MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - While public office is a public service, it cannot be denied that there are privileges that come with being an elected official.
As the filing of certificates of candidacies for the 2019 elections begins, here are the privileges provided by law for Philippine senators:
According to the Department of Budget and Management, elected senators are under salary grade 31 equivalent to monthly pay of at least P117,086.
Senators, under the law, are also allowed to receive allowances. However, the Constitution provides that books of accounts of the Senate must be audited by the Commission on Audit.
Senators are also required to publish annually their itemized expenditures which include allowances.
1. PRIVILEGE FROM ARREST
Senators enjoy the privilege from arrest as provided by the Constitution.
In all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, senators enjoy the privilege from arrest while the Congress is in session.
The Constitution also provides that lawmakers can only be suspended by his or her chamber only for the purpose of self-preservation or self-protection.
2. PRIVILEGE OF SPEECH AND DEBATE
No lawmaker shall also be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in Congress or in any committee thereof.
This is to ensure that constituents are represented well by the lawmakers.