The Philippine government is a democratic republic which has three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.
The president, vice president, and cabinet make up the executive branch, the senate and the congress make up the legislative branch, and the Supreme Court and lower courts make up the judiciary.
What you need to know about the Philippine government
Very recently, the Philippine government had an overhaul when the country elected a new president and vice president in May 2016. The controversial election brought to power an equally controversial leader, the current Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte. By now, Duterte (also known as PDuts, PDiggy, Digong, or Du30) has become notorious for his inflammatory, foul-mouthed remarks against leaders of other countries, his off-color comments when it comes to women, and his bullish, take-no-prisoners war on drugs.
The Philippine government is not always efficient, and trying to avail of certain services can be frustrating and may take up most of your day. If you are heading to a government office to extend your visa, for instance, expect long lines and sketchy fees. It’s best to go as early as possible and research the fees you need to pay beforehand.
Here are the websites of government offices you may encounter or need to visit during a trip to the Philippines.
- Bureau of Immigration: http://www.immigration.gov.ph/
- Department of Foreign Affairs: http://www.dfa.gov.ph/
- Bureau of Customs: http://customs.gov.ph/
- Department of Tourism: http://www.tourism.gov.ph/pages/default.aspx
- Department of Health: http://www.doh.gov.ph/
Always be safe
Obviously, it’s best not to be in violation of any law whether you’re traveling or at your home base. This is especially true in the Philippines. Getting caught doing illegal activities here can mean detention while you wait for a court date, and thanks to the judicial system, this can take a long time. Prisons in the Philippines are no joke, so it’s best to steer well out of the way of trouble during your trip!
While dealing with the Philippine government can be challenging, most foreigners barely have to do so while they are traveling in the country. Anyway, if you have had to deal with a particularly frustrating government office, there is no better place to recover than at any of our beautiful beaches!