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Philippine Commission

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Philippines

The Philippine Commission was the name of two bodies, both appointed by the President of the United States to assist with governing the Philippines.

The first Philippine Commission was appointed by President William McKinley on January 20, 1899 to make recommendations.

The second Philippine Commission, also known as the Taft Commission, was a body appointed by the President to exercise legislative and limited executive powers in the bicameral Philippine Legislature was established with the Commission as the upper house and the elected Philippine Assembly acting as lower house. The Jones Act of 1916 ended the Commission replacing it an elected Philippine Senate as the Legislature's upper house.


  • First Philippine Commission 1
  • Second Philippine Commission 2
    • Membership 2.1
      • Leader 2.1.1
      • Other members 2.1.2
  • See also 3
  • References and notes 4
    • Bibliography 4.1
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6

First Philippine Commission

On January 20, 1899, President McKinley appointed the First Philippine Commission (the Schurman Commission),[1] a five-person group headed by Dr. Jacob Schurman, president of Cornell University, to investigate conditions in the islands and make recommendations. In the report that they issued to the president the following year, the commissioners acknowledged Filipino aspirations for independence; they declared, however, that the Philippines was not ready for it. Specific recommendations included the establishment of civilian government as rapidly as possible (the American chief executive in the islands at that time was the military governor), including establishment of a bicameral legislature, autonomous governments on the provincial and municipal levels, and a system of free public elementary schools.[2]

Second Philippine Commission

From Philippines: A Country Study by Ronald E. Dolan:[3]

"The Second Philippine Commission (the Taft Commission), appointed by McKinley on March 16, 1900,[4] and headed by presidents, vice presidents, and councilors to serve on municipal boards. The municipal board members were responsible for collecting taxes, maintaining municipal properties, and undertaking necessary construction projects; they also elected provincial governors."[2] On 4 July 1901, Taft became governor of a civil administration for the Philippines.[5] This regime, called the Insular Government, administered the country until 1935.

Marker, Session Road

"The Philippine Organic Act of July 1902 stipulated that a Philippine Legislature would be established composed of a lower house, the Philippine Assembly, which would be popularly elected, and an upper house consisting of the Philippine Commission. The two houses would share legislative powers, although the upper house alone would pass laws relating to the Moros and other non-Christian peoples. The act also provided for extending the United States Bill of Rights to Filipinos and sending two Filipino resident commissioners to Washington to attend sessions of the United States Congress. In July 1907, the first elections for the assembly were held, and the legislature opened its first session on October 16, 1907."[2][6]



The Governor-General of the Philippines led the body:

William Howard Taft (1901-1903)
Luke Edward Wright (1903-1906)
Henry Clay Ide (1906)
James Francis Smith (1906-1907)

Other members

Secretary of Finance and Justice:
Name Month started Month finished
Secretaries of Finance and Justice
Henry Clay Ide September 1, 1901 September 24, 1906
James Francis Smith September 25, 1906 June 30, 1908
Gregorio S. Araneta July 1, 1908 October 30, 1913
Victorino Mapa November 1, 1913 January 14, 1917
Secretary of the Interior:
Name Month started Month finished
Secretaries of the Interior
Dean C. Worcester September 1, 1901 1913
Winfred Denson 1913 1916
Secretary of Commerce and Police:
Name Month started Month finished
Secretaries of Commerce and Police
Luke Edward Wright September 1, 1901 February 1, 1904
William Cameron Forbes February 1, 1904 1909
Charles Elliott 1910 1913
Clinton L. Riggs 1913 1915
Eugene Reed 1915 1916
Secretary of Public Instruction:
Name Term started Term finished
Secretaries of Public Instruction
Bernard Moses September 1, 1901 June 30, 1908
W. Morgan Shuster June 30, 1908 1909
Newton W. Gilbert 1909 1915
Henderson Martin 1915 1916
Philippine Members (1901–1909):
Name Term started Term finished
Philippine Members of the Philippine Commission
Benito Legarda September 1, 1901 December 21, 1907
Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera September 1, 1901 March 1, 1909
Jose Ruiz de Luzuriaga September 1, 1901 1913
Philippine Members (1909–1913):
Name Term started Term finished
Philippine Members of the Philippine Commission
Rafael Palma December 21, 1907 1913
Juan Sumulong March 1, 1909 1913
Jose Ruiz de Luzuriaga September 1, 1901 1913
Gregorio Araneta 1909 1913

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ Halili 2004, p. 174
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^


Further reading

  • Philippine House of Representatives Congressional Library

External links

  • NB: very little material (if any) actually online
  • NB: very little material (if any) actually online
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