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

In 2004 elections, Florencio Noel won a seat in the congress. In a span of three years of being elected in the congress, the party-list has been able to: provide medical assistance,to approximately 80 patients a day in the region, give scholarship grants among students who could afford to go to school, fertilizers and agricultural benefits, which are vital to agriculture, especially the coconut industry in the Visayas region – saying that all these projects were attributed from the party-lists advocacies.

Though, An Waray Partylist may literally means “nothing,” yet they see to it that they always have something for the masses, be it through the bills they pass or the services they do for the people.

Akbayan Party list

(Photo courtesy of www.isupportakbayan.org)

In 1998, Akbayan was among the 14 party-list groups that first secured a party-list seat in the House of Representatives. They used their seat for 3 terms to push for an honest and corruption-free government. Akbayan, led then by Representative Etta Rosales, exposed a case of wide-scale corruption involving the payola of P500,000 per Congressperson in order to pass the EPIRA Law and bared the massive defrauding of 23,000 public school teachers in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the non-remittance of their GSIS contributions and other fees amounting to a staggering P1.2 Billion. More recently, Akbayan filed graft charges against President Arroyo’s husband Miguel Arroyo and the architects of the NBN-ZTE deal and voted for the impeachment of the current President for her involvement in anomalous deals as well as the “Hello, Garci” scandal.

Some of the bills it authored and supported are: House Bill 00958, an act amending section 24 of the national internal revenue code of 1997, reducing the income tax rates of individuals, House Bill 01053, an act penalizing the commission of acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishments, prescribing penalties thereof and for other purposes, House Bill 00956, an act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and providing penalties thereof, and House Bill 01257, an act accelerating the completion of the land acquisition and distribution component of the comprehensive agrarian reform program (carp), by providing automatic appropriation thereof, and addressing major implementation problems of the program.

Also, they have been a member of committees on Appropriations, Ethics and Privileges, Health, Higher and Technical Education, Human Rights, Natural Resources, People Participation, Population and Family Relations, Rules, and Women and Gender Equality.

Akbayan nominees include Walden Bello, Kaka Bag-ao, Social Development worker Tomasito Villarin, Human Rights and Migrants advocate Ellen Sana, youth sector member Francis Issac, and Fisherman Ruperto Aleroza.

Kabataan Party-list

(Photo courtesy of kabataanpartylist.com)

Kabataan Party-list was formed in the year 2004, formerly known as Anak ng Bayan. It is the first and only youth party list group in Congress. It was founded by progressive youth organizations, National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), League of Filipino Students (LFS), Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP), Anakbayan, and Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (KARATULA).

Kabataan, on its first term in Congress, has pushed for several bills concerning the youth sector, some of these are House Bill 6799, Anti-No Permit, No Exam’ Policy, which prohibits schools from barring students who have not paid their tuition and other fees from taking their exams, House Bill 6921 BPO Workers’ Welfare and Protection Act of 2009 which aims to protect the rights, welfare, and health of millions of call-center agents and others working in the Business Process Outsourcing industry, House Bill 6870 SK Reform Act of 2009 which aims to reform and strengthen the national and local Sangguinang Kabataans (Youth Councils), House Bill 6770 Public Libraries Bill which aims to establish modern public libraries in all municipalities nationwide, House Bill 6771 Free Special Education Bill which aims to give free and appropriate education to all youth with disabilities and special needs, House Bill 6798 Styrofoam Ban Act of 2009 which aims to ban the use of any product made of/or using styrofoam in schools because of its harmful effect on the environment, and House Bill 7103 Philippine Games and Sports Act of 2009 which aims to enrich Philippine games in schools’ Physical Education curriculum.

Also, they have been a member of several committees in House of Representatives, Committee on Human Rights, Information and Communications Technology, Public Information, and Youth and Sports Development.

Kabataan Party list focuses its efforts in ending corruption and tyranny, providing education and employment, protection of the environment and national patrimony, and promoting empowerment and equality.

Kabataan nominees include first youth representative Raymond Palatino, anti-corruption advocate Mark Louie Aquino, and youngest human rights lawyer Katrina Castillo. (Bulatlat.com)

Share This Post