Pangan: Proper representation

At Close Range

THE law creating the party-list system must have had a noble and beneficial purpose at its inception. The authors of the law must have had the marginalized sector foremost in their minds when they crafted the said law.

But the result is the opposite, perhaps due to the soft features of the law that even the moneyed and privileged individuals have taken advantage of it to the hilt on their way through the backdoor of Congress.

They (the interlopers) purport to serve the welfare and needs of the marginalized and disadvantaged sector. But what would a billionaire know about the plight or misery of the poor people aside from news account? Do these moneyed lawmakers even know the pain of not eating three full, square meals or buying essential items for the poor's existence? Nah, they don’t know a bit about their misery.

It is opportune time that some opposition lawmakers thought that the party-list system must revert to its original purpose of serving the marginalized and underrepresented, not political dynasties and the moneyed class.

The progressive lawmakers, in filing a bill that would make the party-list system exclusive to parties representing only the underprivileged, explained that there is an urgent need to restore the party-list system to its original purpose, which is to give the marginalized sector the proper representation and voice in Congress.

The bill should extensively identify and qualify the nominees of party list and not allow the billionaires to claim the posts. The bill would therefore amend RA 7941 or the Party-List System Act of 1995 and add strict eligibility requirements - a public hearing of groups claiming that they represent marginalized or underrepresented sectors. Thus, the nominees must show indisputable proofs that they truly belong to the sector they seek to represent.

This time, the bill should be crafted so that only the deserving and qualified nominees be included in the party-list accreditation by the Comelec. Proper representation is needed for the poor people.


Philippine Star columnist Tony F. Katigbak has a take on the party-list system: The party-list system was created to ensure that marginalized sectors have a voice in Congress. It was a way to give people who would have never been truly represented, representation. In this way, their needs would be heard. After all, it's understandable that our crop of politicians may not truly understand the plight of marginalized sectors like the youth, fishermen and similar groups.


An iconic building will rise soon in Barangay Mabiga known as the new government center of Mabalacat City. Rosan S. Paquia, EnP, showed me the architect's sketch of the building to house all offices of the city government and with a people’s park to boot. It was very impressive, to say the least.

As Mayor Crisostomo C. Garbo often claims, it would be the peoples' city hall, an edifice every Mabalaqueño can call their own and be proud of it.

The current officials rightly will build it for future generations to follow and build an edifice truly representative of every Mabalaqueño.


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