Law students propose rules for sector rep polls | Inquirer News

Law students propose rules for sector rep polls

/ 09:11 AM July 01, 2012

Law students of the University of Cebu yesterday gave the Commission on Elections (Comelec)  a push to implement the law providing for the election of sectoral representatives in the sanggunian or local legislative councils.

The students held a forum about the Local Government Code’s mandate to have  one sectoral representative from the women, workers and other groups like the urban poor, and disabled persons in the sanggunian.

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They later gave  Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento   a copy of a proposed implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the election of local sectoral representatives.

Sarmiento  said he would present the suggestions to the Comelec en banc.

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“This is demoracy in action. This is empowerment. We welcome this,” Sarmiento said of the proposal by  law students of UC  law professor Gloria Estenzo-Ramos.

Sarmiento was the speaker of yesterday’s UC forum, which is part of the founding day activities of the school.

He said  the Comelec en banc had to come up with clear guidelines first.

In a separate interview, Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon, who attended the forum, said he would present the students’  proposal to the City Council.

He said sectoral representatives is a version of the party-list system in the House of Representatives and would help “articulate sectoral issues and make sure these are placed in the agenda of the local government.”

Dizon said  sectoral representatives have been mandated in the Constitution since 1957 but remain inactive until now.

Section 41 of the Local Government Code states that  the election of representatives will be done within 90 days prior to the holding of the next local elections.”

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The Comelec is mandated to set rules for the election.   In their draft IRR, UC law students suggested that sectoral groups and coalitions who want to participate in the election  should  file a petition for registration and manifestation of intention to join the election with the Comelec.

The entity must be existing at least one year before the regular election, registered with the  Securities and Exchange Commission and should have at least 25 registered voters as members  within the locality where it seeks to have a sectoral representative. /Reporter Ador Vincent  S. Mayol

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TAGS: Commission on Elections (Comelec), law students, local legislative councils
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