Notes on amendments and revisions (Article XVII)


It is a fundamental principle that a constitution can only be revised or amended in the manner prescribed by the instrument itself, and that any attempt to revise a constitution in a manner other than the one provided in the instrument is almost invariably treated as extra-constitutional and revolutionary.

"It is a Constitution we are expounding" solemnly intoned the great Chief Justice John Marshall of the United States in the 1819 case of M'cCulloch v. Maryland. Our Constitution is not a mere collection of slogans. Every syllable of our Constitution is suffused with significance and requires our full fealty. Indeed, the rule of law will wither if we allow the commands of our Constitution to underrule us.  (G.R. No. 174153)

Test yourself. Below are questions that you should be able to answer if you have studied Article XVII enough. These can also serve as your guide if you are still in the process of studying amendments and revisions.

[1] What are the three methods of changing the Constitution?
[2] What are the two types of changes that can be done to the Constitution?
[3] What is an amendment?
[4] What is a revision?
[5] What are the two tests in determining the nature of proposed changes?
[6] What is the quantitative test?
[7] What is the qualitative test?
[8] Should these two tests be applied together?
[9] What are examples of amendments?
[10] What are examples of revisions?
[11] Is a change from the presidential system to a parliamentary one an amendment?
[12] Is a change from the bicameral system to unicameral one an amendment?
[13] What is a constituent assembly?
[14] Why is a constituent assembly dangerous?
[15] How does a constituent assembly propose changes to the Constitution?
[16] How often can a constituent assembly propose changes to the Constitution?
[17] Why is the constituent assembly the cheapest way to change the Constitution?
[18] What is a constitutional convention?
[19] Why is a constitutional convention less dangerous?
[20] How is a constitutional convention called?
[21] How many instances of voting are done in a constitutional convention?
[22] Why is a constitutional convention the most expensive way to change the Constitution?
[23] Why does "submission to the electorate of the question to call" mean? [24] How does a constitutional convention propose changes to the Constitution?
[25] How often can a constitutional convention propose changes to the Constitution?
[26] What is a people's initiative?
[27] What changes can be proposed via people's initiative?
[28] What is the enabling law for people's initiative?
[29] Is Section 2 a self-executing provision?
[30] What are criticisms on Section 2 of Article XVII?
[31] What is the 12% requirement?
[32] What is the 3% requirement?
[33] What is the 5-year-limit rule?
[34] What is the role of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in people's initiative?
[35] What is sufficiency of form of petition?
[36] What is sufficiency of substance of petition?
[37] What is the doctrine of proper submission?
[38] Who declares that the Constitution has been changed?
[39] What are the two steps in the process of changing the Constitution?
[40] What is piecemeal proposal?
[41] What is ratification?
[42] Is the constitution of a constituent assembly done by Congress voting jointly or separately?
[43] Is the President allowed to create and allocate funds for a drafter's committee or constitutional committee for the drafting of a proposed change in the Constitution?
[44] Is Santiago v. COMELEC a good law?
[45] What did the Supreme Court say in Lambino v. COMELEC?

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