This article analyzes lawmaking in presidential systems where legislative roll call votes do not reflect policy or ideological stance, taking the Philippines as a case study. As an alternative to roll call analysis, this study suggests that the time from when a bill is filed until its passage can be a gauge not only of policy preferences but executive-legislative dynamics. This is tested through an event history analysis of bills filed in the Philippine House of Representatives from the 8th to the 14th Congress. The propensity for approval of a bill is modeled as a function of institutional and political resources available to both the chief executive and members of the House of Representatives. The results indicate that a bill certified as urgent by the president generally has a higher likelihood of passage, but the effect changes over time and at some point being part of the president’s so-called legislative agenda actually increases the risk of non-approval.
Extending the litigation selection hypothesis to labor regulations in fledgling democracies, we argue that distributive rules, such as social justice policies create a selection process in the litigation and resolution of workplace claims. Specifically, rules protective of labor increase the expectation of litigation success among otherwise resource-constrained parties, narrowing the suits actually brought to action to those that are close to the standard of labor legislations. The theory implies that workers in labor actions are more likely to win compared to corporations, a premise we test using a unique dataset of 3,601 Supreme Court decisions on labor issues from 1987 to 2016. Our findings suggest that individuals and unions are likely to emerge victorious, whether as petitioners or respondents, but only when issues involve compensation related claims, illegal dismissal, or unfair labor practices. We do not find evidence of similar predilection toward workers when issues involve the exercise of management prerogatives and discipline of employees, suggesting prudence by the high court to balance social justice with rational fairness.