Federalism may reformat party-list system—PDP Laban exec
Party-list organizations will not be “abolished” though they will take on a new form and operate differently under the federalism model of President Rodrigo Duterte’s PDP-Laban party, one of the proponents clarified on Wednesday.
“What we are doing is we’re going back to the original intent of the 1987 Constitution, which is proportional representation,” said Jonathan Malaya, executive director of the PDP-Laban Federalism Institute.
Under the PDP-Laban proposal, existing party-list organizations may have two options once the federal-parliamentary system is in place.
“They can either continue as a sectoral party, file for accreditation with the Comelec (Commission on Elections) to participate in the elections, or they can join the mainstream political parties. Then they can advocate for their sectors within the political party,” Malaya said.
Seeking to ease concerns about party-list groups losing their place in government, he noted that the proportional representation system would even allow more sectoral lawmakers to be elected.
“Of the 400 Federal Assembly members, 250 will be single-member districts, while 150 will be voted under the proportional representation system,” Malaya told the Inquirer in an interview.
In fact, he added, there is no limit on the nominees of the sectoral party, unlike the current system, in which a party-list group can win only three seats in the House of Representatives.
“Remember that under a parliamentary system, the larger the political party, they more they can control government. Districts are retained, and there’s no movement, because our approach is less disruption for Filipinos,” Malaya said.
“Number one, we are enlarging the avenue for party-list; number two, we are removing the three-seat cap, and number three, we are regionalizing the elections. They’re win-win here,” he said.
Last week, Malaya’s group submitted a draft Constitution reorganizing the government, reducing the powers of the President, and forming a Parliament composed of two Houses and led by a Prime Minister to be nominated by the President.
The draft Constitution is one of two proposals under deliberation by the House panel, the other being Resolution of Both Houses 08 prepared and submitted by Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. and ABS party-list Rep. Eugene Michael de Vera.
Gonzales and De Vera’s version offered a more conservative revision, retaining most of the provisions in the Constitution and federalizing the three main branches. /jpv
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