Hypocrisy in the party-list system
It’s time to abolish the party-list system. I’m not a big fan of politicians, particularly members of the House of Representatives; I’ve observed that they don’t really act the way they should, that is, serve the people, especially the poor. That is why it was a big relief to hear the news that President Duterte will abolish the party-list system.
I agree with Duterte. Party-lists and their representatives are a big joke. Can you imagine a multimillionaire politician claiming to represent the interest of laborers, peasants, urban poor and indigenous people; or publicly committing themselves to focus on advancing the interest of the worst-off citizens? It’s hypocrisy.
If regular congressmen have among themselves billionaires like Manny Pacquiao (before he was elected senator), so do party-list representatives. In the current Congress, former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello counts 15 party-list representatives who come from the marginalized sectors against 44 others who do not. Yes, there are party-list congressmen who truly represent the marginalized but they are outnumbered, thus defeating the rationale for the system.
There should be no debate that the party-list system has been abused. Let me cite another proof. You don’t have to visualize how a 26.3-percent poverty incidence in the country looks like. Just look around you and you’ll see families living on sidewalks barely eating a meal in a day. Is there anybody attending to them? Where are the party-list “inventions” who are supposed to represent these marginalized people?
—WINDSOR GENOVA, [email protected]
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