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Reform, not abolish, party-list system-Hontiveros.

While recognizing the weaknesses in the party-list system, Senator Risa Hontiveros strongly opposed its abolition, saying the solution is to reform and strengthen the system.

'Syempre hindi po ako pabor pero at the outset, na appreciate ko naman po na may nakita si Presidente na mga kahinaan o kakulangan ng party-list system sa ngayon na kahit kami sa Akbayan Party ay nakita po namin yung mga yun sa mga nakaaang taon (Of course, I'm not in favor of it but at the outset, I appreciate that the President saw the weaknesses and what the party-list system lacks that even us, Akbayan Party, saw these weaknesses) and in fact, we took action on some of them,' Hontiveros said at a press briefing on Tuesday, reacting to President Rodrigo Duterte's earlier statement that he would insist on the abolition of the party-list system.

'Gayunpaman, kahit pareho naming nakita ang mga problema sa party-list system, para sa akin naman ang solution ay hindi na i-abolish syaMas ang approach ko ay pagreporrma at lalong pagpapalakas sa party-list system para ma-achieve nya yung original na intention ng Constitution,' she said.

(However, even if we both saw the problems in the party-list system, I think the solution is not to abolish it. I think the appropriate approach is to reform and strengthen the party-list system to achieve the original intention of the Constitution.)

Hontiveros pointed out that she had been pushing for a measure seeking to reform the system when she was still a member of the House of Representatives as a representative of Akbayan party-list group. She said she would file similar bills in the Senate.

The senator said she wants to reinstate, for instance, the threshold set for a party-list group to be able to get a seat in the House.

'Ibig sabihin, ang bawat party-list party ay dapat mag earn ng certain percentage ng boto para mabigyan sya ng seat, or seats (It means that each party-list party has to earn a certain percentage of votes to be given a seat or seats.),' she said.

The senator said the 'three-seat' cap in the system should also be removed, saying, 'It distorts the true spirit of proportional representation.'

'Never kasing napuno yung 20 percent ng House of Representatives na reserved para sa party-list (The 20 percent reserved for party-lists in the House of Representatives was never met),' she pointed out.

'Ito ang mga reporma sa party-list system na tingin kong mas maganda pang solution sa mga problema ng party-list system kesa yung iabolish sya (These are reforms in the party-list system which I think are better solutions to the problems of the party-list system rather than abolishing it),' Hontiveros said.

'So huwag po nating i-abolish yung party-list system dahil sya ay isang binhi ng isa ring maayos at totoong political party system (So let us not abolish the party-list system because it is a seed of a genuine political party system),' the senator added.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Aug 2, 2016
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