Articles 14-18 of The 1935 Constitution Simplified

General Provisions


Article 14: General Provisions

Section 1: Flag

The flag of the Philippines shall be red, white, and blue, with a sun and three stars, as consecrated and honored by the people and recognized by law.

Section 2

All public officers and members of the armed forces shall take an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

Section 3

The Congress shall take steps toward the development and adoption of a common national language based on one of the existing native languages. Until otherwise provided by law, English and Spanish shall continue as official languages.

Section 4. The State shall promote scientific research and invention. Arts and letters shall be under its patronage. The exclusive right to writings and inventions shall be secured to authors and inventors for a limited period.

Section 5. All educational institutions shall be supervised and regulated by the State.

The Government shall:

  • establish and maintain a complete and adequate system of public education
  • provide at least free public primary instruction, and citizenship training to adult citizens.

All schools shall aim to:

  • develop moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience, vocational efficiency
  • teach the duties of citizenship.

Optional religious instruction shall be maintained in the public schools as now authorized by law.

Universities established by the State shall enjoy academic freedom.

The State shall create scholarships in arts, science, and letters for specially gifted citizens.

Section 6

The State shall:

  • protect labor, especially to working women, and minors
  • regulate the relations between the landowner and tenant, and between labor and capital in industry and in agriculture.

The State may provide for compulsory arbitration.

Section 7

The Congress shall not, except by general law, provide for the formation, organization, or regulation of private corporations, unless such corporations are owned and controlled by the Government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof.

Section 8

No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to Filipinos or to corporations or other entities organized under the laws of the Philippines 60% of the capital of which is owned by citizens of the Philippines

No such franchise, certificate, or authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than 50 years.

No franchise or right shall be granted to any individual, firm, or corporation, except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the public interest so requires.

Section 9. The Government shall organize and maintain a national police force to preserve public order and enforce the law.

Section 10. This Constitution shall be officially promulgated in English and Spanish, but in case of conflict the English text shall prevail.

Article 15: Amendments

Section 1

The Congress in joint session assembled, by a vote of 3/4 of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately, may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for that purpose.

Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification.

Article 16: Transitory Provisions

Section 1

The first election of the officers provided in this Constitution and the inauguration of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines shall take place as provided in Public Act Numbered 127 of the US Congress, approved March 24, 1934.

Section 2

All Philippine laws shall continue in force until the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

Thereafter, such laws shall remain operative, unless inconsistent with this Constitution, until amended, altered, modified, or repealed by the Congress of the Philippines

All references in such laws to the Government or officials of the Philippine Islands shall be construed, insofar as applicable, to refer to the government and corresponding officials under this Constitution.

Section 3

All courts existing at the time of the adoption of this Constitution shall continue and exercise their jurisdiction, until otherwise provided by law in accordance with this Constitution, and all cases, civil and criminal, pending in said courts, shall be heard, tried, and determined under the laws then in force.

Section 4

All officers and employees in the existing Government of the Philippine Islands shall continue in office until the Congress shall provide otherwise, but all officers whose appointments are by this Constitution vested in the President shall, vacate their respective offices upon the appointment and qualification of their successors, if such appointment is made within a period of one year from the date of the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

Section 5

The Members of the House of Representatives for theMountainProvinceshall be elected as may be provided by law. The voters of municipalities and municipal districts formerly belonging to a special province and now forming part of regular provinces shall vote in the election for Members of the House of Representatives in such districts as may be provided by law.

Section 6

The provisions of this Constitution, except those contained in this article and in Article V, and those which refer to the election and qualifications of officers to be elected under this Constitution, shall not take effect until the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

Article 17: Special Provisions Effective upon the Proclamation of the Independence of the Philippines

Section. 1

Upon the proclamation of the US President recognizing the independence of the Philippines:

  1. The property rights of the US and the Philippines shall be promptly adjusted and settled

All existing property rights of US citizens or US corporations shall be acknowledged, respected, and safeguarded to the same extent as property rights of the Philippines.

  1. The officials elected and serving under this Constitution shall be constitutional officers of the free and independent Government of the Philippines and qualified to function in all respects as if elected directly under such Government, and shall serve their full terms of office as prescribed in this Constitution.

  2. The debts and liabilities of the Philippines, its provinces, cities, municipalities, and instrumentalities, which shall be valid and subsisting at the time of the final and complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the US, shall be assumed by the free and independent Government of the Philippines.

Where bonds have been issued under authority of an Act of Congress of the United States by the Philippine Islands, or any province, city or municipality therein, the Government of the Philippines will make adequate provision for the necessary funds for the payment of interest and principal, and such obligations shall be a first lien on all taxes collected.

  1. The Philippine Government will assume all continuing obligations of the US under the Treaty of Peace with Spain ceding the Philippines to the US.

  2. The Philippine Government will embody the foregoing provisions of this article (except subsection (2)) in a treaty with theUnited States.

Article 18: The Commonwealth and the Republic

Section. 1

This Constitution establishes the Commonwealth of the Philippines. It shall change to the Republic of the Philippines after proclamation of Philippine independence


Despite the provisions of Section 1, Article 13, and section 8, Article 14, the exploitation of natural resources and the operation of public utilities is open to US citizens and to US businesses just as they were Filipino citizens and businesses until July 3, 1974.

This was agreed upon between the Philippine President and the US President on July 4, 1946.

[The 1935 Constitution was ratified on May 14, 1935].