LAWMAKERS representing different party-list groups vowed to work hard to prove that they don’t deserve to be abolished.
In this 17th Congress, the 40-strong member of the coalition has received several appointments to significant committees.
Its secretary general, AAMBIS-OWA Rep. Sharon Garin, was elected as Deputy Speaker to represent the party-list. This is the first time that a party-list solon was designated to the high position.
The group’s president, Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, was named member of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) together with Kalinga Rep. Abigail Ferriol-Pascual.
“This is a historical milestone for party-list representatives, this is the first time a party-list representative will be Deputy Speaker and this is also the first time party-list representatives are appointed to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Appointments,” Batocabe said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, on several occasions, disclosed plans to abolish the party-list system because it was being abused and has defeated its purpose of representing marginalized sector.
According to Batocabe, party-lists will contribute to the meaningful change in the House of Representatives.
The group is grateful to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for trusting them and giving them roles in many important committees.
Committee chairmanships were given to party-list representatives as follows: Cibac Rep. Sherwin Tugna for Suffrage and Electoral Reforms; Abono Rep. Conrado for Youth and Sports and Development, AKO Bicol Rep. Christopher Co for Climate Change, AMIN Rep. Sitti Hataman-Turabin for Muslim Affairs, ANAC-IP Rep. Jose Panganiban Jr. for Agriculture, BUHAY Party-list Michael Velarde for Overseas Workers Affairs, and DIWA Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar for Women and Gender Equality.
For the Makabayan bloc, Gabriela Rep. Emmie de Jesus received the leadership of the Committee on Poverty Alleviation, BAYAN Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate was appointed chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources, and ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio is the new Committee on Public Information chief.
Meanwhile some party-list representatives will also be minority leaders: BUHAY Rep. Lito Atienza will be Senior Deputy Minority Leader, while AKO Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin, COOP-Natcco Rep. Anthony Bravo.