2010 Elections: Party-list Groups, Representatives of the Marginalized

The GWP also passed a bill that sought to protect the environment such as HB 646. HB 646 seeks to investigate the transport of endosulfan in the sunken M/V Princess of the Stars for the purpose of legislating policies regarding the transport of toxic chemicals and pesticides.

To support their advocacy for consumers’ rights and welfare, GWP passed bills such as HB 1126, “A bill to include LPG or Liquified Petroleum Gas, and Kerosene in the List of Basic Necessities.” They also filed HB 1133, “An act that amends the functions of the Price Coordinating Council by prescribing measures against price increases during emergency situations.” GWP also pushed for the removal of the 12 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) and the passing into law of HB 697 “An act that probes the inutility of the system of price and monitoring and control.

Maza is currently running for senator as guest candidate of the Nacionalista Party (NP). Ilagan is GWP’s first nominee, Emi de Jesus its second nominee, and Shiela Ferrer as its third nominee.

“Even before the Gabriela became a party-list group, it has always been a voice for women, children, and OFWs, because majority of migrants are women. And it was and will be the only voice for women in Congress,” Ilagan said.

Bayan Muna (People First) Party (BM)

(Photo courtesy of www.bayanmuna.net)

Bayan Muna firmly stands for social change that focuses on the basic problems of the country specifically, foreign domination, feudal bondage and a corrupt government.

Founded on September 25, 1999, Bayan Muna, translated as People First, seeks to serve the people through the legislative arena. The party commits to working for the rights and welfare of oppressed classes, sectors, and peoples including peasants, workers, rank and file employees, and indigenous peoples.

It is also committed to raise the issues and concerns of women and children, migrants, youth and students, small and medium entrepreneurs, among others. Edmund Bacatan, legislative staff of Rep. Neri Colmenares, said Bayan Muna is also working for a just and lasting peace and peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and CPP-NPA-NDFP (Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, National Democratic Front of the Philippines).

Among the bills authored, sponsored, and passed by Bayan Muna to promote human rights are the Anti-Torture Law or the Republic Act 9745, a law that criminalizes all kinds of torture to include physical, mental, psychological and pharmacological, the Marcos Compensation Bill, which seeks to compensate victims of human rights violations under the Marcos dictatorship, the Juvenile Justice System Act (9344), an act that recognizes the importance of children in society, aims to provide their right to education and enhance their moral and spiritual being, health and welfare, and Anti-Death Penalty Act.

It supported RA 9262 or Violence against Women and Children, the Genuine Agrarian Reform (GARB) or HB 3059, and the bill that provides for a P125 daily increase in wages of workers nationwide.

Aside from these, Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casino, and Neri Colmenares also authored and supported bills such as the Rent Control Act of 2009 or RA 9653, which regulates rent for residential units and provides mechanisms that will encourage the development of low-cost housing for low income brackets. This law was passed together with GWP. ?Bayan Muna also pushed for the Tax Relief for Minimum Wage Earners Act of 2008 (RA 9504).

For women and children, Bayan Muna also authored and supported bills such as the Anti-Domestic Violence Act to protect women who experience physical, mental abuse and sexual injury, and the Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act. ??Bayan Muna authored and supported the Health Worker’s Day Act or RA 10069, and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Act of 2006, which defines the functions of Citizens Legal Assistance office.

Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party, and Anakpawis pooled their development funds to provide assistance to indigent patients in public hospitals, until the Arroyo government withheld their budget allocation.

Bayan Muna has 13 regional offices and 57 chapters all over the country.

“Most of our supporters come from Bicol, Samar, Leyte, Visayas islands, Southern Mindanao, Southern Tagalog, and other parts of Luzon. In Metro Manila, we have chapters inTondo, Paco, Quezon City, Muntinlupa, and Marikina,” Bacatan said.

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