House inquiry on ‘raffle system’ for partylists slots on election ballots sought
MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives is seeking an inquiry on the process of raffling the names of partylists to determine their placement in the ballots during national and local elections.
Under House Resolution No. 1931, the Makabayan Bloc explained that the so-called “raffle system” for partylists “has shifted the campaign from simply relying on the party’s name to campaigning for a specific number assigned to a particular party, which changes every election.”
“Instead of relying on their existing advocacies as an electoral campaign strategy, a Partylist now focuses instead on campaigning via its assigned number. As a result, the potential voters have difficulty relying mainly on the partylist’s name, as the list of partylist candidates are shuffled,” the lawmakers said in the resolution.
Previously, the partylist groups’ are listed alphabetically, prompting many groups to register their partylist names starting with “1” or “A”.
However, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) later issued a resolution that mandates the raffling of the ballot numbers for the candidates in the partylist elections. The first drawn will secure the number 1 slot in the ballot and so on.
The Makabayan lawmakers, nonetheless, argued that an alphabetical and sequential listing of partylist candidates “would still be beneficial to all partylist groups, since the voters can still find their supported partylist candidate based on the said arrangement.”
“Partylists who have less resources are in a massive disadvantage against richer partylists who can devote tons of their airtime in traditional and social media to simply campaign or promote their respective assigned numbers, which runs counter to the original intent of the Partylist System Act of giving proportional representation to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors,” the lawmakers said.
“The limitations that will be brought about by the COVID-19 protocols in the Election Day itself will also make it harder for voters to easily look for their desired partylist group if the list is not sequentially arranged, as staying inside an indoor area for an extended amount of time is expected to be highly discouraged,” they added.
The Makabayan bloc is composed of Bayan Muna Reps. Carlos Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite, and Eufemia Cullamat; ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro; Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas; and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago.
In the 2019 elections, Bayan Muna scored the first slot in the ballots after the raffle.
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