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2 Bicol-based party-list groups win House seats

By Mark A. Gomez

The Ako Bicol (AKB) and Bicol Saro party-list groups are sure to get seats in the House of Reprsentatives (HOR) based on the formula prescribed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 7941 or the Party-List System Act, which allocates 63 seats for party-list representatives or 20 percent of the total seats in the Lower House.

According to Comelec spokesperson Rex Laudingco the poll body needed to fill the 63 seats as mandated by law and these seats cannot be filled only by the six party-list groups that got not less than 2 percent of votes cast for party-list groups.

Laudingco said that this is where the Comelec will apply the formula laid down by the Supreme Court’s (SC) 2009 decision in the case of Banat vs Comelec.

Based on this SC ruling, if the seats of party-list representatives cannot be filled, the requirement of 2 percent of party-list votes will be overturned. The decision also came up with three stages of formula for distributing seats for party-list winners.

In the first stage, the first seat is given to the parties that obtained a minimum of 2 percent of total votes cast in party-list election.

In the second stage, the parties get one additional seat, or two seats in all, based on the allocation of remaining seats.

The process goes on to a third stage if there are still seats left from party-list quota of 20 percent of all the seats in the House. One party-list seat is assigned to each of the parties next-in-rank until all available seats are completely distributed.

As of May 13, 2022, the partial and unofficial nationwide election result shows that out of 177 party-list candidates, two party-list groups from Bicol region will get slots in the 63 seats for party-list representatives.

AKB ranks No. 5 in the party-list race garnering 811,645 votes or 2.25 percent. Based on the Comelec formula, it is sure to get more than one seat in the HOR.

Bicol Saro, on the other hand, ranks 36 in the party-list race garnering 323,965 votes or 0.90 percent. Based on the formula it will get one seat in the HOR.


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