The Iglesia Filipina Independiente has a strong tradition of authority belonging to the entire people of God. This conciliar nature of authority in the Church is expressed in the General Assembly where the clergy and laity are both represented.
The Iglesia Filipina Independiente is a Church that is governed synodically. It has the General Assembly as the highest governing and policy-making body that regularly convenes every three years. It is consisted of all bishops, two priests in active duty, and three and three delegates representing the men, women and youth from every diocese elected in a convention, as provided in Sections 1 and 2, Article II, of its Constitution.
The General Assembly operates as a synod through which the ordained and non-ordained share the responsibility of witnessing to the apostolic faith by virtue of their common baptism. It serves as the governing body of the Church in fulfilling the mission entrusted by God, in safeguarding the unity and continuity of the apostolic faith, and in guiding the faithful in the fulfillment of their baptismal covenant. It is thus the final authority in all matters affecting the life, order and discipline of the Church.
In the spirit of consultation, the General Assembly tackles complex and contentious issues, and matters that touch on the institutional components of the Church that have to do with governance, policies, and programs. On the whole, the General Assembly:
- receives the address of the Obispo Maximo
- acts upon the decisions of the Executive Commission
- receives report of the General Treasurer
- receives reports of the Commission on Business and Finance (CBF) and the Commission on Programs and Projects (COPP)
- receives reports of the Supreme Council of Bishops, Council of Priests and National Lay Council
- approves the program of the Church
- approve the triennial budget
- elects the Executive Commission and the national officers of the Standing Commissions