Law students propose rules for sector rep polls
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.
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.
“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.”
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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