BUHAY Hayaang Yumabong (BUHAY) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza opposed calls to abolish the party-list system, and instead urged amending the party-list law to prevent it from being abused.
“The party-list system is an essential part of our political system because it gives the economically and politically marginalized sectors a chance to win elections and be represented in Congress, as provided for in the Constitution. The economically marginalized sectors have no money to win elections against their moneyed counterparts; while the politically marginalized groups don’t stand a chance to win against big traditional parties. The Constitution assures maximum people’s participation through party-list elections,” Atienza said.
Atienza pointed out that it is the party-list members of the House who have advocacies and always stand up, speak out and participate in discussions on crucial issues.
“Ang mga party-list representatives ay may ipinaglalaban, laging tumatayo at naninindigan sa mahahalagang isyu na tinatalakay sa committee hearings at sa plenary. Ito rin ay aking nakita sa mga kasamahan kong party-list representatives noong 16th Congress na may damdamin, pananaw at tapang na sabihin ang tama. Malaki ang itinutulong nila sa bayan,” Atienza added.
Atienza suggested ways to reform and improve the system.
One of his proposals is to put a 3-term limit not only on the nominees but also on the group itself — to give other groups the chance to participate in the electoral process and be represented in Congress.
Atienza said no single group should be given a monopoly to benefit from the party-list law.
Another is for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to be more discerning and more faithful to the intent of the law when it comes to accepting applications of party-list groups.
“Government is a continuing experiment and as such, we should adapt and reform our laws, if needed, to make them more responsive and relevant. We appeal to President Duterte not to kill the party-list system at sa halip ay labanan ang commercialization nito. Buhay party-list is against the abolition of the Party-list System,” Atienza stressed.