Protocols: Speeches from the Throne and Presidential inaugurations
Both Houses of Parliament, the Senate and the House of Representatives, meet to hear the President deliver speeches from the Throne, whether to open Parliament or during the Inauguration of a new Head of State.
- The President takes the presidential transport, or private vehicle in the case of the President-elect, to Parliament House. On arrival, the Speaker of the Senate greets the Head of State at the State Entrance and the two retreat to the State Room until the appointed hour. At the same time, the Presidential Standard is flown over Parliament House. [The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court joins the Speaker during an Inauguration. Also, the Presidential Standard is not flown until the oath of office, or the equivalent affirmation, is taken.]
- Meanwhile, the President or President-elect’s entourage such as immediate family are led to the Officials’ Section of the Senate chamber’s viewing lobby, along with foreign dignitaries and other guests of honor.
- Senators stand as the Speaker and the President or President-elect enter the Senate chamber through the State entrance. The President leads the procession, but behind the Sergeant-at-Arms who bears the Mace. During Inauguration, however, the President-elect walks with the Chief Justice on the right, before the Speaker.
- The President first sits on the Throne, followed by the Speaker who takes the chair while the Sergeant-at-Arms places the Mace at the Table. [The Throne is left empty, and the Chief Justice sit and the President-elect on the right and left of the Speaker’s chair, respectively, until the oath of office, or the equivalent affirmation, is taken.]
- The President or, during Inauguration, the Speaker of the Senate sends the Sergeant-at-Arms to the House of Representatives, who then stands before the bar of the House and, addressing its Speaker, requests the presence of the members at the upper House either to hear the President’s Speech or for the Inauguration.
- The Speaker of the House leads its members towards the Senate chamber, following the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms from behind. Members of the House of Representatives take their places at the Senate chamber, standing before the bar.
- In an Inauguration, the Speaker of the Senate then invites the Chief Justice to administer the oath or affirmation to the President-elect. Both stand at the Table and the President-elect takes the oath of office or the equivalent affirmation. As soon as the oath is taken, the Presidential Standard is lowered at Malacañang and the President’s Private Secretary sends the presidential transport to Parliament House.
- The President delivers the Speech from the Throne.
- After the National Anthem is played, the President and the Speaker of the Senate [along with the Chief Justice, in an Inauguration] exit the chamber through the State Entrance and withdraw back to the State Room. There, senators, members of Parliament, and the guests of honor join them for a short reception.
- The President then leaves Parliament House through the State Entrance and takes the presidential transport to Malacañang.
- Later that day, both Houses sit to pass motions-in-Address to the Head of State.
Taking possession of Malacañang (or the ‘turn over’)
- Moments before the new President arrives, Malacañang staff assemble at the Reception Hall and bid farewell to the former Head of State. The former President then descends the Palace through the Grand Staircase and heads towards the lawn, where the former Commander-in-Chief receives final Military Honors. [The Honors are omitted in case of outgoing Acting Presidents.]
- On arrival at Malacañang, the former President and the PPS greet the new President at the State Entrance. Shortly afterwards, the former President takes private vehicle out of the Palace.
- Finally, the new President receives Military Honors for the first time at the lawn and ascends Malacañang through the Grand Staircase, where the staff wait to greet the Head of State. At the same time, the Presidential Standard is flown over Malacañang once again.
- Further activities such as a Formal Reception may be held later that day.
Note: This article is part of a series, where the Philippines is reimagined to be under a Westminster-style parliamentary regime. For related articles, click the ParliamentaryPH tag below.