Resident Commissioner of the Philippines

The Resident Commissioner of the Philippines (Spanish: Comisionado Residente de Filipinas) was a non-voting member of the United States House of Representatives sent by the Philippines from 1907 until its internationally recognized independence in 1946. It was similar to current non-voting members of Congress such as the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico and delegates from Washington, D.C., Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and other territories of the United States.

Resident Commissioner of the Philippines
Seal of the United States House of Representatives.svg
United States House of Representatives
FormationNovember 22, 1907
First holderBenito Legarda
Pablo Ocampo
Final holderCarlos P. Romulo
AbolishedJuly 4, 1946

Like current non-voting members, Resident Commissioners could speak and otherwise participate in the business of the House, but did not have full voting rights. Two were sent until 1937 when after the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, the number was changed to one.[1]


Philippine Commissioner J.M. Elizalde with future Philippine president Sergio Osmena and John W. Hausermann, (a Republican Party leader and goldmine owner in the Philippines), in 1938 or 1939, Library of Congress

The Philippines was a United States territory from 13 August 1898 until Philippine independence was internationally recognized on 4 July 1946.

The office was first created by the Philippine Organic Act (1902) section 8 and re-authorized on its subsequent replacements—the Jones Law of 1916 (known as the Philippine Autonomy Act) section 20, and the Tydings–McDuffie Act of 1934 (known as the Philippine Independence Act) section 7(5).


The procedures for appointment of the Resident Commissioners were ambiguous and a source of friction.[2] Under the Philippine Organic Act of 1902, the two Resident Commissioners are to be elected by the Philippine Legislature, with each chamber (the entirely-appointed, American-majority Philippine Commission and the fully-elected and all-Filipino Philippine Assembly) voting separately. The Resident Commissioners are to be elected biennially from the time of the first meeting of the Philippine Legislature in 1907. Benito Legarda and Pablo Ocampo became the first two resident commissioners.

Upon the passage of the Jones Law in 1916, the Resident Commissioners were still selected in the same way, but by this time now had three-year terms. Jaime C. de Veyra and Teodoro R. Yangco were the first resident commissioners under the Jones Law.

The Tydings–McDuffie Act of 1934 reduced the number of resident commissioners to one, and ordered the enactment of a new constitution. Upon the passage of the 1935 Constitution, it tasked the National Assembly (the successor of the Philippine Legislature) to legislate how the resident commissioner shall be selected. The National Assembly enacted Commonwealth Act No. 10 late in 1935, which stated how the next resident commissioner shall be selected; it stated that the resident commissioner is now appointed by the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. and that the resident commissioner holds office at the pleasure of the President, therefore there was no fixed term.

The two resident commissioners serving under the Jones Law, Pedro Guevara and Francisco Afan Delgado, were replaced when the President Manuel L. Quezon appointed Quintin Paredes as their successor in February 1936.

The Resident Commissioner was never elected via direct election. unlike its Puerto Rican counterpart.

List of Resident CommissionersEdit

Insular government era: 1907–1936Edit

Seat A Years U.S. Congress Philippine Legislature Seat B
Resident commissioner Party Electoral history Resident commissioner Party Electoral history
Benito Legarda
Elected in 1907.
Re-elected in 1909.
Retired in 1912.
November 22, 1907 – March 3, 1909 60th 1st  
Pablo Ocampo
Democratic Elected in 1907.
Retired in 1909 to run in the Philippine Assembly.
March 4, 1909 – November 22, 1909 61st
November 23, 1909 – March 3, 1912  
Manuel L. Quezon
Nacionalista Elected in 1909.
Re-elected in 1912.
Retired in 1916 to run in the Philippine Senate.
March 4, 1912 – March 3, 1913
Vacant 3rd
Manuel Earnshaw
Nonpartisan Elected in 1913.
Retired in 1916.
March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1915 63rd
March 4, 1915 – October 15, 1916 64th
Jaime C. de Veyra
Nacionalista Elected in 1917.
Re-elected in 1920.
Retired in 1923.
October 16, 1916 – March 3, 1917 Vacant
March 4, 1917 – March 3, 1919 65th  
Teodoro R. Yangco
Nonpartisan Elected in 1917.
Retired in 1920.
March 4, 1919 – March 3, 1920 66th
Isauro Gabaldón
Nacionalista Elected in 1920.
Re-elected in 1923.
Re-elected in 1926.
Resigned in 1928 to run in the Philippine House of Representatives.
March 4, 1920 – March 3, 1921
March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1923 67th
Pedro Guevara
Nacionalista Elected in 1923.
Re-elected in 1926.
Re-elected in 1929.
Re-elected in 1932.
Retired in 1936 after change of form of government.
March 4, 1923 – March 3, 1925 68th
March 4, 1925 – March 3, 1927 69th
March 4, 1927 – July 16, 1928 70th
July 16, 1928 – March 3, 1929 8th Vacant
March 4, 1929 – March 3, 1931 71st  
Camilo Osías
Nacionalista Elected in 1929.
Re-elected in 1932.
Retired in 1934 to run in the Philippine Senate.
March 4, 1931 – March 3, 1933 72nd
March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1935 73rd
January 3, 1935 – February 14, 1936 74th  
Francisco Afan Delgado
Nacionalista Elected in 1934.
Retired in 1936 after change of form of government.

Commonwealth era: 1936–1946Edit

Resident commissioner Party Years U.S. Congress Electoral history
Quintín Paredes
Nacionalista February 14, 1936September 29, 1938 74th
Appointed in 1936.
Resigned in 1938 to run in the Philippine House of Representatives.
Joaquín Miguel Elizalde
Nonpartisan September 29, 1938August 9, 1944 76th
Appointed in 1938.
Resigned in 1944.
Carlos P. Romulo
Liberal August 10, 1944July 4, 1946 78th
Appointed in 1944.
Office eliminated when the United States recognized the independence of the Republic of the Philippines in 1946.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Dorothy B. Fujita-Rony (2003). American Workers, Colonial Power. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23095-7.
  2. ^ Kramer, Paul Alexander (2006). The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, & the Philippines. University of North Carolina Press. p. 325. ISBN 9780807856536.

External linksEdit