MANILA, Philippines ? So many for so few.
A total of 144 party-list groups will vie for limited reserved seats in the House of Representatives in the May 10 national elections.
The Commission on Elections en banc approved Friday the participation of 144 party-list organizations in the elections to the House of Representatives.
They will be contesting 57 party-list seats out of a total of 287 House seats in the next Congress.
Included in the approved party-list groups is Ang Ladlad, a gay rights group whose application for party-list accreditation was rejected by the Comelec last month.
Ladlad appealed the Comelec ruling to the Supreme Court which ordered the poll body to put the group on the ballot, pending the high court?s final decision on its accreditation.
Comelec officials said Ang Ladlad?s status could still change if the high court were to uphold the poll body?s decision disqualifying the group.
According to the Comelec, the names of the competing party-list groups will be listed in the official ballots in alphabetical order with corresponding numbers.
Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the names of the party-list nominees will be publicized so voters will know who are the people behind the groups.
However, Larrazabal said the party-list groups are not required to put the names of their nominees in their campaign materials.
In order to facilitate voting, the party-list groups may use the number assigned to them by the Comelec in their campaign, Larrazabal said.
20% of seats reserved
A party-list system, a form of proportional representation in which voters choose among parties rather than among candidates, was introduced by the 1987 Constitution ostensibly to create a healthy democracy by increasing representation of so-called ?marginalized and under-represented? sectors.
Twenty percent of the total number of seats in the House of Representatives are reserved for party-list groups. Every 2 percent of total party-list votes cast gets a seat in the House, with each party allowed a maximum of three seats. Votes are awarded to the party-list groups in proportion to the votes they receive.
Filipino voters were first introduced to the party-list system in 1998. Voters have two votes for their congressional representatives. The first elects a district representative. The second elects a party-list representative.
In April 2009, the Supreme Court changed the formula for allotting party-list seats, junking the 2-percent threshold and increasing the number of party-list seats from 22 to 55.
The Comelec followed the new Supreme Court formula in computing the number of party-list seats in the 2010 elections.
The following are the names of the groups that will vie for party-list seats in the House:
1-Aani, 1-AK, 1-Care, 1-Abaa, 1Ganap/Guardians, 1st Kabagis, A Blessed, AT, Abakada, Abang Lingkod, Aba Ilonggo, Abante Ka, Abamin, ATM, Abono, Abroad, ADD-Tribal, ADD, ACT Teachers, Alim, AKO, Adam, Alon, Ating Koop, A Teacher, Asahan Mo, A-Ipra, Agbiag, Agila, Agila, Agri, ADA, Agap, Ahon, Akap Bata, Apoi, Akbayan, Ako, AKB, Akma-PTM, Amana, Anakalusugan, Alagad, Alay Buhay, Abay Parak, Aama, ABC, Anad, AFPSEGCO, ARC, 1-Tubig (formerly Aawas), ABP-Bicolnon, Anupa, APO, Arcapp, AVE, ATS, Alma, Almana, AMS, Agham, ABA, An Waray, Anak Mindanao, Anakpawis, Aani, Aambis-Owa, AG, ALIF, Ang Ladlad, AMA, A Tambay, Anak, ABS, Atong Paglaum, Amang, Aral, ALE, AAPS, Apec;
Babae Ka, Bago, Bandila, BH, Banat, Bida, Bayan Muna, Bayani, Bigkis, Binhi, Biyaheng Pinoy, Biyayang Bukid, Buhay, Butil;
Chinoy, Cibac, CPM, Senior Citizens, Cocofed, Cofa, Consla, Coop-Natcco, Dwa, Fil-Mus, Firm 24-K, 1st Prisa, Gabriela, Green Force, Ivap, KLBP, Kabayan, Kabataan, Buklod Filipina, Kalahi, Kalinga, Kakusa, Ang Kasangga, AA-Kasosyo Party, Kaakbay, Katribu, Kaagapay, Kasapi;
1-Ahapo, Oragon, OPO, PEP, Katutubo, PM, Pacyaw, PCL, PBA, Smart, SB, Bantay, TUCP, 1 Ang Pamilya (formerly ANC), UNI-MAD, 1-Utak, Vendors Party List, VFP, WPI, Yes We Can, Yacap and Lypad.