Primer on the Party-List System of Representation in the Philippine Congress

Apr. 03, 2007

[As mandated by Republic Act No. 7941]

by The Commission on Elections

* What is the party-list system of election?

It is a mechanism of proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives from marginalized or underrepresented national, regional and sectoral parties, or organizations or coalitions thereof registered with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

It is part of the electoral process that enables small political parties and marginalized and underrepresented sectors to obtain possible representation in the House of Representatives, which traditionally is dominated by parties with big political machinery.

* For purposes of the May 14, 2001 elections, what are the important dates in relation to the party-list system of election?

November 15, 2000 last day to file petition for registration for party-list system.

February 12, 2001 last day to file manifestation to participate in the party-list election.

March 31, 2001 last day to submit to the Law Department, Commission on Elections, Intramuros, Manila a list of at least five (5) nominees to represent said party/organization/coalition.

* What are the legal bases for the party-list system of election?

[a] The Constitution in its article on the Legislative Department provides:
“[1] x x x The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila Area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations;

“[2] The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector;

“[3] Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative; and

“[4] Within three years following the return of every census, the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section x x x.” (Sec. 5, Article VI, Constitution of the Philippines)
[b] Republic Act No. 7941 dated March 3, 1995, “An Act Providing for the Election of Party-List Representatives Through the Party-List System, Appropriating Funds Therefor”;

[c] Resolution No. 2847 dated June 25, 1996 entitled, “Rules and Regulations Governing the Election of the Party-List Representatives through the Party-List System”; and

[d] Resolution No. 3307-A dated November 9, 2000 entitled, “Rules and Regulations Governing the Filing of Petition for Registration, Manifestation to Participate, and Submission of Names of Nominees Under the Party-List System of Representation in Connection with the May 14, 2001 National and Local Elections.”

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