Vote for the correct party list organization

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“This system is meant to be a tool to realize the aspirations of marginalized individuals whose interests are often overlooked due to their under-representation. “

An innovation introduced by the 1987 Constitution is the party list system (although other countries are also adapting variants of the system). The party list system is designed to enable Filipino citizens from marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties that lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole, to become members of the House of Representatives. The first representatives of this system were elected in the May 1998 elections.

As stated in the 1987 Constitution and Republic Act 7941 (Party List Act), party list representatives constitute twenty percent of the total number of representatives, including those on the party list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, half of the seats allocated to the representatives of the party lists shall be filled, according to law, by selection or election from among the communities of workers, peasants, urban poor, indigenous, women, youth and all other sectors provided for by law, with the exception of the religious sector.

Over the years, the Supreme Court has rendered decisions interpreting the constitutional provision on the party list system. Thus, in the Banat case decided by the Supreme Court in 2009, the formula for calculating the winners of party lists was established. He provided a methodology to Section 11 of Republic Act 7941 or the Party List System Act, which provides that 20% of the total number of seats in the House must be allocated to the party list. party. Each 2% of the total votes cast on party lists gets one seat in the House, with each party only entitled to a maximum of three seats.

Another important court decision is the Atong Paglaum case decided in 2013. In this case, the Supreme Court clarified that “based on the express provision of the Constitution and as reflected in the records of the Constitutional Convention, the The party list system is not intended exclusively for sectoral parties or organizations representing marginalized and underrepresented sectors, but also for non-sectoral or political parties or organizations. This decision effectively abandoned previous court rulings that limited the party list system to marginalized and underrepresented sectors, such as workers, peasants, fishers, the urban poor, indigenous cultural communities or sectors that lack of “well-defined political constituencies” such as the elderly, disabled, women, youth, veterans, foreign workers and professionals. The same decree decrees that major political parties are not eligible to present their candidates under the said system. The Supreme Court further pointed out that “even large political parties (i.e. those that have fielded candidates and won regular parliamentary elections) are qualified to field their candidates under the party list system. as long as they do it through their “sectoral wings”.

The party list system is meant to be a tool to realize the aspirations of marginalized individuals whose interests are often overlooked due to their under-representation. But unfortunately, the recent more liberal interpretation of the Constitution’s party list provision gives major political parties and wealthy individuals a decisive advantage in elections for party list seats in Congress. Indeed, marginalized sectors, devoid of money and political organization, are left behind. This is evident from the fact that many wealthy people now pose as representatives of party lists representing the “marginalized sectors”. Although there are still parties and organizations that truly represent marginalized sectors and the underrepresented, many wealthy and well-connected people use the system as a secondary channel to enter the lower house of Congress.

Notwithstanding the imperfections of the party list system, I would like to recommend to my readers the following party list organizations:

First, my personal vote will go for the Kabataan party list. I disclose that KPL is my client but that is not the reason I am voting for them. It is because they are the best representatives of the youth, the hope and the future of this country.

Second, I would easily vote for the other parties in the Makabayan bloc. Once again Makabayan Legislators from Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party, ACT Teachers Party and Anakpawis (as well as Kabataan) have proven to be skilful, hardworking and committed representatives, always guided by the most progressive and consistent principles in fiscalization . like taking progressive positions.

I would also consider voting for the Partido Laban ng Masa whose candidates are also quite progressive. I voted for Akbayan when he fielded stellar candidates like Etta Rosales, Risa Hontiveros and Walden Bello, but now I’m not sure what that party stands for.

Our party list system isn’t very good but let’s make sure it gets abused by picking the best organizations.

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