The Commission on Appointments (CA) is a constitutional body of the Congress of the Philippines as provided by the Constitution. It is an independent body separate and distinct from the Legislature, although its membership is confined to members of Congress.
It confirms certain appointments made by the President of the Philippines. Article VII, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution reads:
"The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. He shall also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. The Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards.
How does the CA work?
The CA does not curtail the Presidents appointing authority but serves as a check against its abuse. It assures that the President has exercised the power to appoint wisely, by appointing only those who are fit and qualified. To this end, the Rules of the Commission's Statement of Policy provides that,'The Commission on Appointments hereby declares as its policy that the powers vested in it by the Constitution shall be discharged with only one impelling motive, which is the efficient and harmonious functioning of the government.
'Cognizant of the fact that the power of appointment is vested in the President of the Philippines, and that the President, in the exercise of that power, had carefully considered the fitness and qualifications of nominees or appointees, the Commission on Appointments shall accord the nomination or appointment weight and respect, to the end that all doubts should be resolved in favor of approval or confirmation.
'On the other hand, the Commission, being part of our republican system of checks and balances, shall act as a restraint against abuse of the appointing authority, to the end that the power of disapproval should be exercised to protect and enhance the public interest.'
*Pimentel Jr. vs. Ermita (G.R. No 164978; 472 SCRA 587)
The Commission's function forms part of the very delicate mechanism of checks and balances established by the Constitution to ensure that the coordinate departments of the government will function in a way that will be most conducive to the public welfare.