The Party-List System What is the party-list system of election? It is a mechanism of proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives from marginalized or underrepresented national, regional and sectoral parties, or organizations or coalitions thereof registered with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The Party-List System
It is part of the electoral process that enables small political parties and marginalized and underrepresented sectors to obtain possible representation in the House of Representatives, which traditionally is dominated by parties with big political machinery.
What are the legal bases for the party-list system of election?
Legal Basis (a.1)
[a] The Constitution in its article on the Legislative Department provides:
" x x x The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila Area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations;
Legal Basis (a.2)
" The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector;
Legal Basis (a.3)
" Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative; and
Legal Basis (a.4)
" Within three years following the return of every census, the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section x x x." (Sec. 5, Article VI, Constitution of the Philippines)
Who may participate?
Instead of individual candidates, only registered organized groups may participate and these are:
1. Sectoral Party – an organized group of citizens whose principal advocacy pertains to the special interests and concerns of the following sectors:
Labor Women Overseas workers
Fisherfolk Urban Poor Urban Poor
Peasant Professionals Elderly
Youth Handicapped Veterans
Indigenous Cultural communities
Who may participate?
2. Political Party – an organized group of qualified voters pursuing the same ideology, political ideas and principles for the general conduct of the government;
it may be:
 A national party when its constituency is spread over the geographical territory of at least a majority of the regions; and  A regional party when its constituency is spread over the geographical territory of at least a majority of the cities and provinces comprising a region.
Who may participate?
3. Sectoral Organization – a group of qualified voters bound together by similar physical attributes or characteristics, or by employment, interests or concerns.
Who may participate?
4. Coalition – an aggrupation of duly registered national, regional, sectoral parties or organizations for political and/or election purposes.
What is the basic requirement for party-list participation?
Only organized groups duly registered with the Commission on Elections, and which have manifested their desire to participate in the party-list elections, may participate.
Disqualification / cancellation
May the Comelec remove and/or cancel registration of any entity?
The Comelec may, motu proprio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel after due notice and hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition on any of the following grounds:
[a] It is a religious sect or denomination, organization or association organized for religious purposes;
[b] It advocates violence or unlawful means to achieve its goal;
[c] It is a foreign party or organization;
List of Participating Organizations
How will the voters know which entities are participating?
Comelec shall prepare and publish a certified list of entities qualified to participate which shall be posted in all voting booths on election day.
Further, the names of participating entities shall be printed in the appropriate space provided in the ballot
Qualifications of a nominee
What are the qualifications of a party-list nominee?
[a] A natural-born citizen of the Philippines;
[b] A registered voter;
[c] A resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1) year immediately preceding the election day;
[d] Able to read and write;
[e] A bona fide member of the party he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding election day; and
[f] At least twenty-five (25) years of age on election day.
Nominee of Youth Sector
In case of the youth sector, he must be at least twenty-five (25) but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. Any youth sectoral representative who reaches the age of thirty (30) during his term shall be allowed to continue in office until the expiration of his term.
How many seats are available under the party-list system?
Twenty percent (20%) of the total membership in the House of Representatives is reserved for party-list representatives, or a ratio of one (1) party list representative for every four (4) legislative district representatives. In 2007 election the number of seats allocated for the party-list is 55. This number is expected to increase this 2010 election due to the increase in the number of legislative districts.
2 votes for Representatives
In voting for representatives, how will a voter cast his vote?
Every voter shall be entitled to two (2) votes for the House of Representatives, as follows:
[a] First, a vote for a district representative; and
[b] Second, a vote for the party he wants represented in the House of Representatives.
Counting of Party-list votes
How shall the votes cast for the party-list be counted?
Because the voting will be at large, and not by sector, all votes obtained by a party regardless of constituency will be tallied on a nationwide basis.
The percentage of votes garnered by a party shall be computed in relation to the total votes cast for the party-list nationwide.
In 2007 election. 16 million voters cast their votes for a party-list of their choice.
Names of nominees
Will the names of nominees be included
in the certified list of registered parties?
No. But COMELEC and SC require that the names of the party-list nominees must be printed in the campaign paraphernalia of the participating parties.
List and ranking of nominees
What is the importance of the list of nominees and of their ranking therein?
In case the party obtains the required number of votes, the nominees listed shall be proclaimed by Comelec according of their ranking in said list.
Party-List vs District Rep
What is the status of the party-list representatives vis-à-vis representatives of legislative districts in the House of Representatives?
Party-list representatives are considered elected Members of the House and as such, entitled to the same deliberative rights, salaries, and emoluments as the regular Members of the House of representatives. They shall serve for a term of three (3) years with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.