, as well as 52 journalists have been murdered, putting a damper on the freedom in the press. They even have a problem with politicians and wealthy landowners having their own private armies. Since 2006 the Philippines have been members of the Asian Human Rights Commission to help prevent corruption and fraudulent usage of public funds.
Civil law is the law of the land in the Philippines, as they have been operating this way since colonization by Spain. This is the opposite of the US, who is operating under Common law. The court system is similar, in that it has a Supreme Court, as well as appellate courts. The Philippines have vastly more distinctions of lower-level courts. In line with their economic westernization, they have followed suit in their business laws. They have their own Tax Reform Act, intellectual property codes, Social Security Act, and FDA.